Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon: #354 of best 1,000 albums ever!

So why is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Pink Floyd is a band that I associate closely with growing up on Long Island, New York during the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Wish You Were Here (#477 of best 1,000 albums ever) pulls me back to being driven down the Long Island Expressway on route to a ski trip at a pre-dawn hour. With Dark Side of the Moon, it’s high school that I’m transported to.  

There are specific memories. For example, I recall this one guy who wrote little snippets of lyrics from “Money” all over his Trapper Keeper or whatever contraption he held his school stuff in: keep your hands off my stack, it’s a gas, don’t take a slice of my pie, make a stash.

And then there’s the whole Wizard of Oz thing (see more on this below).

But more than anything, The Dark Side of the Moon just feels like one of those formative soundtrack albums for my high school years, a collection of songs so collectively revered by Long Island classic rock radio and most of my peers that it honestly feels quite strange to discuss it in any kind of coherent way.

It’s also a strange album to break apart to discuss its component parts as I typically do. While The Dark Side of the Moon isn’t necessarily a “concept album” in the mold of The Who’s Tommy (#398 of best 1,000 albums ever) or Radiohead’s Kid A, it’s an album that greatly benefits from kicking off with the lead track, “Speak to Me,” and floating through the strange, beautiful, and mesmerizing trip until the end of “Eclipse.”

If I had to pick a “favorite” song on The Dark Side of the Moon, it would be “Brain Damage,” which I’ve come to realize is the “most Pink Floyd” song ever, really. It’s mysterious, perfectly crafted, slightly unsettling, and yet wonderfully enticing all at once. It builds to a fantastic culmination both within itself and for the album as a whole (it’s the penultimate track, just before “Eclipse”).

And then “Money” is clearly the catchiest standalone tune, and also by far the most “rock” song on the album. It swings and grooves and contains one of the most iconic bass lines of all time. Add in the cash register sound effect and some of the most dead on satiric lyrics the band ever produced (see: the anecdote about the dude I knew in high school above) and it’s simply an all-timer.

“Breathe (In the Air),” the second track, does a remarkable job of setting up the mood of the album: kick back and immerse yourself in something you’ve never quite experienced before, it seems to say.

Even if you’ve listened to The Dark Side of the Moon a thousand times in your far gone youth days already.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon

Okay, The Wizard of Oz thing. This is known as The Dark Side of the Rainbow, and according to our good friends at Wikipedia:

In August 1995, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette published an article by Charles Savage suggesting that readers watch the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz while listening to the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon. Savage said the idea was first shared on an online Pink Floyd newsgroup.[1] According to Savage, if you start the album as the MGM lion roars for the first time onscreen, “The result is astonishing. It’s as if the movie were one long art-film music video for the album. Song lyrics and titles match the action and plot. The music swells and falls with character’s movements … expect to see enough firm coincidences to make you wonder whether the whole thing was planned.”[1]

I vaguely remember trying this out at some point* and having the reaction that there is really something to it, even though it’s highly probably that it’s just some bizarro cosmic coincidence.

* And I’m pretty sure no illicit substances were involved! Perhaps they might enhance the mood even further, so to speak, but who’s to say for sure?

Some stats & info about Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, British Bands, Album Rock, Art Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Prog Rock
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #55
  • All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
  • When was The Dark Side of the Moon released? 1973
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #354 out of 1,000

Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Breathe, breathe in the air, don’t be afraid to care.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.