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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 | 3054 ratings

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Chicapah
Prog Reviewer
5 stars So, as I understand it, Rick, Nick, David and Roger were sitting around in the den one night watching "The Wizard of Oz" on TV, trying to find inspiration for their next album. True story. Okay, okay, I'm just yanking your chain. So sue me. But seriously, folks, how does one go about writing a fresh review of the record that spent an unimaginable 741 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 album chart? That introduced songs heard countless times by everyone alive in the civilized world and probably a couple mil in the uncivilized one? In this it's-all-been-said-before situation I can only give you my personal impressions as I focus on the insightful lyrical content and reverently give homage to the work of art that gave progressive rock respect for all time to come.

Taking the project as a whole, the true secret to its astronomical success is found in its patient, never-in-a-rush attitude that is so very rarely experienced in modern music. The entire album flows so easily, so naturally and you probably can't even recall the first time you heard each individual song. Like many of the Beatles' tunes, it's as if they've just always existed.

The album is about being alive and "Speak to Me" appropriately starts things off with a mini overture of sound bites discretely suppressed underneath an overriding heartbeat. The words to "Breathe" simply state that whether or not you asked to be born you are here nonetheless and "for long you live and high you fly/and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry/and all you touch and all you see/is all your life will ever be." That may be simplifying a very complex philosophy but it is the basic truth of existence. Next is "On the Run," a somewhat old school programmed synthesizer piece and the most dated segment of the album. However, if fairly judged with perspective, it was a lot more compelling in 1973 when that instrument was still a novelty. The message of "Time" is as relevant to the youth of today as it was over three decades ago. For it is during your twenties that you have the freedom to explore the planet, take intelligent risks and go on adventures. But laziness and unfounded fear are disabling afflictions that can put you in the position of endlessly "waiting for someone or something to show you the way." Immaturity and short-sightedness will mislead you into believing "you are young and life is long/and there is time to kill today" but "then one day you find/ten years have got behind you/no one told you when to run/you missed the starting gun." (Be bold; don't let this happen to you.) Rick Wright's "Great Gig in the Sky" is a beautiful piano/guitar-based tune that demonstrates the growth and maturation of Pink Floyd as they ventured outside of their own membership to utilize the utterly orgasmic voice of guest vocalist Clare Torry. It was a stroke of genius as she gave the song its soul.

Whether you are an elite businessman or an aborigine in the outback "Money," in whatever forms it takes, will be a huge factor in everyone's life. Roger Water's sarcastic lines have become modern catch phrases about the subject with "I'm alright Jack/keep your hands off my stack" and "don't give me that do goody good bullshit." Shun it or idolize it, money will be a necessary evil you must deal with on a regular basis. Your role in society is addressed in the serene yet poignant "Us and Them." No matter which country you live in it will insist that you take their side on every issue even if it means going to war because "down and out/it can't be helped but there's a lot of it about/with, without/and who'll deny that's what the fighting's all about." Another instrumental, "Any Colour You Like," serves as a pleasant bridge leading to the last two songs. It features some excellent synthesizer work from Wright and guitarist David Gilmour shows that as of this album he had joined his peers on the A list of rock guitarists. "Brain Damage" raises the sensitive topic of mental illness or, as the late great writer Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. expressed, being born a "bad machine." As he does in other tunes before and since, Waters seems to be speaking to his dear friend Syd Barrett as he sings "and if the dam breaks open many years too soon/and if there is no room upon the hill/and if your head explodes with dark forbodings, too/I'll see you on the dark side of the moon." To me they saved the best for last, though, with "Eclipse" wherein the operative word is "All" as in the key to happiness lies in your willingness and courage to fully embrace and experience "all that you touch/all that you see/all that you taste/all you feel" throughout your life. This includes "all that you love/all that you hate/all you distrust/all that you save/all that you give/all that you deal/all that you buy, beg, borrow or steal." It's the sagest advice you'll ever hear.

There will always be differing opinions about which album is this band's greatest but nothing will ever convince me that this is anything less than a masterpiece. Yes, I have long since grown tired of radio's insistence on playing "Money," "Time" and "Us and Them" ad nauseum but I still have to stand in awe of the universal adoration of this record that doesn't fade away. As I alluded to earlier, because of this album we proggers can instantly enlighten anyone on earth if they ask you what progressive rock is, exactly. You simply say "Dark Side of the Moon." They will understand without you having to say another word.

Chicapah | 5/5 |

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