SMAS-11163 The Dark Side of the Moon
Produced by Pink Floyd
Released on March 24, 1973
UK CHART POSITION #2 . . . US CHART POSITION #1
Find it at GEMM
SMAS-11163 cover  

Heartbeats, mad laughs, machines and screams. Such are the opening moments of The Dark Side of the Moon, ushering in a unique musical world where strange sounds, mellow music, bits of biting guitar and Roger Waters’ cynical observations coexist in a disturbingly natural setting. Unlike Meddle, which separated the actual songs and instrumental music by sides, Dark Side mixes them together, songs encased in instrumental sections that glue everything together into a solid, powerful mass. It’s a great leap from their last studio album, calculated as commentary rendered in a dream state, from Waters’ laconic lyric delivery to Rick Wright’s spacey keyboard passages. The record opens with “Speak To Me,” featuring the voices-in-your-head dialogue for which the album may be best remembered. The sleepy, subdued “Breathe” follows, the first of several songs from here that remain classics in the Pink canon. “On The Run” is an instrumental tunnel (similar to Tangerine Dream’s music) that takes us to “Time,” in which the music seems to crystallize around David Gilmour’s guitar work, closing with a vocal workout from guest Clare Torry on “The Great Gig In The Sky.” Side two opens the wallet for an honest-to-goodness hit single, “Money,” with Waters’ wit as cutting as ever. “Us And Them” returns to the dreamy world of “Breathe,” with only Dick Parry’s saxophone to rouse listeners from its sleepy calm. “Any Colour You Like” is mostly a guitar-led jam built off of the last song (the kind of music that went unnamed on Animals), leading into the chilling resignation of “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse,” which in effect brings the album full circle from the momentary madness of “Speak To Me.” Dark Side of the Moon is Pink Floyd’s milestone, a musical spacestation that served as a launching point to artistically adjacent works like Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall and The Final Cut. Though it is one of the great musical achievements of the 20th century, its influence was of an indirect nature (save for Alan Parsons Project), a concept album where the concept was the music rather than a particular storyline. That the album remained on the Billboard 200 charts for 741 weeks (yes, almost 15 years) is incredible, but perhaps more a testament to a thriving drug culture (albeit one underground) than any far-reaching musical vision the band might have had. It is the quintessential Pink Floyd album, handily one of the ten greatest progressive rock albums ever recorded. Due to its popularity and pristine feats of engineering, the albums has since been issued on myriad occasions, including original master recordings from Mobile Fidelity and, in 1993, a 20th anniversary edition.

SMAS-11163 inner gatefold 81479 cover
SMAS-11163 inner gatefold 81479 cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. SPEAK TO ME    (Nick Mason)
  2. BREATHE    (Roger Waters/David Gilmour/Richard Wright)
  3. ON THE RUN    (David Gilmour/Roger Waters)
  4. TIME    (Nick Mason/Roger Waters/Richard Wright/David Gilmour)
  5. THE GREAT GIG IN THE SKY    (Richard Wright)
  6. MONEY    (Roger Waters)
  7. US AND THEM    (Roger Waters/Richard Wright)
  8. ANY COLOUR YOU LIKE    (David Gilmour/Nick Mason/Richard Wright)
  9. BRAIN DAMAGE    (Roger Waters)
  10. ECLIPSE    (Roger Waters)

CREDITS

DAVID GILMOUR -- vocals, guitars, VCS3
NICK MASON -- percussion, tape effects
ROGER WATERS -- bass guitar, vocals, VCS3, tape effects
RICHARD WRIGHT -- keyboards, vocals, VCS3
Leslie Duncan -- backing vocals
Dick Parry -- saxophone (6,7)
Barry St. John -- backing vocals
Liza Strike -- backing vocals
Clare Torry -- vocals (5)
Doris Troy -- backing vocals
Alan Parsons -- engineer
Chris Thomas -- mixing supervisor
Hipgnosis -- sleeve design, photography
George Hardie N.T.A. -- sleeve art, stickers art

return to PINK FLOYD discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK March 24, 1973 Harvest LP/CS    
US March 24, 1973 Harvest LP/CS SMAS-11163 gatefold cover, poster, stickers
US 1978 Capitol LPPIC SEAX 11902 picture disc w. diecut cover
US 1982 Mobile Fidelity LP MFHR-1-017 original master recording
UK Aug/Sept 1984 EMI CD    
US 1990? Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-517 original master recording
US 1991 Capitol LP/CS SMAS/4XAS-11163  
  1991 Capitol LP/CD/CS 46001  
UK March 1993 EMI CD   20th anniversary limited edition
US March 1993 Capitol CD 81479 20th anniversary limited edition
UK July 1994 EMI CD 29750  

 

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