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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

29 in 2009 - Pink Floyd: "Dark Side of the Moon"

Pink Floyd:  Dark Side of the Moon
Originally Released:  March 10, 1973
Genre:  Progressive Rock
Rating:  8 out of 10 Stars

So after all the voting wrapped up, there could only be one Pink Floyd album.  To tell the truth, I'm kind of glad it was Dark Side of the Moon.  Now to say I'm completely unaware of Pink Floyd's music would be false.  In fact, of all the artists in the 29 in 2009 series, I would say that I'm most familiar with Floyd's music than any other artist or band.  Back in high school I owned a copy of The Wall (until that d-bag Matt threw it against a tree and completely ruined disc 2) and I've even heard Dark Side of the Moon before too.  Which brings me to the Wizard of Oz thing. 

There, I acknowledged it.  Let's move on.

Why I decided to allow DSOTM to even be included in this series is because I really wanted an excuse to hear more Floyd, and being a fan of the song "Money" (the only song I was remotely familiar with on the record), it seemed like a good place to start.  I was right to do so, as it turned out, because Dark Side of the Moon is just a flat-out great album!  As far as progressive rock goes, it easily deserves a spot at the top of any genre-specific "Best of" lists.

It starts out with the beautiful and haunting "Speak to Me/Breathe."  The slow build-up into the song-proper ("Breathe") is a bit too slow, but the climax into the first chords of the song is one music's greatest moments.  I remember thinking that 12 years ago when I last listened to the album, and listening to it now only confirms it.  The song itself, as I said, is a thing of absolute simplistic beauty.  "On the Run" on the other hand, is worthless.  But I haven't tripped balls I may be mistaken.

"Time" is a fairly decent piece of music, though its length can be a distraction.  The only thing that really keeps me listening throughout its 7 minutes is the solid guitar-playing courtesy of David Gilmour.  "The Great Gig in the Sky" is mostly-instrumental, though there are a bit of spoken word lines and a pretty sweet vocal performance from Clare Torry.  Does she say anything of sustinence?  Nope.  But it sounds pretty killer.  And this of course brings us to "Money," the most accessible song on the album, which is probably why I've always liked it so much.  It's got a bouncy blues progression, pop vocals, and only the coolest use of a cash register sample ever!  How could anyone not like this song?

"Us and Them." Dang.  The first time I heard this track, whenever that was, I remember thinking about how boring it was.  Now it's easily one of the best tracks on the record, giving "Money" a serious run at the top spot.  It is gorgeous from start to finish, with some of the best performances I've heard by any artist yet in this series.  Love it! "Any Colour You Like?" No thanks.  You know for some reason, I find myself not liking these instrumentals all that much.  Granted, I do see the value in them, but I find myself skipping over them after repeated listens.  The album closes with the fantastic duo of "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse."  Both are great songs, but "Eclipse" is particularly epic despite its short length, and serves as the perfect close to the album. 

So I like this album a lot.  Yeah.  Would I say I'm a Pink Floyd fan?  Not yet, but I'm a definite fan of Dark Side of the Moon, which is a good start.  A friend is telling me that I have to listen to Wish You Were Here, and I'm definitely more inclined to do so after taking this one out for a spin.  One thing's for sure, I'm definitely more of a fan than I was a few weeks ago, and I can't help but feel more complete as a person (and certainly, a music-blogger) as a result.

Verdict:  Classic

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