Monday, 14 December 2015

Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973)




Pink Floyd "The Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973)

Speak To Me/Breathe/On The Run/Time/The Great Gig In The Sky//Money/Us and Them/Any Colour You Like/Brain Damage/Eclipse

(Dark Side of the Singing Dog):

....I work for the AAA, so you know I've been mad, of course I've been mad for years........

....It's very hard to explain why you have a top hat but I've had it for years.....

...Live for tomorrow, gone for today, that's me...............

...No I'm not frightened of writing, any review will do, I don't mind. I mean you've got to write sometime, as long as it's not Spice Girls - there's no reason for it...

...Absolutely I was right, David Cameron, Pig man, was cruising for a bruising...

....I don't know, our other AAA mascot Bingo was really drunk at the time.....

...Good manners don't cost nothing, unless you're a politician, eh?......

...There is no dark side of the top hat. Matter of fact it's all dark....and what makes it light is the lack of stuffing in my head

...And everything under the sun is in tune, as Pink Floyd become eclipsed by the 'Moon'...

One of the few things all the members of Pink Floyd have agreed on is that they were all caught by surprise by how big a success this monster-selling album became. However one of the few other things the band all agree on is that they thought this album was rather special when they were making it, so perhaps no one should have been all that surprised. After all, this is a band who thought even the masterpiece of psychedelia 'Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' wasn't all that much and rated their later albums 'Ummagumma' and 'Atom Heart Mother' as disgraceful rather than mixed albums possessing a certain period charm (sample Roger Waters quote: 'If someone offered me a million pounds and asked me to play 'Atom Heart' again I'd say...you must be fucking joking!') The fact that  all four of the perfectionists involved in the making of it thought they had made their best album yet ought to have been another sign. Perhaps, though, the Floyd were simply confused over how easily this record came together, without any of the usual angst that had greeted the writing, recording and packaging of every album they'd made since Syd left the band - and which will, pretty much, sum up the making of all six of the album's sequels, none of which were ever quite as united or spirited again. Great art came from struggle, didn't it? From personality clashes, record company interference and diluting ideas for public consumption? This album was such an easy and peaceful album to make, with all four band members pulling together roughly in harmony, that it couldn't possibly be as god as they thought, could it? Surely an album that opens with a sound collage, includes three instrumentals (more than any non-soundtrack Floyd album - we'll give 'Several Species Of Small Furry Animals' a nod as an actual 'song' for now...), multiple sound effects and covers such subjects as death, madness and paranoia could never be a big seller - could it?

The answer of course was yes and in a big way. Apart from the Beatles compilation '1' this is the best selling AAA album of all time, with a still unbeaten unbroken run of 741 weeks in the UK top 200 albums chart - that's fifteen whole years (most records nowadays can't last a month!) EMI were always good at their marketing and promotion and the Floyd were keen to tour the album, both before and after it' release (a key and overlooked part of its success actually, giving the band the chance to drop and alter some half-hearted ideas while working steadily on what seemed to be having most resonance with their audiences). However for an album to sell that well for so long, there's clearly something bigger going on here. 'Dark Side', you see, might well be the ultimate 'word of mouth' album: fans leant copies to friends and families as the first Floyd record they didn't have to make allowances for (self-indulgences like singing dogs and psychedelic breakfasts, that sort of thing), big brothers passed it onto their siblings as a way of teaching them about 'life', stereo aficionados passed it onto others so they could wallow in the production and sound effects (many people only upgraded to CD when 'Dark Side' came out...) 'Dark Side' was lucky in that it caught the public mood of 1973 - the zenith of prog rock - perfectly, with its futuristic synth sound effects just far enough into the future to be exciting and album packaging that combined four of the most guaranteed sellers of the first half of the 1970s anyway: space, science, shapes (the prism) and ancient history (the Egyptian pyramids on the inner sleeve poster - the band could have played this aspect up a bit more in fact). However it's an album that did its homework too: unlike some big selling albums that appeal most to a particular generation at a particular point in time ('Sgt Peppers' 'Tommy', maybe even 'The Wall' come to that...), 'Dark Side' chooses it's subject matter with care: these aren't the worries and fears of a generation but the worries and fears of the human race, going back to time immemorial. Our ancestors and our future offspring a million years ago and in our future might have to use Googleyahooaskjeevesbing (there'll inevitably be a merger) to translate why 'the lunatic is on the grass' is so funny for a generation brought up on 1960s drug references, but they'll understand the lines about the pressures of time, mortality and money all right. And even if the bartering is with leaves or the immediate worry of death is solved by a genetic code that allows us to regenerate, 'Dark Side' will remain an important document as perhaps the most important album for future historians trying to understand what living in the 20th century was like. Ironically for an album that so heavily revolves around the concept of time (how soon do we get rich? When will it be taken away when we die? Will our race/creed/civilisation conquer the others in time?) the main reason 'Dark Side' sold so well compared to other albums (especially Floyd albums) is that it exists out of time to some extent, with even a production so 'new' it doesn't quite sound like anything else out there.

It is, though, the concept that makes 'Dark Side' such an important work. Legend had it that the band were fleshing out ideas for their new album at drummer Nick Mason's house, partly to see a new kitchen he'd just installed. Always one for a concept, Pink Floyd had made a career for themselves making grand concepts sound bigger, without being restricted by time. 'Atom Heart Mother' and 'Echoes' between them had proved the band could do extended concept pieces and both had been well received at the time with their fanbase (though no one's quite sure why in the case of the first one...) However the 'other' half of the album always seemed to suffer, being a collection of un-connected tracks that either over-powered or were in turn over-powered by the side long suites. The step to making a full album of interlinked songs rather than a suite of parts is a small but significant one that was always going to appeal to a band who liked to think 'big'. The actual kernel of the piece came from Roger's suggestion that they write a series of songs about what happened to their founder leader Syd, who after rallying in 1970 had clearly left the music business - and society - for good by 1973. The band had been too busy to mourn properly and even helping their friend on his two solo albums hadn't really helped the guilt. They were also sick of the press asking them where Syd had gone and when he would be coming back, so decided to make 'Dark Side' a tribute album for someone they were only just realising had gone and by trying to come to terms themselves with what had happened to make the brightest spark of 1967 a shadow of his former glory. Dark Side changed along the way to a more varied account of the pressures of living in the modern world - Syd, for instance, cared very little for 'Money' and his songs were mainly involved with looking backwards to childhood than forward to death - but Syd still looms large on this record, the 'madness' that chief lyricist Roger feared might one day take him too (some might argue after listening to his opera 'Ca Ira' that it already has; the pair were more similar than people realise by the way, a lot of Roger's 'Syd' songs are about 'there but for the grace of what God wants go I', rather than 'this is what happened to my friend'). It's fascinating to me that both 'Wish You Were Here' and 'The Wall' will both end up with the same starting point, though taking the idea in different directions (the theme of absence and the barriers built up around the Syd-like rockstar Pink respectively), perhaps as a lucky talisman or out of giving the audience what they want - but also, perhaps, because it 'feels' like the story the Floyd were sent to tell us - opening up about the one event that scarred and shaped their band more than any other, which no other band of the 1960s really had (though Love could make a case for Arthur Lee I suppose).

