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Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon CD (album) cover

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.59 | 2954 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Almsot 500 reviews for this one. Is there anything more to say about it ? I quickly scanned those reviews and I decided to present this album with an different insight than usual. Let's see (and hear).

The genesis of this jewel started as soon as end of 1971 in Nick's kitchen. Fortunately they will produce something else than "The Psychedelic Breakfast" ! Roger started with the lyrics while Rick and David concentrated on the music.

Roger will say : "It had to be quick, because we had a tour starting. It might have been only six weeks before we had to have something to perform. We went somewhere in W. Hampstead for a couple of weeks and we got a lot of pieces together."

The first name for it was "Eclipse" because a band called Medicine Head had released an album titled "Dark Side of the Moon" in late 1971... so the planned title was changed to "Eclipse". When the Medicine Head album flopped, the original title was revived by Pink Floyd.

The Floyd started a pre-DSOTM tour as early as January 1972. The first attempt to play it as a whole was at Brighton (January 20, 1972). They had to stop at "Money" due to some technical problems. During their first short UK tour (one month - 16 dates of which one was cancelled (in Manchester) after twenty-five minutes. They will reschedule it in March. The whole pre-tour featured ninety-four concerts while the effective tour will only have 35 dates. They will go on playing it in full lenght during the WYWH tour.

Four of those concerts took place at the Rainbow Theater in London. One has been recorded brilliantly and is available. Apparently it is the the last one on February 20, 1972 - which makes sense since they had performed it already several times).

It is a wonderful document because it shows how the project has evolved between January 1972 and March 1973 (date of release).

"Breathe" is only one track (combined with "Speak To Me") There is still no sign of "On The Run" (instead we have a track called "The Travel Sequence" which is also an instrumental but longer - over six minutes) "Breathe Reprise" has been called "Home Again" later on in this tour (during the second leg of their North American tour) and then will return to its original name. "The Great Gig" has of course nothing to do with the wonderful final version we all know (the music is already there though).

B-side of the album was really close to the final one although "Us & Them" has been seriously cut (but I think it was due to ... a technical problem more than anything else).

The pre-tour featured the whole rendition of DSOTM (with no words nor aplause as usual). They played it in the first half of their set. After a break, they played "One Of These Days", "Set The Controls", "Careful", "AHM" (very few times), "ASOS" and "Echoes". Not all of these tracks were palyed at the same venue but it was the core of songs they had chosen for what was called "A Best Of Tour". I bet you !

Rick will say the following about the tour, I quote : "Sometimes I look at our huge truck and tons and tons of equipment and I think 'Christ, all I'm doing is playing an organ" !

Sorry to have been a bit extensive so far, but I thought it might be of interest to know these details (you know, I like details and I spend endless hours to do research to find these).

So, finally, let's go back to the original album (and a more classic approach of this marvel).

Oh boy ! How many times did this one spin on my pick-up ? Can't tell !

They recorded it at the Abbey Road studios with Alan Parsons as engineer (he will definitely do a superb job). It will miss the Nr. 1 in the UK charts (peaking at Nr. 2) but will do it in the US (only for one week). In total it will remain 724 weeks in the Bilboard Top 200. They sold more than FORTY (40 ) million copies of it.

About the success of the album Rick tells us : "No idea at all, after we'd made it, actually sitting down listening to it for the first time in the studio, I thought 'This is going to be big. This is an excellent album'. Why it goes on and on selling, I don't know. It touched a nerve at the time. It seemed like everyone was waiting for this album, for someone to make it."

DSOTM is the type of album that you mostly listen to in its entirety than highlighting some tracks out of it but still, one song left me breatless at the time of release and purchase (in 1973) : "Time". It is still one of my all time Floyd's fave. The intro is just fabulous : the clocks in the intro of were originally recorded at an antique store by Alan Parsons. A great, great piece of music. Powerful and catchy. Great guitar solo from Dave (lots of more to come, fortunately).

"On The Run" on the contrary is probably the sole filler (although that the last two numbers are also weaker).

What to say about "The Great Gig" ?

One take man ! Clare Torry does a stunning job although she was not quite satisfied of her performance and was willing to do it again. It was, of course, not necessary. In 2004, she sued Pink Floyd and EMI for songwriting royalties, on the basis that her contribution to "The Great Gig in the Sky" (she "wrote" the "vocal" parts). She was paid 30 £ (Sunday studio work basic allowances) for the recording! She won the trial in 2005 but the terms of the settlement were not published. It won't be the unique trial of that type (the school boys from "The Wall" will do the same ... and win again).

Their hit "Money" is not my fave but the sax and guitar solo are quite nice (it is the most played song in their live sets : more than eight hundred (800) times so far ! (Dave and Roger still playing it during their tours).

Same fabulous sax effort from Dick Parry on "Us & Them" : very emotional track. With the years passing by, I appreciate this song more and more (specially live).

"Brain Damage" was written during the "Meddle" sessions (the suggested title at that time was ... "The Dark Side Of The Moon"). It is also said that this song refers to Syd. Madness will be one of the DSOTM's theme. Nick will say : "The album was intially about the pressures of real life-travel, money, madness-and then it broadened out a bit."

The whole album flows so easily from one number to the other that when it comes to end, one says : already finished ? My only regret is that there should have been a grand and epic finale for this masterpiece instead of "Eclipse". This album will create the Pink Floyd sound for the rest of their carrer (up to "The Division Bell"). I would not say though that this is the best prog album ever (even not the best Pink Floyd one). But this album definitely deserves five stars of course.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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