Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Music Talk
Reload this Page >

Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Music Talk Discuss music in all its forms: CD, MP3, DVD-A, SACD and of course live

Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Old 10-25-10, 11:48 AM
  #51  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
rocket1312's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 4,931
Likes: 0
Received 604 Likes on 425 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Almost there...

AHM is definitely a step in the right direction. They did some good stuff in the 68-69 period, but it was really uneven. While they were developing as a live band, they couldn't quite harness their talents in the studio. Part of the problem was that they were doing a lot of soundtrack stuff during the period (More, and Zabriskie Point, which we skipped over) and UmmaGumma certainly wasn't your typical album.

I think the title track is really good even though the middle portion with the chanting is a bit goofy. The track was originally conceived as a "soundtrack" to a spaghetti western film and thus has a very epic feel. David Gilmour's guitar sound is really starting to come into its own on this track. I don't know what Ron Geesin's contributions were exactly to the piece, but the main melody is much stronger than on any of their previous "epic" tracks and gives a good indication of what was to come on similar extended tracks like Echoes and Shine On.

The 3 songs in the middle of the album are a mixed bag. 'If' is basically Roger Waters becoming Roger Waters. I think the arrangement on the album is a little too serene and Roger still lacked confidence in his vocal abilities at this point, but the promise is there.

Summer of '68 is ok, but in hindsight it's clear that while crucial to the band's overall sound, Rick Wright's songwriting didn't really fit into where the band was going.

Fat Old Sun is another good song which has a subpar arrangement on the album. When played live it had a much harder sound which I think worked better for the song.

APB is really the last gasp of the experimental Floyd. While some of the things they did later could be considered experimental, I think it was mostly just the band refining ideas and concepts they had already explored. That being said, this is not really a favorite of mine. I like the last (of 3) parts, but when listening to AHM, I usually just stop the album after Fat Old Sun.

Overall, I think you can almost look at this album as the post-Syd Floyd's first. They spent a couple of years figuring out what they were doing, but from this point on they were (mostly) firing on all cylinders.
Old 10-31-10, 09:48 PM
  #52  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,032
Received 52 Likes on 42 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Meddle



Track listing
Side one

1. "One of These Days"
2. "A Pillow of Winds"
3. "Fearless"
4. "San Tropez"
5. "Seamus"
Side two

1. "Echoes"

Pink Floyd

* David Gilmour – guitar, bass on "One of These Days", lead vocals, harmonica on "Seamus"
* Roger Waters – bass, lead vocals and guitar on "San Tropez"
* Richard Wright – hammond organ, piano, vocals on "Echoes"
* Nick Mason – drums, percussion, vocal phrase on "One of These Days"

Additional personnel

* Rob Black – engineering (Morgan Studio)
* Peter Bown – engineering (Air and EMI Studios)
* Peter Curzon – design on album remaster
* Bob Dowling – outer sleeve photos
* James Guthrie – remastering
* Hipgnosis – band photo
* John Leckie – engineering (Air and EMI Studios)
* Tony May – inner sleeve photos
* Pink Floyd – album cover design
* Roger Quested – engineering (Morgan Studio)
* Doug Sax – remastering
* Seamus the Dog – vocals on "Seamus"
* Storm Thorgerson – design on album remaster

Spoiler:
Recording

Returning from a series of tours of Atom Heart Mother across America and England, at the start of 1971 the band started work on new material at Abbey Road.[9] The album was the first the band had worked on in the studio since 1968's A Saucerful of Secrets, but Abbey Road was equipped only with eight-track multitrack recording facilities, which Pink Floyd found insufficient for the increasing technical demands of their project. They transferred their best efforts, including the opening of "Echoes", to 16-track tape at smaller studios in London (namely AIR, and Morgan in West Hampstead) and resumed work with the advantage of more flexible recording equipment. Engineers John Leckie and Peter Bown recorded the main Abbey Road and AIR sessions, while for minor work at Morgan studios in West Hampstead Rob Black and Roger Quested handled the engineering duties.[10]

Lacking a central theme for the project, the band used several experiments in a divergent attempt to spur the creative process. One exercise involved each member playing on a separate track, with no reference to what the other members were doing. The tempo was entirely random while the band played around an agreed chord structure, and moods such as 'first two minutes romantic, next two up tempo'. Each recorded section was named, but the process was largely unproductive; after several weeks no complete songs had been created.[11]

John Leckie had worked on albums such as All Things Must Pass and Ringo Starr's Sentimental Journey, and was employed as a tape-operator on Meddle, partly for his proclivity for working into the early hours of the morning. Pink Floyd's sessions would often begin in the afternoon, and end early the next morning, "...during which time nothing would get done. There was no record company contact whatsoever, except when their label manager would show up now and again with a couple of bottles of wine and a couple of joints."[12] The band would apparently spend long periods of time working on simple sounds, or a particular guitar riff. They also spent several days at Air Studios, attempting to create music using a variety of household objects, a project which would be revisited between their next albums, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here.[13]

Following these early experiments—called "Nothings"—the band developed "Son Of Nothings", which was followed by "Return Of The Son Of Nothings"—the working title of the new album. One of these early works involved the use of Richard Wright's piano. Wright had fed a single note through a Leslie speaker, producing a submarine-like ping. The band tried repeatedly to recreate this sound in the studio but were unsuccessful, and so the demo version was used on what would later become "Echoes",[11] mixed almost exclusively at Air Studios.[14] Combined with David Gilmour's guitar, the band were able to develop the track further, experimenting with accidental sound effects (such as Gilmour's guitar being plugged into a wah-wah pedal back to front). Unlike Atom Heart Mother the new multi-track capabilities of the studio enabled them to create the track in stages, rather than performing it in a single take. The final 23-minute piece would eventually take up the entire second side of the album.[15]

"One of These Days" was developed around an ostinato bassline created by Roger Waters, by feeding the output through a Binson Echorec. The bass line was performed by Waters and David Gilmour using two bass guitars, one on old strings. Nick Mason's abstruse "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces" line was recorded at double speed using a falsetto voice, and replayed at normal speed.[16]

Meddle was recorded between the band's various concert commitments, and therefore its production was spread over a considerable period of time.[10] The band recorded in the first half of April, but in the latter half played at Doncaster and Norwich before returning to record at the end of the month. In May they split their time between sessions at Abbey Road, and rehearsals and concerts in London, Lancaster, Stirling, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Nottingham. June and July were spent mainly performing at venues across Europe.[10][17] August was spent in the far east and Australia, September in Europe, and October to November in the US.[10] In the same period the band also produced Relics, a compilation album of some of Pink Floyd's earlier works.[18] A quadraphonic mix of the album was prepared at Command Studios on 21 and 26 September, but remains unreleased.[1][19]

Composition

Though the tracks possess a variety of moods, Meddle is generally considered more cohesive than its 1970 predecessor Atom Heart Mother.[20] The largely instrumental "One of These Days" is followed by "A Pillow of Winds", which is distinguished by being one of the few quiet, acoustic love songs in the Pink Floyd catalogue. These two songs segue into each other across windy sound effects, anticipating the technique that would later be used on Wish You Were Here. The title of "A Pillow of Winds" was inspired by the games of Mah-Jong that Waters and Mason, and their wives, played while in the south of France.[21]

The song "Fearless" (the title is the football equivalent of 'formidable') employs field recordings of the Liverpool F.C. Kop choir singing "You'll Never Walk Alone", their anthem, which brings the song to an end in a heavily reverberated fade-out. "San Tropez", by contrast, is a jazz-inflected pop song with a shuffle tempo, composed by Waters in his increasingly-deployed style of breezy, off-the-cuff song-writing. The song was inspired by the band's trip to the south of France in 1970. Pink Floyd give a rare glimpse into their sense of humour with "Seamus", a pseudo-blues novelty track featuring Steve Marriott's dog (which Gilmour was looking after) howling along to the music.[21][nb 1] "Seamus" often tops polls as the worst song Pink Floyd ever created, but the band would later use animal sounds again, in Animals.[22]

