Happy 45th Anniversary to Pink Floyd’s eighth studio album The Dark Side of the Moon, originally released March 1, 1973.
Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon is nothing short of a psychedelic eargasm to the nth degree. Some rock groups make history, others become a part of it. With The Dark Side of the Moon, they transcended the history books and came to reside among the stars, as well as in the hearts and minds of avid fans and listeners.
The Dark Side of the Moon encapsulates the early ‘70s; it's a mixture of mind-bending rhythms, lucid lyrics and probing vibes. It spawned a following unlike anything ever seen before for an album. While groups like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin had concertgoers mesmerized, Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon took on a mystique of its own.
Inspired by their preceding live performances and recordings, the album explores themes of greed, conflict, the passage of time, and mental illness. Original lead singer and guitarist Syd Barrett had started to suffer from the latter, which compelled his bandmates to remove him from the band and replace him with David Gilmour five years earlier in 1968, which greatly influenced bassist/vocalist Roger Waters’ songwriting on both The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here (1975).
Upon its March 1, 1973 release, the album smashed all kinds of records, remaining on the charts for an unprecedented 741 weeks. Two singles were released from the album, "Money" and "Us and Them," with "Money" becoming their first legitimate hit single. The theme of money was prevalent in music throughout the end of the ‘60s and the early ‘70s, with The O'Jays’ "For the Love of Money" and The Beatles’ "You Never Give Me Your Money" hitting on the insidious quality of money. Regarding The Beatles, "Us and Them" definitely has a similar tone and notes to "Sun King" (from 1969’s Abbey Road), which also has a dreamy, kaleidoscope feel.
The ten tracks featured on The Dark Side of the Moon are cohesive, like the spokes of a wheel. This particular combination of songs is a musical ethos that has kept spinning in the audio universe, propelled by its brilliance. Opening track "Speak to Me" is really only complete when followed by "Breathe," and so it is with all of the tracks on the album. Individually they all have different tones and meanings. "The Great Gig in the Sky" is about coming to terms with the afterlife. It's a serious song, elevated by the song that proceeds it, "Time," which riffs on the passage of time.
On the 45th anniversary of this abiding classic, put your headphones on, relax and lift off. Better yet, go to a Pink Floyd laser light show with The Dark Side of the Moon as the soundtrack, and you’ll be transported to another world.