The Dark Side of the Moon

Fashion is a funny old thing. Sometimes you’re an early adopted, sometimes you come to the party late. But some things never quite go out of fashion. Some things are just regarded as timeless classics. One of those things is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’s an album almost as old as I am, that caused a huge stir when it was released, and stayed in the charts for an unprecedented length of time.

I bought myself a Pink Floyd compilation a year or two ago, and quite liked it. It became a favourite when I was in Singapore. But only then did I realise that my favourite tracks ¬†from the compilation nearly all came from one album. So I bought it this month. And I think it’s brilliant.

It’s prog-rock, meant to be listened to as a whole, not a set of unrelated tracks. And that is one of the album’s strengths, that the tracks are related. This is an album about life, in all its richness. The first lyrics are “breathe, breathe in the air, don’t be afraid to care” and that probably sets a tone for how the album engages with life. As it goes on, it talks about restlessness, missed opportunities, money, war, poverty, madness and lots of other things. Maybe not so much about romance, now that I think about it. Wow. What a great album : )

I’ll admit that I don’t really dig the instrumentals On the Run and Any Colour you Like. But I think the rest of it is pure genius. I love the beauty of the tune of Us and Them, coupled with the sheer humanity of the lyrics. I love the anguish of Time “No-one told you when to run – you missed the starting gun”. I love the ego of Money. You never really know what to make of the Great Gig in the Sky. But on a good day, it’s just sublime, and does what it says on the tin.

But my favourites are actually the final pair of tracks. Somehow Brain Damage manages to be positive, and “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon” is an affirming statement, rather than a negative one. And the final words are pure poetry “Everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon”. Everything should be right, and in-tune, and perfect. But it isn’t, because however great and shiny the sun is, the moon manages to get in the way. And boys and girls of the internet, isn’t life just like that?

That was long and rambling. But anyway, I like this album. I’ve now loaned it to a friend, so it’ll be interesting to head what they make of it.

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One Response to “The Dark Side of the Moon”

  1. Cheryl Says:

    Radio 4 had some guys on recently who’d done a remake of this album… though I think the general impression was, The Original Can’t be Bettered. Glad you like it.

    Shall have to think about the symbolism of Sun and Moon again, since reading The Planets, about C.S.Lewis’ use of pre-modern planetary symbolism as the structure for his Narina Chronicles…

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