The final song on the album is the 23-minute "Echoes". First performed as "Return of the Son of Nothing" on 22 April 1971 in Norwich,[23] the band spent about six months on the track in three studios (Morgan, Air, and Abbey Road).[19] The track opens with Richard Wright's 'ping'. "Echoes" was recorded almost entirely at Air Studios,[14] and completed in July 1971.[19] "Echoes" also gave its name to the compilation album Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd, on which a much-edited version of the title track was included. In the compilation, multiple edits throughout the entire song cut the running length of the piece down by some seven minutes. Some of the material composed during the production of Meddle was not used, however one song would eventually become "Brain Damage", on The Dark Side of the Moon.[20][24]

Packaging

The album's title Meddle is a play on words; a medal, and to interfere.[22] Storm Thorgerson originally suggested a close-up shot of a baboon's anus for the album cover photograph. He was over-ruled by the band, who informed him via an inter-continental telephone call while on tour in Japan that they would rather have "an ear underwater".[25] The cover image was photographed by Bob Dowling. The image represents an ear, underwater, collecting waves of sound (represented by ripples in the water).[22] Thorgerson has expressed dissatisfaction with the cover, claiming it to be his least favourite Pink Floyd album sleeve: "I think Meddle is a much better album than its cover".[26] Aubrey Powell (Thorgerson's colleague) shares his sentiments—"Meddle was a mess. I hated that cover. I don't think we did them justice with that at all; it's half-hearted."[27] The gatefold contains a group photograph of the band (Floyd's last until 1987's A Momentary Lapse of Reason).[26]
[edit] Release

Meddle was released on 30 October 1971 in the US, and 13 November in the UK.[nb 2] Reviews of the album were mixed. Rolling Stone's Jean-Charles Costa wrote "Meddle not only confirms lead guitarist David Gilmour's emergence as a real shaping force with the group, it states forcefully and accurately that the group is well into the growth track again",[31] and NME called it "an exceptionally good album". Melody Maker were however more reserved, claiming the album was "...a soundtrack to a non-existent movie".[32] "One of These Days" and "Echoes" were performed during Live At Pompeii, in two parts, and also on the BBC's 1971 In Concert.[33][34] Although in the UK it reached number three, lacklustre publicity on the part of Capitol Records led to weak sales in the US, and a chart position of number 70.[29][35] On 29 November 1971, "One of These Days" was released as a 7-inch single in the US, with "Fearless" on the B-side.[36]

Meddle was later certified gold by the RIAA on 29 October 1973 and then double platinum on 11 March 1994, following the added attention garnered by the band's later successes in the United States.[37]
[edit] Reissues

Meddle was later released as a remastered LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab,[38] and in April 1989 on their "Ultradisc" gold CD format.[39] The album was included as part of the box set Shine On on 2 November 1992.[nb 3][41]


This was a Great Album. Enjoyed most of side one and loved side two. These long Floyd songs are great to wind down to. One of these days is my favorite track on the album. They seem to be progressing quite nicely and are almost fully evolved into The Floyd i'm used to listening to.
Old 11-01-10, 01:10 AM
  #53  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,898
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Fearless is one of my favorite songs by them. I like this album more than DSOTM even though Seamus is a pretty weak track.
Old 11-01-10, 11:26 AM
  #54  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Hokeyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 20,185
Received 569 Likes on 352 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

PHENOMENAL. This is arguably Floyd's best album, but you can make strong cases for a few others. Certainly this one is my favorite.

"One Of These Days" is the big radio song, and as I mentioned before many people are convinced it's a DSotM track. Silly, but understandable. Bookending the album with this track and "Echoes" is a grand move: the strong, energetic opener and the powerful epic closer. The spacey slide-guitar driven "Pillow of Winds" and the gentle acoustic "Fearless" are two strong tracks that are utterly overlooked, and that's a shame. Both represent the band coming into their own as songwriters and arrangers.

The lesser songs are of course the bouncy, jazzy "St. Tropez" and the bluesy, dog-howlin' vocals of "Seamus". I enjoy the former for what it is, a fun little throwaway with a catchy beat and some tight playing by the band. "Seamus" is novelty, and one I can basically take or leave without missing a beat. I suppose they represent the 'breather' before "Echoes". I guess that makes a sort of theatrical sense.

Meddle gets infinitely more play from me than the "Big Albums" do. There's a flow, a sense of whimsy, a confidence, and a musicality that really just gels together nicely. 23 minutes of "Echoes" will try your patience if you're not into the vibe and sound the band has put together here, but I think it remains a rewarding experience nonetheless. For all "casual" Pink Floyd fans, this is the first album I point to when they say they are "sick of" The Wall or Dark Side.
Old 11-01-10, 02:32 PM
  #55  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ohio
Posts: 462
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

These album by album threads are awesome just pick-up meddle because of it.
Old 11-01-10, 02:43 PM
  #56  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,898
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
PHENOMENAL. This is arguably Floyd's best album, but you can make strong cases for a few others. Certainly this one is my favorite.

"One Of These Days" is the big radio song, and as I mentioned before many people are convinced it's a DSotM track. Silly, but understandable. Bookending the album with this track and "Echoes" is a grand move: the strong, energetic opener and the powerful epic closer. The spacey slide-guitar driven "Pillow of Winds" and the gentle acoustic "Fearless" are two strong tracks that are utterly overlooked, and that's a shame. Both represent the band coming into their own as songwriters and arrangers.

The lesser songs are of course the bouncy, jazzy "St. Tropez" and the bluesy, dog-howlin' vocals of "Seamus". I enjoy the former for what it is, a fun little throwaway with a catchy beat and some tight playing by the band. "Seamus" is novelty, and one I can basically take or leave without missing a beat. I suppose they represent the 'breather' before "Echoes". I guess that makes a sort of theatrical sense.

Meddle gets infinitely more play from me than the "Big Albums" do. There's a flow, a sense of whimsy, a confidence, and a musicality that really just gels together nicely. 23 minutes of "Echoes" will try your patience if you're not into the vibe and sound the band has put together here, but I think it remains a rewarding experience nonetheless. For all "casual" Pink Floyd fans, this is the first album I point to when they say they are "sick of" The Wall or Dark Side.
I would pretty much agree with this review 100 percent, I'm more of a Syd Barret era fan and this is one of the few albums without him that I really like.
Old 11-01-10, 05:28 PM
  #57  
kd5
DVD Talk Legend
 
kd5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 11,930
Received 236 Likes on 168 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Echoes and One Of These Days are my 2 favorites from Meddle.

"Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air..." Love it! -kd5-
Old 11-01-10, 09:17 PM
  #58  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,150
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
PHENOMENAL. This is arguably Floyd's best album, but you can make strong cases for a few others. Certainly this one is my favorite.

"One Of These Days" is the big radio song, and as I mentioned before many people are convinced it's a DSotM track. Silly, but understandable. Bookending the album with this track and "Echoes" is a grand move: the strong, energetic opener and the powerful epic closer. The spacey slide-guitar driven "Pillow of Winds" and the gentle acoustic "Fearless" are two strong tracks that are utterly overlooked, and that's a shame. Both represent the band coming into their own as songwriters and arrangers.

The lesser songs are of course the bouncy, jazzy "St. Tropez" and the bluesy, dog-howlin' vocals of "Seamus". I enjoy the former for what it is, a fun little throwaway with a catchy beat and some tight playing by the band. "Seamus" is novelty, and one I can basically take or leave without missing a beat. I suppose they represent the 'breather' before "Echoes". I guess that makes a sort of theatrical sense.

Meddle gets infinitely more play from me than the "Big Albums" do. There's a flow, a sense of whimsy, a confidence, and a musicality that really just gels together nicely. 23 minutes of "Echoes" will try your patience if you're not into the vibe and sound the band has put together here, but I think it remains a rewarding experience nonetheless. For all "casual" Pink Floyd fans, this is the first album I point to when they say they are "sick of" The Wall or Dark Side.
I'm with you all the way on this. I seem to recall a Brian Eno track from the early to mid 70's that had the same exact bass line as "One Of These Days."
Old 11-01-10, 10:57 PM
  #59  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: a mile high, give or take a few feet
Posts: 14,427
Received 126 Likes on 104 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Excellent album. I would have liked to see what the baboon anus cover would have ended up like.
Old 11-01-10, 11:56 PM
  #60  
DVD Talk Hero
 
B.A.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East County
Posts: 34,756
Received 144 Likes on 118 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Meddle has been my favorite Floyd album for years, and it is easily the one I listen to the most.
Old 11-02-10, 02:00 PM
  #61  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

I think "Seamus" gets a bad rap. It's an unconventional Floyd song but it's a lot of fun, and Rick Wright makes a solid, subtle contribution.

