Living To Music – Pink Floyd ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’




YEAR: 1973

This Sunday (Sept 5th), at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:

‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ was released when I was 13 and I didn’t pay it much attention at the time. Although I was buying LPs by this point (that year I took on a part time job in an amusement arcade, investing my hard-earned wages in one David Bowie album per week until I had his complete available back-catalogue, ’60s oddities and all), my main point of reference was very much the UK singles chart (the seeds of my Bowie obsession, as with so many others, planted with the ‘Starman’ appearance on Top Of The Pops in July ‘72), and I suppose that given there were no singles taken from ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ (at least not in the UK), it slipped right under my radar.

It was the longer haired kids at school, those who wore the flares, that liked Pink Floyd and the ‘progressive’ bands – we referred to them as ‘smellies’ (not that they smelt bad, but different), and regarded them as uncool, uncouth, but pretty harmless (although I now realise that some of them were a lot cooler than I’d given them credit for – just another kind of cool). We wore parallels (later bags), big loose knots in our ties, and buttoned our blazers in a different way to the smellies and the normal everyday type of kids. Interestingly there was a crossover with beige suede (or desert) boots for a time, but it seemed we had little else in common.

It wouldn’t be for another few years until I was finally turned on to ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ by a couple of wannabe hippie chicks from Hoylake, who dimmed the lights and set a mood of incense burning ambience (although they hadn’t graduated to more irie enhancements). Thus this magnum opus was appetizingly served up to my appreciative ears (along with another, less nourishing  LP, by Camel), and I finally gained an insight as to why some of those proggy types proudly portrayed Pink Floyd and prisms and pyramids all over their canvas haversacks.

Your own memories are always welcomed, and, should you join us for Sunday’s session,  it’d be great if you could leave a comment here after you’ve listened to the album sharing your impressions – how the music affected you, who you listened to it with, where you were, plus anything else relevant to your own individual / collective experience.

The Dark Side Of The Moon Wikipedia:

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41 Responses to Living To Music – Pink Floyd ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’

  1. mach v August 31, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    My Favourite LP of ALL time, hands down, no question. I get completely OCD about it. I’ve loved it ever since first hearing it as a nipper (I was 6 when it came out) and have been obsessing about it ever since. It’s musical perfection.

  2. Grumpyoldgit September 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    I do like DSOTM but feel it comes third after Atom Heart Mother and Echoes as a piece of Pink Floyd music. AHM was just about the first LP I bought and I was completely blown away by it. So I was already waiting in eager anticipation for subsequent Pink Floyd LPs as they came out. The great thing about DSOTM is that although it consists of individual tracks, it hangs together as a single piece of music and should be played complete. In fact, I tend to feel a bit irritated if I hear a single track of it on the radio. It just doesn’t sound right.
    I like to listen to it in the late evening, sat in my front room, with a glass of red wine, the lights dimmed and my eyes closed. It is very relaxing and just about sends me to sleep.

  3. Cerri September 1, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    Really looking forward to this album, my first experience of this was as a child, think I was about 7 years old, my dad (who died when I was 9) had invested heavily in a new sound system with these 3 ft speakers, which my mum still uses (if not just to hold her ornaments) in the 70’s this sound system was a big deal and it sounded excellent. I remember one rainy afternoon sitting on the sofa with my dad and Dark Side of the Moon blasting out, on LP of course, as a little girl there are parts of this album that kind of made me uneasy even quite frightened. I am so looking forward to delighting in the listening of this album with some great friends, it always evokes feelings of my dad, of life, of death and childhood. I dont know what it is about this album that makes it so damn satisfying? The only problem is have is not ripping into full throttle singing along to it!!! I will surely need to be gagged.

  4. Steve KIW September 2, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Loving The Flaming Lips version of the album at the minute. Nice to hear one of my favourites re-interpreted by another of them. Agree with the Grumpyoldgit that it’s not their best – I think Atom Heart Mother too – but an amazing work nevertheless.

    I’d love to know what Camel LP it was they had you listen to Greg? Their soundtrack to The Snow Goose is excellent!

