Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

Dark Side of the Moon

Rock and Roll SatOn this day in 1973, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon climbed 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.

Engineer Alan Parsons was directly responsible for some of the most notable sonic aspects of the album. Clare Torry provided the trademark non-lyrical vocals on “The Great Gig in the Sky.”

DOSTMThe 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.

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“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 [/box]

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“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[/box]

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“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.[/box]

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“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. [/box]

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“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”. [/box]

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“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”[/box]

Rock & Roll Saturday – “Dark Side of the Moon”

On the second Saturday of October albums we’re going to take a look at what turned out to be the most successful studio albums ever.

Dark Side of the Moon (DSOTM) was released by Pink Floyd in March of 1973. It was eighth studio album for the British progressive rock group and became an immediate success world wide. DSOTM was recorded in two sessions at Abbey Road studios in London in 1972 and 1973.

Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd/Dark Side of the Moon - March of 1973

The sleeve image of the prism and color band on a pure black background is likely one of the most iconic album images of all time, recognizable by even the most casual fan.

The genesis of DSOTM began shortly after the release of Meddle in 1971. The band met at Nick Mason‘s home in Camden to banter about ideas for their next project. Bassist Roger Waters laid out an idea for an album that dealt with things that “make people mad”, paying particular attention to the pressures they faced during their arduous lifestyle, and how they dealt with the apparent mental problems of former band member Syd Barrett.

The band-members all signed off on the idea and began the process of piecing together a string of music with a common theme. Many of the albums songs were written and composed by Roger Waters and David Gilmour and demo’d in his small garden shed studio behind his home. This is an early demo of “Money” from the Water’s creative sessions: Money Demo by Roger Waters – 1972

“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”

Within a few short weeks the album shot to the top of the US album chart and peaked at #2 on the UK chart. Although it only enjoyed the pinnacle for one week, DSOTM remained on the album charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. With an estimated 45 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. DSOTM is frequently discussed as one of the greatest rock albums ever.

I consider myself fortunate to have seen Pink Floyd on the DSOTM tour at Tampa Stadium, June 29, 1973. What a show!

Dark Side of the Moon is the greatest album to ever take up residence in my headphones.

Pink Floyd