Saturday, July 1, 2017

You've been listening to Dark Side Of the Moon all wrong.

The great thing about vinyl is that it allows you to hear music you've loved for years with fresh ears. Today I discovered that the best way to listen to Pink Floyd's classic Dark Side Of The Moon is side B then side A. Money always feels a bit out of place on side B. As a straight forward rock song and radio hit it's one of Pink Floyd's finest moments. Money' bought Pink Floyd success in America but at a cost. They were used to thoughtful and respectful crowds but now had to deliver to Americans who expected more funky rock numbers like their big hit. It usually feels out of place on this album as well. As track 1 side B it doesn't match the sound or vibe of the tracks before it. 'Money' makes more sense as an opener. Not just because it's a funky rock 'n roll number. But also because with the darker themes of the songs that follow it, such as death, madness, life, the universe and everything. 'Money' implies that greed is the gateway to madness. Which the rest of the album's existential crisis only seem to reflect more. 'Us & them' immediately sets a darker tone lyrically and the smoother, experimental sound for the rest of the album from there on. This way the anti-war message of the song is more prominent as it's the first impression of the rest of the album you hear and it isn't drowned out by the more ambient pieces. 
The original closer of Eclipse would usually sound far too epic for the middle of an album but the heartbeats and snippets of dialogue sync it perfectly with the start of side A. Without the straight forward rock n roll of 'money' DSOTM continues to get more and more experimental with the early electronica pieces 'on the run' and 'speak to me'. While 'the great gig in the sky' is nowhere near as tense or as huge sounding as 'eclipse' it is a more sombre, yet fitting end to the album. This way Dark Side ends without a bang, but an opportunity for reflection and thought on what has been hear up to that point and much like Eclipse the wild passionate screaming hints that the listeners journey into madness may be complete. 
Maybe there was a misprint and we've all been hearing this album wrong for decades. Obviously it's usually best to hear an album the way the artist intended. At the very least this is a way of making a classic album that many music nerds like me are already familiar with, seem new and exciting again.

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