Pink Floyd are an English rock band that initially earned recognition for their psychedelic or space rock music, and, as they evolved, for their progressive rock music. They are known for philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative cover art, and elaborate live shows. One of rock music's most successful acts, the group have sold over 200 million albums worldwide including 74.5 million albums in the United States alone.
Pink Floyd had moderate mainstream success and were one of the most popular bands in the London underground music scene in the late 1960s as a psychedelic band led by Syd Barrett; however, Barrett's erratic behaviour eventually forced his colleagues to replace him with guitarist and singer David Gilmour. After Barrett's departure, singer and bass player Roger Waters gradually became the dominant and driving force in the group in the mid-1970s, until his eventual departure from the group in 1985. The band recorded several albums, achieving worldwide success with The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), and The Wall (1979). In 1985, Waters declared Pink Floyd "a spent force", but the remaining members, led by Gilmour, continued recording and touring under the name Pink Floyd. Although they were unsuccessfully sued by Waters for rights to the name, they again enjoyed worldwide success with A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994). Eventually they reached a settlement out of court with Waters allowing them use of the name. Waters performed with the band for the first time in 24 years on 2 July 2005 at the London Live 8 concert.
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (guitar, vocals), and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.
The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band.
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Rock & Roll Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today.
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