Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)

Pink Floyd went big with this album. Prior to the release of The Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd had not achieved much commercial success as musicians. Of course, they had critical success with releases of very good artistic and psychedelic works as a group. They had their fair share of ups and downs as well, with great albums but also losing Syd Barrett early on due to his unstable mental health. The group was ready to unleash one of their best, most popular and critically acclaimed pieces of work.

The Dark Side Of The Moon is a fantastic listen. From the go, it’s brilliant. From the cover to the concept and the songs, it’s just totally awesome. It’s an era-evoking message of art that transcends the era. It’s a definitive album for not just the 1970s, but of all time.

We get a rather psychedelic intro with a heartbeat, to begin with, before launching into the piece Speak To Me. It works as a dark and mysterious introduction to the music before us. From the outset, we have a very special and valuable album.

It segues into Breathe which is a cosmic interstellar pop song which is about human longevity. It’s a nice pop song which does very well. Roger Waters wrote all the lyrics on The Dark Side Of The Moon for the first time on a Pink Floyd album, and we sense the melancholy and despair of the times in his lyrics.

On The Run is a proto-techno and acid house style piece. It has one of the world’s first sequencers ever used on it and has various recorded sound effects and dark foreboding themes on it. It’s a great instrumental which ends in a plane crash. Emotionally and wonderfully brilliant.

Time begins with a load of clocks banging away, before having a dark and mysterious intro before lurching into a pop song about aging too quickly and other matters as well. It’s so effective, and later on, returns to the reprise of the Breathe song we heard earlier. “Home, home again. I’d like to be here when I can. When I get home cold and tired, it’s good to warm my bones beside the fire.” Mint.

The next song will blow your mind. The Great Gig In The Sky is an instrumental piece featuring soulful vocals and great piano work from Richard Wright. It’s an evocation of death and all involved with it. It’s amazingly emotional and never gives up on that. It’s one to shed tears to.

The hit single Money is unashamedly open about the love of money but is so well done and catchy that it’s a great song. Featuring cash register style sounds at the beginning, along with wah-wah guitar, a fancy saxophone solo, and a danceable groove, this song really got Pink Floyd noticed. It’s fun to listen to.

Us And Them is an extended piece about the fragility of the human condition. It’s likely inspired by Syd Barrett’s presence earlier in their lives and has a great saxophone solo once again by Dick Parry. It’s just mindblowing and awesome to hear, even today.

Any Colour You Like follows and is intended to be psychedelic. It features great organ work and trippy guitar parts to boot. It’s a very good instrumental, segueing into the next song.

The following song Brain Damage talks directly about mental health but is emotionally rousing too. As Roger Waters says, “We’ll see you on The Dark Side Of The Moon.” If that makes sense to you, then you are already no doubt a Pink Floyd fan.

We end the album with Eclipse, a great way to finish the album which references the human condition, prior to closing the album down. It finishes with the reoccurring heartbeat and samples a voice of a friend of the group’s, stating: “There is no Dark Side Of The Moon, really. As a matter of fact, it’s all dark.”

This album is truly wonderful and majestic to listen to. Normally most albums can be ignored. However, this one in no way can be ignored. It’s not only the definitive album of the time, but of all time. It has so many interesting and wonderful elements to it that words cannot express here how good the album is. Do yourself a favour and listen to this album at least once in your lifetime. With 50 million sales and counting, this is the one album to own in your collection.

Essential.

9/10

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