In terms of sales, Dark Side is fourth on the all-time worldwide list, having sold more than 45 million copies while spending over 900 weeks on Billboard’s Top 200. It’s really pretty amazing that an album full of sound effects and instrumentals, and so few traditional songs, is nestled among Michael Jackson’s Thriller, The Eagles’ Greatest Hits, the Saturday Night Live soundtrack and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours as one of the most popular albums of all time.
Few films in recent years have received as much lavish praise as Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. A compilation of critics’ top ten lists has it in the #1 spot with a 200-point lead over the next title. It has been repeatedly called a masterpiece and even, by more than a few writers, one of the greatest films ever made.
Can any movie possibly be worthy of all that hype? Can Roma live up to those expectations?
My answer: It doesn’t, until it does. And then it somehow surpasses them.
My high school self would have had no problem with this choice, as I pretty much lived and breathed Pink Floyd in those years (not to mention that Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig was in pre-K).
It’s no surprise that so many of the songs I’ve featured over the past three weeks come from my adolescence. I’ll be curious to see if the same holds true for my readers’ lists (which I expect you to post in the comments!).
The Wall – Pink Floyd (1979)
The Wall, Pink Floyd’s two-disc concept album, came within a month of not making this list. Released in November of 1979, this nonetheless feels like a very 70s album to me.
Of course, I personally didn’t discover it until the late 80s, along with the rest of Pink Floyd’s catalog. Along with Wish You Were Here, Dark Side of the Moon and Animals, this record became the soundtrack of my high school experience.
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.
It’s funny how these days, when CDs and digital music are the norm, you still see so many artists sticking to the concept of “sides.” Often track listings on CDs are broken into two groups and even labeled as distinct sides of music.
Increasingly, too, artists are releasing vinyl versions of new albums. It’s nostalgia, I guess, for a time when the physical limitations of the medium forced artistic decisions. Why not have a “hot” and “cold” side, say, if vinyl demanded that you split your album in half?
But today I’m featuring an artist that was way ahead of its time, looking past the idea of sides to the yet-to-come full-length CD format years before it was available.