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Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon Research Paper

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Updated: Oct 16th, 2021

Pink Floyd is one of the largest in the history of modern music groups, for over 30 years they created their own musical world in which you can find the elements of almost all contemporary directions – from the ambient to the nu-metal.

The group was formed in London based on a student group, which in mid-1960’s played by Waters, Rick Wright and Nick Mason. In 1965, they were joined by Barrett. In the early years the leader was Sid Barrett (real name, Roger Barrett). This team, like many other British groups of that time, served as the rhythm-and-blues in the spirit of «Rolling Stones» and ever-changing names: Sigma-6, Meggadeaths and Abdabs. With the advent of Barrett, the new name The Pink Floyd Sound, composed of the names of two American blues singers – Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

The first few years most of the repertoire of classic blues group accounted for and rhythm-and-blues songs, against which Barrett has developed the unusual guitar technique. The group as a whole is gradually becoming more visible and popular on the London stage.

At the insistence of a group manager, Jenner, Barrett wrote more his own songs. In March 1967 the first single of group Arnold Layne, which won 23 seats in the British hit parade, but caused a small scandal in the press and on radio because of the content. Song told about a man who stole clothes at night.

The second single See Emily Play, summer 1967, was even more successful and reached the 6th place of the British hit parade.

But at that time a group emerged the complications because of Sid Barrett. The musicians later explained that the problems that have arisen because of the free and peculiarities of its fragile nature of creative, protesting against all kinds of commercial games and rules, due to the fact that he abused the drug LSD. Nevertheless, in August 1967, they issued a long-playing debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, which has become a sensation in England. Free sounds, offbeat style of play Barrett, wonderful melodies and strange texts produced a strong impression. But the group remained in crisis. Musicians invited guitarist (David Gilmour). Some time Gilmour and Barrett spoke of «Pink Floyd» together, but in 1968 Barrett left the group, and Gilmour was the only guitarist of the group.

They managed to get out of the crisis quickly; in 1968 they released a second album A Saucerful of Secrets, which consisted of short songs with unusual sounds and long and lengthy songs – pre-images of later monumental works.

The group spoke a lot, experimented not only with sound, but the visual side of concerts, using multiple light equipment, pyrotechnics and other special effects. «Pink Floyd» worked in the film. They created the soundtracks for such movies as More by Barbeth Schroeder in the 1969, and The Valley (in 1972 the album has got the name – Obscured by Clouds, Zabriskie Point by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1970.

In the end of 1960’s they worked with heavy sound. Some songs, like Nile Song from the album More sounded impressive, even against the backdrop of grunge 1990’s and contemporary «new metal».

They are increasingly attracted by large musical forms and in 1970 a studio album with Atom Heart Mother. This – twenty-minutes composition has already symphonic scale, while the album is short. The album Meddle, 1971, opens its famous theme in One of These Days. The second side of the disc is devoted entirely to the major music work called Ecoes.

By the early 1970’s, they have a solid reputation with a certain circle of admirers. It is difficult to assume that their next album The Dark Side of the Moon, 1973, becomes an event in the world of modern music, and that group win worldwide fame. Their strengths are not only great songs and a high level of performance, but also technological innovations. The group carefully and painstakingly worked on the sound, using the latest technology, and these efforts fell short of themselves: the disc surprise listeners. For several years, she remained on high ground tops England and America, which in itself is rare. Success of dark side of the moon is largely due to the fact that «Pink Floyd» managed to find a combination of innovative effects in a simple form of execution. There was a symbiosis of serious and popular music.

The next album Wish You Were Here, 1975, was no less successful. Some songs are the disc associated with a figure of Sid Barrett. That refers to the first songs Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Vocal parts in songs Have a Cigar performed by Roy Harper, English singer, the hero of songs Hats Off To Roy Harper! from the album of the group «Led Zeppelin».

There was success of legitimate groups, and after a concept of album Animals, 1977, based on a book by George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The line of social satire, always worry Roger Waters (who by the end of 1970 became the leader of the group), has continued into the next album, The Wall, 1979. The theme of isolation, separation of people, vicious, false education in modern society desperately sounded in the album, consisting of two discs. The album was successful, and one of the songs Another Brick in the Wall led the British tops. In 1980 director Alan Parker withdrew the film version of the album of the same name (Blake, 2008).

