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


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.61 | 4506 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Half a Page of Scribbled Lines

Listening to this record again after a gap of some 20 years, I was immediately struck by three things:

1 - How conservative the music is even by the standards of 1973

2 - How good and candid the lyrics are

3 - Why its detractors deem that a very good, but 'plain vanilla' rock album is less worthy than a very bad progressive rock one?

It is very hard to get a handle on what exactly all the fuss is about surrounding this cultural artifact (and let's face it, this thing is now assimilated as such in our collective unconscious after some 30 years of unremitting sales) but we can at least ask ourselves some pertinent questions to avoid a spurious and tiresome debate that seems to have waged forever:

Yes, the song-writing is strong and the melodies and lyrics are memorable but....

No, Pink Floyd had long abandoned the pursuit of a technical virtuosity and subversive agenda, as its deployment would not further their aim in continuing to create what became an avowedly accessible art form of their own design.

Love him or loathe him, Waters is a very perceptive man, and he realised early on that the confrontational elements of Floyd would result in being afforded only cult status within an ever increasingly isolated ghetto from within whose walls the masses (and his intended establishment targets) would be forever out of reach.

The music presented herein is mostly gentle and soothing and free of the habitual 'shock' tactics so beloved of traditional purveyors of the demi monde we have come to expect, so where's the big hook?

I honestly think that we have to look to the lyrical content to explain the enduring fascination of this phenomenon to people from every conceivable social, political or philosophical persuasion.

There is an existential melancholy and private despair contained in these songs that is recognizable (but not necessarily acknowledged) by everyone who is familiar with them and the genius in their presentation is that they bypass any cerebral or intellectual barriers to understanding and pass 'straight through' to a part of our psyches intuitively sensitive to their prompting.

Personally, I will be forever haunted by the refrain in Time that encapsulates this shared latent dread so succinctly:

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time. Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way The time is gone, the song is over, Thought I'd something more to say.

If Sgt Pepper is claimed to have 'turned people on' then Dark Side of the Moon somehow delivers some of the worst news we will ever hear in our lives without ever appearing to turn us off.

Miraculous and paradoxically life affirming. (but beyond the scope of classification by this site)

ExittheLemming | 3/5 |


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