On this day in 1973, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moonclimbed into the album charts and setup camp. There it stayed year after year finally sliding off in 1988, a total of 741 weeks. On that basis alone it is the most successful rock and roll album of all time.
DSOTM was Pink Floyd’s 8th studio release and featured some of the most sophisticated recording engineering of the time.
The artwork was created by their associate, George Hardie. Hipgnosis offered the band a choice of seven designs, but all four members agreed that the prism was by far the best. The design represents three elements; the band’s stage lighting, the album lyrics, and Richard Wright’s request for a “simple and bold” design. The spectrum of light continues through to the gatefold—an idea that Waters came up with. The DSOTM rainbow prism may be the most recognizable rock brand in the history of modern music.
“I could never aspire to Syd’s crazed insights and perceptions. In fact for a long time I wouldn’t have dreamt of claiming any insights whatsoever. I’ll always credit Syd with the connection he made between his personal unconscious and the collective group unconscious. It’s taken me 15 years to get anywhere near there. Even though he was clearly out of control when making his two solo albums, some of the work is staggeringly evocative. It’s the humanity of it all that’s so impressive. It’s about deeply felt values and beliefs. Maybe that’s what ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ was aspiring to. A similar feeling.” — Roger Waters on Syd Barrett
“Usually, in the studio, on this sort of thing … you just go out and have a play over it, and see what comes, and it’s usually — mostly — the first take that’s the best one, and you find yourself repeating yourself thereafter.” — David Gilmour on his guitar solo in “Time“
“We share the same sense of humor, to some extent. We lust after money, to some extent. And we’ve all got a lot of interest in what we’re doing together.” — Nick Mason on the band.
“We have a very recognizable sound. I mean, anyone who listens to our records will know it’s the Floyd. Where as, anyone who listens to many other bands will know they’re playing blues, or they’re playing this or that.” — Rick Wright on the Pink Floyd sound.
“Well, they did say, ‘Be more emotional.’ So I started getting this pattern of notes, and they said, ‘Well, that seems the right direction to go.’ And I told them to put the tape on. I knew from past experience… well, I used to be called ‘First-take Torry’ because, very often, the first take I did was the best. And at the end of the first take, Dave Gilmour said, ‘Do another one – but even more emotional.’ So I did another one. And then he said, ‘I think we could do a better one.’ I started, and half way through, I realised that I was beginning to be repetitive; derivative. It didn’t have that off-the-top-of-the-head, instantaneous something. It was beginning to sound contrived. I said, ‘I think you’ve got enough.’ I thought it sounded like caterwauling.” — Clare Torry on her vocals for “The Great Gig in the Sky”.
“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”