THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Pink Floyd

               
DSotM

Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon

-Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London between June 1972 and January 1973
-Over 45 million copies of album sold worldwide; ranks at #2 in all time sales, behind Michael Jackson's Thriller
-Spent 741 weeks (14 years) on US Billboard 200 Album Chart
-Was on the leading edge of the new generation of electronic music
-Noted for its innovative recording techniques and high fidelity sound, even by modern standards
-Rated as 43rd greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone in 2003
-Album cover (pictured below) rated as 35th greatest of all time by Rolling Stone, 2003

DSotM Album Cover

album cover for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

Founded in 1965, the psychadelic rock band Pink Floyd found popularity in London's underground music scene in the late 1960s. Their first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), was a success, but it was The Dark Side of the Moon that brought the band international recognition.

Dark Side of the Moon was the band's first concept album, revolving around such themes as madness, violence and death. Interviews with various persons regarding these themes were recorded and used as background conversations in the album. Parts of these interviews can be discerned while listening to the album; for example, at the beginning of "The Great Gig in the Sky" a voice can be heard saying: "And I am not frightened of dying . . . anytime will do . . ."

Band Members

DAVID GILMOUR: lead vocals, guitar, VCS 3 synthesiser
NICK MASON: Percussion, Tape Effects
RICHARD WRIGHT: Key boards, Vocals, VCS 3 synthesiser
ROGER WATERS: Bass Guitar, Vocals, VCS 3 synthesiser, Tape Effects

Founding member Syd Barrett had left the band before this album was produced due to mental illness, and the album, whose theme deals with mental illness, was in part dedicated to Barrett. Besides the four members of the band, there were many significant contributions to this album by other persons, notably Clare Torry, who does the lead vocals for "The Great Gig in the Sky." An important contribution was also made by sound engineer Alan Parsons. Parsons is often credited with the technical excellence of this recording, and the use of innovative recording techniques such as quadraphonic sound.

BELOW: The original LP included two posters: one was of the band in concert; the other was a picture of the Great Pyramids of Giza shot on infrared film.
Dark Side of the Moon: Photo from original LP packaging

Links

THE MOST COMPLETE PINK FLOYD PAGE: http://utopia.knoware.nl/users/ptr/pfloyd/index.html
ROGER WATERS INTERVIEW: http://utopia.knoware.nl/users/ptr/pfloyd/interview/dark4.html">

Dark Side of the Moon and 2001: A Space Odyssey

Some people have noticed that DSotM seems to be synchronized to the 1939 MGM movie The Wizard of Oz, in what is often referred to as Dark Side of the Rainbow. This particular sync may be just coincidence, and if we want to gain some insights into what the band was thinking, we should look at another movie, which the band may have synchronized the album to, and is more consistent with the themes we find on DSotM.
Pink Floyd released the album Meddle in 1971. "Echoes" comprising one side of the album, can be synchronized to the last segment of 2001, "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite." Floyd has denied that they did this sync intentionally, but I'll let you be the judge of whether or not it is just too much of a coincidence to have come about by accident. Here's the link to the Youtube video of "Echoes" synced to 2001.
It's hard not to be at least a little suspicious that something was going on between this song and that film. Nevertheless, if you want to accept that it was just coincidence, we see some related concepts here between this outer space journey we see in 2001, and this mental submarine voyage we get in "Echoes". Moreover, Roger Waters has said that "Echoes" is the ideological predecessor of DSotM. Whether or not this sync was done intentionally, what 2001 does that Oz didn't do is it gives us a framework for what this album might be about. These themes we see in DSotM (Madness, violence, death etc.) are all very apparent in 2001, and Hal's progression from "wonder boy" to insanity also mirrors the human evolution, which all fits very nicely with this story we get from the album.

For more on this connection between DSotM and 2001, see PINK FLOYD SYNCED DARK SIDE OF THE MOON TO 2001 -NOT THE WIZARD OF OZ
 

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