We've forgotten about it slightly through familiarity, but the record's title and the closing two tracks of this record are both about madness - and about 'real' madness, not the comedy sort beloved by love-struck 50s and 60s teenagers. This is completely against the grain of anything else released in 1973 (when madness was music's cardinal taboo after writing about old age - which funnily enough is on here too) and yet also chimed with a public of 1973 who had slightly lost the arrogance of hippie hope and were beginning to think the world was mad anyway, with endless wars and capitalist crusading. If ever a record captured that feeling of being lost in a dead-end it was the Floyd, but unlike previous albums which tended to end in melancholy, scares or marmalade-enhanced breakfasts, the finale 'Eclipse' added to the album at the last minute is perhaps the most powerful Floyd song: on one layer it tells us that nothing we ever do can matter because we're only a small speck of insignificance, but on another level in context with that groundswell of music rising up like never before it's now a shared experience, a rare Floyd communal singalong where we're all in this together. After an album's worth of songs largely about division - class, status, age, 'us and them' - finally we get to feel part of something bigger than ourselves, united by our shared experiences even if they were from different ages, races and perspectives. 'Dark Side' really touches into something here which hadn't really been touched on before, shared sub-consciously by everyone with enough of a 'brain' and 'heart' to worry about their and their loved one's future (which ought to lead neatly on to a discussion of how well 'Dark Side' slots in with the film 'Wizard Of Oz' when both are played at the same time - although I haven't got the 'nerve', in both meanings of the word. And I still say this record works better when watched in tandem with the Monkees film 'Head').

The other songs about what lead up to this finale work so well because they both feel like they are leading up to this inevitable point (via the technicolour musical breakdown of 'Any Colour You Like') and work well in separation. 'Breathe' is the album overture that every concept album wants to have, a reminder to enjoy life while it's there and to live it, which might well be the most warm-blooded lyric that Waters ever wrote (usually he's at his best sarcastically flailing against the failing system, but this is a rare song that has him remembering why getting that system right means so much to him). 'On The Run' is the inevitable result of a band who loved playing with concepts and ideas let loose with a state of the art synthesiser (you can see that Roger is settling in for what looks like hours of experiment in the 'Dark Side' recording snippets seen in the 'Live At Pompeii' film), always said to be about fear of accidents whilst travelling, although it sounds more like good old fashioned Floyd paranoia to me. 'Time' is gorgeous, the sound of a man about to turn thirty whose been told the whole of his life to prepare for something across school and college that never actually came (it's a theme common to several other AAA bands and though being in a band makes most writers use their friends as subject matter, this song works because Roger makes it clear he's criticising himself as much as anyone). 'Is this is it?' is effectively the running theme of this whole album but particularly this one song. Rick's 'The Great Gig In The Sky' is the song that changed the most from first rehearsal to final recording, originally pencilled in as 'religion' before the gospel flavour Rick used reminded him more of death, even if guest singer Clare Torry probably had more to do with shaping the song than Wright did. 'Money' is the hit single every hit album needs to have, even if it took until as late as 1981 for it to be released as such (and then it was the inferior re-recording released on 'A Collection Of Great Dance Songs'!) Beginning life as a blues lament, turning into a tour de force rock song in the middle as money gets it's addictive hold on the narrator, it's a lecture posing as a rock masterclass. Best of all is 'Us and Them', the last of three collaborations between polar opposites Roger and Rick that unites Waters' bluntness and Wright's subtlety to great effect, especially when matched with Gilmour's greatest ever vocal, sighing over and yet slightly removed from a world of petty divisions caused by other people who can't see the bigger picture. Based around a piano piece rejected from the 'Zabriskie Point' soundtrack, it feels like the band's 'theme song' even though plenty more in their canon are better known: live and let live has always been the Floyd's philosophy from the beginning (underwear thief Arnold Layne would be the figure of fun or the villain in most band's songs, but to Syd he sounds like a fascinating character he quite admires), even to the extent of haranguing British and American foreign policy on 'Final Cut' and 'Amused To Death', not to mention 'The Division Bell' but it's never been better addressed than in this gorgeous song.

One other major factor in this album's popularity is that it manages to be both gloriously daring and ear-catchingly commercial. In the former camp, it's not just the theme or the songs that are so gloriously unique but the way this record is put together. The spoken words that dart in between the songs, which could have been handled so badly, instead add yet another layer on top of this album. Roger may be using his most poetic words yet, but he's only really saying what other human beings have been saying and using other voices to express those themes too. On earlier albums that needed a bit of something extra he would have simply asked Nick to oblige (that's him promising to cut us into little pieces on the last 'proper' Floyd album Meddle for instance - friendly chap). On later albums you suspect Roger would have shipped in special guest stars at vast expense to read out carefully prepared cue cards ('The Wall', another deeply personal album made universal, loses a little of its lustre and sounds more ordinary every-time we hear it sung by someone outside the band I think). Thankfully common sense prevails and instead he prepared a series of questions relating to each of the subjects heard on this album, which he held up silently to everyone in close approximation at Abbey Road  late on in the recording stage of the album, with every response recorded 'for real' without any scripts or aids (the voice everyone remembers is Abbey Road door man Jerry Driscoll' who answered the question if he was afraid of dying with 'no, you've got to go sometime...' and contributes the philosophical closing speech 'There's no dark side of the moon at all really, matter of fact it's all dark...' What he actually went on to say, scientifically accurately, was '...and what makes it light is the sun' but the band, sensing a great comment on how all life is mad chopped his speech in two. Elsewhere one Floyd roadie Roger 'The Hat' Manifold warns about a 'short sharp shock' and offers the profound 'live for today, gone for tomorrow, that's me'; roadie Chris Adamson is the one whose 'been mad for fucking years' - Roger's knowing laugh suggests that he's noticed!; band manager Peter Watts was interviewed but the only sample used was his heavy laugh near the beginning and end of the record; that's his wife Patricia who turned up with him that day talking about a fight she go into 'where this geezer was cruising for a bruising'; that's Wings guitarist Henry McCullough, busy at work on the album 'Red Rose Speedway' next door, who contributes 'I don't know but I was really drunk at the time' - the only place where fans can hear what his irish brogue actually sounds like as he wasn't with the band very long; Paul and Linda McCartney were both reportedly interviewed but were considered too 'cagey' and practised at dodging hard questions to be used - sadly neither Denny Laine nor drummer Denny Seiwell seem to have been asked). I'd love to know if these tapes still exist complete (the Floyd were one of the better bands for keeping everything, as the 'Dark Side' Immersion box set demonstrates) as they'd make the (atom heart) mother of all CD extras one day). The use of voices adds humanity - something so often missing from other Floyd albums more concerned with the abstract or themes of isolation - which gives a stronger human heartbeat behind the words, taking it out of the abstract and closer to the 'real world'.

