assault the well defended: Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon"

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i can't decide who's more annoying. the legions of fratboys who praise the dsotm/wiz of oz mashup, the suburban loners who extract life-changing existentialist beliefs from dsotm, or the post-lydon second-rate indie douchebags who debunk all that isn't diy or ironic or part of _their_ canon.

it's a pretty good album. a tad ridiculous in parts, but contrary to popular belief, the floyd were only beginning to shove sticks up their arses when they recorded it. any post-wywh hate is justified, with exceptions. now bugger off.

you will be shot (you will be shot), Thursday, 16 June 2005 04:57 (9 years ago) Permalink

once again, i repeat: roger waters is a poor man's frank zappa. more so on most non-DSOTM records, but even here it's apparent to MY ears.

i guess that i was one of those "suburban loners" mentioned above -- went so far as to get one of those pretentious "gold CDs" of this (to show off my CD player and my alleged conossieur-ness), so i once loved it. i don't feel any need to listen to it these days, but i suspect that i'd still like it a lot if i listened to it.

p.s.: joy division STILL knocks my socks off (the pixies never knocked my socks off, but i still liked 'em fine).

Eisbär (llamasfur), Thursday, 16 June 2005 05:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

In my collection for the last 32 years, have probably played it about three times in the last 30 years, but I never got rid of it. No great feelings about it one way or the other, unlike WYWH, Animals and even The Wall, all of which I did get into fairly seriously at their respective times. I thought it a nice gesture that Syd gets a cut of the DSOTM and WYWH royalties.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 16 June 2005 06:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

Elvis T, you don't happen to have that DSOTM live set on slsk, do you?

Lingbertt, Thursday, 16 June 2005 07:27 (9 years ago) Permalink

Bought when it came out, listened to it usually through headphones. But radio overkill/overexposure on this and subsequent Pink Floyd albums ruined the group for me. Even before punk broke I was beginning to find them cold & repellent. Today DSOTM holds interest mainly as a historical footnote: the use of tape, overdubs, sound effects etc weirdly prefigures the rise of sampling in rap/R&B.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Thursday, 16 June 2005 09:10 (9 years ago) Permalink

It's not terrible, it's very pleasant, easy on the ears etc. A bit like Dire Straits perhaps?

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 16 June 2005 09:14 (9 years ago) Permalink

The Coldplay of the '70s!

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 16 June 2005 09:26 (9 years ago) Permalink

I suppose it's more like Radiohead but with better vocals

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 16 June 2005 09:29 (9 years ago) Permalink

I'll drink to that. Lately I've been hearing Coldplay as the 21st Century's Supertramp.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Thursday, 16 June 2005 09:33 (9 years ago) Permalink

Or Barclay James Harvest?

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 16 June 2005 09:34 (9 years ago) Permalink

X, Y And Z is certainly the Be Here Now of the 21st century...

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Thursday, 16 June 2005 09:41 (9 years ago) Permalink

Here's a quote on DSOTM from http://www.popjustice.co.uk:

"If you listen to 'Dark Side Of The Moon' while watching The Wizard Of Oz, you will fall asleep - and wake up gay"

OTM!!!

Neil Stewart (Neil Stewart), Thursday, 16 June 2005 10:34 (9 years ago) Permalink

I actually came onto this thread specifically to post that Popjustice article.

For this visiting this site IN THE FUTURE, here's a permalink:

http://www.popjustice.co.uk/2005/06/pink-floyd-vs-mcfly-whos-best.htm

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Thursday, 16 June 2005 10:49 (9 years ago) Permalink

I suppose it's more like Radiohead but with better vocals

You are not alone.

"Lately I've been hearing Coldplay as the 21st Century's Supertramp."

Neither are you.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 16 June 2005 10:52 (9 years ago) Permalink

Nice one, Dom!

(x-post)

Neil Stewart (Neil Stewart), Thursday, 16 June 2005 10:55 (9 years ago) Permalink

Dreadful, dreadful record. Handy to have almost everything I dislike about serious "ROCK" on one platter, but that's about it.

