by Kenny Tschida
Fifty years ago, on March 1st, 1973, Pink Floyd dropped their 8th studio album, Dark Side of the Moon. The album would go down in history as one of the greatest, most beloved, and honored albums of all time. With Dark Side of the Moon hitting its fiftieth anniversary this year, it remains a phenomenal listen that continues influencing new generations immensely. To me, Dark Side of the Moon is a vital and paramount piece of music that will forever be a part of me.
The album starts with the intro song, “Speak to Me.” The track only lasts for about a minute, producing faint sounds of a heartbeat, quiet conversations, and cash registers as it fades into the next song, “Breathe (in the Air).” The song starts with the feeling of being held underwater for hours and then abruptly pulled out as it parades with soft and slow-tempo music that is very fitting for the psych-rock monster. Once the vocals finally kick, a feeling of relief emerges, a soothing calmness that continues through the song’s end, transitioning into our next track, “On the Run.” As the title suggests, it begins as if you are fleeing from something. Quick-tempo hitting of cymbals is accompanied by a synthesizer and electric guitar, producing a doppler effect of objects rushing by, followed by the sounds of a feminine voice over an intercom and the crashing of footsteps. The song seems to remain this way for the rest of its time, with scattered laughter and jet sounds as we progress to the next song, “Time.” The song starts with a multitude of different bells, clocks, chimes, etc. which quickly evolves into the tick-tock sound of some stopwatch, which develops into scattered sounds of drums and electric guitars. The song continues with vocals by David Gilmour and Richard Wright, accompanied by female backup singers. The song remains a reminder of time passing and how it just seems to fall through one hand like sand. The track ends slowly but beautifully, bringing us to the next track, “The Great Gig in the Sky.” With this track being the last on the first side of the record, it perfectly rounds up all we’ve previously heard. The track leaves you with phenomenal wordless vocals by Clare Torry, creating the feel of a finale even though we’re only halfway through the album.
The second side begins with the track “Money,” which provides the same sounds of cash registers we previously heard in “Speak to Me.” Shortly after, a bass line begins, followed by sounds of electric guitar and the vocals of David Gilmour. Sometime after, a saxophone solo is performed, which gets faster and faster, creating a very Blues feeling for the song, which ends up transitioning into a guitar solo with an eventual return to David Gilmour’s vocals as it slowly fades into the next track, “Us and Them.” The song takes a turn from its predecessors, offering a pleasantly soft and slow sound with harmonies created by organs, pianos, saxophones, and percussion. The song addresses the mindless essence of war and the issue of being chained by consumerism and materialism. The track ends loudly as we transition into our next, “Any Colour You Like.” An electronic/synthesizing-filled song with distorted guitars to compliment the psychedelic feel it produces. With no vocals, it quickly ends, where “Brain Damage” quickly begins. As we reach closer and closer to the end of the album, the tracks seem to recognize their end but wish to end at a peak. Soft vocals accompanied by various instruments and backup vocals inhabit the track where the name of the album is stated, leaving you with psychedelic noise and broken conservations as we transition to the exposition, “Eclipse.” The track feels as if it were an amalgamation of all the songs previously heard. It contains repeated melodies and vocals as the moon ‘eclipses,’ marking the album’s end with the same faint heartbeat we heard in the first track, “Speak to Me.”
Overall and again, I believe that Dark Side of the Moon is one of the greatest albums of all time. Through its fifty years, it remains timeless, being an amazing listen each and every time. Never will this album not be a good pick, and like the moon, it will continue to distinguish itself in a never-ending cycle. Final Verdict: 10/10