Pink Floyd- The Dark Side of the Moon
Progressive Rock (prog rock) is a subgenre of rock music, emerging from the psychedelic genre. The genre evolved during the late 1960s/early 1970s pushing the boundaries of rock music regarding rhythm, instrumentation and structure.
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon from 1973, although released during the development of this genre, still stood out and brought progressive rock to the mainstream. The album was a huge success, with an estimated 45 million copies sold, standing as Pink Floyd’s most popular album. The band focused more on the technology aspect, using innovative recording methods instead of live performances, introducing new sounds, psychedelic effects and a prominent use of synthesizers.
“It seems to deal primarily with the fleetingness and depravity of human life, hardly the commonplace subject matter of rock.”- RollingStone.
The album explores heavy themes such as greed, conflict, morality, and mental illness. These were partly inspired by the mental deterioration of Syd Barrett, the founding member of the band, in particular, Brain Damage; ‘The lunatic is in my head, you raise the blade, you make the change…you rearrange me til I’m sane’
The themes can be found in other tracks such as Money, one of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs. The track includes a rhythmic looped sound effect of a cash register to match the 7/8 blues bassline which follows. Here, the track explores the theme of greed and morality; ‘Money, so they say, is the root of all evil today’.
What I found most effective about The Dark Side of the Moon is how each track glides into the next, almost like a narrative told through the music more so than the lyrics. As well as the effective use of continuity, I was also fascinated by the use of reprise in the album, as I feel it gives a sense of familiarity to its audiences, especially for a first-time listener. E.g. Breathe in the air, and Time.