Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd (1973)
Pink Floyd is the quintessential 70s band but for me they will always represent the late 80s. That’s when I, along with my group of high school friends, obsessed over all of their albums the way teenage boys have for 40 years now.
Dark Side of the Moon is the band’s signature album, one that remained on the Billboard charts for a record 741 weeks. Its iconic cover art is familiar even to those who’ve never heard a note. And those who’ve heard it have likely fallen under its spell.
Two quick anecdotes come to mind when I think of Dark Side of the Moon.
First: During my senior year of high school, I once set the clock on my CD player to play today’s SOTD, ‘Time,’ at 6 a.m. as my alarm. The volume was cranked and the idea was that the cacophony of alarm clocks in the song would wake me. I so anticipated the moment that I wound up waking up naturally a few minutes before six. To this day, I invariably wake up just before my alarm clock goes off, and I trace that ability/curse back to Dark Side of the Moon.
And second: When Radiohead’s OK Computer was dominating the critical landscape and pouring through the headphones of music fans the world over, it was often compared to Dark Side of the Moon — for its thematic unity, its use of the studio, its groundbreaking status. I remember one YouTube comment by a kid who must have been in his teens, saying that he’s picked up the Pink Floyd album based on those recommendations and was BLOWN AWAY by how awesome it was. Forget Radiohead, this was the real deal!
I loved seeing another young man fall under the spell of this album (and this band) the way I did at the same age. Other bands will claim the throne of the brand of progressive, mind-expanding rock that Floyd pioneered, but they’re all just pretenders. This is the real deal — it’s timeless.
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.
Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.