The heartbeat is also, of course, what opens the album (and can be 'seen' pulsing in Dark Side's inner sleeve) and a throwback to the 'Zabriskie Point' instrumental 'Heartbeat Pigmeat' (David Cameron's new favourite song!) Along with all the other sound effects on the album it's brilliantly managed by engineer Alan Parsons, who really deserved a bigger album credit bit did at least launch his own successful music career of the back of this record. The production is one of the things that really stands out across this album, which sounds more 'adult' and polished than the rather un-discplined and messy Floyd ever really had before and yet doesn't sound in anyway slick or unauthentic. With the best engineered records, there's a place for everything and everything is in its place, but there's always the hint of the different compartments being juggled, that the music is always trying to spill out from its boxes and joins another. 'Us and Them' is a good example of engineering at its finest: Rick's organ pulses life at the heart of the mix echoing the heartbeat from earlier, the echo adds even more distance to what Gilmour's trying to say (though Parson's original rejected 1972 mix without this echo as heard on the 'Immersion' set is even better I think), the gospel female quartet warble away but in the background as colour rather than as the main show, the greatest saxophone part ever cools its heels at the start of the song waiting for the action to begin, the vocals drift in and out at precisely the right millisecond and everything seems still and pristine - until the agonising 'second section' destroys it all in an instant, Dave and Rick releasing the fury they've been keeping in check for the rest of the record. 
Every song on the record benefits from this extra attention to detail though, being busy but never cluttered, with the space-age synths of 'On The Run' strikingly less embarrassing than similar uses on similar albums of the period. Though the band, Roger especially, have always backtracked on just how much work Parsons did on the album (and it has to be said that none of his other early album mixes come close to the released versions' level) it also speaks volumes that no other Floyd record, even 'Wish You Were Here', comes close to matching the pure clarity and warmth of this album.
Floyd designers Hipgnosis, too, play their part on an album cover that has rightly become one of the most celebrated in rock and roll. On the one hand this is purely commercial: it's bold black background really made it stand out in a year of glam rock and colourful sleeves, while the way the inner and outer gatefold sleeves joined up as one continual whole was perfect for shop displays. On another it adds so much to the allure and mystery of the album, which melds scientific principle with heavy symbolism, a 'real' world from a slightly different perspective (which also happens to missing the colour 'Indigo', for the ease of design rather than any symbolic reason; it's a real shame that 'Pink' isn't a primal colour and it would have been perfect!) In a neat mirror of the record's contents (which everyone loved, but weren't sure would sell), Hipgnosis actually went along with a whole block of ideas, but found the band in another rare unified mood as they all simultaneously chose the same image before going back to work - even though all four admitted later they weren't sure if the public would 'get' the design. It's clearly one of Hipgnosis' best and now one of the most famous images in the world - and yet what's interesting in retrospect is how little it has to do with any of the album's themes (madness, paranoia, travel, mortality, money) or even the more obvious design of the 'heartbeat' incorporated into the inner gatefold sleeve. Like many a Hipgnosis sleeve though, it's hard now to imagine the record coming with any other picture - the two go together so well nowadays.
Not that the praise for 'Dark Side' belongs to any one individual. We've so far referred to Roger most across this album because he is, for the first time, the band's sole lyricist across the album and most of the ideas are his (only three tracks don't bear his name and he's said to have had more than a hand in both the collage style 'Speak To Me' - 'a gift' to Nick who was getting less credits than the others - and the instrumental 'Any Colour You Like'). However this is the one Floyd record where everyone shines more or less equally. By now Roger has grown to think of David Gilmour as less of a rival and more of an interpreter, handing all of 'his' songs except the album finale over to his colleague to sing. Gilmour is a variable singer, but when he understands and believes in the material, as here, he is a truly gifted vocalist adding a warmth that Roger's more acerbic vocals could never hope to add (it's interesting, actually, that he wasn't given the communal singalong 'Eclipse' to sing as well, though only Roger could have performed the slyer 'Brain Damage' I suspect; 'Money' too feels more like a 'Roger' song though Gilmour sings it with just the right shoulder shrug here). 'Breathe' 'Time' and 'Us and Them' all reflect David's best work and though he admitted later he helped shape rather than create the songs (adding the sudden switch to 4/4 that makes 'Money' work so well for instance) he still picks up four album credits. Rick gets his last real hurrahs with the band until 1994, adding some gorgeous harmonies across the album and, unusually, the harder heavier part on 'Time' and 'Us and Them' (as if to say when even the gentle Rick's been riled by something happening in the world then you know it's serious!) The most 'emotional' of the three Floyd composers, his two main songs for the album ('Great Gig' and 'Us and Them') are also the two most beautiful, sad and weary reflections on the cruelty of the world which makes for a great foil to Waters' intelligence and Gilmour's melody. Nick, credited with at least the idea of the opening sound collage, also raises his game for this album by adapting his style to so many different genres and playing with around 90% of the intensity of before (which is still pretty intense but not quite so central to the arrangements - a hard thing to pull off). You have to be a great drummer to pull off the switch in tempo in the middle of 'Money' convincingly, never mind the semi-improvised chaos of 'Any Colour You Like'.