    As for Bowie, had Station To Station on last night for the first time in an age. Bloody hell, now that is good!

  5. Paul Wright September 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    Magnificant! I’ll be back with more shortly!

  6. Stu Leyland September 5, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    In short, an exhilarating masterpiece.

    I listened alone with headphones on which I prefer to do when concentration is needed. I felt a big sense of calmness throughout but strangely focused too. I’m not a huge Pink Floyd fan but there’s so much to like in this album. The track On The Run is an oddity amongst the other tracks I think but it has elements in it that were ahead of its time. The running time of about 43 minutes is absolutely perfect too which can’t be overlooked.

    Thanks Greg and I look forward to the next one.

  7. Nicky Martin September 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    This is still fantastic. @Steve KIW, It just seems perfect that The Flaming Lips would do a version of this.

  8. Little Timmy Collins September 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    Far Fuckin out man!!!!…

    I remember those Smellies G, and the prisms on thier havasacks, god bless em all.

    Found myself, almost at the beginning of the album, being lifted through my kitchen roof, out of the house and way way up into the night sky, taking with me, and attached to my belly, the music, with a single thought, sent and received beams of Pink Floyd, Dark Side Of The Moon, to each and every one of you listening tonight.
    And you sent them right back.
    Some part of me, traveled those beams, and met with many of you, sharing this listening experience tonight.
    Your beautiful, every last one of you.

    No, I haven’t dropped a tab, So I may be quite mad, but,,,,,

    Thank you all for listening with me.
    It most certainly wouldn’t have been the same without you.


    This space cadet is signing off, for a smoke and a cuppa.

    Until we meet again.

    Live well and prosper.

    Love you. x


  9. Marc Jenyon September 5, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    It’s quite amazing how easy it is to forget how brilliantly creative an album you’ve known for years really is when you actually sit and listen to it with no distractions!!! Nice one Greg for giving me the excuse 😀

  10. Duncan September 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Its like reading the manual again.

  11. Meeko September 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    Well……..just needed a few minutes after that to formulate in my mind my feelings, thoughts, and emotions relating to the session that has just taken place.

    A little history here….DSOTHM was probably the first original cassette(not copy)that i owned. I was 11. My cousin who was 5 years older than me at the time was heavily in to Floyd, and i used to stay over at his house fairly frequently as he would babysit me. I would be sonically bombarded by the likes of Floyd, Gong, Hawkwind….really heavy stuff, but grew to heart it all the same and really set the tone for my earlier tastes in music. Typing this out just now has made me think of what 11 year olds are generally subjected too, and thank god a) i wasn’t born in 1999, and b) my family had pretty interesting taste in music. (I must interject at this point that my cousin was regularly taking LSD at that time)

    Right, where was i….My originally copy of DSOTM was actually free, and i’m sure people will remember the Britannia Music Club? that mail order thing that was advertised on the back of Sunday supplements? I had ways of wrapping my mum round my finger in those days, and after spying the list and see’ing DSOTHM, i sold her on the idea of taking up the offer of 4 free tapes but you sign up for a year. She didn’t really thank for this 6 months later when she kept forgetting to send the tapes back and getting charged for the privilege.

    I remember when i first listened to it, and it was on one of those portable tape players, with the tape counter and little handle on it. Mine in particular was off my Toshiba MSX(look it up on the internet), and was more geared towards Jet Set Willy, than the Great Gig in the Sky, although when the game was loading it sounded like the start of ‘On the Run’. I was also using headphones, and is why for this session tonight i did the same, only this time i was on a laptop, the tape recorder is probably nestling snugly at the bottom of a land fill in China.

    This is a fantastic album, very roomy and trippy, and lying here on the sofa in the dark took me back 21 years in an instant and has tapped in to something on an unconscious level which has enabled me to remember all of the above, which otherwise would have been laid dormant within my subconscious.

    I recall listening to the start of the album and being lulled in to false sense of serenity, and welcoming in to the piece, breath, breath in the air, little arm round the shoulder, everything is going be to be nice and smoooooth maaan, and then ‘POW’ down the rabbit hole you go, and you’re on what i can only imagine what the soundtrack to end of 2001 a space odyssey should have been when everything goes dead trippy for about 20 mins.

