40 Years Out: Dark Side of the Moon

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Well, happy birthday Dark Side of the Moon. The classic Pink Floyd album turned 40 years old this past weekend, and for one, I celebrated by playing it all the way through Sunday on my back porch patio.

Very early. Very loud. The neighbors love me.

The album came out when I was a senior in high school, and it blew my mind. Since then it has become one the most iconic and best-selling rock albums of all time.

You can buy about 10 different versions of the album – a couple of years ago Pink Floyd released an “immersion” box set for the album that included the original music remastered, an early mix, a quadrophonic mix, demos, a complete recording of the album played live, and the entire program sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Just kidding about that last one. But it’s all there, check it out.

Different mixes of some of the songs have turned up at various times. Here’s “Eclipse/Brain Damage” as it appears on the Pink Floyd compilation Works (1983). It’s a different mix than you’ll hear on the regular Dark Side, with the voices sounding a bit lower because it was blended from the quadrophonic masters, and slightly different intros/sound effects. (We have to do Soundcloud because our Divshare account was suspended for “abuse.”)

And if you want to hear a different version of “Money,” you should go to the 1981 compilation A Collection of Great Dance Songs. The original Dark Side of the Moon album was on EMI/Capitol, but by then Pink Floyd had signed with Columbia/CBS Records. Capitol Records refused to license “Money” for use on the album, so David Gilmour re-recorded it all by himself, playing all of the instruments. Dick Parry reprised his saxophone role on the track.

There are some differences between the re-recorded version and the original; mainly in the saxophone and guitar solos and the overall use of reverb and Gilmour repeating “away” at the end instead of the high pitch scat singing on the original. The drumming is noticeably different from Nick Mason’s, especially during the guitar solo, with very little of the tom tom fills heard on the original.

I got that last bit from Wikipedia – I just listened to the damn thing and it still sounds like “Money.”

Don’t know what else to say about Dark Side of the Moon, unless: if you haven’t heard it yet, you can’t call yourself a rock music fan.

40 Mind-Blowing Facts about Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd/Dark Side of the Moon 40th anniversary official web site

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