Here we go again with another report on yet another classic rock album not to be missed; before there was The Wall, there was Pink Floyd's 1973 album The Dark Side Of The Moon, still on the Billboard album charts even to-day, is hardly forgettable. Who remembers the cover artwork of the prism, light and rainbow artwork, done by the now defunct U.K. based Hignosis? Th group's classic tracks like Money, Time, Brain Damage and Eclipse? If that doesn't bring back such halcyon memories, there's also the sax solos of Dick Parry, the harmonies of the late Doris Troy, Liza Strike, Lesley Duncan and the one and only Claire Torry, as well as the engineering done by the illustrious Alan Parsons of The Alan Parsons Project fame. Anyhow, on with the article:
Speak To Me/Breathe:
The album opens with heartbeats and a the first instrumental here, with ticking clocks and cash registers now and then; if it weren't for the line, "I've been mad for f***in' years," that tune would've been a wireless radio favourite, even so, it deserves to be a classic, as is the other half which is Breathe. A slow bluesy jazz type tune, with Fender Rhodes electric piano and acoustic piano as well as organ, it drifts till it connects with the second instrumental.
On The Run:
A fast paced track driven mostly by VCS and Synthi synths, it speeds with a hypnotic breakneck paced with synthesised soud effects, footsteps, and a crash. I think the music composers for Cowboy Bebop ripped off that track when they worte that one tune for the hacking scene in the story Pierre Le Fou, the same speed and the same cymbal pace. As before, it connects with........
........the 7 minute moody classic track that deserves to be the real follow up to Money in which Dave Gilmour and the late Richard Wright share the vocal leads with finesse, augmented by the phase shifted voices of Liza, Claire, Lesley and Doris, before changing into a reprise of Breathe.......like the late Jim Croce, there dosen't seem to be any time, no matter how much you make of it.
The Great Gig In The Sky:
Closing out side one is yet another instrumental that defines what a Pink Floyd track, if not any of their live shows, is all 'bout.
Though The Floyd's inception began long long ago in the 60s, here's the track that started it all for their Billboard chart debut as their first hit single, on the love and dangers of money, fueled by Gilmour's guitar and Parry's sax and would become a classic rock favourite on the radio, despite the uncensored line, "Don't give me that do goody good bulls***." Though Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2, would be their first #1 on both sides of the Atlantic, Money remains a Floyd classic.
Us & Them:
A slow ballad supported by Parry's sax and the b. vox (harmony vocal) of Strike, Troy, Duncan and Torry, it features Roger Waters singing the lead in a lazy account of "us and them."
Any Colour You Like:
The last instrumental, with Claire's harmonies and piano, it remains second to none, before we link with the last two tracks.
The first half of a classic rock medley that serves as the album's finale, it recalls according to Waters, distant memroies and insanity, some memories of the group's late founder, Syd Barret, with Gilmour's guitar and Wright's organ setting the mood. Listen for the stoned laughter from their roadie Roger The Hat and the females' harmonies.
The second half, again driven by Gilmour's guitar and Wright's organ, with Torry' s voice building up to a cresendo whilst Waters lists almost every thing we feel, say or do.....before the organ fades off, replaced by the heartbeat....and then the voice: "There is no dark side to the moon really; as a matter of fact, it's all dark."
Next to Ummagumma, Wish You Were Here, Animals and the immortal The Wall, The Dark Side Of The Moon, even to-day stands the test of time. And I pity anyone that doesn't have such a masterpiece from Pink Floyd in his/her album collection.