    All in all a great experience, but as ever, over far too soon. Why is it when you listen to a great album properly, it feels like only 5 minutes have gone by when really 40-50 minutes have passed??? It just highlights how abstract and unreal time actually is, and is really just an illusion.

    Thanks G

  12. Lou Whalley September 5, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    I’m loving the fact that everyone’s got specific memories conjured up with listening to this album.
    My first was when I was looking after my friends CD collection whilst he was away. He had such far ranging tastes and I was really lucky that I had access to all these CDs. A couple of which were the Ruthless Rap Assassins!
    I used to fall asleep (or try to!) to this album every night for months. At that time I remember it feeling much more dark and serious. This time I couldn’t get over the fact that it lifted me right up and in some places made me giggle! I love that overwhelming feeling that each track gives, with your heart being pumped out of your chest only to sooth it down and repeat the whole process again. I need to listen to it again immediately.
    Great choice Greg-and thanks again for presenting the opportunity 🙂

  13. Paul Wright September 5, 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    Quite an incredible piece. I think I’m actually going to need to listen properly at least another two times to satisfy myself.

    This album has some incredible contrasts from raw, harsh and simple through to dreamy, organic, harmonies and complexity.

    The journey lyrically and musically I don’t think I ever truely saw it before, I still need to piece it together a bit more.

    Some very powerful yet tanglible messages in there too.

    I agree with Stu, a true masterpiece.

    What’s next Greg?!

  14. greg wilson September 6, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    The experience is still sinking in – the combination of the music, the silent company of others, and the connectedness to people elsewhere, has induced a warm physical sensation that has stayed with me since the album concluded just over four hours ago. The same thing happened after the ‘What’s Going On’ session, but that marked the start of a new venture and there was a novelty aspect, as with anything new, which had to be taken into account. This has confirmed something to me that I’d only been able to hope for before tonight, but now I can be sure about.

    I believe that what we’re doing here has real value, both individually and collectively. It’s not something I can properly rationalise, but I certainly feel it. Having verified this within myself, it’s also clear from the comments left here, and after the previous Living To Music session, that others are experiencing something similar.

    Empathy is the word that seems to best capture what I’m trying to get at.

  15. Dave Green September 6, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    As a life long music fan, my first proper music related memory is of my father placing me smack dab in the centre of his then speaker set up and making me listen to the wonderful long intro to the then brand new “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” from Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” LP, their follow up to DSOTM. Needless to say Pink Floyd have had a special place in my heart ever since. I totally agree with others here that “Meddle” and particularly “Echoes” are on a par, and, dare i say it more classic Floyd. But like grumpyoldgit before me, i love DSOTM because i always listen to it complete, in all its glory and never just a track or two. Its always been this way, and slowly over the years i have upgraded my DSOTM experience to the point where i only ever listen to it now via Alan Parsons orig vinyl Quad mix, in its entirety on solely 1973 vintage Quad gear. Its not because i’m a particular snob about it, i just love the whole experience of switching it all on with friends and settling down for the real aural treat that it is. I even love having to get up and turn it over, hence my absolute fanaticism about vinyl only with real classic albums such as this. To be honest DSOTM is like the ten commandments of making a classic album in my book. I have read somewhere that Roger Waters took the final cut home to play his wife who promptly cried when it finished. It was he said, only then that he realised that they (Floyd) may have come up with something quite special that the public might relate to. I too have shed a tear and very nearly always do every time i hear Richard Wright hit the 1st chord of “Great Gig In The Sky”. Why then ? I have absolutely no idea, but for some reason it seems to be a hardwired emotional response which strikes me to my very soul. I also adore DSOTM because it is such a quintessentially English record, and quite possibly the most so ever recorded. It along with others such as the Kate Bush masterpiece “Hounds of Love” seems to have been written in purely English prose that’s beyond us mere mortals and could only have come from some lofty ivory tower somewhere in the home counties, and certainly not from Plymouth. I could in fact wax lyrical about this album forever but will bugg out reasonably sharpish before i make a fool of myself. For me it scores on just about every front as a production and if we are looking at how influential it may have been then i would have liked to see Ralph & Florian the day they heard “On The Run” which on the Quad mix is truly awe inspiring. I love DSOTM, and will do until the day i depart this earth, i may well have it buried with me along with the other special albums i hold this dear. All the very Best from me down under Greg and i look forward to the next installment of this “Living For Music” experience, a truly wonderful idea.