Not saying it's among my favorites, just that it has its merits.
Old 11-03-10, 11:17 AM
  #62  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Rocky Mountain High
Posts: 2,585
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Kept checking this thread waiting for it to get to Meddle. Meddle is probably my favorite album by them. Fearless is probably also my favorite Floyd song, just incredible harmonies. As others have said bookending the album with One of these days and Echoes, just genius. Also, I think I have mad love for Meddle because I was introduced to Floyd with a couple of sessions and then throwing on Echoes.

This started their rise with some of the best albums of all time all in a row.
Old 11-03-10, 01:11 PM
  #63  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
rocket1312's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 4,931
Likes: 0
Received 604 Likes on 425 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Ah Meddle...most Floyd fans agree that this is the album where they started to put it all together in the studio. It's funny because lots of hard-core fans will tell you that they peaked as a live band during the 1970-71 period and this album (along with the Live at Pompeii movie) was their crowning moment as an underground band. Once Dark Side came along, everything changed.

I personally enjoy the album quite a bit. I do feel like it gets overrated at times as a sort of backlash against some of the more popular later albums. However, the album opens with "One of these Days" which I think is immediately recognizable as better than anything they had put out up until that point (not including Syd's stuff which I think of as coming from a completely different band). It has an edge to it that just wasn't there before. Though it's credited to the whole band, I think it's the first good example of Roger's somewhat bleak outlook on the world that would dominate most of what they did while he was still in the band. ** As an amusing side note, John Peel, the BBC dj who championed the Floyd during this era had them perform live on his show in 1970 and 1971 (fyi, if you can track down those recordings, they're great). I don't recall which appearance it was, but at one point he introduces the band and remarks at how he loves Pink Floyd music because of how optimistic and uplifting it is. Needless to say, that reputation wouldn't last long! **

The rest of the first side of the album is quite the mixed bag for me. "A Pillow of Winds" is a nice enough acoustic-y love song. Not very memorable, but it has some nice slide guitar. "Fearless" is probably the most popular "unkown" song of theirs. I like the song and I would easily rank it as the strongest of the 4 "middle" songs on the album, but I just don't get the love some people have for it. I think both "If" and "Fat Old Sun" from AHM are better songs that unfortunately suffered from uninspired arrangements on their original recordings. I suppose that if you're into the more easy going Floyd that was pretty much snuffed out by Roger's singular vision, you can't do much better. In fact, I'd imagine that notion also applies to Meddle in general.

All I can say about "San Tropez" and "Seamus" is I guess a band needs to have fun every now and then.

"Echoes," of course, is the centerpiece of the album. Many call it the best thing they ever did. I'd say it's definitley top-10 and probably top-5, but not the best. It has some of Roger's best non-downer lyrics and it really showcases the band as a working/cohesive unit. The build-up to the conclusion following the whale/seagull interlude is one of the great spine-tingling musical moments for me. I do feel like the interlude is a bit much though. They had a tendency in their longer songs to have these kind of break downs, be it the chanting in AHM or footstep sequence in Embryo (more of a live thing), and I think it started to become a crutch for them. They definitely followed a certain pattern. Still, this song is great and was the highlight of Gilmour's last tour. Unfortunately with Rick Wright's passing, it will probably never be played again.

Overall, I think this is a very good (but not quite great) album. It has two all-time tracks and some filler. I personally prefer Floyd's concept albums and think they do a better job of incorporating weaker material. When an album is just a collection of unrelated songs, the lesser ones tend to stand out. Nevertheless, Meddle is an essential album in the band's canon and shouldn't be missed.
Old 11-08-10, 09:01 PM
  #64  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,032
Received 52 Likes on 42 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Obscured by Clouds



Track Listing:

1. "Obscured by Clouds" Gilmour, Waters Instrumental 3:03
2. "When You're In" Gilmour, Waters, Wright, Mason Instrumental 2:30
3. "Burning Bridges" Wright, Waters Gilmour, Wright 3:29
4. "The Gold It's in The..." Gilmour, Waters Gilmour 3:07
5. "Wot's... Uh the Deal?" Gilmour, Waters Gilmour 5:08
6. "Mudmen" Wright, Gilmour Instrumental 4:20
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
7. "Childhood's End" Gilmour Gilmour 4:31
8. "Free Four" Waters Waters 4:15
9. "Stay" Waters, Wright Wright 4:05
10. "Absolutely Curtains" Gilmour, Waters, Wright, Mason Instrumental 5:52

Personnel

Pink Floyd

* David Gilmour – guitars, vocals, VCS3
* Nick Mason – drums, percussion
* Roger Waters – bass guitar, vocals, VCS3
* Richard Wright – keyboards, vocals, VCS3, Hammond Organ

Additional personnel

* Hipgnosis – cover

Spoiler:
Obscured by Clouds is the seventh studio album by Pink Floyd, based on their soundtrack for the French film La Vallée, by Barbet Schroeder. Some copies of the album refer to the film by its English title, The Valley. The LP was released in the United Kingdom on 3 June 1972, on Harvest/EMI and then in the United States on 15 June 1972, on Harvest/Capitol. The album reached #6 on the United Kingdom album charts[1] and #46[citation needed] on the United States album charts (where it was certified Gold by the RIAA in March 1994).[citation needed] In 1986, the album was released on CD. A digitally remastered CD was released in March 1996 in the United Kingdom and August 1996 in the United States[citation needed] The cover of Obscured By Clouds is an out-of-focus film still of a man in a tree. In 1996 when Obscured By Clouds was repackaged, Jon Crossland suggested using infra red landscapes as backgrounds.[citation needed]

Overview

At this point in their career, the band were not new to scoring movies. They had already scored the films The Committee, and More, in 1968 and 1969, respectively.

The band were already working on The Dark Side of the Moon during this period, but production was interrupted when the band travelled to France to score the movie. Nick Mason refers to the project:

"After the success of More, we had agreed to do another sound track for Barbet Schroeder. His new film was called La Vallée and we travelled over to France to record the music in the last week of February... We did the recording with the same method we had employed for More, following a rough cut of the film, using stopwatches for specific cues and creating interlinking musical moods that would be cross-faded to suit the final version... The recording time was extremely tight. We only had two weeks to record the soundtrack with a short amount of time afterwards to turn it into an album."[2]

While recording the music, the band were free to use "standard rock song construction" to their advantage, and such was the case for "Obscured by Clouds". The title track featured an early use of electronic drums, or "electric bongos" as Mason calls them. Rick Wright foreshadows what is to come later with his use of synthesisers on this album. A droning note (played on an EMS VCS3 synthesiser) begins the album. This song was often used to open their live shows in 1973. The band also used themes to their advantage. The melody played in "Burning Bridges" is echoed later in "Mudmen". The song "Childhood's End" is said to have been inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's novel of the same name.[citation needed]

"Free Four" was the first Pink Floyd song to get significant airplay in the U.S., and the first to deal directly with the death of Eric Fletcher Waters, Roger Waters' father.

In a snippet of interview footage that appeared in the 1974 theatrical version (later released on VHS and Laserdisc) and subsequent "Director's Cut DVD" versions of Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, Roger Waters stated that early UK pressings of the album contained excessive sibilance (a loud high-frequency sound most apparent on "s", "sh", and "t" sounds which often causes distortion.) As Waters says in the film, the sibilant distortion was caused by "a bad cut", meaning it came from a poor quality tape to disk transfer during mastering. The sibilance problem was corrected in later pressings.

Obscured by Clouds was the second Pink Floyd album to feature the VCS 3 synthesiser as stated by EMS Archives.
[edit] Live performances

Pink Floyd opened some shows in 1973 with an extended jam based on the pairing of "Obscured by Clouds" and "When You're In", accompanied by smoke and a light show.

"Childhood's End" is the only other song from the soundtrack to find its way to the stage. It made several appearances in Europe starting on December 1, 1972 and at the start of the band's March 1973 tour of North America, usually with an extended instrumental passage.

