The album cover has become more famous than Pink Floyd themselvesAndy Mabbett, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you took one of the most beloved albums of all time, remade it 50 years later without three of the four collaborators and removed everything that made it great? Well, Roger Waters was evidently curious about the outcome of this experiment and I hope he’s happy with the result. The Dark Side of the Moon, released in 1973, is one of the most iconic albums of all time, defining the 70s musical landscape and sporting an album cover more well known than Pink Floyd themselves. You would think that an album so renowned and loved couldn’t possibly be ruined. Nevertheless, for the 50th anniversary of the album’s release, we got exactly that: a butchering of one of rock’s greatest achievements.

“Pink Floyd epitomised the essence of a band”

To understand why Waters’ redux album fell short, we must first analyse what made the original record so great. In 1973, Pink Floyd epitomised the essence of a band. David Gilmour’s brilliant solos on songs like ‘Time’ and ‘Money’ are moments of timeless guitar virtuosity. Rick Wright contributed significantly to the atmosphere of the album and songwriting, penning ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’ and collaborating on many others. Roger Waters himself was in top form on this record, with iconic bass lines such as on ‘Money’ and deep, introspective and thought-provoking lyrics that managed to condense the human experience into a 40-minute project. Even drummer Nick Mason was credited as a writer on three of the songs. It was a masterful cooperative project and one that has stood the test of time.

So, does the redux version of the album achieve any of this? The short answer is not really, but there is more to it than that. As evident from the album’s lead single, ‘Money’, the guitar solos of the original project have been scrapped in favour of Waters’ grating vocals. These spoken word sections replace multiple genre defining solos and are a mixed bag at best. In ‘Money’, we are subjected to minutes of Waters’ mindless rambling, which manages to say so much yet so little.

“Throughout Waters’ project, I caught glimpses of greatness”

The lyricism shines brightest when he adapts the original album to contemporary issues, such as in ‘Any Colour You Like’ where he references different coloured flags, referring to the yellow and blue of Ukraine and rainbow of the LGBTQ+ flag. This adaptation cleverly demonstrates the timelessness of the album and shows how the original concept remains relevant. However, these spoken word sections, regardless of how poetic they get and how much effort has clearly been put into them, are generally a slog to listen to. Waters’ voice, sounding like he has been smoking his entire life, coupled with dull and uninteresting instrumentals, results in a lack of energy and dynamic variance, which renders the album tedious and monotonous.

My actions after I listened to The Dark Side of the Moon Redux revealed to me more clearly than anything why this album didn’t work. As soon as the record ended, the first thing I did was play the original. Throughout Waters’ project, I caught glimpses of greatness. Whether that be in the lyrics of ‘Time’ or the atmosphere of ‘Us and Them’, Waters’ project reminded me of what I loved about the original. The fact that he presented these musical ideas before immediately dashing them away made this one of the most agonising album listening experiences that I have ever experienced.


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To have created something so exceptional earlier in his life and then to have turned it into something so painfully average and dull was quite the feat. What this album shows above all is that Pink Floyd were always more than the sum of their parts. Roger Waters, despite being a genius who wrote many of their best songs, is not Pink Floyd. Sometimes, it’s better to admit that you work better with others.