In other words, this is the best Pink Floyd band album - because it's the only real Pink Floyd band recording (that isn't a film soundtrack album anyway). Rather than competing for the lead role spot after the loss of Syd Barrett things have calmed down in the Floyd universe so they can each get along with bringing their own particular style to the table: Roger's lyrics, Rick's melodies, Nick's drumming and Dave's singing make for a very powerful recipe which is never heard across such an extended run of songs again. Usually I have a real disliking for majorly successful albums: 'Pet Sounds' for instance is a let-down sandwiched between 'Beach Boys Today' and 'Smile', 'Imagine' and 'Band On The Run' are only two of many similarly great Lennon/McCartney records no better or worse than the rest and even this album's sequel 'Wish You Were Here' is only half a masterpiece, not the single greatest album ever released by mankind as so many people seem to think. It's also worth pointing out that even this album isn't perfect: more could have been made of the 'Speak To Me' opening which teases with so many bits to come but doesn't really excite, 'On The Run' feels out of place with the rest of the album and sounds like a weak digital copy of the gloriously 'real' paranoia instrumental 'Careful With That Axe Eugene', while three instrumentals compared to only six actual 'songs' doesn't feel like quite enough somehow. There are individual twenty minute 'sides' of other Pink Floyd albums I prefer more than either of these: the pastoral beauty of nature and breakfast that is side two of 'Atom Heart Mother', side three of 'The Wall' for instance (the one packed with all the 'humane' songs like 'Hey You' 'Is There Anybody Out There?' 'Nobody Home' and 'Comfortably Numb') and the entire side-long 'Echoes' from 1971's 'Meddle', which sounds like the entire theme of 'Dark Side' squashed into a single song and inflated again with one of the greatest instrumental workouts in the AAA lexicon ('Any Colour You Like', though still strong, just isn't quite as inspired by comparison). However 'Dark Side' isn't one of those records that simply gets lucky mirroring a time or place so well (I'm looking at you 'Graceland'!), which had a lucky hit single everyone had to buy before they realised the album wasn't much cop ('Thriller') or appealed to the single lowest common denominator as a means of fooling people into parting with their cash (every Spice Girls record ever!) It's also an album that's daring, that's inventive, that isn't afraid to make mistakes - but then for the most part doesn't make them anyway. Unlike some other million sellers, Dark Side feels most of all as if it still tells 'the truth' and all the pretty bits that go on in between merely help tell the story of what's left unsaid on the spaces between.

No other Floyd record feels quite as important as 'Dark Side', which is one of the few records around that ticks all the boxes: originality, commerciality, the songs, the recording, the production, the musicianship, the ideas and the cover, all in one neat little package. 'Dark Side' sounds like an album that a band went through hell to make - that it came together only after dark nights of the soul and un-negotiable schisms. Actually part of its brilliance is that 'Dark Side' is the only Floyd album to have all the band members - and designers and engineers - pointing the same way, prepared to find unity on an album that everyone, even Roger, can be agreed is bigger than all of them. 'Dark Side' may be named after a celestial body, but it's one of the  greatest albums ever made about what it really means to share a world together, suffused with just enough emotion, rock songs, ground-breaking effects and long-lasting images to prevent it from seeming like a dull school lesson. It's 99% of the way to making the perfect record about what it means to be human (which is The Beach Boys' 'Smile', by the way, in case you're asking) - which of course means that it's perfect, because of course the perfect record about humanity could never be perfect. There is no one factor for the success of 'Dark Side Of The Moon' really - as a matter of fact it's all dark (and serious), but what makes it light is one of the greatest productions and some of the greatest uplifting arrangements of the Floyd canon.

'Speak To Me' is a minute long collage of sound effects that will go on to play a future role on this album ('Money' cash registers, ticking clocks from 'Time', the screams from 'Great Gig In The Sky', the synths from 'On The Run' and Jerry Driscoll's 'dark side' comments) heard over a simple heartbeat thud, slower and closer to the natural human heartbeat tempo than the one from 'Heartbeat Pigmeat'. It's an ear-catching scene setter that's like one of those 'coming soon...' trailers they so love on TV nowadays though it would have been quite inventive at the time and sets up the album better than simply leaping headlong into the opening track would have been. Decided on more or less from the first when the album was discussed, the official credits credit this song to Nick Mason, though one of the first things Roger did after the 1980s Floyd fall-out was reclaiming this track as his own idea claiming it was 'a gift' he could afford to give away with so many other credits on the album and that he 'regretted it' later when Nick stuck by Dave in the Floyd wars. Some CDs index this as the 'same' track as 'Breathe'...

Fading in from the sudden climactic rush of Clare Torry at full pelt, 'Breathe' is one of Roger's sweetest songs beaten into shape melodically by Dave and Rick. It's one of two songs from this album that dates back years, back to the 1970 release 'Music From The Body' by Roger and collaborator Ron Geesin. There 'Breathe In The Air' was a sweet folky song about getting back to nature, in common with the pastoral Floyd of 'Ummagumma' and 'Atom Heart Mother'. Here it's bigger in size and nature while hinting at the loneliness and separation of 'The Wall' - 'Breathe in the air, don't be afraid to care', the only couplet that runs in both songs, is one of Roger's best and the main message of this album: to enjoy the simple fact of living without all the obstacles life has to throw at you along the way. Back on the original Roger quickly turned the concept into one of his 'list' songs ('brick upon brick, stone upon stone...') and clearly felt that he didn't quite nail what he wanted to say. However here too he stumbles after the opening lines, none of which quite live up to the opening, although who hasn't sympathised with the verse about digging holes instead of enjoying the sunshine ('don't sit down, it's time to build another one'). The music, though, is a major improvement, with Gilmour's lovely warm double-tracked vocals and double-tracked slide guitar the perfect bedding over which the song can relax and unwind, twinned with typical Floydian melancholy. Even Rick's gospel organ part which adds extra oomph to the second half of the song can't ruin the song's pure joy at being alive. Roger's warnings about heading towards an 'early grave' sound a world away though and, most brilliantly, the song lasts almost a full minute simply enjoying the gorgeous chord structure before the lyrics come in, revelling in simply existing.

