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Various Artists (Tributes) Easy Star All-Stars: Dub Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd) album cover
3.14 | 25 ratings | 7 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Speak To Me / Breathe (In The Air) (3:51)
2. On The Run (3:22)
3. Time (6:58)
4. The Great Gig In The Sky (4:24)
5. Money (6:25)
6. Us And Them (7:54)
7. Any Colour You Like (3:37)
8. Brain Damage (4:06)
9. Eclipse (1:50)

Bonus Tracks

10. Time Version (3:35)
11. Great Dub In The Sky (4:20)
12. Step It Pon The Rastaman Scene (4:01)
13. Any Dub You Like (3:21)

Total Time: 58:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Goldwasser / guitar
- Victor Axelrod a.k.a. Ticklah / piano, organ, electric piano, clavinet, synthesizer, melodica, percussion
- Patrick Dougher / drums
- Victor Rice / electric bass, upright bass (9)
- Jenny Hill / saxophone (5, 6 & 7)
- Michael Wagner / trombone (1 & 7)
- Wayne Wiggum / electric bass (1 & 5)
- Eddie Ocampo / percussion (1 &,3 & 9)
- Larry McDonald / percussion (1 & 9)
- Tamar-Kali / backing vocals (9)
- Sluggy Ranks / vocal (1)
- Corey Harris / vocal (3)
- Ranking Joe / vocal (3 & 12)
- Kirsty Rock / vocal (4)
- Gary Pine / vocal (5)
- Dollarman / vocal (5)
- Frankie Paul / vocal (7)
- Dr. Israel / vocal (8)
- The Meditations / vocal (9)

Releases information

CD, Easy Star ES-1012, 2003

Thanks to Joolz for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Easy Star All-Stars: Dub Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd) ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Easy Star All-Stars: Dub Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "There is no dub side of the moon: as a matter of fact, it's h'all dub"

If you are a purist Pink Floyd fan who thought the Scissor Sisters version of Comfortably Numb was sacrilege, then it is probably best you skip to something else. If, however, you are excited by the possibilities of experimenting across disparate musical boundaries then this might be of interest to you.

Lem Oppenheimer of the Easy Star record label had the idea for this album in 1999 while walking through downtown New York listening to Dark Side Of The Moon on a Walkman, but it was not until 2003 that it was finally completed and released. Featuring a selection of the label's reggae and dub artists, it began as an experiment but they soon realised it might be an innovative way of introducing reggae to a new audience. It is debatable whether they achieved this, but they certainly have created an intriguing work which deserves to be heard. Rather than simply create reggae versions of the songs, they tried "to get to the heart of the piece and turn it into something that might have been recorded this way in some parallel universe". Thus, the arrangements follow the originals, and they were careful to include elements like spoken voiceovers and sound effects but with some important twists.

DSOTM always begins with a heartbeat, some sound effects and manic laughter before breaking into Breathe. So does this one. Breathe is rendered faithfully over a lilting reggae beat, before giving way to the familiar 'running' synth line of On The Run. This soon turns into a drum and bass beat overlaid with synths but it doesn't really develop any further and is probably the least successful track. A ticking clock must mean Time is on the horizon, but not before the alarms go off - cuckoo clock, cock crow and other jokey ones. You are still smiling when the track proper begins with a lovely rock intro based on the original, before suddenly kicking into a foot tapping reggae beat when the vocal begins. You wonder how they are going to cope with Gilmour's soloing, but no worries as this is replaced by some toasting. This would be my favourite song here as the arrangement suits the song and Ranking Joe sings in a very mournful way. Great Gig more or less follows the familiar tune but is much more free-form. While the 'Clare Torry' vocal is quite different here, and not as orgasmic, it nevertheless works well.