  16. K-Funk September 6, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    I have listened to this album many times in many locations. In my bedroom at my parents on my beloved separates system (my Father shouting up for me to turn it down), Live at Earls Court London complete with lasers and a model plane crashing, stoned with my mates under a starlit sky on a climbing trip on Portland Bill…….etc etc.
    Each time it has evoked a range of emotions in me from deep sadness to utter exhilaration. The screaming vocals on Great Gig in The Sky always being my high point. It is in my opinion one of the only pieces of music that to me can also be smelt as well as heard.
    Upon listening this time through headphones on my iPod, with my heavily pregnant wife asleep beside me, I was overcome with a feeling of my own mortality, I was playing out my life in stages since the first time I heard DSOTM, Good memorys and bad flitting through my mind and thoughts of how old I have become. And whilst this was a very private moment for me I felt in a wierd way like I was sharing all of this with whoever else was listening as if I could channel my thoughts through the music……………………….In the cold light of this morning it feels a bit goofy and recounting it here almost feels like I am going to begin chanting soon haha!!
    However, there is no denying I felt some feelings of connection with a faceless mass of other beings sharing the same experience and will definitely do this again. Maybe I will try to make contact with some old friends for the next one.

  17. TC September 6, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Jeez! I’m still trying to make sense of how deeply affected I was by last night’s listening experience. As was the case with “What’s Going On”, this album is deeply ensconsed in my psyche yet I haven’t listened to it for some 15 years.Interesting that two comments here echo what I was saying to my listening companions last night, I only ever listen to this album in its entirety. Its not one of those albums you choose tracks off to listen to. My first memories of this album was when I was 12 and a boyfriend who was older, 15, I think, he bought me a tape copy of it and a copy of the Hobbit. I think I listened to the opening track and read the first chapter of the Hobbit and decided that I had no idea what either was about and dumped him shortly afterwards! However, it was a case of wrong place, wrong time and I have since read the Hobbit (and loved it) and DSOTM is one of my all time favourite albums. God bless Kevin Lawler for trying. I got there in the end, Kevin!
    I remember when this album really hit home for me was when my (now) husband did me a tape copy with DSOTM on one side and Wish you were here on the other for me to listen to on the regular train trips between London and Liverpool I had to take in 1988. The first time, I remember listening and being vaguely aware that the train had been stationary for sometime however I was so engrossed in what I was hearing. It was only when I emerged from listening to both albums that I realised the train had broken down. I couldn’t have cared less! In fact, it gave me the opportunity to listen again to both albums in their entirety. Both albums blew me away.
    Last night the word that kept coming to me was “Titan”. This album is a “TITAN”. The opening track comes at you like a tsunami that engulfs you, picks you up and sweeps you along. The ride isn’t always smooth. Like most “trips” it can get a little rocky and scary and then you hear “Breathe”. Those soothing sweeping glissando guitars. Bliss washes over you but before you know it those jarring clocks go off at the beginning of “Time” that order you to “WAKE UP!!!” from your blissful dream like state. Then “The great gig in the sky”…..
    I don’t have the words to describe this piece. Awesome just seems glib in relation to it. The singer captured every primal human emotion. I was truly delighted to hear that Clare Torry sued and won her writing credit for this track as what she brought was an artistic vocal masterpiece that went way beyond a session vocal.
    Money is a great tune and I love the ease with which it changes time signatures.
    By the time I was listening to “Us and them” last night I was feeling really emotional, by Brain Damage and Eclipse I was weeping. I wept again this morning when I read the comments here. I’m not sure why…. only to say that this music and the lyrics speaks to a place within us all that we generally keep private. It is about life, death, and insanity. Subjects that most of us aren’t comfortable discussing openly and in depth yet all of us have to face. Thats what so powerful about this piece of work.
    Anyway, I am loving the Living to Music events. I would be interested to see how it works for me with an album that I don’t know as both albums so far have been firm faves. Thanks to everyone who participated and shared their comments here. That communal experience is truly special.