"Wot's... Uh, the Deal?" saw revival as part of David Gilmour's set list during his 2006 solo tour. One of these performances features on Gilmour's 2007 DVD Remember That Night and also the vinyl version of his 2008 live album Live in Gdańsk.


-This feels like a step back for the band. It didn't have that Floyd sound like in previous albums. "Wot's... Uh the Deal?" Is my only favorite song on the whole album. Everything else sounds mediocre.

As of now I'd rate this as my least favorite album.
Old 11-08-10, 09:22 PM
  #65  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,150
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Childhood's End is one of my all time favorite Pink Floyd songs. The album as a whole is uneven, though.
Old 11-08-10, 09:28 PM
  #66  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: a mile high, give or take a few feet
Posts: 14,427
Received 126 Likes on 104 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Wot's... Uh the Deal? has always irritated me with the odd punctuation. Good album, but not one I search out to listen to if I'm in a Floyd mood.
Old 11-09-10, 11:55 AM
  #67  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,196
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

"Free Four" is catchy enough, and "Stay" pops up on my iPod occasionally, but otherwise...yeah, this kind of breaks the flow from Meddle to Dark Side.
Old 11-09-10, 12:39 PM
  #68  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
rocket1312's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 4,931
Likes: 0
Received 604 Likes on 425 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

I get why some people consider Obscured By Clouds a step back from Meddle (because it is), but I give it a pass due to the fact that it was just a throwaway soundtrack that they turned out in a couple of weeks while they were in the middle of recording Dark Side. It's very uneven, but if Meddle is one of your favorite albums, I think this one has a lot you would like.

For me, the best cuts are "Wot's...Uh, the Deal" and "Childhood's End." The former fits in well with the more laidback Floyd from this period (think Fearless) and the latter sounds more like the stuff they did in the next couple of years (In fact sometimes it sounds a bit too much like Time). "Childhood's End" is also noteworthy as being the last Floyd song David Gilmour would receive full writing credit for until A Momentary Lapse of Reason came out.

"Free Four" was actually a big hit for them in America but seems to have been forgotten over time. It's lyrical content is classic Roger Waters but the tempo is more upbeat than that which would come later. I think it's a catchy enough song but the hand claps kind of bug me. I've always wondered what the song would sound like without them. "The Gold It's in The..." is the closest thing they did to generic classic rock. I kind of like it, but it's pretty forgetable. "Stay" is ok and I haven't listened to it in a while, but I remember there being some cool guitar work in "Mudmen".

All in all I like OBC. I'm glad it exists as it has a couple of good songs, but imo it's by no means essential. The fact that the band did not include it in their Shine On boxset years ago tells you everything you really need to know. However, if your taste in Floyd is more Meddle than The Wall, there's a good chance you will like it.

Last edited by rocket1312; 11-09-10 at 12:47 PM.
Old 11-09-10, 02:44 PM
  #69  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 4,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

I always forget this one came after "Meddle"; as others have said it feels like a step back. A few songs feel like they could have been on "More". There's nothing on the album that I dislike, but it's not a strong album. However, the previous poster said it very well when he said:
if your taste in Floyd is more Meddle than The Wall, there's a good chance you will like it.
Old 11-09-10, 03:28 PM
  #70  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Hokeyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 20,185
Received 569 Likes on 352 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

I've always liked this album, but I can understand if/how people think it's sort of a "step back". Maybe a conscious move away from the pondrances of Meddle? Perhaps.

But there are a lot of pleasures to be found in Obscured By Clouds to be so easily dismissed. I always referred to entirely likable (if utterly morbid) "Free Four" as "Bachman Turner Floyd" -- it literally feels like Roger Waters taking the piss out of early 70s album rock. "Childhood's End" is a strong tune, kind of epic in an FM radio sorta way. The instrumentals I can take or leave, but the rest of the tunes are decent enough.

But yeah, it DOES seem like an odd fit wedged in the natural evolution from Meddle ==> The Dark Side Of The Moon. Maybe that's why it is often poo-poo'ed on.
Old 11-09-10, 10:49 PM
  #71  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Sean O'Hara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Vichy America
Posts: 13,533
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

ObC is one of my favorite Floyd albums. In many ways, it's the closest the band ever came to a traditional rock album -- there's not one track that's over 6 minutes in length, not even the instrumentals -- yet it feels as much like a cohesive whole as Dark Side or The Wall.
Old 11-13-10, 09:43 AM
  #72  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
dhmac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Kissimmee, Florida
Posts: 7,406
Received 64 Likes on 56 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Jumping back to Atom Heart Mother and Meddle for a comment, there is a certain structural similarity between the two albums:

(A) An epic 23-minute long song taking up half the album ("Atom Heart Mother", "Echoes")

(B) An experimental song that can get very tiresome on repeat listening ("Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", "Seamus")

(C) The remaining track are a grab bag of regular length songs - some fair, some good, some great
Old 11-13-10, 10:26 AM
  #73  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 437
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Originally Posted by dhmac View Post
Jumping back to Atom Heart Mother and Meddle for a comment, there is a certain structural similarity between the two albums:

(A) An epic 23-minute long song taking up half the album ("Atom Heart Mother", "Echoes")

(B) An experimental song that can get very tiresome on repeat listening ("Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast", "Seamus")

(C) The remaining track are a grab bag of regular length songs - some fair, some good, some great
Good observation...and if I'm not mistaken, this type of approach would be use on two future albums as well.
Old 11-13-10, 08:14 PM
  #74  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,032
Received 52 Likes on 42 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

Dark Side Of The Moon


Side One
1. "Speak to Me" Mason Instrumental 1:30
2. "Breathe" Waters, Gilmour, Wright Gilmour 2:43
3. "On the Run" Gilmour, Waters Instrumental 3:30
4. "Time" (containing "Breathe (Reprise)") Mason, Waters, Wright, Gilmour Gilmour, Wright 6:53
5. "The Great Gig in the Sky" Wright, Clare Torry[nb 13] Clare Torry 4:15
Side two
No. Title Music Lead vocals Length
1. "Money" Waters Gilmour 6:30
2. "Us and Them" Waters, Wright Gilmour, Wright 7:51
3. "Any Colour You Like" Gilmour, Mason, Wright Instrumental 3:24
4. "Brain Damage" Waters Waters 3:50
5. "Eclipse"

Personnel

Pink Floyd
David Gilmour – vocals, guitar, synthesisers and production
Nick Mason – percussion, tape effects and production
Roger Waters – bass guitar, vocals, synthesisers, tape effects and production
Richard Wright – keyboards, vocals, synthesisers and production
Additional musicians
Dick Parry – saxophone on "Money" and "Us and Them"
Clare Torry – vocals on "The Great Gig in the Sky", background vocals
Lesley Duncan – background vocals
Barry St. John – background vocals
Liza Strike – background vocals
Doris Troy – background vocals
Production
Alan Parsons – engineering
Peter James – assistant engineering (incorrectly identified as "Peter Jones" on first US pressings of the LP)
Chris Thomas – mixing consultant
George Hardie – illustrations, sleeve art
Hipgnosis – design, photography
Jill Furmanovsky – photography
James Guthrie – remastering supervisor on 20th- and 30th-anniversary editions, 5.1 mixing on 30th-anniversary edition
Doug Sax – remastering on 20th- and 30th-anniversary editions
David Sinclair – liner notes in CD re-release
Storm Thorgerson – 20th- and 30th-anniversary edition designs
Drew Vogel – art and photography in CD re-release

Spoiler:
The Dark Side of the Moon is the eighth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released in March 1973. The concept album built on ideas explored by the band in their live shows and earlier recordings, but it lacks the extended instrumental excursions that characterised their work following the departure in 1968 of founding member, principal composer and lyricist Syd Barrett. The Dark Side of the Moon's themes include conflict, greed, the passage of time and mental illness, the latter partly inspired by Barrett's deteriorating mental state.
The album was developed as part of a forthcoming tour of live performances, and was premiered several months before studio recording began. The new material was further refined during the tour and was recorded in two sessions in 1972 and 1973 at Abbey Road Studios in London. The group used some of the most advanced recording techniques of the time, including multitrack recording and tape loops. Analogue synthesisers were given prominence in several tracks, and a series of recorded interviews with staff and band personnel provided the source material for a range of philosophical quotations used throughout. Engineer Alan Parsons was directly responsible for some of the most notable sonic aspects of the album, including the non-lexical performance of Clare Torry. The album's iconic sleeve features a prism that represents the band's stage lighting, the record's lyrics, and the request for a "simple and bold" design.
The Dark Side of the Moon was an immediate success, topping the Billboard 200 for one week. It subsequently remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in history. With an estimated 45 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd's most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. It has twice been remastered and re-released, and has been covered by several other acts. It spawned two singles, "Money" and "Us and Them". In addition to its commercial success, The Dark Side of the Moon is one of Pink Floyd's most popular albums among fans and critics, and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest rock albums of all time.

