Review Summary: True piece of art.
This is my first review here, so please go easy on me. :)
Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" is probably the most influential albums in the history of music.
After releasing one of their best albums to date, "Meddle", in 1971 and the spectacular soundtrack to the film "La Vallée", "Obscured by Clouds", Pink Floyd retired to the studio to record this masterpiece.
As you all probably know, Roger Waters (PF's main lyricist, bassist and also vocalist) wrote all the lyrics for this album.
Vocals were done mostly by PF's guitarist, David Gilmour, backed by Richard Wright, while Waters sang on "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse".
The production on this album is stellar and waaaay advanced for it's time, add Alan Parsons as recording engineer and you have a true piece of art.
Along with the music itself you have some cool sound effects (cash registers, clock alarms, airplane explosion, etc.) and snippets of dialogue.
The concept of the album is about exploring the human state of mind.
Speak to Me: the first song on the album is actually and intro, where you can hear heartbeats and sound effects predicting the following songs on the album. Nothing really blistering, but adds a lot to the concept.
Personally, I think this is a sort of prediction to the following events on the "character's" life. 4/5
Breathe: the first real song on the album, begins with some nice slide guitar done by Gilmour . After that, you are first exposed to Gilmour's warm voice backed by Richard Wright. A nice little song which deals with birth. 5/5
On the Run: after "Breathe" ends, the music takes a new shape. I honestly cannot describe this song except for the fact that is totally done on synthesizers and in my mind I think it deals with the fear of flying. 3.5/5
Time/Breathe - reprise: once the "echo" of the explosion in "On the Run" ends, you are somehow "attacked" with clock alarms . Once the alarms are off, there is that AMAZING drum intro done by Nick Mason and then you can hear Gilmour's voice again, but also Rick Wright does some vocals too. The greatest part of this song is the mind-blowing guitar solo which is one of the greatest things Pink Floyd ever done. "Time" deals with aging and wasted life. "Breathe - reprise" is a nice coda which has almost the same structure like "Breathe" but with different lyrics, dealing with death.
Definitely one of the highlights on the album. 5/5
The Great Gig in the Sky: the second highlight on the album. Composed by Richard Wright, containing some beautiful piano parts and some amazing slide guitar work, this song describes what is beyond death. There are no lyrics on this song, but you have Clare Torry, who does a fantastic job describing the afterlife, though she doesn't say any words. 5/5
Money: probably the most well known song on the album, mainly because it was released as a single in USA. "Money" is very different from the other songs, but still fits perfectly to the concept. It begins with some cash registers sound effects and some funky bass lines. There are 2 highlights on this song: the saxophone solo done by Dick Parry, and an excellent guitar solo. The tittle of the song is very self - explanatory , dealing with the evil that money causes. 4/5
Us and Them: my favorite song on the album. The second song composed by Richard Wright is perfect in any way. From the first relaxing saxophone solo to the warm verses to the spectacular choruses and to the second "explosive" saxophone solo. The song's lyrics deal with violence and war. You MUST hear this song. 5/5
Any Colour You Like: a really weird and psychedelic instrumental. Just listen to it with your eyes closed and it will take you to different places (a little alcohol adds to the effect very much :)) ). I think it deals with the fear of making choices in life. 4.5/5
Brain Damage: this is the first song on the album in which Roger Waters does the vocals. The song structure is very simple: verse/chorus/verse/chorus + a synthesizer solo. The lyrics deal with mental illness. 5/5
Eclipse: a "marvelous" ending to the album. This short song is sung by Roger Waters and ends with heartbeats. 5/5
One thing to point out: if you have the 30th anniversary SACD you can hear
faintly an orchestra during the heartbeats at the end of the song.
Overall a classic album and I think everyone on this planet should listen to it at least once in his/her lifetime.