Friday, 20 March 2015

Classic Album | The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

As my Dad said earlier this morning, what better day to take a look back at one of the most influential albums ever produced than on the day of a solar eclipse and a supermoon.

Normally with these (I say this, I've only done one) 'Classic Album' pieces, I listen to the album over and over, making as many notes as I can. Whereas this one has pretty much ingrained onto my brain since I was born. I don't even know how many times I've listened to this record, seriously. It's all thanks to my Dad for brainwashing me with this, which I'm definitely not complaining about. 

As cliche as it sounds, The Dark Side of the Moon is probably my favourite Pink Floyd record. This record just has a quality that Floyd's other records don't, and something that no other record ever created has either.

If you cast your attention away from songs like 'Money' - which in its own right is a masterpiece but too overplayed on the radio - you're left with an impeccable album. I'm not saying that 'Money' shouldn't be on there, it's just that there are nine other songs on this record that are worthy of the airplay that 'Money' manages to get. It's the same with 'Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)' on The Wall. After a while, you just get tired of hearing them, over and over.

One of my favourite things with this record though is its ability to be classified as one long piece, rather than ten individual songs. They all flow so seamlessly in and out of each other, it's unbelievable. It's like nothing I'd ever heard before, and that's the beauty of this record. It's one of a kind, something that bands of today should really take note of. As much as bands like The Beatles did for music, Pink Floyd should be up at their status. The 70s saw a lot of experimentation through rock bands, but nothing like this.

Even though this isn't really classed as a concept album, the underlying themes and framework are all there. Dark Side of the Moon sets up the more politically engaged songwriting for the band, especially with songs like 'Money' and parts of 'Brain Damage/Eclipse' focusing on greed. Then you have the passage of time through 'Breathe' and 'Time', and the latter part of the record - mainly the last three songs - having more of a heavy focus on mental illness. Slowly but surely, the rest of Floyd's albums would follow suit, leading up to the concept god that is The Wall, that ultimately tore the band apart.

The song that has stuck out to me ever since I was a kid is 'Any Colour You Like'. Now I'm thinking about it, I'd say it's my favourite Floyd song. Their instrumentals are flawless and so expertly crafted, and this is no different. I always used to feel like I was getting transported to another world with this track, and still do. More so after watching The Wizard of Oz in sync with it, which I recommend you do. It's such a surreal experience.

As much as it annoys me to say it, I feel bad for this generation. They're so caught up with all this manufactured pop on the radio that they have no idea that this exists. Well, they do, but in the form of T-Shirts in shops like Primark. Which I'm all for, seeing as it's a cheap way for me to get band shirts. But not so great when kids pick them up just because they think they're in fashion or they just 'like the design'.

Kids not knowing these sorts of records is such a sad thought, because this album not only means a lot to me in terms of nostalgia and my family, but it means a lot to the rest of the world too. And rightfully so.

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