This is Why I Love Music
I was reading this morning and noticed that Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album was released 41 years ago today. Wow… 41 years. Dark Side of the Moon was one of the first albums I ever bought. It was so different. I was probably 14 at the time and somehow it seemed as though I was older or my musical tastes were more mature or refined when I bought it.
So after I found out it was 41 years old I happened to read a little more about the album. I found out that:
- Released 41 years ago
- Recorded at Abbey Road
- Alan Parsons and Alan Parsons Project
- Album reflects on struggles of founding member Syd Barrett
- remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988
- estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide
How freakin’ cool is that? Recorded at Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles recorded their music.
And the sound engineer who mastered the album, Alan Parsons. Yes, that Alan Parsons who went on to record music with other studio musicians and called it the Alan Parson Project. Different musicians all the time, no touring, just guys recording jam sessions.
Concept Album and Themes
I know this is something that I’ve heard many times, but it was a “concept” album. I know, what the hell does that mean? Well, I know the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour was also a concept album. From my perspective it seems to mean that the entire album tells a story. It’s not just 10 songs on the same piece of vinyl. It’s a collection of songs that are all inter-related. Each song telling a part of the story, building on the previous works and ultimately conveying a feeling, a mood and a message.
In this case the album is about one of the founding members, Syd Barrett, and his battle with mental illness. It also discusses greed (Money), conflict and the passage of time. A far cry from the artists of today who simply write about one failed relationship after another.
Even the album artwork was unique. with a ton of thought put into it. The album was originally released in a gatefold LP sleeve (new at the time). The record label and the band manager wanted something “smarter, neater—more classy”. The prism design was inspired by a photograph that Roger Waters had seen during a brainstorming session. The band was offered a choice of seven designs, but all four members agreed that the prism was by far the best.