Song of the Day #1,413: ‘Time’ – Pink Floyd

Best Albums of the 70s – #16
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.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
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.

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,413: ‘Time’ – Pink Floyd

  1. Dana says:

    This was the very first CD I bought back in the day when the CD rack at the record store (remember those?) was a single bin consisting of a dozen or so albums of that then new format.

    I had only a passing familiarity with Pink Floyd through songs played on the radio and perhaps a planetarium laser show. However, because I had always heard how wonderful Pink Floyd was to listen to while stoned, I had assumed the music would not hold up if one were not high and, since I wasn’t into drugs, presumed their music wouldn’t resonate with me. Still, I knew this album was considered a classic and had heard from others (who were not stoners) that it would sound particularly wonderful on CD, so I took the chance on my first CD purchase.

    I played the CD incessantly for the next several months (mostly while tripped out on acid –just kidding:)) and I quickly understood what all the fuss was about with regard to the band and this album. It is truly a wonderful CD, and can be fully enjoyed while perfectly sober.

  2. Amy says:

    as long as you’re a man? What is it about this album that so captures the attention of teenage boys? While I certainly can appreciate it, I don’t begin to have the same sort of adoration shared by Clay and Dana, and I don’t think I’ve ever met another woman who does. Yet, generation after generation, the album continues to seduce another decade’s worth of teenage boys. I so don’t get it.

  3. Clay says:

    When I saw Pink Floyd in concert in the late 80s, there were plenty of women in the audience — mostly hippie types smoking weed and swaying, eyes closed.

  4. Dana says:

    I think teenage boys obsess (and have obsessed) over a number of rock bands that most girls don’t get. When I was growing up, that list included Kiss, Van Halen, AC/DC, The Who, Led Zeppelin–etc. I think that part of the lack of interest is the harder or at least less commercial sound of these bands as well as the subject matter of the lyrics. Not a lot of love songs in the catalogs of these bands, as compared to the Journeys, REO Speedwagons of the world.

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