The Covers Inspired By Pink Floyd

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In 2009, The Flaming Lips, pictured, collaborated with the band Stardeath and White Dwarfs to cover the 'The Dark Side of the Moon' from start to finish. GEORGE SALISBURY/WARNER BROS.RECORDS

Pink Floyd has produced a long list of classics—and inspired multiple covers—in the 50 years since the band first got together. If imitation is truly the highest form of flattery, then the artists below have revealed themselves as true fans of the band, for better or worse. Here's a list of Pink Floyd covers from Newsweek's special edition on the band.

"Wish You Were Here," performed by Sparklehorse feat. Thom Yorke

The title track of Pink Floyd's 1975 Wish You Were Here was written about ex-band member Syd Barrett and his mental deterioration. Though Barrett was alive at the time of the album's release, the tone and lyrics express feelings of grief and mourning. In 2005, late Sparklehorse lead singer Mark Linkous recorded an emotional cover of the song with Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. In an interesting take, Thom Yorke sings his part over the phone from his hotel room—you can hear the sound of his TV in the background.

"Another Brick in the Wall " Parts 1, 2, 3, performed by Korn

This three-part song was released on Pink Floyd's 1979 album The Wall, and it features themes of oppression, conformity and rebellion. Appropriately enough, the American metal band Korn covered all three parts of the song on their 2004 single, "Another Brick in the Wall, Pts. 1–3." Though the song made the New York Post's "100 Greatest Cover Songs of All Time" in 2007, it has also been criticized for being a whiny, angsty and hardcore rendition of the original.

The Dark Side of the Moon, performed by the Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs

Released in 1973, The Dark Side of the Moon is considered by many to be one of the most influential albums of all time. It spent more than 16 collective years on the Billboard 200 album chart and remains the third highest selling album globally today. In 2009, the Flaming Lips collaborated with the band Stardeath and White Dwarfs to cover the entire album from start to finish. Their take peaked at No. 12 on the top digital albums chart and No. 157 on the Billboard 200. When asked why he chose to cover Dark Side, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne revealed to the A.V. Club the producers at iTunes wanted the band to come up with exclusive tracks to accompany Embryonic, released the previous year. He admits, "Kind of in a panic, I suggested, 'Why don't we just do a cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon?'" Though it was somewhat last minute, Coyne felt comfortable covering the whole album because the songs were so similar, there were only nine tracks and he knew the record so well. The daring album received a relatively warm reception, and the Flaming Lips even toured it, performing The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety on December 31, 2009.

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Bowie covered 'See Emily Play' for his 1973 album, Pin Ups. GIJSBERT HANEKROOT/SUNSHINE/RETNA LTD.

"See Emily Play," performed by David Bowie

"See Emily Play" was written by Syd Barrett and was one of his last contributions to Pink Floyd before he and the band parted ways. Barrett was a major influence on English pop singer David Bowie—who noted Barrett was one of the first artists he'd heard sing pop or rock with a British accent. Bowie covered "See Emily Play" for his 1973 album, Pin Ups, which topped the U.K. album charts and peaked at No. 23 on Billboard's pop album charts.

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Former Dixie Chick Natalie Maines covered 'Mother' in 2013. CAROLYN KASTER/AP IMAGES

"Mother," performed by Natalie Maines

For her 2013 debut solo album, the former Dixie Chick selected this Wall tune as the title track after seeing Roger Waters perform the album live. Maine's personal, plaintive rendition makes the mother more vulnerable, wanting to overprotect her kids while knowing that she can't.

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The Scissor Sisters covered 'Comfortably Numb' in 2004. LAWRENCE/STARFACE/RETNA LTD.

"Comfortably Numb," performed by Scissor Sisters

"Comfortably Numb" was written by Roger Waters, who was inspired by the experience of receiving a numbing tranquilizer for hepatitis right before playing a gig. In 2004, the Scissor Sisters recorded a falsetto, disco-pop reinterpretation of the track. Their cover was nominated for a Grammy for "Best Dance Recording" and hit No. 10 on the U.K. singles chart. Gilmour and Mason both revealed an appreciation for the cover.

This article appears in Newsweek's Special Edition, Pink Floyd by Issue Editor Jeremy Brown

Pink Floyd Cover
dezo Hoffmann/Rex Shutterstock. Digital imaging by Eric Heintz
The Covers Inspired By Pink Floyd | Culture