Soukesian, Thursday, 16 June 2005 15:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

It's okay, I guess, but kind of boring. Not really something I would get very excited about or bother to buy.

o. nate (onate), Thursday, 16 June 2005 16:18 (9 years ago) Permalink

There's a great story in Giles Smith's "Lost In Music" book where he describes listening to Dark Side just after it came out. He says he and some mates were in this older, cooler guy's basement, and your man had lit joss sticks, rolled a joint, turned off the lights and put the needle on side one. They listened in complete silence to side one, then, still silent, the guy got up dramatically, switched to side two, sat down again, they all listened to it again, in complete silence, and when it finished, there was five minutes of silence from the room. Then one of the guys let out a massive ripper of a fart. Classic!

musicjohn73 (musicjohn73), Thursday, 16 June 2005 16:56 (9 years ago) Permalink

No point in assaulting this. It is considered a great album for a reason.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 16 June 2005 16:59 (9 years ago) Permalink

"Coldplay of the 70s" heh heh, I like that!
In that same spirit, I present the "Dark Side Of The Moon" of the '50s:

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Thursday, 16 June 2005 17:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

Coldplay are great. Pink Floyd were great. And, yes, they had a lot in common.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 16 June 2005 17:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

Dammit. Try again:

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Thursday, 16 June 2005 17:04 (9 years ago) Permalink

I've come around to it. I like that they break out of 4/4 sometimes on this.

Sundar (sundar), Thursday, 16 June 2005 17:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

The people here seem to be so into rhythm, but really interesting rhythmic stuff, such as odd time signatures, they aren't into at all. Some people need to realize there is a world outside the dancefloor.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 16 June 2005 17:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

There is no world outside the dance floor, Geir. We are all on the dance floor. You are dancing to the beat. Resistance is futile.

o. nate (onate), Thursday, 16 June 2005 17:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

Everyone knows Syd Barrett Floyd is the only Floyd that matters.

Adam Bruneau (oliver8bit), Thursday, 16 June 2005 18:16 (9 years ago) Permalink

At first, Syd was in the band, and they were great.

Then, Syd left the band, and they were still great. Only in a different way.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 16 June 2005 18:25 (9 years ago) Permalink

Some people need to realize there is a world outside the dancefloor

Gier, today is the day that I write in my calendar that we agree.

(It's how this philosophy gets applied after the fact that we don't agree on...)

But Dark Side of the Moon is beyond my scope.

(Dad Rock)

PappaWheelie (PappaWheelie), Thursday, 16 June 2005 18:28 (9 years ago) Permalink

slurry of shapeless, yawnsome dreck

Wow. that's a bit harsh, no?

In any case, I don't think I can be objective about this album anymore. I used to be a huge Pink Floyd fan, and this was the first of theirs I'd layed ears on. Prior to the `Floyd, rock began and ended with Kiss for me, so Dark Side of the Moon was a real....er....ear-opener. I'd be lying if I said I played it a lot, and my freshman year of college, there was a jackass down the hall from me who literally played it EVERY DAY and soul-denting volumes, so I went out of my way not to hear it for a long time after. That said, I still think there are some truly sublime moments on it (largely thanks to Dave Gilmour's guitar).

But, I'd take Animals over it any day.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 16 June 2005 19:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

Also, not for nothing, but citing the Cocteau Twins as "atmospheric" is just as much of a cliche as calling Dark Side.. "atmospheric".

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 16 June 2005 19:43 (9 years ago) Permalink

This was the first compact disc I ever owned. I still have it.

A group of us once got suckered by this guy into watching Wizard of Oz with Dark Side playing underneath it. After we made him stop the movie, a friend of mine told me that he had never heard this album before. I was surprised, but asked him what he thought of it.

He said he liked it all right, but had no idea that there was all that ambient conversation. First time he heard the laughter at the beginning, he thought that it was one of us.