Of course, it can't last. In one of the better segues on this album, the slow sleepy chords of 'Breathe' try to fall back on the relaxing final ponderous note but is instead rudely awakened by what must by 1973 standards have been the distinctly alien and futuristic sounding synthesiser of 'On The Run'. You can see Roger playing around with this on the 'Live At Pompeii' concert film where he's clearly close to creating the backing track but his main synthesiser bleeps are louder, 'carrying' the tune more conventionally than the final version, which is more of a cue for sound effects, spoken word, manic laughter and Gilmour's screeching guitar. Though the Floyd have used similar technology before  (the concept of machines playing music is already closely related enough to the band for them to be asked about in 'Pompeii', much to Roger's obvious disgust) and have done paranoid before, they'd never done it quite like this. 'Eugene' and it's variants are creepy precisely because they're so slow your head is always playing with what comes 'next', but on this far more modern song you just can't keep up - there's a manic Mason drumbeat that's relentless (there's a case to be made this track invents the whole 1980s-1990 style of digital drum backings, but I won't hold that against the song) and so much going on to catch the ear, like being stuck on a bucking bronco that just won't let go. Usually this song is said to refer to the fear of accidents while travelling - lots of rock bands, including some AAA ones, had accidents in the back of group vans travelling to and from gigs and back then travelling up and down the country and though nothing did ever happen to the Floyd they'd have worked with roadies and socialised with people from other bands who had. The opening tannoy dialogue in the distance, made deliberately hard to hear although the mode of transport does seem to be travelling from 'Los Angeles', sounds like some high and mighty voice compelling the hapless narrator onwards to his death, while his fast footsteps and heavy breathing suggest he's late for departure. I'm convinced, though, from the title alone that Roger (the song's chief creator, though Dave gets a credit too) also had the good old fashioned Floyd subject of paranoia in mind here, with the feeling not so much that you're about to miss something about to leave so much as that there's something behind you about to get you if you stop. In that sense 'On The Run' fits the album's theme of people trying to disrupt what your life should be with a list of rules and instructions, but otherwise it has to be said that this track doesn't really fit the rest of the album. Claustrophobic in the extreme, it's hard to know what to make of 'On The Run' because there's never been another track like it - 'Welcome To The Machine' on next album 'Wish You Were Here' uses much of the same technology but to create an actual 'song' - this is one of those filler Floyd instrumentals, but played on such ground breaking technology that it still sounds like a 'big' statement even now. Once a piece of music that people proudly showed off their new stereos too, by the 1990s it had become a song set to footage of a giant flying bed that crashed into flames on stage for 'real' by the end of the song. Here the whole song is genuinely scary rather than an advert for Ikea gone wrong, with the final crash into smoke and carnage rolling on into several fireballs if you turn the fade of the song up loudly enough (warning: the opening chimes of next song 'Time', recorded in a genuine shop selling genuine clocks by Alan Parsons as a stereo 'test' project long before working on the album, will blow your ears off if you're not quick enough to put the levels back to 'normal' again!)

'Time' is one of the truly great songs on the album, the closest thing to a full Floyd collaboration that's an actual 'song' rather than a piece of film soundtrack fodder. All the band excel here. Nick's opening roto-tom drum riff (already used on 'Childhood's End' from last LP 'Obscured By Clouds' but working even better here) is immediately compelling, as are his scattered improvised tom toms over the top, the sound of a man desperately trying to break loose his bonds and do things his way. The song spends a full 2:20 here, which is shockingly daring for an album considered as mainstream as 'Dark Side' and would have fallen apart badly had the five minute song that follows been disappointing. But it isn't: Roger's words are among his greatest of all, conveying his realisation at the fact that human beings only have a limited space to do everything they need to do and his frustration that he's wasted and been made to waste so much time doing such mundane things. Remembering life before the Floyd, Roger recalls years 'waiting for something or someone to show you the way' - a common thought for anyone whose ever been through the British schooling system, where you're told what to think and what to do for so long you've rather forgotten how to think for yourself. In 'Time' Roger sees a world of people like himself, stuck 'kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town', sure there's something worth reaching out for, but not sure where to find it. Later lines about how 'no one told you when to run - you missed the starting gun' suggest that he's learnt sadly and eventually that there is no one to tell him how to live his life or steer it in anyway, because there's no one else on this planet except fellow human beings, none of whom have a clue. The song is urgent and blistering, Gilmour excelling with a rough vocal just the right side of gritty, while his guitar solo is immense, fat and heavy with unspoken feelings and the equal even of his more celebrated solo on 'Comfortably Numb'. Rick, too, excels as the yin to David's yang, his gorgeous voice perfect for lines about 'lying supine in the sunshine' and trying to live out the advice given to us on 'Breathe', of ignoring pressures and simply enjoying life. Only this method doesn't work either: 'One day you find ten years have got behind you...', gone in the blink of an eye, never to return. 'Time' spends the whole song flitting between these two extremes but can't find a way out, the narrator realising that all he's got for his extra years is a body 'shorter of breath - and one day closer to death!' The last verse has rightly become celebrated as one of Roger's best: Rick sings of 'hanging on in quiet desperation being the English way', a line actually  modified from American poet Henry David Thoreau and 'Anglicised', is the perfect line for the Floyd (while the Kinks were the most English-orientated of AAA bands in terms of subject matter, the Floyd are closest to the basic English character which often bleeds into their songs). Roger also mocks himself with a line about how his great ideas 'either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines', before the song comes to a sad climax that life doesn't last forever: 'The time has gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say...'

Only the song isn't quite finished yet, slotting back cleverly into 'Breathe' for a track that's become known to fans as 'Breathe (Reprise)' although most releases list it as part of 'Time' still. A weary Gilmour finds himself home again, his responsibilities and duties out the way and preparing to finally crack on with what he should be doing with his life. Only, well, the fire's so cosy and he's so tired...The song's true end, though is peculiar and the one aspect of it that's never worked for me. Gilmour hears in the distance an 'iron bell' calling 'the faithful to their knees'...Originally Dark Side was meant to veer into a song about religion Rick was due to write but which ended up instead a song about death. Was the segue originally meant to lead on into the religious track? If so, then it still would have been the clunkiest segue on an otherwise perfectly crafted album - as it is the last four lines of this song appear to belong to a different song entirely.