Pink Floyd gave us rhythmical cash registers - Easy Star gives us rhythmical smoker's coughing! The main part of Money is sung fairly straight, backed by a reggae beat of course, and it has a lovely sax solo drenched in echo. Where this version varies significantly is the section where the original suddenly picks up by moving into 4/4 time - instead we get some more toasting before it returns to the main vocal theme. Us And Them begins with some nice atmospheric keyboards leading to the reggae beat, a little vocal improvising and a sax solo, before entering the main vocal. This is sung faithfully, complete with the us-us-us echo treatment, and even with the unfamiliar beat, they set up a lovely groove and somehow seem to retain the dreamy feel of the original. Any Colour You Like retains the basic synth line, underpinned by the dub, and with the guitar solo replaced by horns. Brain Damage is slower and sparser, played to a lazy beat which just fails to evoke the majesty of the original. Eclipse is played out over some Nyabinghi drumming to fade.

The four bonus tracks are alternative versions and mixes: Time Version is a re-mix with the vocal replaced by melodica, while the other three are much more extreme dub versions and bear little resemblance to the originals.

I love this album because it is different. Others will hate it because it is different. Each to his own I guess but you might find it an entertaining alternative.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Breathe, breathe in the air....

Well that are the first words (sung) in the Darkside of the Moon, so that was the first on my mind. This is a tribute to Pink Floyd as you can imagine, but not only to the band itself, but to the DSOTM as an album in particular, that album that you could love or hate, or maybe only consider it as an average album, i particularly love it but thatīs not the point of this review.

It was funny when a friend told me about reggae versions of Pink Floyd and Radioheadīs songs, honestly i didnīt believe it and i thought it was a bad joke, but then he lent me this album and i said wow, because it was something that i didnīt expect. I dont really know the history of Easy Star All Stars, but im afraid there are a group talented musicians from jamaica and some parts of the world (maybe im wrong) who took one of their main influences and decided to cover it completely, i donīt know and care if this was made in order to commercial success, but iīd like to believe that the original DSOTM is also loved in Jamaica or Africa wherever ESAS belong and that it was the reason of itīs creation. Not always we will find covers of a complete album, we all know so many covers but only one or two song, this time they covered and intrepretate the whole DSOTM, but with a detail, they put the word "Dub" instead of Dark, pretty silly and funny.

Well, as i pointed out above, they play the whole album, but with their particular style, there are lots of musicians involved here, every character has a different role and instrument, though i think there is one different singer per song, the music here is mainly reggae with a electronic style, we can notice that since the first guitar notes, itīs totally reggae but not the one alike to Bob Marley etc, this is different, more atmospheric and creative i think. They put thei personal touch also in the lyrics, i mean, they dont change any of the lyrics but they add some of them in various passages, for example in Money after the sax interlude thereīs a kind of "break" the rythm is the same, but the music and lyrics totally different, also there are lots of silly and different sounds, for instance in Time you wonīt hear the classic alarm, but a coo coo which sounds very funny, or in Money, besides the money sounds you will hear some bong-smoke sounds, giving the idea of a pot oriented song. Besides the whole DSOTM, there are also 4 bonus tracks which are actually alternatives versions of some songs like Time or Gig in the Sky.

The album is pretty good if you like reggae music, just a bit, and of course if you like the DSOTM, i personally like it but this is something that i wonīt listen very often, just in some occassions, a nice effort was done here, good tribute album, 3 stars for me.

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Time is the master, and time can be a disaster

I was put off, I don't mind confessing by the "Easy Star All-Stars" name attributed to the artists. No good can come from that, I thought.

If you don't remember "Stars on 45", or worse, Jive Bunny, then you're very lucky...

However, this is an incredibly polished and affectionate tribute to one of the best- selling and groundbreaking albums of all time; completely true to the spirit, yet only occasionally sinking to direct imitation.

There is something as magically timeless about this release as there is about the original - but you do have to appreciate that there is good in dub reggae and drum and bass, as well as the tiresomely boring; on this release, it's mostly the good stuff - although somewhat toned down to suit the conservative nature of the album.

Almost as soon as the familiar heartbeat has kicked the album off, the All-Stars add a percussive dub vibe. The familiar opening vocals are re-interpreted by Sluggy Ranks, Rasta style; "I and I always been mad...", and for some inexplicable reason, there appears to be an asthmatic cough mixed in as part of the rhythmic texture...