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Thursday, 16 June 2005 20:26 (9 years ago) Permalink

I was at this, why was I ever there, football camp thing the summer that damn thing came out, somewhere in the sticks, every morning I'd drink some orange juice, go fuck around in 90-degree weather, throw up the orange juice and powdered eggs I'd eaten three hours earlier, get yelled at, and then we'd all hunker down and listen to that stupid album on 8-track. So that memory alone (I decided to join band the next year) makes it a horrible experience for me. I associate it with insurance salesmen for Jesus with those elasta-band stretch white socks who were going to make Football Playin' Men of us--these coaches. Very "Dazed and Confused," only I hadn't smoked pot by then. But I kinda like those wailing chick vocals, who was that, why do I remember this since I don't own the album--Liza Strike? She was good but not as good as Merrie Clayton on the Stones tune of a few years earlier. And it freaks me out that this was considered "progress" from 1969, too, those cash registers.

Anyway, that's my story. The only Floyd I ever really liked is, of course, the first album, "Apples and Oranges" and "See Emily Play" and "Arnold Layne," and I used to enjoy those people who'd learned "Wish You Were Here" and played the song on their acoustic guitars at parties to impress people. A simpler time, and Geir, *no one* was dancing!!

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Thursday, 16 June 2005 23:36 (9 years ago) Permalink

Elvis T, you don't happen to have that DSOTM live set on slsk, do you?

It's on backup... I'll fish it out here in a couple of days - keep checking my folder.

Elvis Telecom (Chris Barrus), Thursday, 16 June 2005 23:42 (9 years ago) Permalink

(I didn't mean to suggest that there's something inherently superior about odd time signatures, just to be clear. Just that sometimes I think Pink Floyd can start to feel a little bit predictable and plodding with too much straight slow 4/4 stuff so a change is nice.)

Sundar (sundar), Thursday, 16 June 2005 23:46 (9 years ago) Permalink

Wow. that's a bit harsh, no?
No, it isn't too harsh at all. I was never able to listen to it without yawning or getting frustrated. So the "yawnsome" part is justified. The "shapeless" part fits, but I'll have to ponder why its so "shapeless"...maybe because the songs are so similar (only the cash register/clock/bad Stax vocals make one song noticeably different from the next.)
Also, If you've had three different incidents where someone made you a mix tape and then wasted an entire side with "selections from the most boring parts of DSOTM", you'd feel cheated and used as well as tired of this albums undeserved accolades.
It's akin to the Dave Matthews fans who insist that if you "reallly listen to it" I'll become a fan. And I keep explaining that, yes, I already have "reallly listened to it" and was deeply dissappointed.
Three times.
I've fallen for it THREE TIMES!
I bought it on tape....listened to it twice...and hocked it.
I bought it on CD...forced myself to re-listen to it two more times...and angrily hocked it again.
And a year ago, I copied a friends copy (onto a CDRW), forced myself to listen to it again, and felt absolutely no shame about wiping the CDRW after I had dozed off somewhere around "Any Colour You Like".
It felt like a baptism to finally exorcise this album and disown it completely.
Come, ILM, let's denounce this Great Shaitan together. Send it back to the Pit where it belongs.

Also, not for nothing, but citing the Cocteau Twins as "atmospheric" is just as much of a cliche as calling Dark Side.. "atmospheric".
Welll...actually the cliché is to use "Cocteau Twins" and "Ethereal" in the same sentence.

xxpost

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Friday, 17 June 2005 00:00 (9 years ago) Permalink

John Cale's Music for a New Society really is what The Dark Side of the Moon could have been.

Ian Riese-Moraine: exposing ambitious careerists as charlatans since 1986. (East, Friday, 17 June 2005 00:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

How do you mean?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Friday, 17 June 2005 00:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

From Mister Agreeable...
Their debt in this respect to Floyd is acknowledged. Dark Side... remains, however, what it always was - an immaculately honed, strenuously produced, consistently textured, fastidiously polished turd.
A-HA! There's a perfect summation of the "Shapelessness" that I spoke of earlier! Like Pale Greyish Blue Maltomeal that just sits congealing in your ears. Exactly. Exactly!
Danke, Mr Stubbs.

