My favorite 100 albums of all time: #22 ("The Wall")

Pink Floyd - "The Wall" album coverThe Who's Tommy pioneered the "rock opera." Pink Floyd perfected it with The Wall.

Like Tommy, The Wall is a sprawling two-album work. Running more than 80 minutes, The Wall covers a lot of musical ground – ballads, pseudo-opera, rock, and even dabbles in disco. The Wall is Pink Floyd's, or at least Roger Waters', magnum opus.

Since The Wall came out when I was nine years old, it's hard to remember a world before it existed. It's just always been part of the classic rock canon, right? Even though it was ever-present on the radio, at least snippets of it, it wasn't until I was well into high school that I got a copy of the full album. And then I listened to The Wall over and over again.

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My favorite 100 albums of all time: #38 ("Animals")

"Animals" album cover Pink Floyd responded in part to the punk rock movement's fast, short, and aggressive tunes by… putting out an LP with five complex and relatively languid songs, three of which are longer than 10 minutes. And it is awesome.

1977's Animals is an album that's best experienced as an album. I suppose you could play "Sheep" or "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" as stand-alones, but why would you? If you've never listened to this one, you need to clear an hour (actually about 45 minutes) and sit down and give it some attention.

"Pigs on the Wing (Part One)" and "Pigs on the Wing (Part Two)" are short and succinct acoustic pieces that bookend the album. Together they don't quite add up to three minutes.

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