Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Pink Floyd
Album : Dark Side Of The Moon
Released : March 1, 1973
M.M. Album Rating : 5/5 (One of the most influential and legendary albums ever made)
“And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes, I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”
Roger Waters (1972)
For those of you that walked into a record store on this day in 1973 and bought the new album from the band Pink Floyd known as Dark Side Of The Moon, I envy you. Only you know what it was like to take this album or 8-Track home, and hear it for the very first time, which would’ve been a mindblowing experience to say the least. Yes, all of us remember our first experience listening to this album, but it wouldn’t of had the same effect. On March 1, 1973 this was a sound that truly had never been heard before. To say it was ahead of it’s time would be a huge understatement, especially since all of these years later it remains relevant. No other album in music history has stayed in the album charts longer, or would lay the foundation for every other concept record both sonically and lyrically to come after it.
It’s unfortunate that radio has pretty much played over half the album to death, because it can cause some people to lose respect for it as a whole. But that’s exactly how this album should be taken in. That’s even the way the band played it live, even before it was released and after, as a whole. That’s the definition of a great album my friends. It’s never sounded right hearing it out of sequence of just by individual songs. This was the last days of Pink Floyd truly working as a democracy on the music. Starting with David Gilmour’s soaring guitar work, and the way only Richard Wright could play the piano/Keyboards especially, fit perfectly with bass player Roger Waters writing the lyrics that had to do with Madness. Themes that would include conflict, greed, the passage of time, and in some ways mental illness, all would fit perfectly with the sound. Even the vocal Clare Torry did on the excellent “Great Gig In The Sky” was done in one Sunday afternoon session. (She received under $300 for the session. Years later she would sue the band for royalties, since the vocal performance was her creation.) The album truly had a groundbreaking sound for 1973, (Shout out to engineer Alan Parsons) with experimental tape loops, synthesizers, and multi-tracking that even with today’s equipment would be difficult to reproduce.
Then last but not least you have the legendary cover. Which may be even more recognizable now than the music, and band members themselves. The now legendary “Prism” cover came after keyboard player Richard Wright requested something that was “simple and bold”. All four members would see the finished artwork, and the rest is history. If you haven’t heard it in awhile, clear you mind, put some headphones on, and play it front to back. It will remind you again why this album is still so beloved as it gains new music fans everyday, and still so influential. From this point onward Pink Floyd would become one of the five biggest bands in the world, which would also change the band members as people. Roger Waters would take control of the band, slowly treating the rest of the members like sidemen instead of bandmates. Especially Richard Wright who would never sing lead vocals on a Pink Floyd record again until 1994 on their “The Division Bell” album (without Waters). Today each member still makes millions of dollars a year off royalties since it still sells an average of a million copies a year, even outselling new releases by other artists. An absolutely monumental record and legacy that will continue to remain relevant no matter how many years pass.
One more side note : If you sync this album with the movie “The Wizard Of Oz” the audio from the album, and video from the movie really do go well together. Especially since the song “Great Gig In The Sky” starts right as the tornado is happening. Just a crazy coincidence, but really neat to experience.
All lyrics written by Roger Waters.
1 Speak to Me (Mason) 1:30
2 Breathe (Waters, Gilmour, Wright) 2:43
3 On the Run (Gilmour, Waters) 3:36
4 Time/”Breathe (Reprise) (Pink Floyd) 7:01
5 The Great Gig in the Sky (Wright, Clare Torry) 4:36
1 Money (Waters) 6:22
2 Us and Them (Waters, Wright) 7:46
3 Any Colour You Like (Gilmour, Mason, Wright) 3:25
4 Brain Damage (Waters) 3:48
5 Eclipse (Waters) 2:03