But despite the success of the album The Wall group was in a position far from harmonious. Critics literally smashed the next album. In fact, «Pink Floyd» as a single group no longer existed. Each of the musicians was actively engaged in their own projects. In 1985 Waters, in response to the suggestions of colleagues to discuss the future of «Pink Floyd», announced his resignation from the group. Gilmour, Mason and Wright began working on new album, but retain the title «Pink Floyd». Many trials with Roger Waters began. He tried to ban the musicians to use that name. However, the court ruled not in his favor. Waters responded to the activities of former colleagues was an impressive show «wall», organized by them in honor of the elimination of the Berlin Wall in 1990.

In 1987 «Pink Floyd» fired the album Momentary Lapse of Reason and went to great tour, for reasons which in 1988 released a double live album Delicate Sound of Thunder.

Gilmour, Mason and Wright continued their work, but now they quickly transform the old material than produce anything new. In 1992 issued a collection consisting of 7 most famous albums, some rare songs and a great book on the history of the team, Shine On. In 1994 there came album of new songs «Pink Floyd» called Division Bell, and in 1996 – a concert disc Pulse. In 2001 they were again reminded of a nostalgic compendium Echoes, which includes various songs of all time in the life of the group.

“Dark Side” is one of the first vinyl album quadraphonic sound. Of course, to appreciate the beauty of innovation only few were lucky, in the location of which was related equipment.

In addition to them «Pink Floyd», a significant contribution to the creative victory was made by Alan Parsons and specially invited to record an album singers – especially the famous “sessional” saxophonist Dick Perry and singer Clare Torry.

Initially, there was a few totally unrelated to each other musical pieces. During the regular meeting Nick Mason finally formed the main theme of the future album – “stresses and tensions of human life.” Later, when the musicians were working in the rehearsal, Roger Waters has made some refinements in the design: it must be a story about all those things that bring a person with the mind.

Working title of the album irrelevant to the Moon did not have. Actually, it was not even the name, number and catalog company Harvest – SHVL 804.

One of the best cover groups is considered to be «The Machine». Feedback professionals, their “Dark Side” – show not much inferior to the original.

According to observations of experts British music newspaper “Sound”, “write back of the” most other works were used as musical accompaniment sex show in Amsterdam (Blake, 2008).

And one of the most memorable fragments of the album is vocal improvisation of Clare Torry in the songs of “The Great Gig In The Sky” – the seventeenth years later was reproduced in advertising painkiller “Nurofen” (Mason, 2005).

In Britain the album was sold for the first time at the 24-th of March, 1973 (in the U.S. – one week later). The world premiere of “dark side” was held at London’s planetarium. Part of the audience, was frankly bored during a light show. To such as himself to entertain, some started to whiff California haze, and some have decided to complement the show features impromptu “shadow play” – there were the “Eagles” and “doves” on the walls, began to dance “rabbits” and other animals. (Blake, 2008)

Speech fragments, which alternate with songs of the album, for the most part, were thought out by bystanders, who were stopped on the street near the station Abbey Road, offering to answer questions written on cards. The questions were like: “whether you ever abused?”, “What do you think about death?” etc. At times, with the “back side” hear voices of people well known. For example, the phrase «I can not say exactly», delivers MacCalloch Henry, the group’s guitarist, Paul McCartney «Wings». Commenting on his right, Henry was referring to quarrel with his wife. (At that time «Wings» recorded in the vicinity of «Floyd». According to floyds “They tried to unleash the concept has been talk of Paul and Linda. But they refused, citing the sole employment. In fact, argue bad language, Couple McCartney is still supported, but their answers were so banal that “floyds” decided to do without them.)

In 1974, a French company, which manufactures low beverages, offered «Pink Floyd» a deal. Musicians take part in the advertising firms in some publications, and the company could sponsor their Dark Side-round. Have become quite routine thing now, in mid-70h tour such sponsorship was still in the gimmick. Fans and teams themselves «Pink Floyd» listened to this promotion as “ambiguous”. All the proceeds from the musicians eventually handed over to charitable foundations. (Mason, 2005)

Released in 1972 album “Obscured By Clouds” was rather cool and greeted the audience and critics (it would be more accurate to say “unfairly cool” – “Obscured…”, perhaps one of the most undervalued in the history of popular music albums). Many then believed that «Floyd» “ran out” and that, in general, we expect from them nothing more than accounting. With “back side” yesterday “sexton” with one voice talking about “new horizons of rock music and open musicians’ hitherto unknown recording capabilities. Thanks to” Dark Side “group has gained cult status and multimillion state (Mason, 2005).

