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File:Dark Side of the Moon dark side 9064.jpg
"There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact it's all dark. The only thing that makes it look light is the sun."
Gerry O'Driscoll, doorman on Abbey Road Studios, closing words

The Dark Side of the Moon is a 1973 Progressive Rock Concept Album by Pink Floyd. Considered amongst their best (alongside The Wall) the album remained on the Billboard Top 100 for 15 straight years. And it still remains one of the most sold albums ever, and is, at the time of this writing, only surpassed by Michael Jackson's Thriller and ACDC's Back in Black.

The album was Pink Floyd's big breakthrough, and made them a mainstream name. But this sudden super-stardom also sowed the seeds to the band's, and especially Roger Waters', later Artist Disillusionment, which became very apparent on the albums Wish You Were Here and The Wall.


Tropes:

  • Album Title Drop: "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon." (but the song is called "Brain Damage")
  • Book Ends: Opens and ends with heartbeats.
  • Breather Episode: The more upbeat "Money", placed right after the rather sad "The Great Gig in the Sky".
  • British English: "But if you ask for a pay rise/It's no surprise/They're giving none away."
  • Concept Album: The usual interpretation is that the concept is existentialism, shown most clearly in "Eclipse" and the lines in "Breathe" that foreshadow it:

 All you touch and all you see

Is all your life will ever be.

  • Cover Version: Several bands, including Phish, the Flaming Lips and Dream Theater, have covered the entire album.
    • Easy Star Records also released a reggae version called Dub Side of the Moon.
    • Brian Ibbott's first full-album episode of the Coverville podcast was called "The Covered Side Of The Moon". [1]
  • Dark Reprise: "Breathe (Reprise)", which comes in just after "Time". Compared to the relaxed, airy "Breathe", the reprise has a more tired, worn-out tempo.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Time". The instrumentals themselves could count.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Clocks ("Time") and cash registers/coins/paper ("Money").
  • Existentialism: Arguably a large theme.
    • "Breathe": "All that you touch and all that you see / is all your life will ever be"
    • "Time": "And then one day you find / Ten years have got behind you / No one told you when to run / You missed the starting gun."
    • "Eclipse": "And everything under the sun is in tune / but the sun is eclipsed by the moon."
  • Fading Into the Next Song: Besides "The Great Gig in the Sky" -> "Money" (since on vinyl, they were in different sides), the transition between songs is seamless.
  • Foreshadowing: All of the sound motifs [2] are played together in "Speak to Me" before being featured individually in later songs.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack
  • Humans Are Bastards
    • Some of the quotes that appear and reappear on the album feature people's answers to the question "Did you ever have a fight and were you in your right?" Everyone automatically believes he or she was in their right.
    • "Us & Them" is an entire plea against human conflicts for what are generally stupid reasons.
    • "Money": about money being the root of all evil, yet nobody seems to be able to escape from it.
  • List Song: "Eclipse"
  • Long Runner: 741 weeks - 15 straight years - on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. When Billboard began allowing recurrent albums back into the chart in 2009, the album returned to the chart within two weeks and has racked up 25+ further weeks since then. In 2012, it passed 800 non-consecutive weeks on the Billboard 200.
    • It's estimated that the album still sells around 8,000 copies per week.
  • Money Song: Well, "Money".
  • Mushroom Samba: "Any Colour You Like"
  • Non-Appearing Title: The intrumentals and Brain Damage.
  • One-Woman Wail: "The Great Gig In The Sky"
  • Precision F-Strike: "Don't give me that do goody-good bullshit!"
  • Pyramid Power: Invoked with the cover art, as well as the accompanying poster and stickers.
  • Rainbow Lite: The prism's rainbow doesn't have indigo in it. Invoked, as it turns out--the album's central motif is madness and a sense that something is incomplete.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Brain Damage"
  • Spoken Word in Music: Some songs include samples of people talking, who were answering questions such as "When was the last time you were violent?", "Were you in the right?", "Are you afraid of death?" or "What is the dark side of the moon?". Among the people interviewed were Paul McCartney and his wife Linda, but their answers weren't used as the band thought they were too generic - Paul's Wings bandmate Denny Laine supplied the "I dunno, I was really drunk at the time" heard in the transition between "Money" and "Us and Them".
  • Stock Sound Effects: The coins-and-cash-register sounds from "Money" are used a lot these days.
  • Take That: When played live (most notably on P*U*L*S*E), the circular screen will display videos of 20th-century world leaders (e.g. Saddam Hussein) during "Brain Damage."
  • Textless Album Cover: A really famous one!
  • Uncommon Time: "Money" alternates between 7/4 and 4/4.
    • The song shifts from 7/4 to 4/4 only because that was the only way that David Gilmour could get the guitar solo right. The transition winds up being one of the most distinctive moments on the record, making it Awesome Yet Practical.
  • Urban Legends: The supposed "synchronisation" between this album and The Wizard of Oz.
    • All of the band members and Alan Parsons, the engineer for the album, has stated that this is a coincidence.

 David Gilmour: Some guy with too much time on his hands had this idea of combining Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon.

Notes

  1. In a shout out to the Urban Legend mentioned below, he noted that his all-cover version would synchronize to The Wiz.
  2. The laughing in "Brain Damage", the ticking clock in "Time", the cash register in "Money", and the heartbeat from the end of "Eclipse"
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