Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon

   There is blurred border between European psychedelic and progressive rock. Many artists starting in late sixties with psychedelic songs and endless jamming became progressive in turning of seventies. Characteristic feature was changing improvised passages into wide composed structures in type of suites. Among bands making this turn possible was Pink Floyd. And after Ummagumma (1969) and Atom Heart Mother (1970) Pink Floyd was widely recognized as progressive rock band. Experiments with new electronic sounds and complex constructions were characteristic feature of their music. Well prepared continuation of these albums was released in 1971 album Meddle with over 23 minutes long composition Echoes filling the entire B-side of the album. After these classic progressive albums, Pink Floyd released in 1972 Obscured by Clouds, album being in some parts the soundtrack to film La Vallée, by Barbet Schroeder.
   Next, eighth album of the band was the next attempt to solve the dilemma between the depth of thought and readability. And this time artists found perfect balance joining together rock explicit and capacity of the ambiguity. The project known as The Dark Side of the Moon is almost a model realization of concept album. It shows the portrait of young people condition in sixties and early seventies with their needs and fears. It includes clear critical view of economic reality in post prosperity era. Clear elements of social and political criticism are strongly connected to everyday situations and common experience. Thus the symbolic picture shows suggestive elements of universal story every listener can understand on his own way. Connections can be trace through all of the material, continuity and associations are present in every layer of the work, in lyrics, in composition, in performance, in graphic design.

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

   Many elements decided The Dark Side of the Moon is perfect work comprising many elements of reality and reflecting consciousness of more than one generation. Unlike some previous albums there were also more songs in typical verse form with compact well written solos. At first sight it was set of songs with instrumental parts, and then there have come the presence of more qualities of the work. Next listening was showing some more semantic and structural layers with creative work of every member of the band, Roger Waters, Richard Wright, David Gilmour and Nick Mason. With background vocals and singer Clare Torry who co-authored with Richard Wright famous vocalize The Great Gig in the Sky; the whole work has rich and dense character. This was needed since structures were simplified. And the work was done by one more creative musician, engineering the recording Alan Parsons. He did outstanding job, opening whole new era of recording. Besides he was creative musician of his own which demands a dedicated post on this blog.
   The main power of The Dark Side of the Moon is its conceptual unity and diversity of artistic resources. Symbols, graphics, poster, lyrics, postcards, instrumental solos of band members and sideman Dick Parry, whose tenor saxophone solos in Money and Them or Us set the new trend of jazz sounding tenor saxophone in rock music. Maybe this is why this album became immediately a success, giving the band instant fame and taking place on charts for record period of 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. In effect none of previous listeners was disappointed and many new listeners were convinced and start to buy other Pink Floyd albums. The Dark Side of the Moon became iconic album of seventies and a kind of great synthesis of intellectual and artistic issues in European rock music. Five stars rating is provided for the few productions like this.

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