The Dark Side Of The Moon is Pink Floyd’s masterpiece, and in fact one of the greatest masterpieces in the history of recorded music. From start to finish, the album is an epic musical adventure, boasting an impressive mix of art rock, jazz fusion and blues, underpinned by emotive guitar melodies, sonic synth patterns and beautifully crafted vocals. Only briefly does the album take a moment to pause, as you are instead fed an almost constant stream of this musical wonder. Rather than simply listening to a collection of songs gathered together on one record, Pink Floyd have created an album in its truest sense – an impressive musical project, divided into its various sections across the span of the album, but united in its meaning and connotative sound.
As the first heart beats fade in at the start of the album, Pink Floyd’s journey begins, and we are taken along with them, gripped to every sound right through to that same heart beat at the very end. While at one moment the album is slowly pacing its way through the delicate, smooth sounds of ‘Breathe’, or the even more beautiful piano-led ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’, it quickly resumes the tension hinted at from the beginning, whether it be through ‘On The Run’, the extraordinary introduction to ‘Time’, or the more rocky ‘Money’.
In subject matter too, The Dark Side Of The Moon flips from one topic to another as each new track emerges from the magical sounds of its previous song. Pink Floyd wrote the album intentionally as a concept, looking at the various stages of human experience and issues affecting people’s everyday lives. The mundane aspects of life are dealt with in ‘Breathe’ (“all you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be”) and are quickly transformed into something more sinister in ‘Time’, which acts as a warning to those wasting their lives doing nothing. The tragedy of death is channelled through ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’, with session vocalist Clare Torry’s screaming acting as a musical metaphor of the concept, and mental illness and madness underlie the lyrics of ‘Brain Damage’, themes which regularly rear their dark head throughout the album.
The true magic of The Dark Side Of The Moon is something too difficult to put into words. Only by listening to the album do you experience the incredible emotional response triggered by the music and the lyrics, and begin to understand just why it is one of the greatest and most unique records ever made.