As for the comment I made in my first post, maybe I was a bit harsh about the "Floyd == Classic" crowd when I called them "Tin-Eared".
I meant cloth-eared.
Sorry. My Bad.

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Friday, 17 June 2005 00:07 (9 years ago) Permalink

The only problem with it is that screaming backup gospel shit at the end of the first side!

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Friday, 17 June 2005 02:48 (9 years ago) Permalink

It's on backup... I'll fish it out here in a couple of days - keep checking my folder.

much obliged.

Lingbertt, Friday, 17 June 2005 03:28 (9 years ago) Permalink

"The people here seem to be so into rhythm, but really interesting rhythmic stuff, such as odd time signatures, they aren't into at all. Some people need to realize there is a world outside the dancefloor."

This is why Geir likes Captain Beefheart so much.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 17 June 2005 07:39 (9 years ago) Permalink

The people here seem to be so into rhythm, but really interesting rhythmic stuff, such as odd time signatures, they aren't into at all.
I've never understood why you aren't so into rhythm. Without rhythm, melodies devolve into a series of random notes without a structure to hold it together. Being "into" melody without being "into" rhythm is the same thing as saying "I like, in theory, the notion of being inside of a spacetime continuum...except for the time part...and the space part, if dancing is involved."
Oh, wait...
I'm talking to Geir.
Never mind. Please, Carry on with what you were all doing before I interrupted.

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Friday, 17 June 2005 10:42 (9 years ago) Permalink

The psuedo-jazz affectations of the saxophone. Being another mainstream band that thought adding black female vocalists makes things more soulful (I'm not sure of who sings on record, but I know they were guilty of this later). AOR affectations that clip off meandering songs before they develop and make possible singles weaker because they only really fit in the scope of the album. Songs about time and money that make amazing observations.

so ridiculously OTM.

Wish you were here should be on that album just so i could hate it even more.

Animals is far superior and actually the only floyd i can even think about listening to right now.

AaronK (AaronK), Friday, 17 June 2005 11:24 (9 years ago) Permalink

I prefer "Wish You Were Here" - the less I gotta listen to their portentious prattle, the better.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 17 June 2005 12:11 (9 years ago) Permalink

The people here seem to be so into rhythm, but really interesting rhythmic stuff, such as odd time signatures, they aren't into at all. Some people need to realize there is a world outside the dancefloor.
-- Geir Hongro (geirhon...), June 16th, 2005.

and then there's those OTHER people here who seem to be so into melody, but really interesting melodic stuff, such as odd or dissonant melodies, they aren't into at all. Some people need to realize there is a world outside straight melody.

Am0n, Friday, 17 June 2005 13:22 (9 years ago) Permalink

The only problem with it is that screaming backup gospel shit at the end of the first side!

b-b-b-but they had to have some screaming gosepl shit there. That was the tornado scene!

PappaWheelie (PappaWheelie), Friday, 17 June 2005 13:49 (9 years ago) Permalink

The "shapeless" part fits, but I'll have to ponder why its so "shapeless"...maybe because the songs are so similar

It's either all in the pretty much the same tempo or all in the same key, I can't remember which. Didn't one of the band members admit later that they realized this after the fact and should have varied it a bit? Anyway, I think the shapeless description is dead on although another word that would fit is monotonous.

walter kranz (walterkranz), Friday, 17 June 2005 15:05 (9 years ago) Permalink

(aren't you glad this thread doesn't have the word "grime" in it?)

Lord Custos Omicron (Lord Custos Omicron), Saturday, 18 June 2005 01:13 (9 years ago) Permalink

The Grimey Side of the Moon

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 18 June 2005 01:22 (9 years ago) Permalink

Whatever happened to Custos?

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 2 November 2008 01:49 (6 years ago) Permalink

Custos = Dom

№ 1 (libcrypt), Sunday, 2 November 2008 01:53 (6 years ago) Permalink

people who go out of their way to attack records like Dark Side are pathetic to me. I mean, it's not one of my favorites, but it isn't offensive or anything. Like it or don't, jesus.

