You know what makes me sad?
Knowing we will never get to enjoy the thrill of listening to a new Pink Floyd album for the first time.
There is no other band like Pink Floyd. They are one of a kind.
But there are bands that sound like Pink Floyd, and ones that have similarities other than the sound.
These bands might not be quite as good, but they are as close as you can get.
And since we won’t be getting any more new Pink Floyd songs, we have to resort to finding the next best thing if we want new music to enjoy.
You like Pink Floyd, so chances are you’ll like most of the bands listed below too. Let’s dive right in and check them out.
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Bands That Sound Like Pink Floyd
Although Pink Floyd is a unique band, there are some bands from that particular era that were pretty similar to their style.
Emerson, Lake, And Palmer
One of the easiest picks for band similar to Pink Floyd is the legendary progressive rock trio Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. This was a supergroup formed by keyboard maestro Keith Emerson, experienced bassist Greg Lake, and a hard-hitting rock drummer Carl Palmer.
Formed back in 1970, the group created their own unique twist to rock music, fusing it with classical and jazz elements. Their breakthrough was the 1971 album Pictures at an Exhibition where they made their own arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky’s ten-piece suite.
The group originally lasted until 1979, but regrouped a few times over the decades. In the mid-1980s, they formed as Emerson, Lake & Powell, enlisting Cozy Powell on the drums.
Powel was well known from his work with Rainbow. Palmer wasn’t able to attend this reunion as he was busy touring with Asia.
The band had some more runs throughout the 1990s, as well as the 40th-anniversary concert in 2010. Unfortunately, that was it for them as Keith Emerson and Greg Lake both passed away in 2016.
Starting back in the late 1960s, Yes is one of the most influential bands of the era. In fact, we can easily say that their works impacted the entire musical landscape of the 1970s and onwards.
But they never get enough credit for it. And although we can compared them to Pink Floyd, especially with plenty of psychedelic-infused elements in their music, they’re a one-of-a-kind collective of musicians.
Interestingly enough, at this point, Yes operates with none of the original members. However, original vocalist Jon Anderson and classic members guitarist Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Rick Wakeman have come together under the Yes Featuring ARW moniker (also known as Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman).
The band went through a lot of stylistic changes over the years. At one point, they even released a full-on commercially-oriented pop-rock album 90125, with Owner of a Lonely Heart being one of the band’s biggest songs of all time. It is perhaps their only good karaoke song.
But if you want more Pink Floyd kind of stuff, we suggest their earlier releases, especially a record like Tales from Topographic Oceans.
While it’s impossible to say who actually started the whole progressive rock thing, since it took years for it to be defined as a genre, the style is often synonymous with King Crimson.
That’s because they developed the style and pushed it to a whole new level. Most rock fans remember them for their debut album and the legendary masterpiece 21st Century Schizoid Man.
However, there’s a lot of other awesome stuff in there, including Epitaph, Starless, or the entire 1981 album Discipline.
Tool lists King Crimson as their biggest influence and many younger music fans know them from this. But they sound quite different from Tool, which is why we did not include them in our list of bands similar to Tool.
King Crimson band members came and went, but the band was always kept together by guitarist Robert Fripp, who remained the primary composer and the mastermind behind the group’s style.
But plenty of great musicians passed through the lineup, including Greg Lake, who played bass on the first album and sang on the band’s first and second albums.
Robert Fripp is somewhat of an enigmatic persona. He usually kept to himself but was able to compose some pretty outstanding and mind-boggling music.
For instance, to fully understand what’s going on in the title track of the Discipline album, you need to be really aware of polyrhythms. But even if you don’t completely understand what he’s doing, you can’t ever go wrong with King Crimson or any of Robert Fripp’s works.
Formed in 1999, Transatlantic is a progressive rock supergroup. It was conceived as a multi-national project and features Neal Morse, Pete Trewavas, Roine Stolt, and Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy.
You can only imagine how awesome such a collective of musicians sounds together!
The only band lasted until 2002, because the musicians had to go back to their main bands. But they did reunite in 2009. And they’re still doing stuff off and on, and have released five albums so far.
And although not an official member, Daniel Gildenlöw has been a major part of the group’s live shows. But not always. He was sometimes replaced by Ted Leonard.
Their music reflects what you hear from each musicians’ main projects and famous bands. But they take it in their own direction.
Although not completely like Pink Floyd, there are certainly similar elements that you’ll notice in their music. Transatlantic is fairly popular among Pink Floyd fans, so you should definitely check them out.
Well, The Doors are the obvious pick for this list. Aside from being a band that started their work in the same era, a lot of their songs are fused with psychedelic elements, often similar to those of Pink Floyd.