Though we talked in our opening about how easily this album came together, the one exception is Rick's 'The Great Gig In The Sky'. Early concerts reveal a hammy gospel style track that's accompanied by a religious sermon by Malcolm Muggeridge - the sort of thing the old Floyd would have treated as a joke but played so 'straight' that you half wonder if they believed it (the idea may have inspired Roger's wicked sense of humour on 'Animals', where the 'Lord Prayer' is modified into a bleating synthesiser sheep praising the very beings about to send him to the slaughter). By the time Rick started recording the song for the album he'd mercifully dropped the talk and begun playing his beautifully expressive melody on the piano instead of the organ, with the vague idea that the song now reminded him of 'death' (he said later that he'd never have made the track so beautiful had he started with the idea first; the band's own tour booklet began calling this 'The Mortality Sequence' before someone - probably Rick himself - came up with the far better title, which in a very Floyd way heavily hints at death without actually saying it and turning it into a bit of a joke). There's no joke about the performance though: Rick's gently flowing keyboard chords and the sudden full-on heavy rocking of the second section sound like the most solemn and serious thing the band ever did, a million miles away from flying pugs and psychedelic breakfasts. The song still didn't sound complete though, especially compared to the others around it, so the band played around with a few ideas, including bringing in session singer Clare Torry. A friend of Alan Parsons, who'd worked on a few of his other projects, he recommended her to the band after hearing her cover The Doors' 'Light My Fire' - only they weren't entirely clear what to do with her. Telling her the song was about death and asking her to improvise whatever came into her head, the band simply handed her a pair of headphones and retreated to the control room. Unknown to them, Torry had recently lost a pet and decided to replay the sad scene in her mind, remembering the sudden awful moment of grief and turning it into cathartic wailing before sinking into the sad reflective afterglow of acceptance. Amazingly she only ever did two takes, giving up early on a third when she thought she was repeating herself: the finished product is a combination of the first two versions. Though some have accused her vocals of being overblown (when Rick needed the money in a hurry in the 1990s he okayed its use in the soundtrack of an advertisement for headache tablets - presumably Yoko had already said 'no'), it's actually one of the most striking moments of any Floyd album, slowly making its way to peak shriek rather than doing what lesser artists (ie the Spice Girls) would do, which is to fast-track right there. Torry's final wails as, energy spent, she somehow finds the strength to carry on, is perfect in context of both track and album and is so perfect it sounds as if it had been planned for years; many fans still refuse to accept that Torry heard the track no more than once for pre-planning and twice for recording; so well are her vocals tied in with Rick's peaks and troughs that it sounds like she's been singing it all her life. She's also perfect for the song - loud without being as shrill as lesser gospel singers would be (Floyd songs are all too easy to go OTT over: even P P Arnold's gorgeous voice struggles in Waters' band and she's one of the best out there). How very Floyd, to overwhelmingly suggest grief and death without actually coming out and saying it. The Floyd got very lucky here, although at first they weren't at all sure if they'd got what they wanted (Torry was convinced she'd blown it when she walked out the studio, with nothing more than a standard session fee wage of £30 - she didn't even get a credit on the original vinyl); although they got less lucky in the 1990s when Torry successfully sued for a co-credit and an undisclosed sum. Many would say she deserved more, though you have to wonder why it took thirty years for her to bring the case to court. The use of spoken word, dribbled so far across the album, also reach their peak here, especially Gerry Driscoll (the oldest person interviewed for the album) says 'anytime will do, I don't mind' but says it in such a way that you can't but help tell that he's afraid - very Floyd. The end result is a moving track that, unlike most instrumentals (certainly most Floyd instrumentals), perfectly expresses everything there is to say about a tricky subject.

Over on side two, there's the green-fingered sound of moolah, as money-bags Waters gives up the album's unusually high standard of revealing autobiography for a song far more keeping with his usual cynicism. 'Money' is generally heralded as the greatest moment on this album and it certainly would be on most other albums with a lot about it to love.  The inventive and pioneering use of sound effects, for instance, which appeared as far back as Roger's sketchy demo when this was a blues song (he made most of them himself, tearing up paper, throwing coins into a pot and using an old cash register). This took an age to set up in the studio, though, with each sound effect stuck on three second lengths of tape and painstakingly measured, put together by hand and re-checked in the days before computers to keep up the song's urgent rhythm. Gilmour, not for the first or last time, takes a half-finished Waters song and makes it shine, adding extra grunt and bullying weight to the sarcastic lyrics about living the high life and being ignorant to everyone else (you really feel like screaming 'you mean he hasn't been listening to the first side of this album?!' to lines like 'I'm alright Jack, keep your hands off of my stack'). The sudden switch from this song's slightly comical 7/8 time (the demo was in an even more unwieldy 7/4) into a full on rock swagger in 4/4 is also a majestic moment (suggested by Gilmour and inspiring another of his all-time great solos, this one double-tracked), turning a song about comedy into one of tragedy as the song goes from being one about avarice and greed into denial and desperation. However this is still perhaps the weakest of all the actual 'songs' that makes up this album (as opposed to instrumentals), again slightly out of place here as the one song on the album that's hiding things from face value by means of comedy rather than a 'stiff upper lip'. The lyrics lake Roger's usual depth, although they make more sense in the context of the original idea of this as an updated 'blues' song about the comparative ease of modern day living (what a modern day hashtag would call 'first world problems', which aren't actually problems compared to our neighbours but are still blooming irritating). Oddly Roger has always been proud of this lyric, even using it as the one the 'Pink' character is writing in class in 'The Wall' film, horrified when the teacher holds it up to ridicule. The song's waddled riff makes less sense in rock than it does as blues (where it's more menacing than funny) and the overall track outlasts its welcome long before the 6:23 running time is up (unusual for the Floyd, who despite their longer-than-average lengths generally knew when to quit and leave us waiting for more; putting the two longest tracks on the album together - next track 'Us and Them' lasts for nearly eight unbalances the album a little I feel too). Even if this is Roger's weakest song for a while, though, the Floyd are still enough of a band to make the most out of it and the arrangement, performance and production more than shine enough to make a so-so song sound great (well apart from a ropey sax solo, but then to be fair to Dick Parry it's meant to sound blooming awful). It's also the closest to this record possessing a 'hit' song, with this track receiving lots of airplay despite its length - lighter than most of the record, while still full of universal appeal, you can see why it did well, although frankly anyone who still thinks this is the album highlight over 'Breathe' 'Time' and 'Us and Them' isn't listening properly.

