Forty years. Four decades of time since the world was changed by 43 minutes of music. Pink Floyd’s most famous recording, The Dark Side Of The Moon, unalterably changed the global musical landscape. It’s broken almost all the records when it comes to the Billboard (741 consecutive weeks, although, it was only number one for one week), it’s stuck in the mind of every stoner, and its iconic album cover is on t-shirts that people wearing them don’t even understand what it is.
But what hasn’t been said about Dark Side? Every critic in the world has covered all the bases, every fan has gushed for hours and hours, and certain people have even said it syncs to The Wizard Of Oz, which has been proven to be a huge coincidence. One in every fourteen of the 315 million people living the US under the age of 50 is estimated to have purchased a copy. It’s a trademark album of the psychedelic experience. It’s the perfect Pink Floyd album, just when the band was at its most experimental and most talented – the peak, the summit, the apex (even though they continued to make stunning albums). The format of the album is even something to note, with the first two tracks and the last two tracks blending seamlessly. The second and second to last tracks are instrumentals. The middle four tracks are all more than four and a half minutes long.
Pink Floyd’s “Time”
There’s ten songs of intensely and almost scientifically dissected journeys into the mind of every human being. Whether each song addresses humanity directly or objectively, every moment of Dark Side is thought-provoking. It is intensely philosophical and psychological. It is a wholesome album, an album you can listen to completely and lose yourself in. “Money” deals with satirizing consumerism and even capitalism (to a degree). “Us and Them” uses large metaphors and simply the opposite word to describe people and their relationships. “The Great Gig In The Sky” doesn’t even have words, and it perfectly illustrates the sound of death, with Clare Torry’s screams of despair and desperation. Never has a song with no words ever been as impactful and not many can remotely try to compare to it. “Time” warns to not fall into a mundane cycle, and features a conceptual “Breathe” reprise. “Any Colour You Like” ironically talks about not being able to do the things you want to. “Brain Damage” almost recollects everything about Syd Barrett, the band’s ex-frontman. “Eclipse” talks about the essence of humanity; to realize that everything might turn bad and to just understand humanity.
Musically, the album is a wondrous collection of perfection. Whether it’s the squealing guitar solo in “Time” or the sax solo in “Us and Them,” there are moments in the instrumental pieces where you just can’t stop listening and leaves a desire for infinitely more. The chiming guitar at the beginning of “Brain Damage” is beyond memorable. The organ in “Eclipse” is heaven incarnate. “The Great Gig In The Sky’s” piano that starts of the song is magical. Even the nuances of slide guitar that complement the piano are also magical. Every note of every song is so immediate and unforgettable.
Dark Side of the Moon is a moment of absolution – it is something unbelievable, and, to this day, is still one of the greatest albums ever made, if not one of the greatest artistic efforts ever put forward by Man.
I’d put that next to Beethoven’s 5th, Macbeth, or the Sistine Chapel and still be compelled to wonder which is better.
Written by Dylan Tracy
OurVinyl | Contributor