Of course they’re a unique band with their own style, but they’re part of the same collective of bands and are well-respected by Pink Floyd fans. And if you’re into Pink Floyd, there’s a high chance that you’ve at least heard of The Doors.
Formed back in 1965 in Los Angeles, the group consisted of Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, John Densmore, and the well-known frontman Jim Morrison. It he he, for whom the band is remembered the most.
Although the band didn’t last for very long, due to Morrison’s tragic passing, they’ve left an irreplaceable mark on modern music. The Doors are a safe bet for anyone who likes bluesy-oriented psychedelic rock.
If you go two or three decades past the formation of Pink Floyd, you will find Porcupine Tree, a band that further pushed into progressive rock and psychedelic territories.
Led by Steven Wilson, the group further developed the progressive rock genre, setting new standards for coming generations of musicians. Between 1992 and 2009, Porcupine Tree released a total of 10 full-length studio albums, after which they disbanded.
There have been some talks of getting things back on track on a few occasions, but the chances of this happening are very slim.
Either way, you can still enjoy their game-changing and very diverse progressive rock style. Every album is a story of its own and worth checking out if you like music like Radiohead or Pink Floyd, that blends different styles into one.
The main reason for Wilson’s decision to disband Porcupine Tree is that he felt the band’s style was getting a bit narrow.
So he decided to embark on a solo career, eventually making a name for himself without the band. What’s really exciting is that he went anywhere from classic progressive rock, even hiring a guitar master like Guthrie Govan, up to full-on pop music.
In his catalog, you’ll find a diverse palette of styles, with many innovative and unexpected blends of different elements.
If you’re really into progressive rock with some serious jazz fusion elements, then you’ll love his 2013 album The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories).
Then you have some pretty depressing stuff with a song like Routine from the Hand. Cannot. Erase. Album. And finally, you have progressive pop records like To the Bone and The Future Bites. Either way, you’ll definitely love at least some of his work if you’re a fan of Pink Floyd.
Riverside is a bit of a different mention on this list. This band is not that widely known outside of progressive rock-loving circles.
They come from Poland and are known for their slightly atmospheric and psychedelic style. And although not as big or as famous as the other entries here, they’re usually adored by Pink Floyd fans who give them a try.
If you want to start somewhere, we’d recommend their 2005 album Second Life Syndrome. The 15-minute-long title track combines progressive rock, progressive metal, and psychedelic rock, and includes some of the best guitar solos of that era.
The solos are nothing flashy or fast, but really expressive and emotional. In other words, they are not unlike the types of solos for which David Gilmour is famous.
Riverside have seven studio albums so far. And honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them, if you’re a fan of progressive and psychedelic rock music, with a more modern-oriented twist.
Camel is easily one of the most underrated groups that formed back in the 1970s and we also included them in our list of bands that sound like Rush. They are a progressive rock band led by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Andrew Latimer.
They’ve changed their style over the decades, but you can always notice the obvious prog-rock elements, as well as Andrew’s own creative signature. If you like the early stuff, you’ll definitely enjoy what they put out in the 1980s and the 1990s.
Camel fans are usually really into Pink Floyd as well, since there are some obvious parallels you can draw between these two groups. If you need an album to start with, Rajaz from 1999 or Stationary Traveller from 1984 are both great introductions to the group.
Bands Like Pink Floyd: Final Thoughts
Are you familiar with all of these bands already or were some (or all) of them new to you? If there are any you have no heard before, give them a listen. Since you like Pink Floyd, chances are you’ll enjoy all of these bands, too.
We know there are plenty of other bands out there that could have been on this list. Do you feel we left any off that should have absolutely made it? If so, let us know in the comments below.
And if you also like music that’s a bit harder, check our our list of bands like Slipknot or Polyphia and bands like them, for progressive rock with a bit more aggression.
Finally, we did a deep dive into the lyrics and meaning of Wish You Were Here. Many people think they know what the song is about, but most are wrong. At least partially.
We also featured a lesser-known song from The Wall (if there is such a thing) in our list of songs about domestic violence. Can you guess which song it is?
Mike R. says
I’m going go to go a little deeper and say Eloy, Nektar, The Alan Parson’s Project (how the heck did they get left off the list?) and RPWL ( a band who even started out as a Pink Floyd cover band). There’s plenty more and many are in the prog rock genre. Good call on Camel though. I would say all of those bands listed are essential.
Thank you for the suggestions! I’ll have to check those out and maybe get some of them added to the list.
All I can say is Phish!!!
Mike R. says
Really? I would say Ozric Tentacles come closer to that PF sound. Check them out if you don’t know them.