Kevin Keller, Sunday, 2 November 2008 02:00 (6 years ago) Permalink

Hey, I like it! I think Christgau's comment about it being kitsch says more about him than it

iago g., Sunday, 2 November 2008 02:09 (6 years ago) Permalink


Doris Troy

energizing the base (briania), Sunday, 2 November 2008 02:12 (6 years ago) Permalink

They were actually playing that Dub Side of the Moon thing in the bar I was in last night. Pretty good, and bot just in that "Well, it's better than the reggae tribute to the Police" way.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Sunday, 2 November 2008 02:13 (6 years ago) Permalink

ftr There were three black female backing singers on Dark Side doing the three part harmony stuff, the vocalist on The Great Gig is Claire Torry who is white.

MaresNest, Sunday, 2 November 2008 20:42 (6 years ago) Permalink

Thanks MaresNest, I knew she was white.

iago g., Sunday, 2 November 2008 22:49 (6 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

RIP Roger The Hat

It was with sadness that we heard the news this week that Roger "The Hat" Manifold, a prominent and much loved roadie in the 1970s for Pink Floyd, Johnny Winter, and many others, passed away on October 31st, 2009. He got his famous nickname due to his habit of wearing a top hat (and other such headwear) during his roadie duties.

He is best known to Floyd fans as one of the more notable voices heard on The Dark Side Of The Moon, providing lines such as "Live for today; gone tomorrow. That's me!" and "I mean they're gonna kill you, so if you give them a short, sharp shock, they don't do it again.... I mean, good manners don't cost nothing, do they? Eh?"

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 12 November 2009 02:06 (5 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...

A suggestion that on later CD pressings a faintly audible orchestral version of The Beatles's "Ticket to Ride" can be heard after "Eclipse", over the album's closing heartbeats, may be due to a remastering error.[47]

Wow, I've been wondering about that for years. I always assumed this was intentional. And I never knew it was "Ticket To Ride..." Thats... kinda amazing.

billstevejim, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 04:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't have a problem with this record at all. The only real criticism I could level at it, is that if I'm in completely the wrong mood, 'Us And Them' draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaags like a motherfucker.

Turrican, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

pink floyd rules

tylerw, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

I hate the sound of this record

max buzzword (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 17 February 2012 23:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

forward he cried
from the rear
and the Pink Floyd rules

Euler, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

A suggestion that on later CD pressings a faintly audible orchestral version of The Beatles's "Ticket to Ride" can be heard after "Eclipse", over the album's closing heartbeats, may be due to a remastering error.
if you play "ticket to ride" backwards you can hear ringo say "pinnnnk floyyyyyd rullllles"

tylerw, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

In fact, come to think of it: Nick Mason's drumming. Are those drum tracks completely laced with marijuana or could he just not be bothered? :D His drumming has this real 'I caaaaan't beeeeee arrrrsed' feeling about it, which I really don't get from many other Pink Floyd albums.

Turrican, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

huh, the part where the drums come in on us and them is like my favorite part of this record

tylerw, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

hell yes

Euler, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

should I turn off "Jamaica Jerk-Off" to listen to "Us & Them"

ridiculous question, I know

Euler, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

The most powerful drumming on the record has to be on either 'Time' or 'Eclipse'. The part where 'Brain Damage' segues into 'Eclipse' is THE moment on this record for me.

Turrican, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have no idea what this means but it rules

Euler, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

should I turn off "Jamaica Jerk-Off" to listen to "Us & Them"

ridiculous question, I know

― Euler, Friday, February 17, 2012 11:24 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yes :)

Turrican, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think if you read that graph starting right when "Us & Them" starts, it rules

Euler, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

lollll i love that graph.

tylerw, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

wtf

Euler, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

by which I mean, it rules

Euler, Friday, 17 February 2012 23:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

no idea what i was on about 6 years ago re Gilmour's vocals. i love those vocals!

piscesx, Saturday, 18 February 2012 04:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

So I guess I'm the only one whose ever turned up the volume really loud after the "Eclipse" fadeout. I was like 13 when this happened, so forgive me.

billstevejim, Saturday, 18 February 2012 04:36 (2 years ago) Permalink


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