  18. Brian E September 6, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Such a poweful opening!
    The heartbeat at the start almost like something that Paul Mckenna may use to count down when taking you on a journey to the unconcious realms,and from then on the psyche is in freefall. The journey continued with ground breaking and powerful sound effects. I’m not sure if I was on the dark side of the moon or where I was but the music definitely took me on a journey. Intense, thouightful, lyrics about lunacy, (Lunatic is on the grass) Greed (Money) and in contrast the stunning performance by Clare Torre which expresses so much without any lyrics. .

    I have heard the album before like everyone else but this time I felt tuned in to what I felt to be ‘lunar’ stuff. Great washes of sounds etc. Like the moon pulling the tides this experience pulled me in and threw me around, dashed me over the rocks etc. The ebb and flow of the music is such a strong and poweful element and the rhythm of the album as a whole is superb. Then there is the rhythm of ‘the individual tracks eg: Money’ with the odd time sig. ..

    Interestingly people’s comments about being connected to other’s listening to the music simultaenously make so much sense, particularly with this album. It didn’t happen for me very much as I was in the music most of the time but if there is an album that tthis happens with this has got to be it!!

    I think I’m still in ‘that place’ I’m still waiting for Paul McKenna to snap his fingers and bring me out of it. Come on Paul, it’s awful dark in here! ………………………….. I don’t think he’s going to come…………… I’m going to be living last night’s experience for some time yet!.

  19. Alexis September 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    I left my comments somewhere last night and the recurring them was OMG!
    All of the analogies here are spot on, the memories each track evoked, so strong and the whole experience bloody incredible. Fk can that woman sing, ripping out her heart to share with us all, OMG!
    I was exhausted by the end of the album and am looking forward to trying this out with my ten year old daughter, it’s about time!
    Cheers g x

  20. DScovery September 6, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    DScovery …..Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon LP.

    Well, Part two of this experience, and an old friend re-appears.
    I have listened to this LP in each of the last five decades now, and while I may only listen to it once in each decade, I can remember each time I have done so.
    What other LP can you say that about!
    I was not into Floyd at the time. The Prog. rockers with their haversacks and trench coats were not my scene. It was a mate who first got me and most of our friends interested in this LP.
    Back in the day, ‘Mort’ used to come out with the lads every weekend and he was forever reciting lines from the tracks on the LP, and other Floyd LP’s…”I’ve got a little black book with me poems in… I’ve been mad for years absolutely f*ckin’ years…careful with that axe Eugene… and when skitting a particular mate who used to go home early annoyed over something, he’d paraphrase… He’s having one of his turns….
    There are two lines of lyrics that I find myself repeating sometimes for no reason at all – this from a Genesis LP…Its one o’ clock and time for lunch dum de dum de dum dum…/… you can tell me by the way I walk. And of course…the lunatics are on the grass… which is a good sing along line, if you are mad like I must be.
    Mort was really into Floyd. When most of us were into Kenny Everett and going out to Town to find girls in disco’s Mort was always there with some mad saying from a Floyd album, timed to perfection and creasing us up with laughter.
    If ever I went to Morts’ house he would invariably stick on some of the album, and regale me with some lyrics that he had searched out deep in some backing track.
    I don’t know where Mort is these days, I believe he went to France, but last night I like to think he was listening wherever he was and remembering old times.
    I won’t bore you with all the stories of listening, apart from mentioning I did once get quite scared listening on my own in a flat that seemed convingly haunted!!

    Last night I only had a CD version of the album which I bought about 12 years ago. An Italian re-mastered copy dated 1992, that I purchased from ASDA for only £2.99 as it did not come in its original jewel case.
    How I envied Colleen listening to her half speed master discs on her Audiophile system, especially when the sounds outgrew the sonic ability of the cheap CD and got lost in a ‘noise’, and later when it started skipping through one of the tracks!!

