Okay, let’s discuss Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon for a bit. Is it worth all of the praise and attention it receives? In my opinion – definitely yes. From the first time I heard that slide guitar enter the mix, my heart and soul were hooked independently on this record. When I was a teen I got a taste of Floyd through my older brother, who played guitar. Still does.
He introduced me to a lot of good music, which I later on came to appreciate on its own, without having to do with his guitar playing. This album is one of those that pull me close like no other. There is so much significance and substance in the music, the lyrics, the effects. And let’s not forget Clare Torry’s amazing wailing and screaming in the track The Great Gig in the Sky. It is said that after she left the recording booth, she had no idea if they would use her vocal track. She was sure it “wouldn’t see the light of day”, and she thought the band didn’t like her session. She figured they weren’t into it, and that her takes will not be used. Later on, she passed by a record shop which was advertising Floyd’s new album, and she went in there and bought it. Later still, in 2004, she was awarded a settlement after suing Floyd for co-writing rights to the song. There is some controversy over that, since it is Wright’s chord progression which forms the backbone of the tune. But no one can deny Torry brings a unique quality to the track, and that it would have not been the same without her. Some say “bah, any woman could have belted that out!”, but I don’t think so. I think that Torry’s screams and wails are out of this world, and I remember listening to them for the first time and being utterly blown away.
Dark Side is one of those albums which defines an era, and to some extent a band. No single track or album could define Pink Floyd, but this is an album which stands out among their best. It is an album that even those who don’t really care for Pink Floyd can vibe with. There are so many lyrical and musical gems. 1973 was quite a year, and DSotM was part of what made that decade so very special.