No such qualms about 'Us and Them', however, which is one of the most perfect songs ever written. The melody came first, Rick's mournful piano lick senselessly rejected from the 'Zabriskie Point' soundtrack (and thus the second 'recycled' song from this album) now finally restored to the world via the Dark Side 'Immersion' box set. It's one of his best, full of haunting chord progressions and melancholy, similar in feel to George Harrison's 'All Things Must Pass' era ballads, sad that they know they don't have the power to change the world but angry enough to give it a go anyway. Roger, never one to dish out praise and especially to his polar opposite bandmate, always loved the melody and it was probably his idea to revive the song. Thinking back to his socialist upbringing, Roger tries to put into words what his family drilled into him growing up but that nobody else around him seems to believe: that all lives are equal, that all people are sacred and that all wars are wrong. Realising in a bolt of inspiration that all wars and conflicts are because of 'with [versus] without' (who can deny that's what the fighting is all about?), Roger shames thousands of years of civilisation with a song that's so simple it's profound. As usual when Roger gets most inspired, he turns to his father as a code for living his life and again agonises over how cheaply his life was thrown away by people unworthy of him for all their class and stature: 'Forward they cried from the rear - and the front flank died!', while he also depicts the boundaries of the map 'moving forward and back' pointlessly, with more soldiers fallen along the way. His conclusion: 'In the end it's only round and round' 'Us and Them' is more than just an anti-war song though: it's about the divisions between all of us, of prejudice and fear. Even the narrator marches past declaring 'out of my way, it's a busy day' as he pushes a beggar away. The song's harrowing last words ring in our ears long after the song is over: the man passes away of starvation soon after, 'for the want of the price of tea and a slice' (which means 'cake' for those of you who don't get the British reference - though Roger probably had Marie Antoinette's famous 'let them eat cake' saying in mind too, summing up the pig ignorance of the ruling classes about the lives of their citizens). Words and music together make for a powerful combination, Rick's slowly unfolding subtlety bringing out the best in Roger's usual bluntness and bringing him to new poetic heights, while similarly Roger's new lyrics lead Rick to slightly modify his meandering style with a sudden surge of emotion in the closest thing this peculiarly structured song has to a chorus, the closest Wright ever came to bluntness. Sung for the main part by Gilmour, who had no part in writing the song, is the perfect singer for a song that calls for both detachment and sympathy, while the extra echo added to his voice by Parsons in the mix is a masterstroke, offering the sense of separation and distance. He's joined by Rick, again acting against type, in the shorter, emotional and downright angry chorus bursts which are truly heart-tugging - if even the laidback Floyd are getting mean and nasty then this is clearly a subject worth us getting worked up about. One of the best sax solos ever (and you'll know by now how much I usually hate sax solos!) again by Dick Parry is the icing on the cake, played for authentic emotion and hands-in-pockets ignorance rather than being flash or show-offy. A truly towering achievement, 'Us and Them' is one of the greatest combinations of words, music, arrangement, performance and production out there, hauntingly beautiful and powerfully involving. Roger, Rick and Dave all excel themselves here on one of the best examples of how much greater the Floyd were when they all worked together like this. Only the least successful use of spoken word in the middle (which is more about sudden violence than growing simmering hate as per the lyrics) mar an otherwise perfect song - and then not badly. Clearly the album highlight for me, even on a record packed with brilliance, never have the Floyd sounded less like 'ordinary men'. Sadly though and unbelievably, this is the last non-band credit Rick will get with the Floyd until as late as 1994 and his last part approaching 'lead vocal' status until then too, as Roger fails to heed his own lyric about respecting different ideas and temperaments and all but forces his fellow co-founder out of the band.

The old man's dying breath gives way to the urgent instrumental freak-out 'Any Colour You Like' - the last time any of the Floyd will get a credit without Roger's name attached to something until 1987. The song here closest in style to the 'old' Floyd, but played on the same up-to-date-and-more technology as the rest of the album, this is a curious piece that sounds as if started as a fierce improvised jamming session one day on normal instruments (that's how the band usually played it live before the album came out) before being carefully reconstructed into the more organised piece we have here. Usually that's an awful idea - the whole point of jamming sessions is the thrill of the unknown, something the Floyd knew better than most (the period 'Pompeii' film reveals just how great their telepathy had grown by 1973). However the excitement and energy is very much here as the band finally stop playing around with heavy constructs and simply have a bit of fun. The song starts as a Rick Wright masterclass as he shadows himself on a delightful duel before passing the baton over to Dave's howling guitar, accompanied as so often in the past by his wordless singing along. Suddenly Dave splits himself in two as well, the two Gilmours bouncing ideas off each other as they reach for a manic climax with Rick again coming in for the kill, as Roger and Nick try to race each other to the finish (Mason, given so comparatively little to do across the album, really comes into his own here). Heard outside the context of the album it's a nifty little track that would have fitted 'More' or especially 'Obscured By Clouds' well. However in context you have to ask what this song is doing here, as it's the only one not related to the album's theme of life pressures (although musically it is a little bit like a faster paced, more urgent 'Breathe' so if you were feeling generous you could make the link that this track is about having 'fun' and enjoying life while you can, without rules). Some people have taken the song's title - half of a Henry Ford quote describing his 'Model T' car design, which you could buy 'in any colour you like - so long as it's black' - as evidence that this track is here to represent the evils of advertising or the lack of choice in the world too, although those concepts sound a little underwhelming compared to 'money' 'time' and 'prejudice' to me. Roger also hinted later that he named the song after memories of friends selling stuff in vain out of the back of vans which always seemed to end with the line 'any colour you like - so long as it's blue' - an in-joke he thought worked well for an album where every stark choice faced by humanity seemed to be 'blue' ie depressing. Chances are the band were laughing inwardly at the stark black cover they'd picked out for the album, which so ran in the face of what record companies wanted in the era of glam rock.

