Roger Waters fronting the Band in Chile WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ ANDRES IBARRA,,_Estadio_Nacional_Chile_17.jpg

“There is no dark side of the moon really, matter of fact it’s all dark, the only thing that makes it look light is the sun”. What was once a comedic maxim by the Doorman of Abbey Road Studios, Gerry O’Driscoll, to four soon to be British Rock icons — has now become an inarguable farce of a statement. 50 years since its release, after becoming the fourth best-selling album of all time, it is hard for anyone to come to terms with the idea of there being a world without Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

“The album highlights people’s mundane fixations and then shreds them apart”

The Dark Side of the Moon was released on the 1st of March 1973 in the US and became an instant chart success. An unsettling yet inspiring collection, the album offers a commentary on everything from the anxiety at airports, to the greed of consumerism. Culminating to what Roger Waters once described the album as — an album which ‘makes people feel mad’. While this may have been the band’s intention (some of the album being legitimately uncomfortable to listen to) the album is nonetheless one of the most beautiful and memorable to the ears of millions of people.

The album lulls its listeners in with its trance-like “Breathe” and “Any Colour You Like”, before crashing this state of comfort with the urgency of “Time” and the volcanic passion outpoured by vocalist Clare Torry in “The Great Gig in the Sky”. As a project, the album highlights people’s mundane fixations and then shreds them apart.

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Tracks like “Time” focus on how people waste their lives by dedicating them to arbitrary and ultimately valueless pursuits. Nick Mason’s two-minute rototoms continue in their own self-absorbance until abruptly interrupted by Gilmour, making the song almost conscious of the time it has already wasted and determined to make up for lost time. Among the inspiration for the song, according to multiple interviews with Roger Waters was the realisation that they were no longer waiting for anything in life, and that they have been using up their time ever since being born.

Pink Floyd - Time (Official Audio)Pink Floyd

The Dark Side of the Moon however is not just a rebellious middle finger to society and capitalism but a meditation resulting from the loss of friend and band member Syd Barrett, who left the band on account of his disconnection from reality after heavy LSD usage. The album conveys how genius teeters on the brink of insanity within celebrity culture. Within the lyrics of “Speak to me”, Mason writes “I’ve been mad for fucking years […] been working me buns off for bands”, which along with “Breathe”, discusses the tiresome routine and extremes required to be in a band like Pink Floyd.


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“Brain Damage” depicts a metaphorical reconnection between Barrett and the rest of the band, with Waters’ singing “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon”, acknowledging that he will one day be (or perhaps already is) insane without knowing it. The final lyrics of the album in “Eclipse” complicates this farewell, to Barrett, by outlining that there is no dark side of the moon.

To this day the album remains in the top professional listings of all time, bringing wealth and success to all four members of the band hailing from Cambridge, and skyrocketing them into the public eye. Furthermore, fans of Pink Floyd can thank the success of Darkside for the band’s proceeding Golden Age with Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. After fifty years, Storm Thorgerson’s design of the prism spectrum cover, is still arguably and in my mind certainly the most identifiable, memorable, and quintessential album cover of all time. So to correct O’Driscoll’s original quip at Abbey Road studios which made its way into the song “Eclipse”, the dark side of the moon not only exists, but will continue to do so comfortably.