On this week in 1973, Pink Floyd released their eighth studio album, Dark Side of the Moon. Their first number one album in the U.S. and one of the best-selling albums of all time, Dark Side of the Moon remained on the Billboard chart for 741 weeks. I could go on and on about how well this album did in the U.S. and the U.K., but nothing is as important as the significance of the content engraved inside of it, marking new landscapes for the world of psychedelic rock and conceptual albums.
The album was started during live performances as proposed by bassist Roger Waters, and later on developed into studio recordings until completion. The band experimented with recordings of sound effects, mixing, fading, analogue synthesizers, and multi-tracking to create an effective manifestation of reality in the sound itself. In creating the album artwork, artist Storm Thorgerson was inspired by the band’s light show, and used the prism as a symbol of “thought and ambition” going along with the subject of the album’s lyrics.
Beginning and ending with the fading sound of a heartbeat, the album is continuous and sonically symbolic as it smoothly unravels throughout. Gliding sound waves take one through what may be interpreted as the cycle of life, interjecting with voices and outside sounds that surround us in our everyday lives. The album addresses topics such as the pressure of time, existence of greed, atrocities of war, mental illness, and the inevitability death. It is all encompassing of our existence as human beings and place in the presence of the uncertain universe, thus embodying the mysterious and unknown dark side of the moon.