"Breathe" starts familiarly - with an absolutely perfect reggae groove, and remarkable restrained percussion combines with a spot-on rhythm section. When the opening lines "Breathe, breathe in th' air" hit you, a capella, it's a perfect moment, recreated in dub, the slightly hoarse vocals of Sluggy Ranks providing the perfect counterpart to Gilmour.

"On The Run" is supported by the same synth sound - in fact it sounds like the actual synth track from the Floyd original - with a couple of subtle twists before it dives headlong into a less subtle drum and bass section that I find a very tasteful re- interpretation. A few new effects are mixed over the top of this confection, which amazingly seems to retain the flavours of the original, whilst moving it on, musically speaking, a couple of decades.

The All Stars clearly had fun with the alarm clocks that begin "Time" - as well as the original bell alarm, there's a bugle call, an electronic alarm and a cock crowing. I actually prefer this to the Floyd version, as it evokes images of wake up calls over different periods of history.

Corey Harris and Ranking Joe have a tough act to follow, and the opening bars of "Time" seem somewhat tentative - are we going to go with the original, or branch into something new? I rather feel that there was a bit of dithering here, so when the song per se starts, the impact of the reggae stylee is lost. It's not until the break that it really kicks in, and a new style really imposes itself with any authority - but when it does, it's good (if you like that sort of style - which I do...although I do find the repetition of "Time is the master..." incredibly irritating after the 3rd time.). Not quite what it shows potential to have been - it nonetheless shows moments of dazzling inspiration - such as the "Home, home again" section, which is creamy, dreamy dub that provides the perfect setup to Kirsty Rocks' big moment;

"The Great Gig In The Sky" doesn't suffer from the same hesitatancy as "Time" - the build-up to the vocal section sets expectations perfectly, and Kirsty Rock delivers the vocal improv with aplomb and perfect tone, if not imagination or creativity. For a vocal- driven piece, however, it falls far short of the original, and misses vast swathes of development; the accompaniment and arrangement fares much better, as do the overdubbed vocalisations - this wasn't done in a single take, and the only tears are in the listener's eyes...

"Money" only really kicks in around 3:00, until which point it's a passable reggae version of the orignal. After this point, it's wilder, more free-form, and an exuberant and enjoyable excursion into dub, spoiled only by the re-entry into the song, which sounds tightly reined in and tame by comparison.

"Us and Them", by complete contrast, is a beautiful interpretation, replete with sax solo, with painstaking attention to detail - my only criticism being that the vocals are on the "precious" side in places. They're much more soulful in the chorus sections, however - and as the verses continue, the constructions in dub get more and more inventive, until the near-miraculous instrumental section that perfectly deconstructs and beautifuly implies the original, seguing equally perfectly into a wonderful, if slightly cheesey rendition of "Any Colour You Like".

"Brain Damage" is a real highlight and lowlight; Dr Israel's echoing voice and Victor Axelrod's insane keyboards realising the body of the piece in style. The arrangement of the chorus eerily echoes The Wailers' style, and is deeply engaging - but "Eclipse" catches you out. The styling just seems wrong, and what should have been a great ending to a superb interpretation of a great album ends up a damp squib.

The Bonus tracks appear to be of the same high quality, and make for a good reprise;

"Time Version [*]" is an instrumental in the style of Augustus Pablo - you only have to hear the slightly de-tuned sound of the harmonium to think of that early dub pioneer, and the arrangement, as ever, is spot-on.

"Great Dub in the Sky" is a King Tubby's special - with strong Scientist overtones and hints of Sly and Robbie. In itself, and taken as a missing Scientist piece, this is quite wonderful - a very special piece of dub - but I'd still like to hear the female vocalist let rip and give us the vocal improv to die for that the original demands - hence this piece is not as satisfying as it has the potential to be.

"Step It Pon The Rastaman Scene" has a great vibe - but it's quite difficult to see as anything other than derivative filler. It doesn't add anything to the experience of this album - despite being a nice slice of dub, and an interesting interpretation of "Any Colour You Like".