Following the release of Meddle in 1971, in December the band assembled for an upcoming tour of Britain, Japan, and the United States. Rehearsing in Broadhurst Gardens in London, there was the looming prospect of a new album, although their priority at that time was the creation of new material.[1] In a band meeting at drummer Nick Mason's home in Camden, bassist Roger Waters proposed that a new album could form part of the tour. Waters' idea was for an album that dealt with things that "make people mad", focusing on the pressures faced by the band during their arduous lifestyle, and dealing with the apparent mental problems suffered by former band member Syd Barrett.[2][3] The band had explored a similar idea with 1969's The Man and the Journey.[4] In a recent interview for Rolling Stone, guitarist David Gilmour said:
...I think we all thought—and Roger definitely thought—that a lot of the lyrics that we had been using were a little too indirect. There was definitely a feeling that the words were going to be very clear and specific.[5]

Generally, all four members agreed that Waters' concept of an album unified by a single theme was a good idea.[5] Waters, Gilmour, Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright participated in the writing and production of the new material, and Waters created the early demo tracks at his Islington home in a small recording studio he had built in his garden shed.[6] Parts of the new album were taken from previously unused material; the opening line of "Breathe" came from an earlier work by Waters and Ron Geesin, written for the soundtrack of The Body,[7] and the basic structure of "Us and Them" was taken from a piece originally composed by Wright for the film Zabriskie Point.[8] The band rehearsed at a warehouse in London owned by The Rolling Stones, and then at the Rainbow Theatre. They also purchased extra equipment, which included new speakers, a PA system, a 28-track mixing desk with four quadraphonic outputs, and a custom-built lighting rig. Nine tonnes of kit was transported in three lorries; this would be the first time the band had taken an entire album on tour, but it would allow them to refine and improve the new material,[9][10] which by then had been given the provisional title of The Dark Side of the Moon (an allusion to lunacy, rather than astronomy).[11] However, after discovering that that title had already been used by another band, Medicine Head, it was temporarily changed to Eclipse. The new material premièred at The Dome in Brighton, on 20 January 1972,[12] and after the commercial failure of Medicine Head's album the title was changed back to the band's original preference.[13][14][nb 1]

Dark Side of the Moon: A Piece for Assorted Lunatics, as it was then known,[4] was performed in the presence of an assembled press on 17 February 1972—more than a year before its release—at the Rainbow Theatre, and was critically acclaimed.[15] Michael Wale of The Times described the piece as "... bringing tears to the eyes. It was so completely understanding and musically questioning."[16] Derek Jewell of The Sunday Times wrote "The ambition of the Floyd's artistic intention is now vast."[13] Melody Maker was, however, less enthusiastic: "Musically, there were some great ideas, but the sound effects often left me wondering if I was in a bird-cage at London zoo."[17] The following tour was praised by the public. The new material was performed live, in the same order in which it would eventually be recorded, but obvious differences between the live version, and the recorded version released a year later, included the lack of synthesisers in tracks such as "On the Run", and Bible readings that were later replaced by Clare Torry's non-lexical vocables on "The Great Gig in the Sky".[15]
The band's lengthy tour through Europe and North America gave them the opportunity to make continual improvements to the scale and quality of their performances.[18] Studio sessions were scheduled between tour dates; rehearsals began in England on 20 January 1972, but in late February the band travelled to France and recorded music for French director Barbet Schroeder's film, La Vallée.[19][nb 2] They then performed in Japan and returned to France in March to complete work on the film. After a series of dates in North America, the band flew to London to begin recording the album, from 24 May to 25 June. More concerts in Europe and North America followed before the band returned on 9 January 1973 to complete work on the album.[20][21][22]

Concept

The Dark Side of the Moon built upon experiments Pink Floyd had attempted in their previous live shows and recordings, but lacks the extended instrumental excursions which, according to critic David Fricke, had become characteristic of the band after founding member Syd Barrett left in 1968. Guitarist David Gilmour, Barrett's replacement, later referred to those instrumentals as "that psychedelic noodling stuff",[8] and with Waters cited 1971's Meddle as a turning-point towards what would be realised on the album.[8] The Dark Side of the Moon's lyrical themes include conflict, greed, the passage of time, death, and insanity, the latter inspired in part by Barrett's deteriorating mental state; he had been the band's principal composer and lyricist.[8] The album is notable for its use of musique concrète[4] and conceptual, philosophical lyrics, as found in much of the band's other work.
Each side of the album is a continuous piece of music. The five tracks on each side reflect various stages of human life, beginning and ending with a heartbeat, exploring the nature of the human experience, and (according to Waters) "empathy".[8] "Speak to Me" and "Breathe" together stress the mundane and futile elements of life that accompany the ever-present threat of madness, and the importance of living one's own life—"Don't be afraid to care".[23] By shifting the scene to an airport, the synthesiser-driven instrumental "On the Run" evokes the stress and anxiety of modern travel, in particular Wright's fear of flying.[24] "Time" examines the manner in which its passage can control one's life and offers a stark warning to those who remain focussed on mundane aspects; it is followed by a retreat into solitude and withdrawal in "Breathe (Reprise)". The first side of the album ends with Wright and vocalist Clare Torry's soulful metaphor for death, "The Great Gig in the Sky".[4] Opening with the sound of cash registers and loose change, the first track on side two, "Money", mocks greed and consumerism using tongue-in-cheek lyrics and cash-related sound effects ("Money" has been the most commercially successful track from the album, with several cover versions produced by other bands).[25] "Us and Them" addresses the isolation of the depressed with the symbolism of conflict and the use of simple dichotomies to describe personal relationships. "Brain Damage" looks at a mental illness resulting from the elevation of fame and success above the needs of the self; in particular, the line "and if the band you're in starts playing different tunes" reflects the mental breakdown of former band-mate Syd Barrett. The album ends with "Eclipse", which espouses the concepts of alterity and unity, while forcing the listener to recognise the common traits shared by humanity.[26][27]
[edit]

Recording

The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, in two sessions, between May 1972 and January 1973. The band were assigned staff engineer Alan Parsons, who had worked as assistant tape operator on Atom Heart Mother, and who had also gained experience as a recording engineer on The Beatles' Abbey Road and Let It Be.[28][29] The recording sessions made use of some of the most advanced studio techniques of the time; the studio was capable of 16-track mixes, which offered a greater degree of flexibility than the eight- or four-track mixes they had previously used, although the band often used so many tracks that to make more space available second-generation copies were made.[30]
Beginning on 1 June, the first track to be recorded was "Us and Them", followed six days later by "Money". Waters had created effects loops from recordings of various money-related objects, including coins thrown into a food-mixing bowl taken from his wife's pottery studio, and these were later re-recorded to take advantage of the band's decision to record a quadraphonic mix of the album (Parsons has since expressed dissatisfaction with the result of this mix, attributed to a lack of time and the paucity of available multi-track tape recorders).[29] "Time" and "The Great Gig in the Sky" were the next pieces to be recorded, followed by a two-month break, during which the band spent time with their families and prepared for an upcoming tour of the US.[31] The recording sessions suffered regular interruptions; Waters, a supporter of Arsenal F.C., would often break to see his team compete, and the band would occasionally stop work to watch Monty Python's Flying Circus on the television, leaving Parsons to work on material recorded up to that point.[30] Gilmour has, however, disputed this claim; in an interview in 2003 he said: "We would sometimes watch them but when we were on a roll, we would get on."[32][33]

