Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sunday Sessions: Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon



This week, for Sunday Sessions, I have decided to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of Pink Floyd's most successful album "The Dark Side of the Moon", which occurs today.

Like The Beatles' "Sgt Pepper..." there's not a lot one can write objectively about this album.  It's already been said, or anything else is tainted with rose-coloured bias.  As user comusduke wrote in their review of the album on RateYourMusic.com any new writing about the album generally falls into one of two categories: either anecdotes or personal reflections.  

So I ask this question instead: Where were you when you first heard "Dark Side of the Moon"? Maybe you've never heard it?  Maybe you've been curious about listening and want to know more.

In this writer's opinion, it is definitely worth hearing at least once, from start to finish, in a comfy chair, and with a decent pair of headphones preferrably.  

That's how I heard it at 14, in 1990 when I purchased a second hand vinyl copy for $1 at a neighbour's garage sale.  At the end of the entire 40 minute experience, suffice to say: Little. Teenage. Mind. Blown.  This album is not only on my shortlist of the 100 albums that changed my life, it's probably a contender for a spot in the top 10.

Until that point, I'd played the album a couple of times.  I heard it in year 6, age 11, in my uncles' tape collection.  Aside from the track "Money", I hated it.  On tape, you can't see when the tracks are, so I couldn't work out where the songs began and ended (they're all joined together with no silence between them).  With an ear to the local FM radio stations while in high school, I'd heard bits and pieces of the record.  I knew it was on the LP charts in the US for an unbroken 741 week run, but it didn't make sense until I listened to it on vinyl, holding the LP cover in my hands following the lyrics, hearing the sounds swirling around my head.  For some reason, musical ruminations on death, greed and lunacy all make much more sense when you're a disaffected 14 year old...

One of the funniest stories about this album is how it supposedly syncs up with The Wizard of Oz.  I'd heard that story years ago but I'd never been able to test the theory.  Thanks to the technology age and YouTube, now we all can.  Below is the full Dark Side of Oz, with The Wizard of Oz film footage synched with The Dark Side of the Moon.  To find out all the synch points, look here and in the notes of the original video upload on YouTube.

Enjoy!




And here's the original LP for you to listen unfettered by conspiracies about being in sync with yellow brick roads and the like.

3 comments:

  1. I have never actually listened to the whole record before - but thanks to your links I'll be able to do so. I'll get back to you once I get the opportunity to do so in uninterrupted peace!

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  2. Do it, it's so worth it.

    Listen closely and see if you can pick the almost subliminal expletive at the beginning of it.

    I still think it's amazing to listen to, and that the album was originally pressed on multi-channel vinyl (quadrophonic). My copy is the quad copy, but of course Quad record players just don't exist anymore so I can't hear it as it was intended. They've reissued the multi-channel mix, but in a box set worth over $200 :(

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  3. Great album. Pink Floyd are awesome. I did have this in my vinyl collection, it's times like this when I kick myself for selling it. At least someone is appreciating it(hopefully) now as it should be.

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