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Pink Floyd - Best cover versions ever

Pink Floyd - Best cover versions ever

Pink Floyd's music has been covered by many artists across various genres, resulting in some remarkable renditions. I stay true to the originals, but some innovative interpretations can be quite refreshing. I found several tributes that added a unique twist and at the same time maintained the spirit of the original songs.

Image. Illustration for Pink Floyd cover songs - Pink Floyd-inspired album covers. They feature the same surreal, psychedelic elements and vintage style as the original album covers. Generated by DALL·E 2 - Chat GTP4 from OpenAI. 

Pink Floyd stands as one of the world's most iconic bands, with music that continues to resonate today. Formed in London in 1965, this British rock group pioneered the psychedelic rock genre, setting trends throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. My interest for the music by Pink Floyd started in 1973 when they released the iconic album Dark Side Of The Moon.

Choosing the best cover of a Pink Floyd song is highly subjective, but several covers have achieved significant acclaim over the years.

Music touches. Music can create larger spaces and new perspectives because it speaks to the heart and not just to the brain. I think Pink Floyd`s music contribute to both. They have so many songs that keeps returning into my mind. And there is a message in the songs too. It`s a spark of mental awaking, but often a challenge to understand. 

Music is a balsam for my soul. When I'm stressed and need to maintain a relaxed focus, I listen to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (Parts I-III) for meditation. The instrumental sections of this song feature a slow build-up, steady pace, atmospheric soundscapes, and ambient qualities. These elements create for me a calming feeling that can last for several hours. As a child, I meditated to this song with my training mates during my cross-country skiing sessions.

When I'm tired and need to reload my batteries, “Comfortable Numb” is the song I mentally escape to. It`s rise me up. This song is really haunting, hypnotic and intimate and give me a feeling of being transporting to another world. And when I want to turn into party mood, I put on “Another Brick in the Wall" for sing along - a classic rock anthem transformed into a vibrant celebration. To get inspiration and motivation, I listen to ”High Hopes". 

Whether it's a bluegrass rendition, a soulful and bluesy interpretation, metal, folk or a punk twist, each version brings its own unique charm to the timeless classics. For example the cover of "Comfortably Numb" by Scissor Sisters transforms the song into a disco hit, showcasing a completely different take on the original​ (Cover Me)​. Many of my favourites are stripped-down cover versions. It don`t have to be atmospheric soundscapes or pushed beyond limits to make the songs good. Acoustic versions that capture the songs nostalgic feeling could also be enjoyable. 

Picking the best Pink Floyd tribute songs I needed to consider several factors that capture the essence and quality of the band's music. It`s a special challenge to appreciate and select Pink Floyd tribute songs while respecting the total concept of their albums. My challenge was to pick the best Pink Floyd tribute songs that honor the original masterpieces while providing a fresh listening experience.

I searched both high and low to find excellent Pink Floyd covers. Most of the songs were found on the music streaming service Bandcamp.

Here are my favourite covers of Pink Floyd songs (circa 20 songs):

  • Brain Damage by Tap Dog
  • Brain Damage by Globelamp
  • Wish You Where Here by Moose Tears
  • On The Turning Away by Beyond the Pale
  • On The Turning Away by The Disables
  • On The Turning Away by Memory Driven
  • Us and Them by Creepers
  • Fearless by Snail
  • Comfortably Numb by Aborym
  • Pig by Contraption
  • Shine On You Crazy Diamond by Orisis Saline
  • Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) by Giselle Gabrielle
  • Green is the Colour by Mat Ten Clay and the Howlers
  • Green is the Colour by Hooky
  • High Hope by Animal Pink Floyd Tribute
  • In the Flesh by Solace
  • Vera by Ruby the Hatchet
  • Echoes by by Mary Namyra - Wooden Box Theater - Balance of the Stars
  • The Thin Ice by Barnstormer
  • Time/Breathe by Greensky Bluegrass (YouTube)
  • The Gunner`s Dream by Steve Katsikas

These dedications helps preserve Pink Floyd`s artistic legacy. The covers highlight the versatility of the band`s music and the diverse ways artists interpret their iconic sound. In my opinion, these renditions are top not only for their interpretation and emotional delivery but also for their personal touch. Some performances are so exceptional that the artists almost make the song as their own, transforming it from a mere imitation into a unique and personal expression. 

Pink Floyd's lyrics can be perplexing due to their diverse styles: some are crafted for entertainment and shows, while others are deeply biographical. This range can make it challenging for other musicians to perform their songs, as the powerful and distinctive lyrics are often closely associated with the band itself. I assume that could make it difficult sometimes for other musicans to perform their songs. Some Pink Floyd`s lyrics are quite controversial, and isn`t something other musicans would like to be associated with, or representing their value and attitude. Many songs are warm-hearted and emphatic too, especially the songs paying tribute to the founder and former band member Syd Barrett. 

Pink Floyd's music often carries profound themes, emotional depth, politics and complex narratives. Use of many of the metaphores creates often confusion and misunderstands among both performers and listeners. Many of the band's songs are also influenced by the personal experiences of Roger Waters, the band's primary lyricist. 

In some songs there are strong expressions as Pink Floyd's "The Postwar Dream" dwelling with war and “Pigs On The Wing (Pt. I)" define the real love: expression of need for shelter and comfort to handle difficulties in the hard life.       

Some songs could be quite controversial too, for example “In the Flesh” from The Wall and ”Pigs" from the Animals album. The last mentioned song metaphorically compares people to pigs, "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" - Part of The Wall album, this song criticizes rigid education, disiplin and pressure of pupils to follow the traditional school system. 

Performing Pink Floyd songs without having any relation to the lyrics and their meaning there are a risk that the artists misses the depth and essence of the original works. 

Another example of Pink Floyd`s depths in the songs, is David Gilmour's guitar solos. Especially in "Comfortably Numb," where he express himself very emotional and adds another layer of depth to the band's music.

While Pink Floyd's use of metaphors and symbolism can create confusion or misunderstandings, it also contributes to the richness and enduring appeal of their music. It encourages both performers and listeners to engage deeply with the themes and messages presented, inviting personal interpretation and reflection.

In any case, understanding and respecting the original material's essence can enhance the performance and create a more meaningful experience for both the performers and the audience. 

While opinions on cover versions of Pink Floyd`s songs are subjective and diverse, I think that the covers I handpicked breath new life into the band`s timeless music. The tribute bands play a significant role in keeping Pink Floyd's music alive for new generations. Their performances can wake interest for listeners to explore the original recordings. 

Stein Morten Lund, 27th June 2024

Additional information

Pink Floyd's music has been extensively covered by numerous artists across various genres. Approximately 82% of Pink Floyd's songs have been covered by 784 distinct artists in at least 12,231 different concerts​ (Setlist.fm)​​ (ClassicRockHistory.com)​. 

From Joni Mitchell to David Bowie: The 10 best covers of Pink Floyd (Far Out magazine).

Top 10 Best Pink Floyd Tribute Bands (Pro Tribute Bands). 

The Best Pink Floyd Covers Ever (Cover Me)

Some well-regarded tribute bands include:

  • Brit Floyd
  • The Australian Pink Floyd Show
  • Think Floyd
  • The Machine
  • The Nordic Floyd Show 
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