Review: ‘The Dark Side of The Moon’

Pink Floyd album still appeals to teens


Landen Munns, Staff Writer

“The Dark Side of the Moon” is Pink Floyd’s ninth album. Originally released in March 1973, this concept album discusses the philosophical and physical ideas that can lead to a person’s insanity, and unfulfilled life. It seems to deal primarily with the depravity of human life, hardly a common subject in rock. The album is a cautionary tale in two parts. The first half describes living a life that goes unfulfilled. This part of the album consists of the following tracks:

  • “Speak To Me”/”Breathe”
  • “On The Run”
  • “Time”/”Breathe Reprise”
  • “Great Gig In The Sky”

The second half of the album consists of individual songs about different ideas and concepts that are detrimental to society and can lead to madness. These songs are:

  • “Money”
  • “Us and Them”
  • “A Color You Like”
  • “Brain Damage”
  • “Eclipse”

The philosophical ideas in the second half of the album are a sort of madness in their own right. They are also the root causes to the problem mentioned in the first half of the album that focuses on living an unfulfilled life.

Even though this is a concept album, a number of the cuts can stand on their own. “Time” is a fine country-tinged rocker with a powerful guitar solo by David Gilmour, and “Money” is broadly and satirically played with sax by Dick Parry, who also contributes a wonderfully-stated, breathy solo to “Us And Them.”

The non-vocal “On The Run” is a standout with footsteps racing from side to side successfully eluding any number of odd malevolent rumbles and explosions only to be killed off by the clock’s ticking that leads into “Time.” Throughout the album, the band lays down a solid framework which they embellish with synthesizers, sound effects and spoken voice tapes. The sound is lush and multi-layered while remaining clear and well-structured.

“Great Gig in the Sky” is arguably the most emotional piece in the album. The combination of solid musicianship and incredible vocal talent is both soothing and haunting. Pink Floyd truly allows you to use your imagination to experience the strife, pain, passion and beauty

There are a few weak spots. David Gilmour’s vocals are sometimes weak, and “The Great Gig in the Sky” (which closes the first side) probably could have been shortened or dispensed with, but these are really minor issues. “The Dark Side of the Moon” is a fine album with a textural and conceptual richness that not only invites, but demands involvement. There is a certain splendor here that exceeds mere musical melodramatics and is rarely attempted in rock. “The Dark Side of the Moon” has flash–the true flash that comes from the excellence of a superb performance.