Returning from the US in January 1973, they recorded "Brain Damage", "Eclipse", "Any Colour You Like" and "On the Run", while fine-tuning the work they had already laid down in the previous sessions. A foursome of female vocalists was assembled to sing on "Brain Damage", "Eclipse" and "Time", and saxophonist Dick Parry was booked to play on "Us and Them" and "Money". With director Adrian Maben, the band also filmed studio footage for Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii.[34] Once the recording sessions were complete, the band began a tour of Europe.[35]

Instrumentation
The album is particularly notable for the metronomic sound effects during "Speak to Me", and the tape loops that open "Money". Mason created a rough version of "Speak to Me" at his home, before completing it in the studio. The track serves as an overture and contains cross-fades of elements from other pieces on the album. A piano chord, replayed backwards, serves to augment the build-up of effects, which are immediately followed by the opening of "Breathe". Mason received a rare solo composing credit for "Speak to Me".[nb 3][36][37] The sound effects on "Money" were created by splicing together Waters' recordings of clinking coins, tearing paper, a ringing cash register, and a clicking adding machine, which were used to create a 7-beat effects loop (later adapted to four tracks in order to create a "walk around the room" effect in quadraphonic presentations of the album).[38] At times the degree of sonic experimentation on the album required the engineers and band to operate the mixing console's faders simultaneously, in order to mix down the intricately assembled multitrack recordings of several of the songs (particularly "On the Run").[8]
Along with the conventional rock band instrumentation, Pink Floyd added prominent synthesisers to their sound. For example, the band experimented with an EMS VCS 3 on "Brain Damage" and "Any Colour You Like", and a Synthi A on "Time" and "On the Run". They also devised and recorded unconventional sounds, such as an assistant engineer running around the studio's echo chamber (during "On the Run"),[39] and a specially treated bass drum made to simulate a human heartbeat (during "Speak to Me", "On the Run", "Time", and "Eclipse"). This heartbeat is most prominent as the intro and the outro to the album, but it can also be heard sporadically on "Time", and "On the Run".[8] The assorted clocks ticking then chiming simultaneously at the start of "Time", accompanied by a series of Rototoms, were initially created as a quadraphonic test by Parsons.[36] The engineer recorded each timepiece at an antique clock shop, and although his recordings had not been created specifically for the album, elements of the material were eventually used in the track.[40]

Voices
Several tracks, including "Us and Them" and "Time", are notable for demonstrating Richard Wright and David Gilmour's ability to harmonise their voices. In the 2003 documentary The Making of The Dark Side of the Moon, Waters attributed this to the fact that their voices both sound extremely similar. To take advantage of this, Parsons perfected the use of studio techniques such as the doubletracking of vocals and guitars, which allowed Gilmour to harmonise with himself. Parsons also made prominent use of flanging and phase shifting effects on vocals and instruments, odd trickery with reverb,[8] and the panning of sounds between channels (most notable in the quadraphonic mix of "On the Run", when the sound of the Hammond B3 organ played through a Leslie speaker rapidly swirls around the listener).[41]
The album's credits include Clare Torry, a session singer and songwriter, and a regular at Abbey Road. She had worked on pop material and numerous cover albums, and after hearing one of those albums Parsons invited her to the studio to sing on "The Great Gig in the Sky". She declined this invitation as she wanted to watch Chuck Berry perform at the Hammersmith Odeon, but arranged to come in on the following Sunday. The band explained the concept behind the album, but were unable to tell her exactly what she should do. Gilmour was in charge of the session, and in a few short takes on a Sunday night Torry improvised a wordless melody to accompany Richard Wright's emotive piano solo. She was initially embarrassed by her exuberance in the recording booth, and wanted to apologise to the band—only to find them delighted with her performance.[42][43] Her takes were then selectively edited to produce the version used on the track.[5] For her contribution she was paid £30, equivalent to about £300 as of 2010,[42][44] but in 2004 she sued EMI and Pink Floyd for song writing royalties, arguing that she co-wrote "The Great Gig in the Sky" with keyboardist Richard Wright. The High Court agreed with her, but the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.[45][46] All post-2005 pressings which include "The Great Gig in the Sky" therefore credit both Wright and Torry for the song.[47]


Clare Torry in 2003
Snippets of voices between and over the music are another notable feature of the album. During recording sessions, Waters recruited both the staff and the temporary occupants of the studio to answer a series of questions printed on flashcards. The interviewees were placed in front of a microphone in a darkened studio three,[48] and shown such questions as "What's your favourite colour?" and "What's your favourite food?", before moving on to themes more central to the album (such as madness, violence, and death). Questions such as "When was the last time you were violent?", followed immediately by "Were you in the right?", were answered in the order they were presented.[8] Roger "The Hat" Manifold proved difficult to find, and was the only contributor recorded in a conventional sit-down interview, as by then the flashcards had been mislaid. Waters asked him about a violent encounter he had had with another motorist, and Manifold replied "... give 'em a quick, short, sharp shock ..." When asked about death he responded "live for today, gone tomorrow, that's me ..."[49] Another roadie, Chris Adamson, who was on tour with Pink Floyd, recorded the explicit diatribe which opens the album: "I've been mad for fucking years—absolutely years".[50] The band's road manager Peter Watts (father of actress Naomi Watts)[51] contributed the repeated laughter during "Brain Damage" and "Speak to Me", and his second wife Patricia 'Puddie' Watts (now Patricia Gleason) was responsible for the monologue about "geezers" who were "cruisin' for a bruisin'" used in the segue between "Money" and "Us and Them", and the line "I'm not afraid of dying".[nb 4] Perhaps the most notable responses "And I am not frightened of dying, any time will do, I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying, there's no reason for it, you've got to go some time" and closing words "there is no dark side in the moon, really. As a matter of fact it's all dark" came from the studios' Irish doorman, Gerry O'Driscoll.[52] Paul and Linda McCartney were also interviewed, but their answers were judged to be "trying too hard to be funny", and were not included on the album.[53] McCartney's band mate Henry McCullough contributed the line "I don't know, I was really drunk at the time".[54]
[edit]Completion
Following the completion of the dialogue sessions, producer Chris Thomas was hired to provide "a fresh pair of ears". Thomas's background was in music, rather than engineering. He had worked with Beatles producer George Martin, and was acquainted with Pink Floyd's manager Steve O'Rourke.[55] All four members of the band were engaged in a disagreement over the style of the mix, with Waters and Mason preferring a "dry" and "clean" mix which made more use of the non-musical elements, and Gilmour and Wright preferring a subtler and more "echoey" mix.[56] Thomas later claimed there were no such disagreements, stating "There was no difference in opinion between them, I don't remember Roger once saying that he wanted less echo. In fact, there were never any hints that they were later going to fall out. It was a very creative atmosphere. A lot of fun."[57] Although the truth remains unclear, Thomas' intervention resulted in a welcome compromise between Waters and Gilmour, leaving both entirely satisfied with the end product. Thomas was responsible for significant changes to the album, including the perfect timing of the echo used on "Us and Them". He was also present for the recording of "The Great Gig in the Sky" (although Parsons was responsible for hiring Torry).[58] Interviewed in 2006, when asked if he felt his goals had been accomplished in the studio, Waters said:
When the record was finished I took a reel-to-reel copy home with me and I remember playing it for my wife then, and I remember her bursting into tears when it was finished. And I thought, "This has obviously struck a chord somewhere", and I was kinda pleased by that. You know when you've done something, certainly if you create a piece of music, you then hear it with fresh ears when you play it for somebody else. And at that point I thought to myself, "Wow, this is a pretty complete piece of work", and I had every confidence that people would respond to it.[59]
[edit]Packaging