'Colour' finally comes to a breathless full stop on the first pinging Rickenbacker notes of 'Brain Damage'. The song on the album most overtly about Syd, Roger comes up with a moving tribute to his old friends, 'remembering daisy chains and laughs' the same way his 21-year-old companion once mourned for childhood. Most of the lyrics of this song fear ending up in the same place ('The Wall' takes this concept even further, blurring the lines between Roger and Syd), but for now Roger is content to keep the 'lunatic' at arm's length, describing him in the third person, but with affection. The opening line 'the lunatic is on the grass' is often taken as a simple joke about drugs, but Roger probably also had in mind the idea of breaking rules and putting up with the consequences in a society based on law and order: it's a long standing joke that petty English bureaucrats try to curb childish games with signs reading 'keep off the grass' in public parks, though in my experience most people ignore them anyway (this isn't private property after all but meant to be there for the public to use!) There's a famous Beatles photo of 1966 where they makes the same comment, knowingly smoking next to a 'Keep Off The Grass' sign, which is such a 1960s versus society idea there's a glorious full university thesis on it out on the net somewhere, well worth reading (and no before you ask I didn't write it, though I surely would have done if I'd been clever enough to think of it - my university thesis was on The Monkees in relation to postmodernism!) Anyway, each progressive verse takes Roger further to the brink of madness. Many take the second verse, of 'loonies; landing on Roger's hall, as the pressure of bills but I think its newspapers full of conniving politicians and air-headed celebrities telling us what we should be doing with our lives, but always coming too thick and fast to keep up with ('And everyday the paperboy brings more'). Figuring that 'there is no room upon the hill' - ie with the elite - for all of us, Roger admits that his head is about to explode with frustration and by now ours probably is, promising to meet us on 'the dark side of the moon' - where madness is normal. By the last verse 'the lunatic is in my head', Roger imagining a Syd-style devolution where 'there's someone in my head - but it's not me'. While everyone assumed Syd was simply an acid casualty, Roger's always been more open than that, remembering that his friend was always slightly mad and paid the cost for being naturally outrageous, something he could no more change than he could his breathing. Here it's the pressures of modern conventional living that get to his friend and, like 'If', he admits to being a former bad friend afraid of what he was seeing but realising what his friend went through and wanting to empathise with him now he's understood what he went through. The closing line about ending up in madness 'when the band you're in starts playing different tunes' was clearly meant as an apology to Syd, but soon became a brickbat passed between the Floyd when the 1980s split comes. Another fine Waters song, which makes a lot more sense when you realise his back story as possibly Syd's biggest friend, this is another great song, though simpler and working at less levels than much of the album (Rick, for instance, was said to hate it and called it the album's 'weak link'), but wouldn't have worked the way the band intended as the album's final crowning glory.

Instead that's 'Eclipse', the last song to slot into place and acting as a more musical summary of the album than 'Speak To Me'. A two minute variation on 'Brain damage' but without the insistent beat and sense of melancholy, this is instead Roger trying to make sense of everything he's recently come to realise in his life about the way some lives turn out the way they do. Written at short notice when the band agreed their 'piece for assorted lunatics' needed a stronger ending (it wasn't in the first eight performances), it returns to his favourite default setting of writing lists rather than lyrics, but it's a good list that really builds to a climax at the end of the two minutes. It's effectively the bricks from 'The Wall' all built together, with everything we've ever seen, heard, read, tasted, felt or loved leading us up to the point when madness comes 'and the sun is eclipsed by the moon'. Syd's clearly uppermost in Roger's mind again, the 'sun' in 1967 shining brighter than anyone, 'eclipsed by the moon' of darkness. However instead of being a sad song, this is a dementedly happy one: Syd's become his 'true' state (at least in Roger's imagination - sadly this probably wasn't the case given the tales of a reclusive and lonely life that have come out since his death in 2006) and far from feeling 'wrong' suddenly everything is 'in tune'. Madness means no longer caring what anyone thinks of you and being 'free' from all the pressures of earning a living, risking death by travelling, worrying about your future or being open to prejudiced ideas. Building up to a swelling throbbing climax, gloriously captured by Rick's sun-gazing Hammond organ that peaks at just the right moment, this is the Floyd's most unified and most joyful singalong, even if in typically Floyd fashion it's actually a lot darker than everyone realises.


Overall, then, 'Dark Side' isn't perfect, but is more than worthy of the mantle of being in most top ten 'best albums' lists. Unlike most other AAA records that always make it ('Pet Sounds' 'Sgt Peppers' 'Abbey Road') this record offers up themes and ideas that no other record has ever attempted and manages to sound like a rewarding listening experience whether you've heard it a million times or once. While I don't quite buy the usual line that this was the first prog rock album for the heart as well as the brain (the Moody Blues got there first), this is certainly one of the more 'complete' records out there which mixes the traditional methods of storytelling (poetic lyrics, warm melodies), with contemporary sounds (this is Pink Floyd at their most traditional as a 'rock band' for such an extended period of time) and quite a bit that's daring and of the future - even now (the spoken words and the artificial faceless robots of 'On The Run'). It's an album where the band pull together to use each other's strengths and by and large the extra planning and knocking songs into shape excises the usual Floyd weakness of meandering and becoming self-indulgent. 'Dark Side' is streamlined and edited more than any other Floyd album thanks to months on the road and months more in the studio perfecting this record, but it's time well spent: there are other Floyd records that have moments the equal of this album and in the case of a few tracks are superior, but none keep it up for quite so long or with such a clever overall theme stringing the whole thing together. Though I still rate 'Piper' as a greater album (that one's all inventive, sparking with life and ideas with enough moments to last most bands a career- 'Moon' is that bit more serious and keen to tell us what to think when it wants us to think), 'Moon' is a lot of people's favourite for lots of very good reasons, the moment when the band's stars really were in alignment and everything came together seamlessly, by Floyd standards easily and quickly. If anyone had told the public the day before the album's release that this strong-selling but still kind of cult band were going to change the record market with an album about madness containing three instrumentals and a sound collage, without any hit singles, they might have considered you mad yourself. Hearing this record, though, is another matter entirely, with everything so carefully made and yet still fizzing with life and full of pearls of wisdom, this album couldn't be anything but a big seller. The real question the band should have been asking themselves isn't 'will this work?' but 'how the hell are we ever going to follow this up?' Which is, of course, another question for another day...

Other Floyd related adventures you could be having via this site include:



‘Obscured By Clouds’ (1972) http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/pink-floyd-obscured-by-clouds-1972_3681.html

‘Animals’ (1977) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/pink-floyd-animals-1977.html

'The Wall' (1980) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/review-76-pink-floyd-wall-1979.html

'The Final Cut' (1983) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/pink-floyd-final-cut-1983.html

'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason' (1987) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2013/12/pink-floyd-momentary-lapse-of-reason.html

'Amused To Death' (Waters) (1992) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/review-96-roger-watters-amused-to-death.html 'The Division Bell' (1994) 
The Best Unreleased Pink Floyd Recordings http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/the-best-unreleased-pink-floyd-songs.html



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