    The album seems quite short. Originally I thought I was going to be up until the wee small hours, and wondered why Greg had embarked on a quest to send a load of zombies into work on Monday mornings…..
    However, the music continues to stand up decade after decade.
    Some of the tracks actually get quite a groove going, and the artistry of the musicians is breathtaking at times. Also, great use of sound effects and other technological gizmo’s. I wondered, during listening, what affect this album had on Kraftwerk.
    Each track is tremendous, but it is the in-between tracks and segueing that really works.
    It is not for the feint hearted – with a barrage of noises and sounds; you need good neighbours to really feel you can enjoy this at a decent loudness.
    Some really wonderful visions of running to catch something, of the passing of time and looking back at what you ‘missed’, and the wonderful vocalisation by the female singer who puts her soul into what she is creating.
    I do find the album dark though, the subject is about death, madness, and the speed at which life passes by (I am sure someone will tell me if I am wrong here).…I’m sure it is the perfect album for a middle aged man to listen to, and shortly afterwards run off with a teenage bimbo in his newly acquired sports car …..

    Overall though I think it was ahead of it’s time, and that it stayed in the Album charts for soooo long because it was waiting for time itself, and sensibilities, to catch up.

    And finally, not forgetting that the album has a truly GREAT sleeve artwork that unmistakably and permanently means Pink Floyd.

    Roll on the next event…..hopefully I have a Vinyl version.

  21. Paul Wright September 6, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Last night was my first go at this process, it did feel very different knowing that others were giving this some focus remotely and that we were all experiencing the same thing in a pure form. Peoples perceptions will also be unique which is why it’s important to share it.

    I had decided upfront just to listen but early into it I felt I would lose some of what I was experiencing so scribbled a few notes as I went. In essence I was being too analytical as I have listened again and it felt different.

    Through the true listening experience I felt much more emotion than I did previously, my emotions were also different at certain points of the album than they had been before. This time I also got physical sensations- goose pimples, several instances of waves/rushes, I was definitely feeling it more than I ever have before.

    I found several themes running through this: our own crazy systems and way of life being insane and actually inducing insanity in people. It is time for something, an awakening that comes about from a positive journey. Reflecting on what has been left behind and the potential to change things. I had always thought that the death references were about mortaility. I now think it refers to a way of life. Yes our own mortaility is highlighted and I think the message is that we only have a limited time to play this out. It is up to us to choose how we live, don’t be afraid to care about what is happening around you and don’t waste time getting to this realisation..

    I think the album starts off with the acknowledgement of being insane for quite some time. The reasons for this come later. We are told that we have a choice to take on a more meaningful existence. When the rabbit goes down the hole the work is done, another individual has woken up; time to dig another one- spread the word, get people on-board.

    A journey takes place, a rocket launch to the darkside of the moon. I think the running sounds maybe convey a sense of urgency for this journey to happen. What comes next is a reflection of the negative aspects of human life on earth.

    Death, a fear of dying that must disrupt our day to days even if we don’t acknowledge it. The fear of dying disipates in this section, the raw emotional wailing and pain is contrasted by a quite matter of fact ‘I was always affraid of dying’, the fear has been released.

    Money, the rhythm of the track is clumsy and to me it conveys that money doesn’t fit well with us. The concept of money is ridicouled and many of negative consequences are described. Ultimately it is concluded that money is the root of all evil.

    Division, in essence people are divided. These divisions create conflict and suffering. Without the division everybody would lead happier lives. People feel beaten up (black and blue). The lyrics of us and them are very powerful and very relevant. Up and down- just round and round makes me think of floating (in space), more of a continuum rather than discrete ups and downs (could also refer to life). Show some empathy and appreciate your own situation. With without, we’re still at it, exploitation of natural resources and conflict to get at them.

    The album returns to the subject of insanity and I think its conveys that our day to day lives can be insane. What comes out for me is that if you do lose the plot go on this journey, reflect on the madness of it all and go to this place with the realisation that you can lead a better life. Many emotions, feelings, actions, interactions- an all encompassing description of your life and everything else is given. The moon, the ideals from the journey can eclipse all of this.

