Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon

It is nothing short of a miracle that this album came out in 1973… if Dark Side of the Moon was released today, it would still sound phenomenal.

There comes a time in life when you come across that one thing that makes you realize everything is going to be okay. For me, that one thing is music. As a graduating senior, stress is inevitable but the beauty of music always keeps me hopeful.

Fifty years ago, an album was released which changed music forever. It remained on the Billboard charts for fifteen years. It has been considered one of the most influential albums ever. It is also considered one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It is the Dark Side of the Moon.

Pink Floyd was a band, which up until this point, was almost directionless. But when they put their hearts and souls into accomplishing something as magnificent as this, music lovers got a timeless masterpiece that forever defined Pink Floyd as one of the greatest bands of all time. When you consider such classic albums like this, you may find yourself calling them “overrated” or “overplayed”. But you can never nit-pick an issue with this record as it is still relevant.

Dark Side of the Moon is a concept album that deals with several emotions we are forced to face that boil down to life itself. With ideas such as greed, war, insanity, and death, the album finds a way to connect with everyone on some level.  The arrangements are also so unique, yet brilliant. The album opens with an instrumental that isn’t even music. It is a bunch of noises that build tension to finally give us Breath (In the Air). A beautiful track that shows a ​signature blues and also brings a form of their earlier psychedelia. The great thing about this album is that every song flows smoothly into the next.

After the ominous On the Run, we have Time which is my personal favorite song on the album. The intro is so dark and foreboding. Roger Waters’ clever lyrics are so brutally honest as it expresses how sooner or later we will die, so we should appreciate what we have. David Gilmour gives a guitar solo that is so progressive and practically becomes a voice itself. The fact that the end of the song is a continuation to Breathe(In the Air) goes to show how these are some of the most cohesive songs put together which makes you want to listen to the album from beginning to end.

With these dark ideas of death, there is also The Great Gig in the Sky. The song’s arrangement is very unorthodox compared to what you’d expect from any song. This is because it isn’t an instrumental but there are no lyrics. It is just a woman using her voice to express the fear of death. Richard Wright’s piano adds something that helps to make this such a beautiful, and powerful, piece of music. With that said, this album is the best representation of Pink Floyd as it shows every band member working together to make something magical.

The harmonies on Us and Them sound massive and show how this is undoubtedly one of the best-produced albums in all of music history. It is nothing short of a miracle that this album came out in 1973 because if Dark Side of the Moon was released today, it would still sound phenomenal.  The album closes with two songs that really feel like a finale and a representation of how we can feel depressed, but it is up to us to work for our happiness. Dark Side of the Moon is an album that undoubtedly defined this band’s career. If this was Pink Floyd’s only album, I wouldn’t doubt they would still be considered one of the best bands. I couldn’t say that to anyone else.

As I mentioned, music has always been a passion to help me through stressful times. This untouched accomplishment is something that connects with me whether you hear Money on Rock 102 or decide to listen to the album from beginning to end, I can guarantee that you will leave feeling blown away by this band’s profound talent.

(This is Seth Chaffee’s last story for the Smoke Signal.)