"Any Dub You Like" closes the package - but is merely a continuation of the previous track, despite being tastefully mixed in a style resembling early Aswad.

So a somewhat disappointing ending to a highly competent and engagingly produced album that is much more than a simple reggae version of the original - on the whole, it's actually a re-interpretation.

It might not sit easily in many rock collections - but many Pink Floyd fans I've known have also been dub fans - and with good reason.

So if you're already a Floyd and Dub fan, this is for you - and if you're not yet a fan of dub, this would be a great "gateway" album.

Non-essential for Prog collectors - but an extremely well-made and interesting curio.

Review by Epignosis
2 stars Dub Side of the Moon could be safely recommended to anyone who likes reggae, but curious Pink Floyd fans will likely either be satisfied with the novelty or completely repulsed. Whatever the case, it delivers what it promises, and mostly does a good job of it. The beginning shows a promising reggae rendition of "Breathe," sounding exactly as I expected it would, if not better, whereas "On the Run" is left almost as is. "Time" has tons more lyrics, which are usually sped through, in lieu of a guitar solo, and the group makes great use of vocal improvisations and those major-seventh chords. However, the transition back to "Breathe (Reprise)" is very shoddy. I was curious to know what they'd do to "The Great Gig in the Sky." It turns out they took this mournful piece of piano and funeral wailing and spun it on its head, giving it a proper reggae groove, making it a hot and urban, almost sexualized piece- I like it for completely different reasons than I like the original. "Money" also features more vocals instead of guitar soloing, as well as a few minor changes. "Us and Them" is as smooth as the original, but carries a funky beat- it's "chill." "Any Colour You Like," however, is a lame disappointment- a pale, empty version of the original that relies on Caribbean percussion to carry it, and that nasally noise that fills in for the wah guitar is a joke. "Brain Damage" is likewise difficult to enjoy because of the dragging rhythm and vocals. The group changed up the rhythm on "Eclipse," and even though it doesn't work (there's no build or climax as with the original), it's probably better than the disaster it could have been. The bonus tracks are throwaway pieces with weak instrumentation and typical reggae rhythms; perhaps they were meant to somehow extend the value of the disc, but unfortunately they are redundancies. A few original tracks would have been far better (or maybe not- "Step It Pon the Rastaman Scene" is pretty awful).
Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars There are only two ways to make a Pink Floyd tribute or even a cover: play the songs exactly as they are on the albums or make something totally different. For PF fans is the same as for classical music: a director can change little things but the music is always the same.

Nobody can think to play the solo on Comfortably Numb differently from how Gilmour does, even Snowy White with Roger Waters on "In The Flesh" doesn't succeed.

So what have the Easy Star-All Stars done? They have chosen the second option, translating one of the most famous albums in the world into something totally different, and surely easier for them.

This is a "dub" album, like the title says. Who knows the Reggae and its subgenres like this knows what it's about: a Jamaican side of the moon.

Is it good? Yes, sure. The melodies are exactly the same of the album so PF hard fans can even sing on them, apart "On The Run" that couldn't technically be the same.

I don't think I'll listen to this album as much as to the original, but it's maybe the only successful attempt to revisit Pink Floyd without sticking on their sounds.

A curiosity but also a good album well arranged and played. Very far from being prog in the contents, but very "progressive" in the idea.

That's why I consider it an album for everybody, even the Pink Floyd hard fans as I think to be.

Latest members reviews

4 stars If you're a fan of reggae, dub, ska, etc. & of Pink Floyd, you'll love this album. Or if you want a bit of variety in your rotation, give Dub Side a try. The album stays true to the structure of the original, but gives us an interesting, sometimes humorous, spin on the effects. And it's well pl ... (read more)

Report this review (#119608) | Posted by DocB | Tuesday, April 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Dark Side Of The Moon... One of the most emblematic albums of rock music in it's entirety. A reggae version of Dark Side Of The Moon... ok, it is not one of those ideas you just hear and need to quickely put you hands on it, unless of course you want to "trip your ass off, man". This is in fact a ve ... (read more)

Report this review (#93743) | Posted by Revan | Sunday, October 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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