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Dark Side of the Moon
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Dark Side of the Moon

This article is about the album by musical group Pink Floyd. For information on the actual moon orbiting Earth, see Moon.

(The) Dark Side of the Moon (DSotM; the initial "The" is included in some versions of the title) is a 1973 concept album by Pink Floyd, dealing with the pressures of life such as death (The Great Gig in the Sky), money, time, mental illness and war.
Dark Side of the Moon
LP by Pink Floyd
Released March 1973
Recorded June 1972 - January 1973
Genre Rock
Length 43 min 00 s
Record label Columbia Records
Producer Pink Floyd
Professional reviews
RollingStone review 5/5 link
VH1 top 100 rock albums poll 51/100 link
Pink Floyd Chronology
Obscured By Clouds
(1972)
Dark Side of the Moon
(1973)
Masters of Rock vol. 1 (Europe Only)
(1974)

It is considered by many fans to be the band's magnum opus, surpassing even The Wall, (1979). The album was a landmark in psychedelic rock, featuring radio-suited rock songs like Money, Time, and Us and Them, with etheral electronica, and concrete sound effects. It is a bridge between "classic" blues rock and the (then-new) electronic music genres. However, it is the softer touches on DSotM, the lyrical and musical nuance, that make this album stand apart.

DSotM is the 11th best selling album, worldwide.

Table of contents
1 Overview
2 Wizard of Oz
3 Track listing
4 Personnel
5 Quotes
6 External links

Overview

It's estimated that one in every 14 people in the USA under the age of 50 owns a copy

The theme of DSotM was in part precipitated by the earlier departure of Syd Barrett, a founding member of Pink Floyd.

The album contains some of the most intricate uses of instruments and sound effects in the studio up to that time, including the sound of someone running around a microphone, and the recording of multiple clocks going off. A quadraphonic version was also released, with some re-mixing and different takes. In making DSotM, Pink Floyd perfected other effects such as double-tracking of vocals and guitars (allowing David Gilmour to flawlessly harmonise with himself), flanged vocals and odd trickery with reverb and panning of sound between the channels. To this day, DSotM is a reference standard that audiophiles use to test the fidelity of audio equipment.

Another feature of the album is the snippets of dialogue between and over the tracks. Pink Floyd interviewed various people, asking questions related to the central themes of the album, such as violence and death. Roadie "Roger the Hat" features more than once ("give 'em a quick, short, sharp, shock...", "live for today, gone tomorrow, that's me..."). The words "there is no dark side of the Moon really...matter of fact it's all dark" over the closing heartbeats come from the studio doorman at the time, Jerry Driscoll. Paul McCartney was also interviewed, but his answers were considered too cautious for inclusion.

In the USA, DSotM is the 18th best-selling album of all time and has spent a total of over 740 weeks on the Billboard magazine music charts with the longest continuous period lasting 591 consecutive weeks. It reached the #1 chart position in the US, Belgium and France; even in 2002, thirty years after the album's release, over 400,000 copies were sold in the United States, making the record the 200th bestselling album that year. "Time", "Money" and "Us and Them" have become radio call-in favourites (with "Money" having also been a bestselling single in the USA).

DSotM has been released as a 30th anniversary hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD) with a 5.1 channel DSD surround mix, mastered from the original 16-track studio tapes. Some surprise was expressed, when James Guthrie was called in to make the SACD mix, rather than the original LP engineer Alan Parsons. This 30th anniversary edition won four Surround Music Awards in 2003.

Wizard of Oz

When the album is played simultaneously with the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, some correspondences between the music and film occur. [1]. For example, the opening cash register sound of "Money" comes just as Dorothy steps onto the yellow brick road for the first time, which is also the moment the film switches from black and white into color; the heartbeat sound at the conclusion of the album occurs as Dorothy is listening for the Tin Man's heartbeat; and many more. The band insist that this is coincidental. When news of this claim hit the major media outlets in 1997, it sparked a widespread interest in the phenomenon. A small community sprang up around various sites [1] to further explore this idea. Whether the correspondences are real or imagined, fans of the album often enjoy the experience of seeing Dark Side of the Rainbow, as the combination is sometimes called. The synch is created by pausing the album (Preferably the CD version) at the very beginning, and unpausing when the MGM lion roars for the third time. The members dismissed any relation between the album and the movie on an MTV Special about Pink Floyd in 2002. They claimed that the timing could only be coincidental, and not planned, as there were no means of even reproducing the film in the studio, as there were no VCRs at the time.

Track listing

The first CD track is split into two 'songs' and the third track contains a reprise of the first.

On the original release

  1. "Speak To Me/Breathe" - 3:59
  2. "On The Run" - 3:35
  3. "Time" - 7:04
  4. "The Great Gig in the Sky" - 4:48
  5. "Money" - 6:24
  6. "Us And Them" - 7:49
  7. "Any Colour You Like" - 3:26
  8. "Brain Damage" - 3:50
  9. "Eclipse" - 2:04

On the "Shine On" (Boxset) version, and 25th anniversary re-release

  1. "Speak To Me" - 1:13
  2. "Breathe" - 3:46
  3. "On The Run" - 3:35
  4. "Time" - 5:56
  5. "Breath (Reprise)" - 1:09
  6. "The Great Gig in the Sky" - 4:48
  7. "Money" - 6:24
  8. "Us And Them" - 7:49
  9. "Any Colour You Like" - 3:26
  10. "Brain Damage" - 3:50
  11. "Eclipse" - 2:04

Because the original LP Record was two sided, there was a break between "The Great Gig In The Sky" and "Money". Alan Parsons added a small crossfade between these two tracks for the digital remaster.

On later CD pressings, many people believe a hidden, orchestral version of the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" is audible after "Eclipse". Why this is so is unknown, and was possibly a mastering mistake. (The bootleg "A Tree Full of Secrets" includes an amplified, enhanced version of this oddity.)

On the 30th anniversary re-release

  1. "Speak To Me" - 1:13
  2. "Breathe" - 3:46
  3. "On The Run" - 3:35
  4. "Time" - 7:04
  5. "The Great Gig in the Sky" - 4:48
  6. "Money" - 6:24
  7. "Us And Them" - 7:49
  8. "Any Colour You Like" - 3:26
  9. "Brain Damage" - 3:50
  10. "Eclipse" - 2:04

Personnel

See also: The Moon

Quotes

"It's very well-balanced and well-constructed, dynamically and musically, and I think the humanity of its approach is appealing. It's satisfying. I think also that it was the first album of that kind. People often quote S F Sorrow by The Pretty Things as being from a similar mould - they were both done in the same studio at about the same time - but I think it was probably the first completely cohesive album that was made. A concept album, mate! I always thought it would be hugely succesful. I had the same feelings about The Wall. [...] But of course, Dark Side Of The Moon finished the Pink Floyd off once and for all. To be that succesful is the aim of every group. And once you've cracked it, it's all over. In hindsight, I think the Pink Floyd was finished as long ago as that."
- Roger Waters - June 1987, with Chris Salewicz

External links