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

DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.60 | 4194 ratings

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Xonty
5 stars Obviously, a monumental masterpiece in both progressive rock and all music. THE quintessential album to any music collector ever - "Dark Side Of The Moon" is one of those timeless albums where the stars all aligned, and for a completely unsuspecting band like Pink Floyd, it makes it all the more incredible. The album is musically so sophisticated and mature, as clearly shown by the jazzy chord progressions and the faultless sequencing, but it also contains a loveable youthful vibe that I can't single out on any one thing. "Dark Side" is a very rare work, where everything seems to effortlessly fit into place.

"Speak To Me" acts sort of as an overture, including all of the voices and effects you will hear later on the album. I always thought that they started it off this quiet so that you would turn the speakers up to be able to hear everything going on, only to be slapped in the face by the following track a minute afterwards: "Breathe". A very basic Em-A chord progressions with brilliant lyrics - quite philosophical and open to interpretation - but including some more advanced modal jazz chords added by Rick Wright. The harmonies and expressions Roger gets onto the vocals are very intense and specific in what they're trying to achieve, as is David's guitar overlaying fantastic slide guitars, and phasing arpeggios that spark just enough intrigue to prevent you getting at all bored. Nick Mason, also, is very important to the final mix and a very consistent drummer throughout the album, not interfering too much with the guitars and keyboards that already fill the majority of the atmosphere. A superb track, and a great way to begin.

"On The Run" is a little too mediocre for my liking. I think they needed to experiment a little longer with backing instruments to the repeated synth sequence, and Gilmour's guitar on the second half (i.e. not enough "confusion", which could have easily been illustrated by some sort of backwards echo really). Still a commendable track, and very necessary to the work. I can definitely see what they were getting at, but not quite finished. "Time" is one of the highlights of "Dark Side", without a doubt. I love that chaotic intro, and I'll never forget the first time I heard it - the most mind-blowing thing I'd ever heard! Nick Mason's drumming shines a bit more on the couple of minutes after the cacophony of clocks, but still keeps in the background enough to keep your ears breathing. The lyrics are very relatable to everyone, as we all have a fear of dying and running out of time. I love how they say that you're older than the sun, because you're closing to dying; never thought of it that way - very imaginative! The whole band is right on form here, with some truly tremendous solos from David, and great little fills. It would be my dream to write a song as musically valid, progressive, intriguing, and lyrically ambiguous as "Time". Flawless.

"The Great Gig In The Sky" is another outstanding track, with Richard's lush Bm-F chord progression just rolling over you. Of course, I have to mention Clare Torry's vocals on this - never heard anything like it whatsoever. Provides great imagery of the fear, love, and overall emotion I feel that they were trying to convey on these very mental themes on the album. "Money" is quite a great contrast on the previous intimate track, with a sort of predecessor of "Have A Cigar" and the "Welcome To The Machine" themes on their following album. It describes the music industry's greed for me, and how they're trying to keep away from it but, as you can hear, are sort of giving in to it. The song has a very funky feel, with one of the strongest bass lines in 7/8 time, and a great vocal delivery by Roger. Solo and solo is just astonishing, and the backing instruments are just as good when you concentrate on them. The squealing saxophones are so magnificent, and the more bluesy pentatonic guitar solos, retreating back to a heavy 4/4 rock feel are hypnotic but still heavy. Pink Floyd wrote quite a song here: everything's there really...

"Us And Them" is another favourite of mine, quite like "The Great Gig In The Sky" but with purring saxophone sections as opposed to the blistering, raw outcries of a soul singer. The chords are once again very jazzy, and great to improvise around, but my favourite part is that full-on chorus. The lyrics are so emotional, even though I can't quite comprehend them, but it just reaches a devastating climax with David and Roger practically crying as they sing really. So perfect and one of the most excellent sequencing I've ever heard, both exiting "Money" and going into "Any Colour You Like". To me, this track shows how we have too much freedom of choice, and once again relating to a greed theme. Very funky tones on David's guitar, backing a wonderful Richard solo on some sort of delayed keyboards that just resonate so far out, and culminate on that one wavering guitar note. Always chills my spine, the louder the more so and teamed with the bass and imitating vocals, plus the already properly funky guitar really gets you into the zone. Honestly, unbelievable that a group of human beings could produce such an everlasting.. thing!

"Brain Damage" musically comes out of "Any Colour" very well, but somehow the production is a little shabby here and unclear (despite being produced at Abbey Road). Of course, very intriguing chord progressions, lyrics, and a climatic chorus with Roger backed by those classic Floyd gospel singers. Brings a whole other world of music into the song than just a white group trying to develop their blues into something more progressive. All comes together when they reach "I'll see you on the Dark Side Of The Moon!" Just astounding and the whole band really listens to each other and complements them perfectly. Love how the voices and fuzzy keyboards flow into the final song, along with a couple of strengthening Mason drum beats: "Eclipse". The lyrics just sort of sum it up really, it being life. Deliciously and unnecessarily pretentious - exactly what prog rock should be! - with tones used previously on the album all being used to create a legendary finishing song, building up and up in some indescribable sound. Ends on a thumping heartbeat that fades out, suggesting to me that this is the listener's heart, and the album will carry on being played all over the world until long after the members will sadly pass.

A+: The phenomenal magnum opus of Pink Floyd. This is what makes progressive music both accessible and very intricate and personal. Spectacular by any means, and will always remain the paragon of 70s music to the world.

Speak To Me: *** Breathe (In The Air): ***** On The Run: *** Time: ***** The Great Gig In The Sky: ***** Money: ***** Us And Them: ***** Any Colour You Like: ***** Brain Damage: ***** Eclipse: *****

Xonty | 5/5 |

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