Dark Side of the Moon: An Honest Review Pt. 1
Album Review Blog Series
By: Clark Sutfin
About Dark Side of the Moon
The progressive rock album, Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, is an album known to many people and has sold over 50 million copies worldwide since its release in 1973. This is one of my favorite albums and hasn’t gotten old after the hundred times I’ve listened to it.
Dark Side of the Moon is an album that includes many themes such as madness and insanity, pressures of life, passage of time, death, conflict, and greed. This album can be interpreted many ways depending on whether you pay attention to the music, the lyrics, or both and how they go together.
The album is designed in such a way that each half of the album is a continuous piece of music. At some points it is even hard to tell where one song ends and the next begins. The one natural break in the album occurs due to having to flip the record over to start the next side.
Pink Floyd makes use of this by changing central themes in the songs when the second half of the album is started. Dark Side of the Moon used advanced recording techniques of the time and made use of the unfamiliar synthesizer. These techniques included multi-track recording and the use of tape loops.
The first track is called “Speak to Me”. This song is basically a collage of all of the songs on the album. It begins with a bass drum (that was modified to sound like a heart) playing a steady “bum-bum” rhythm to sound like a heartbeat.
I think this symbolizes the beginning of life, as it is one of the themes throughout the album. As the song progresses there are multiple voice recordings that take place in most of the songs.
The phrases they are saying regard madness, violence, and death, which will be explained as the album progresses. The song ends with the vocal screams taken from “The Great Gig in the Sky”.
The next song is “Breathe”. It is kind of hard to tell where “Speak to Me” ends and “Breathe” starts. This song uses drums, guitar, bass, vocals, and the keyboard.
There are multiple effect pedals being used by the guitar such as a delay pedal and a flanger pedal. Going along with the stages of life theme, I think this song is supposed to be coming from the perspective of an wiser person giving the advice of “just breathe” to relax and not to sweat the small things.
A line in the first verse I think is important to the theme of life is, “Don’t be afraid to care”. I think this is supposed to mean to not be pressured to not do things that you really want to do.
I also think that the last two lines of the last verse (“And balanced on the biggest wave/You race toward an early grave”) is describing former band mate, Syd Barrett’s excessive drug use which would lead to insanity and later, death.