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‘The Dark Side of the Moon:’ the story behind Pink Floyd’s best-selling rock album

Por: Yazmín Veloz7 de septiembre de 2022

The British band created a whole concept around this album, which is considered one of the most influential in the history of music.

It was March 1, 1973, when The Dark Side of the Moon was released. It was Pink Floyd’s eighth studio album and the one that consecrated the careers of the band formed by Roger Waters, Nick Mason, David Gilmour, and Richard Wright. With The Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd reached worldwide success.

The British band had amassed some success with their past albums in which they experimented with psychedelia under the guidance of the legendary Syd Barrett, who left the band due to serious mental health problems. As the Barrett era in Pink Floyd came to an end, the quartet cemented a progressive sound that they left for posterity in songs like Echoes, a composition that Waters himself described as an “aural poem.” Roger was the band’s main composer, while Gilmour and Wright did most of the musical composition.

International fame came in the early seventies with The Dark Side of the Moon, an album composed of 10 songs in which Pink Floyd addressed issues such as aging, greed, the pressure to be productive, as well as mental illness; all this through an indescribable sonic journey, which from beginning to end takes you through these human questions that will always be there.

For years, the band was stigmatized by the mental health problems suffered by one of its former members, so Waters and the company decided to capture that in songs like Brain Damage. “If your head explodes with dark forebodings too, I’ll see you on the dark side of the Moon,” says one of the verses of this song.

Live debut

“Speak To Me,” “On the Run,” “Time,” and “Breathe,” were premiered live before the album was recorded in a studio, during a show they titled Eclipse. The group aimed to see the public’s reaction, as well as to perfect the arrangements they could make for all the compositions. They finally began recording in 1972 at the iconic Abbey Road studio in London.

The influence of Alan Parsons

The English musician participated in the production of this album and even helped Pink Floyd with techniques such as loops that at that time were very difficult to record, so they resorted to the Abbey Road studios which were the only ones with sophisticated equipment at that time.

The legacy

The Dark Side of the Moon is the best-selling album in the history of rock music. In the United States alone, it sold more than 15 million copies, and data indicate that one out of every four families in the United Kingdom has this album in their collection.

This production was not only reflected in the quality of sales since beyond the commercial success, but the specialized critics also praised the work of Waters, Gilmour, and the rest of the band.

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva

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