Passions - Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon: 50 years on and still blowing my mind
Asking a Pink Floyd fan to name their favourite album by the iconic prog rockers is akin to probing a James Bond buff for their top 007 flick. You’re going to start a very heated debate.
Ask 100 people in the street to name a single Floyd record, though, and assuming they’ve heard of the group (who hasn’t?), I’m pretty confident you’d get a single answer – The Dark Side of the Moon.
This 1973 musical masterpiece has influenced countless artists, been pored over line by line for its meaning and sold an estimated 40 million-plus copies globally, not to mention the likely billions of streams in more recent years.
Even those who’ve never heard a single track from DSOTM will surely be familiar with its cover artwork – a spectrum of light refracting from a triangular prism. We’re talking iconic with a capital “I” here.
Now, confession time. I am a Pink Floyd fan, though relatively late to the game (my teenage years were sacrificed to Genesis, I’m afraid). I rate 1979’s The Wall as their finest achievement (controversial, I know, given the internal band frictions at the time, leading to the eventual departure of creative tour de force Roger Waters in the mid-Eighties) but DSOTM is the Floyd record that I’ve certainly obsessed over the most.
And, in this 50th year since its release, it’s led to my near financial ruin.
I’ve bought a couple of coffee table books, new artwork and, the bit that saw me switch to beans on toast for a month, the multi-disc anniversary box set, which I see as a worthwhile sacrifice to make on the culinary front. In its all-too-brief 43 minutes, DSOTM offers it all, from its thumping heartbeat intro, through the searing highs of The Great Gig in the Sky to the profundity of final track Eclipse.
While dark in nature with its recurring themes of death and depression, it is one of a handful of albums that I will only ever savour from beginning to end – no skipping, no interruptions. If, perchance, you've never heard it before, I urge you to rectify that. You might just have your mind blown.
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