The Dark Side of the Moon
Release date: March 24th, 1973
Recorded at: EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London (June 1972-January
The future began here. Recorded at Abbey Road on the
new 16-track desk, seamlessly constructed and employing a thematic
'concept' to link the songs, Dark Side was the album which swiftly
projected the Floyd from cult band to cornerstones of rock culture.
A Quadrophonic mix by Alan Parsons, authorised by EMI and launched
at the London Planetarium, caused a rumpus, with the band refusing
to attend. This aside, the album was a huge success, and is still
their biggest in commercial terms, with 28m copies sold worldwide.
It seems rather appropriate that "Dark Side" was EMI's
first rock CD release. If there was a prime candidate for the new
digital medium, then this was it. Inevitably, the release of "Dark
Side" on CD helped give the album a new lease of life. Its
success was 80 great--legend has it that there was an EMI factory
which did nothing but churn out "Dark Side" CDs--that
it enabled the album's U.S. chart run to top 730 weeks.
It is the fourth best seller rock album of all time - just behind
"Thriller", "Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack"
and Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors". It stayed on Billboard's
top 200 album chart until April 23, 1988, and after that they changed
the format so that once an album dropped off, it could not return.
It stayed there for 723 weeks, the longest of any album, ever.
Nick Mason: "Dark Side started as a sequence called Eclipse.
Most of it was developed in rehearsals for live shows, and we played
it live at the Rainbow in London and opened shows with it in America
in 1972. The concept grew out of group discussions about the pressures
of real life, like travel or money, but then Roger broadened it
into a meditation on the causes of insanity. The linking of all
the sounds and the voices was very well done, I think, and we introduced
an early synthesizer, the VCS3, right at the end. The recording
was lengthly but not fraught, not agonised over at all. We were
working really well as a band, But it wasn't only the music that
made it such a success. EMI/Capitol had cleaned up their act in
America. They put money behind promoting us for the first time.
And that changed everything."
David Gilmour: "The big difference for me with this album was
the fact that we'd played it live before we recorded it. You could't
do that now of course, you'd be bootlegged out of existence. But
when we went into the studio we all knew the material. The playing
was very good. It had a natural feel. And it was a bloody good package.
The music, the concept, the cover, all came together. For me it
was the first time we'd had great lyrics. The others were satisfactory,
or perfunctory or just plain bad. On Dark Side, Roger decided he
didn't want anyone else writing lyrics."
As a side note, it is rumoured that initial U.K CDs were mastered
not from the original tapes, but from second-generation copies.
The story among Floyd buffs is that Dave Gilmour discovered this
and ordered a shame-faced EMI to rectify this situation straight
David Gilmour Vocals, Guitars, VCS3
Nick Mason Drums, Tape Effects
Roger Waters Bass Guitar, Vocals, VCS3
Rick Wright Keyboards, Vocals, VCS3, Tape Effects
Dick Parry Saxophone on "Us and them" and "Money"
Clare Torry Vocals on "The great gig in the sky"
Barry St.John Backing vocals
Alan Parsons Sound engineering
Hipnosis Cover and photos
1. Speak to Me [Mason]
"I've been mad for fucking years, absolutely
years, been over the edge for yonks, been working me buns off for
"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most
of us...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not
2. Breathe [Waters, Gilmour, Wright]
Breathe, breathe in the air.
Don't be afraid to care.
Leave but don't leave me.
Look around and choose your own ground.
Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.
Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don't sit down it's time to dig another one.
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.
3. On The Run [Gilmour, Waters]
[Female announcer at an airport, announcing flights
to various destinations including "Rome":] "Live
for today, gone tomorrow, that's me, HaHaHaaaaaa!"
4. Time [Mason, Waters, Wright, Gilmour]
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to
watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
So you run and you run to catch up with the sun
but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
Every year is getting shorter never seem to find
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.
5. Breathe (reprise) [Waters, Gilmour, Wright]
Home, home again.
I like to be here when I can.
When I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire.
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.
6. The Great Gig in the Sky [Wright]
"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 gotta go sometime."
"If you can hear this whispering you are dying."
"I never said I was frightened of dying."
7. Money [Waters]
Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay.
Money, it's a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team.
Money, get back.
I'm all right Jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, it's a hit.
Don't give me that do goody good bullshit.
I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet.
Money, it's a crime.
Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away.
"HuHuh! I was in the right!"
"Yes, absolutely in the right!"
"I certainly was in the right!"
"You was definitely in the right. That geezer was cruising
for a bruising!"
"Why does anyone do anything?"
"I don't know, I was really drunk at the time!"
"I was just telling him, he couldn't get into number two. He
was asking why he wasn't coming up on freely, after I was yelling
and screaming and telling him why he wasn't coming up on freely.
It came as a heavy blow, but we sorted the matter out"
8. Us and Them [Waters, Wright]
Us, and them
And after all we're only ordinary men.
Me, and you.
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do.
Forward he cried from the rear
and the front rank died.
And the general sat and the lines on the map
moved from side to side.
Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who.
Up and down.
But in the end it's only round and round.
Haven't you heard it's a battle of words
The poster bearer cried.
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside.
"I mean, they're not gunna kill ya, so if
you give 'em a quick short, sharp, shock, they won't do it again.
Dig it? I mean he got off lightly, 'cos I would've given him a thrashing
- I only hit him once! It was only a difference of opinion, but
really...I mean good manners don't cost nothing do they, eh?"
Down and out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about.
And who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about?
Out of the way, it's a busy day
I've got things on my mind.
For the want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died.
9. Any Colour You Like [Gilmour, Mason, Wright]
10. Brain Damage [Waters]
The lunatic is on the grass.
The lunatic is on the grass.
Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs.
Got to keep the loonies on the path.
The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paper boy brings more.
And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.
The lunatic is in my head.
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me 'til I'm sane.
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There's someone in my head but it's not me.
And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.
"I can't think of anything to say except...
I think it's marvelous! HaHaHa!"
11. Eclipse [Waters]
All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy,
beg, borrow or steal.
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say.
All that you eat
And everyone you meet
All that you slight
And everyone you fight.
All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
"There is no dark side of the moon really.
Matter of fact it's all dark."