However, Waters, rather, was referring to the back of the drop in their World Group success. “After” Dark Side “everything went awry. In fact,” Dark Side “was the last of their cooperation in good faith. Subsequent 10 years of joint creative life resembled a dead marriage, which is nothing other than divorce, the end could not. “Call by the album line “and if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes” ( “and if all of a sudden your team starts to play in different way”) was indeed prophetic.

By no means they did not expect resounding success of “dark side” musicians at one time stayed in the extreme difficulties – what to do next? The success of “Dark Side” obliged much.

The film “The Wall” directed by Alan Parker, the basis of which was taken at the same album «Pink Floyd», there is a scene where a school teacher finds at the main hero Pink his poems, and so on laughs at him as a “rhymer. Sound at this point line – but a quote from the song “Money”.

A journalist once joked in this regard: “The idea is that offspring of parents-Marxists, who in addition at one time was married to convinced, must suffer the inconvenience of collapse suddenly on his wealth. Nothing happened!”

For the first time, “Dark Side” was executed from the scene at the 20 January, 1972. The truth came when the musicians only to “Money”, and then had to stop – “for technical reasons.” The next evening the next album sounded almost entirely. Not only had the song “Eclipse”, which simply has not yet been written. Instead, it sounded instrumental jazz composition – in the view of Roger Waters, did not suitable for the finals. In early February, during a speech in Bristol Group “Back side” was presented already entirely. However, in some places stage version of his sound is quite different from the “canonical” version.

Highlight for “dark side” was invented by “a school friend of Sid Barrett and Roger Waters Storm Torgenson, for which it was by no means the first experience of cooperation with the group. Having listened ready music, Torgenson soon appeared in the rehearsal musicians from 7 sketches (Mason, 2005).

Comments about the fact that the same actually means that prism, issued no less than on the album name. “Firstly, it seemed to me that it would be quite appropriate for the group, known for its light show – said Storm. – Secondly, this prism, I think, clearly sends the thematic essence of the album – the hidden ambition and life on the brink of madness. Indeed, the triangle is considered a symbol of ambition. ” (Pyramid – another visible expression of that symbolism.)

Later prism was reproduced on the cover of a comic-stage programs show “Dark Side” and eventually became one of the symbols of «Pink Floyd». It, for example, can be seen at the end of CD-edition of Selected Works Group.

Musicians of «Pink Floyd» unable to explain why “Back side” has gained the cult status of the album.

The cost of CD “Dark Side” from the very first CD-circulation, released in Japan in the early 80 years, is at home of «Pink Floyd» 20 pounds (more than $ 30).

“Dark side”, in fact, is a sound canvas. The CD is only a “forced” pause – before the composition of “Money”, which began two side vinyl original. Not without «Pink Floyd» sometimes referred to as CD-team, appeared before the era of CD.

According to some “floyds” if to listen before the end of “Eclipse”, turn the volume knob up to maximum, you can hear a sound not quite distinctly musical piece. Some believe that this is a “beatles” thing, while others assure that this “anything from the classics.” How and – importantly – for what purpose was recorded this obscure piece, now can not even explain musicians themselves.

“This album of the internal capabilities, which originally vested in every person. Opportunities to make one’s own life is something you want, unless, of course, is that people want, – said Roger Waters. – But often the forces of evil are stronger than we are, and we and not realize until the end of its capacity.

This is where it goes in the album. “However, their reasoning Waters finishes in very unexpected words:” This is the album of hope. ”


  1. Blake Mark , Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd, Da Capo Press, 2008
  2. Fitch Vernon, The Pink Floyd Encyclopedia, Collector’s Guide Publishing, Inc.; 3rd edition, 2005
  3. Harris John , The Dark Side of the Moon: The Making of the Pink Floyd Masterpiece, Da Capo Press, 2006
  4. Mason Nick , Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd, Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ), 2005
  5. Schaffner Nicholas, Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey, Delta, 1992
  6. Pink Floyd, Pink Floyd Guitar Tab Anthology, Warner Brothers, 2002
  7. Thorgerson Storm, Curzon Peter, Mind Over Matter 4: The Images of Pink Floyd, Vision On; 40th Anniversary edition, 2007
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