Review: Pink Floyd :: The Dark Side Of The Moon (50th Anniversary Box Set)

Contemporaries who want to sell you superlatives as an unmistakable sign of quality should generally be suspect. But the chronicler’s duty literally forces you to blow the horn as well: Since its release on March 1, 1973, Pink Floyd’s eighth album has spent 967 weeks on the American Billboard 200 charts. Status January 2023. Of course with interruptions, but you can guess where a not inconsiderable part of the almost 50 million copies sold found a new home. It can be assumed that one or the other week in this or that country in the world will soon be added, because the record company and the band, the latter well-known for their pronounced penchant for drilling thick boards, can now be combined with the “50th Anniversary Box Set”. really no slouch.


Since the fan can hardly help but to strike. And there are enough fans. But one after the other: CD 1 and LP 1 contain newly mastered versions of the original album, supplemented by a twelve-page booklet in the digital version, as a black disc around the posters that were included at the time. CD 2 and LP 2 follow the same pattern with a concert recording from London’s Wembley Empire Pool from 1974. Book and poster also here. Two Blu-rays and an audio DVD deliver 5.1 surround, stereo and Dolby Atmos mixes, plus there are two 7″ singles (“Money”/”Any Color You Like” and “Us And Them”/ “Time”), a 76-page sheet music book and a 160-page photo book with black-and-white photographers from the tours from 1972 to 1975.

Pink Floyd established themselves as a consensus band with THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

A big board, as I said. Of course, that’s not exactly cheap either. But here we are dealing with a total work of art that gave the course of music history a quite astonishing twist 50 years ago: Previously, progressive rock music, even working with avant-garde ingredients, tended to be a minority program for a mostly student program, not entirely the experiment averse audience.

After that she had arrived in the middle of society, as they say, which not even the disco wave and punk furor could substantially change much shortly afterwards. Pink Floyd established themselves as a consensus band with THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, which is all the more remarkable given their soundtrack OBSCURED BY CLOUDS, released just nine months earlier, the psychedelic squirming experiment that concerned guardians once brought to heart likes to drag the offspring prophylactically to the local drug advice center.

It’s the contrasts that radiate that certain magic

Speaking of which: the Syd Barrett faction might lament the betrayal of the holy madness, especially as the imminent success of the work also seemed highly suspicious. However, to accuse the band solely of commercial calculations is gross nonsense, an increased sense of mission should have played the much more important role: You can certainly dare to play soft rock like the harmonious “Breathe (In The Air)” with its soft guitar slides, which has been around since 50 years to wattled daydreams on the flower meadow – when one shines with the immediately following synthesizer shot drive “On The Run” as a sound setter for the darker, more threatening aspects of existence.

“Time” perhaps best reconciles these two poles when film score-like minimalism is followed by voluptuous choirs. Which may also answer the question of why this album works so universally: It’s the contrasts that radiate that certain magic, from the technical and cold-sounding tape loops on “Money” to guest singer Clare Torry’s very large emotional cinema “The Great Gig In The Sky”. Intellectual coolness and emotional power – there is something for everyone here.

If one now seriously asks the question of how well the work has aged over the decades, one ignores the fact that – across generations – it was always somehow present and still is. It’s one of those albums that doesn’t really need to be rediscovered, since it’s long been part of the established canon of popular culture. The question is then rather: why? Perhaps because THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON is an almost perfect example of the music epoch in which the art form of long-playing records was at its peak – and in doing so reveals that this format could and can be much more than just the sum of its parts . In case of doubt, it has been a companion for almost 50 million people worldwide for 50 years. In good days and in bad.


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