It felt like the whole band were working together. It was a creative time. We were all very open.
“”
–Richard Wright[60]
The album was originally released in a gatefold LP sleeve designed by Hipgnosis and George Hardie, and bore Hardie's iconic dispersive prism on the cover. Hipgnosis had designed several of the band's previous albums, with controversial results; EMI had reacted with confusion when faced with the cover designs for Atom Heart Mother and Obscured by Clouds, as they had expected to see traditional designs which included lettering and words. Designers Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell were able to ignore such criticism as they were employed by the band. For The Dark Side of the Moon Richard Wright instructed them to come up with something "smarter, neater—more classy".[61] The prism design was inspired by a photograph that Thorgerson had seen during a brainstorming session with Powell. The artwork was created by their associate, George Hardie. Hipgnosis offered the band a choice of seven designs, but all four members agreed that the prism was by far the best. The design represents three elements; the band's stage lighting, the album lyrics, and Richard Wright's request for a "simple and bold" design.[8] The spectrum of light continues through to the gatefold—an idea that Waters came up with.[62] Added shortly afterwards, the gatefold design also includes a visual representation of the heartbeat sound used throughout the album, and the back of the album cover contains Thorgerson's suggestion of another prism recombining the spectrum of light, facilitating interesting layouts of the sleeve in record shops.[63] The light band emanating from the prism on the album cover has six colours, missing indigo compared to the traditional division of the spectrum into red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. (An actual prism would exhibit a continuous spectrum with no defined boundaries between colours, and coloured light within the prism.) Inside the sleeve were two posters and a sheet of pyramid-themed stickers. One poster bore pictures of the band in concert, overlaid with scattered letters to form PINK FLOYD, and the other an infrared photograph of the Great Pyramids of Giza, created by Powell and Thorgerson.[63]
In 2003 VH1 declared that The Dark Side of the Moon had the fourth-greatest album cover of all time,[64] and in 2009 listeners of the UK radio station Planet Rock voted the packaging the greatest album cover of all time.[65]
Since the departure of founding member Barrett in 1968, the burden of lyrical composition had fallen mostly on Waters' shoulders.[9] He is therefore credited as the author of the album's lyrics, making The Dark Side of the Moon the first of five consecutive Pink Floyd albums with lyrics credited only to him.[66][nb 5] The band were so confident of the quality of the writing that, for the first time, they felt able to print them on the album's sleeve.[9] When in 2003 he was asked if his input on the album was "organising [the] ideas and frameworks" and David Gilmour's was "the music", Waters replied:
That's crap. There's no question that Dave needs a vehicle to bring out the best of his guitar playing. And he is a great guitar player. But the idea which he's tried to propagate over the years that he's somehow more musical than I am is absolute fucking nonsense. It's an absurd notion but people seem quite happy to believe it.[3][nb 6]
[edit]Release



A live performance The Dark Side of the Moon at Earls Court, shortly after its release in 1973.
(l-r) David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Dick Parry, Roger Waters
As the quadrophonic mix of the album was not yet complete, the band (with the exception of Wright) boycotted the press reception held at the London Planetarium on 27 February.[67] The guests were, instead, presented with a quartet of life-sized cardboard cut-outs of the band, and the stereo mix of the album was presented through a poor-quality public address system.[68][69] Generally, however, the press were enthusiastic; Melody Maker's Roy Hollingworth described side one as "... so utterly confused with itself it was difficult to follow", but praised side two, writing: "The songs, the sounds, the rhythms were solid and sound, Saxophone hit the air, the band rocked and rolled, and then gushed and tripped away into the night."[70] Steve Peacock of Sounds wrote: "I don't care if you've never heard a note of the Pink Floyd's music in your life, I'd unreservedly recommend everyone to The Dark Side of the Moon".[68] In his 1973 review for Rolling Stone magazine, Lloyd Grossman declared Dark Side "a fine album with a textural and conceptual richness that not only invites, but demands involvement".[71]
The Dark Side of the Moon was released first in the US on 10 March 1973, and then in the UK on 24 March. It became an instant chart success in Britain and throughout Western Europe;[68] by the following month, it had gained a gold certification in the UK and US.[72] Throughout March 1973 the band played the album as part of their US tour, including a midnight performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York on 17 March, watched by an audience of 6,000. Highlights included an aircraft launched from the back of the hall at the end of "On the Run", which 'crashed' into the stage in a cloud of orange smoke. The album reached the Billboard album chart number one spot on 28 April 1973,[nb 7][73] and was so successful that the band returned two months later for another tour.[74]
[edit]Label
Much of the album's early State-side success is attributed to the efforts of Pink Floyd's US record company, Capitol Records. Newly appointed chairman Bhaskar Menon set about trying to reverse the relatively poor sales of the band's 1971 studio album Meddle. Meanwhile, disenchanted with Capitol, the band and manager O'Rourke had been quietly negotiating a new contract with CBS president Clive Davis, on Columbia Records. The Dark Side of the Moon was the last album that Pink Floyd were obliged to release before formally signing a new contract. Menon's enthusiasm for the new album was such that he began a huge promotional advertising campaign, which included radio-friendly truncated versions of "Us and Them" and "Time".[75] In some countries—notably the UK—Pink Floyd had not released a single since 1968's "Point Me at the Sky", and unusually "Money" was released as a single on 7 May,[67] with "Any Colour You Like" on the B-side. It reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1973.[nb 8][76] A two-sided white label promotional version of the single, with mono and stereo mixes, was sent to radio stations. The mono side had the word "bullshit" removed from the song—leaving "bull" in its place—however, the stereo side retained the uncensored version. This was subsequently withdrawn; the replacement was sent to radio stations with a note advising disc jockeys to dispose of the first uncensored copy.[77] On 4 February 1974, a double A-side single was released with "Time" on one side, and "Us and Them" on the opposite side.[nb 9][78] Menon's efforts to secure a contract renewal with Pink Floyd were in vain however; at the beginning of 1974, the band signed for Columbia with a reported advance fee of $1M (in Britain and Europe they continued to be represented by Harvest Records).[79]
[edit]Sales
The Dark Side of the Moon became one of the best-selling albums of all time,[80] (not counting compilations and various artists soundtracks), and is in the top 25 of a list of best selling albums in the United States.[47][81] Although it held the number one spot in the US for only a week, it remained in the Billboard 200 for 741 weeks.[82] The album re-appeared on the Billboard charts with the introduction of the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart in May 1991, and has been a perennial feature since then.[83] In the UK it is the sixth-best-selling album of all time.[84]
... I think that when it was finished, everyone thought it was the best thing we'd ever done to date, and everyone was very pleased with it, but there's no way that anyone felt it was five times as good as Meddle, or eight times as good as Atom Heart Mother, or the sort of figures that it has in fact sold. It was ... not only about being a good album but also about being in the right place at the right time.
“”
–Nick Mason[69]
In the US the LP was released before the introduction of platinum awards on 1 January 1976. It therefore held only a gold disc until 16 February 1990, when it was certified 11× platinum. On 4 June 1998 the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album 15× platinum,[47] denoting sales of fifteen million in the United States—making it their biggest-selling work there (The Wall is 23× platinum, but as a double album this signifies sales of 11.5 million).[85] "Money" has sold well as a single, and as with "Time", remains a radio favourite; in the US, for the year ending 20 April 2005, "Time" was played on 13,723 occasions, and "Money" on 13,731 occasions.[nb 10] Industry sources suggest that worldwide sales of the album total about 45 million.[86] "On a slow week" between 8,000 and 9,000 copies are sold,[80] and a total of 400,000 were sold in 2002, making it the 200th-best-selling album of that year—nearly three decades after its initial release. According to a 2 August 2006 Wall Street Journal article, although the album was released in 1973, it has sold 7.7 million copies since 1991 in the US alone.[87] To this day, it occupies a prominent spot on Billboard's Pop Catalogue Chart. It reached number one when the 2003 hybrid CD/SACD edition was released and sold 800,000 copies in the US.[47] On the week of 5 May 2006 The Dark Side of the Moon achieved a combined total of 1,500 weeks on the Billboard 200 and Pop Catalogue charts.[59] One in every fourteen people in the US under the age of 50 is estimated to own, or to have owned, a copy.[47]
[edit]Reissues and remastering


The Mobile Fidelity CD Ultradisc release of the album
In 1979, The Dark Side of the Moon was released as a remastered LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab,[88] and in April 1988 on their "Ultradisc" gold CD format.[89] The album was released by EMI on the then-new compact disc format in 1984, and eight years later it was re-released as a remastered CD in the box set Shine On.[90] This version was re-released as a 20th-anniversary box set edition with postcards the following year. Cover design was by Storm Thorgerson, designer of the original 1973 cover.[91] Some have suggested that on later CD pressings a faintly audible orchestral version of The Beatles's "Ticket to Ride" can be heard after "Eclipse", over the album's closing heartbeats. This may have been the consequence of a remastering error,[47] and is not audible on the original vinyl.
The original quadraphonic mix,[nb 11] though commissioned by EMI, was never endorsed by the band,[29] but to celebrate the album's 30th anniversary an updated surround version was released in 2003. Some surprise was expressed when the band elected not to use Parsons' quadraphonic mix (done shortly after the original release), and instead chose to have their current engineer James Guthrie create a new 5.1 channel surround sound mix on the SACD format.[29][92] Guthrie has worked with the band since co-producing and engineering their 1979 release, The Wall, and had previously worked on surround versions of The Wall for DVD-video, and Waters's In the Flesh for SACD. Speaking in 2003, Alan Parsons expressed some disappointment with Guthrie's SACD mix, suggesting that Guthrie was "possibly a little too true to the original mix", but was generally complimentary to the release.[29]
Referring to "On the Run", Parsons said: "After hearing his mix for a while, I think I'm hearing stereo with a bit of surround." He praised the mix for other songs, particularly "The Great Gig in the Sky": "I tip my hat to James for sorting out the correct bits of Clare's vocals. And he has improved on the stereo mix, which is a bit wishy-washy. The stereo is heavy on the Hammond organ, and Clare's a little too far down. In my quad mix, the Hammond is barely there, which shows you I really wasn't being faithful to the stereo mix. The quad sounds pretty good, but James still has the edge. His mix is definitely cleaner, and he's brought Clare out a bit more."[93] This 30th-anniversary edition won four Surround Music Awards in 2003,[94] and has since sold more than 800,000 copies.[95] The cover image was created by a team of designers that again included Storm Thorgerson. The image is a photograph of a custom-made stained glass window, built to match the exact dimensions and proportions of the original prism design. Transparent glass, held in place by strips of lead, was used in place of the opaque colours of the original. The idea is derived from the "sense of purity in the sound quality, being 5.1 surround sound ..." The image was created out of a desire to be "the same but different, such that the design was clearly DSoM, still the recognisable prism design, but was different and hence new".[91]
The Dark Side of the Moon was also re-released in 2003 on 180-gram virgin vinyl (mastered by Kevin Gray at AcousTech Mastering) and included slightly different versions of the original posters and stickers that came with the original vinyl release, along with a new 30th anniversary poster.[96] In 2007 the album was included in Oh, by the Way, a box set celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd,[97] and a DRM-free version was released on the iTunes Store.[95]
[edit]Legacy

The success of the album brought previously unknown wealth to all four members of the band; Richard Wright and Roger Waters bought large country houses, and Nick Mason became a collector of upmarket cars.[98] Some of the profits were invested in the production of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.[99]
Engineer Alan Parsons received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical for The Dark Side of the Moon,[100] and he went on to have a successful career as a recording artist. Although Waters and Gilmour have on occasion downplayed his contribution to the success of the album, Mason has praised his role.[101] In 2003, Parsons reflected: "I think they all felt that I managed to hang the rest of my career on Dark Side of the Moon, which has an element of truth to it. But I still wake up occasionally, frustrated about the fact that they made untold millions and a lot of the people involved in the record didn't."[33][nb 12]
It's changed me in many ways, because it's brought in a lot of money, and one feels very secure when you can sell an album for two years. But it hasn't changed my attitude to music. Even though it was so successful, it was made in the same way as all our other albums, and the only criterion we have about releasing music is whether we like it or not. It was not a deliberate attempt to make a commercial album. It just happened that way. We knew it had a lot more melody than previous Floyd albums, and there was a concept that ran all through it. The music was easier to absorb and having girls singing away added a commercial touch that none of our records had.
“”
–Richard Wright[103]
The Dark Side of the Moon frequently appears on rankings of the greatest albums of all-time. In 1987, Rolling Stone listed the record 35th on its "Top 100 Albums of the Last 20 Years",[104] and sixteen years later the album polled in 43rd position on the magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[105] In 2006, it was voted "My Favourite Album" by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's audience.[106] NME readers voted the album eighth in their 2006 "Best Album of All Time" online poll,[107] and in 2009, Planet Rock listeners voted the album the "greatest of all time".[108] The album is also number two on the "Definitive 200" list of albums, made by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers "in celebration of the art form of the record album".[109] It came 29th in The Observer's 2006 list of "The 50 Albums That Changed Music",[110] and 37th in The Guardian's 1997 list of the "100 Best Albums Ever", as voted for by a panel of artists and music critics.[111]
Part of the legacy of The Dark Side of the Moon is in its influence on modern music, the musicians who have performed cover versions of its songs, and even in modern urban myths. Its release is often seen as a pivotal point in the history of rock music, and comparisons are sometimes drawn between Pink Floyd and Radiohead—specifically their 1997 album OK Computer—which has been called The Dark Side of the Moon for the 1990s whereby the two albums share a common theme: the loss of a creative individual's ability to function in the modern world.[112][113][114]
[edit]Covers, tributes and samples
One of the more notable covers of The Dark Side of the Moon is Return to the Dark Side of the Moon: A Tribute to Pink Floyd. Released in 2006, the album is a progressive rock tribute featuring artists such as Adrian Belew, Tommy Shaw, Dweezil Zappa, and Rick Wakeman.[115] In 2000 The Squirrels released The Not So Bright Side of the Moon, which features a cover of the entire album.[116][117] The New York dub collective Easy Star All Stars in 2003 released Dub Side of the Moon.[118] The group Voices on The Dark Side released the album Dark Side Of The Moon A Cappella, a complete a cappella version of the album.[119] The bluegrass band Poor Man's Whiskey frequently play the album in bluegrass style, calling the suite Dark Side of the Moonshine.[120] A string quartet version of the album was released in 2004.[121] In 2009 The Flaming Lips released a track-by-track remake of the album in collaboration with Stardeath and White Dwarfs, and featuring Henry Rollins and Peaches as guest musicians.[122]
Several notable acts have covered the album live in its entirety, and a range of performers have used samples from The Dark Side of the Moon in their own material. Jam-rock band Phish performed a semi-improvised version of the entire album as part their show on 2 November 1998 in West Valley City, Utah.[123] Progressive metal band Dream Theater have twice covered the album in their live shows.[124] Milli Vanilli used the tape loops from Pink Floyd's "Money" to open their track "Money", followed by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch on Music for the People.[125] In 2008 the Problemaddicts released The Dark Side Of Oz—a hip hop concept album with instrumentals based almost entirely on Dark Side of the Moon and Wizard of Oz related samples.
[edit]Dark Side of the Rainbow
The Dark Side of the Rainbow, or The Dark Side of Oz, are two names commonly used in reference to rumours circulated on the Internet since at least 1994, that the Dark Side of the Moon was written as a soundtrack for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Observers playing the film and the album simultaneously have reported apparent synchronicities, such as Dorothy beginning to jog as the band sings "no one told you when to run".[126] David Gilmour and Nick Mason have both denied a connection between the two works, and Roger Waters has described the rumours as "amusing".[127] Alan Parsons has stated that the film was not mentioned during production of the album.[128]
Old 11-13-10, 08:15 PM
  #75  
DVD Talk Legend
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 12,032
Received 52 Likes on 42 Posts
Re: Album by Album: Pink Floyd

This was my first Pink Floyd Album i listened to. I remember it being recommended to me in high school. Back then the only kind of music i listened to was Britney Spears pop music. DSOTM changed my perspective on music and what it could achieve at an emotional level. I remember being blown away by it and went on and on about how great it was. I listened to the album all the time during high school and some days i would just put it on repeat.

My favorite song and of all time is "Us and them" An amazing emotianally charged song that had me in near tears every time i listen to it.

"Money" feels a bit catchy and quite unique to the rest of the Album. Although it felt out of place the fisrt few times listening to the whole ablum, it now feels like a part of the overall theme of Life and death.

"Time" is another great song that reminds me about how little Time we have left in this world. As i get older it becomes more and more meaningful.

"Brain Damage" and "Eclipse are great final songs that bring the album to an epic close.

Not only is DSOTM my favorite Floyd Album it is also my #1 favorite Album of all time. It forever changed my outlook on music and more importantly life.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.