    The dark side of the moon could not be viewed from our stand point, I think this means that although there is a choice most people do not/cannot see the alternative without making the journey. The end album ends though by telling us that there is no dark side of the moon and infact it is all dark. To me this says that the changes that need to be made are more within our reach than we originally thought and that everybody has the potential to see them.

    I think it is interesting is that the dark side of the moon was chosen for this journey as it is a difficult journey to make, it’s the furthest that any human has been to date. On the dark side of the moon communications were lost with astronaughts in orbit. I think this converys the isolation that people can feel.

    The moon is a remote and desolate place, devoid of the rich tapestry/diversity of life and the environment on Earth. Maybe this sensory deprivation facilitated the reflection process (a big parallel with what we are doing with this process), and led to a greater appreciation of what was left behind and what needs to change to make things better.

    It is hard for me to summarise the whole audio experience because you have to hear it!

    I’ve pulled out some of the key parts for me:

    From the organic heart beat sound the it builds with clocks/mechanical sounds, you are alive, now it is time to start living. It starts to get quite busy, the mad man laughs, screaming, it crescendos and then off into a lovely Pink Floyd dreamy sound (make that journey).

    Next comes the journey, a tanoy announcement can be heard it sounds like your in a departure lounge. The sequencer(s) have a bubbling characteristic, these overlay and increase in intensity. Some really nice shape as the sequences fade left and right, the whole thing feels like its rolling in 3 dimensions. I think the complexity of the sound mirrors the complexity of the technology needed to launch a rocket to the moon. Some of the samples are a bit freaky/chilling; at the point of insanity… Here today gone tomorrow, the shortness of life and also off somewhere. Mad laughing. Definitely running off somewhere.

    Mechanical sound of clocks (its time), harmonic bell sounds contrast with the raw electronic sound of the previous track. Many times I have jumped at this point of the album, similarly I have seen its effect on other people too, can be quite startling! That’s the point- wake up!

    The musical style shifts again combining electronic and organic sounds..great drumming, guitars, synth, wonderful! A grand collective.

    Absolutely gorgeous beautiful piano, very dreamy too. ‘I’m not affraid of dying’, raw emotional wailing, (lot of pain coming out here). Contrasting movements from extreme to calm raising up and down, ‘I was always afraid of dying’ becoming calm.

    Awesome saxophone, strong lead guitar. The keyboard has a kind of reggae or ska type feel to it but more twitchy. Clumsy rhythm.

    The next part is gorgeous, quite a serene feel to it like being outside on a clear night…..in space…on the moon?

    The spacey, cosmic, stellar sounds are fantastic and really create a feeling of being out there.

    Really funky guitar, warbling keyboard.

    Incredibly powerful choral style- name of said album.

    From a musical perspective the album in itself is a work of genius and that is where my focus has been previously. Combine this with the meaning and messages, and the album becomes something very special indeed.


  22. Meeko September 6, 2010 at 5:29 pm #


    Fucking amazing post lad!

    It is very relevant what you’re saying, and can personally relate to a lot of the stuff you said.


  23. gary phillips September 6, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    pink floyd are the best band on the planet, dark side of the moon for me best album ever. great to listen to it again still sounds great to this day. i’m looking forward to seeing roger waters at, the o2 arena very soon.see you all on the dark side of the moon.

    cheers gary..

  24. Simon. September 6, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    The Album brings back memories of my younger brother who would play it over and over again in his room back in our parents home. At that time i was so into my Marvin Gaye , Barry White and Teddy Pendergrass that i had no time for it and although i enjoyed the evening the album still does not float my boat, i would rather lose myself in From The Witchwood by the Strawbs or Hats by The Blue Nile.I have enjoyed the experience of this evening and look forward to the next. Thanks Simon…

  25. Paul Wright September 7, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    Cheers for the thoughts Meeko, hats off to Greg for providing an opportunity to do this.

    I bought this album for £6 (second hand) from King Bee as a student in Manchester (~1997). I have heard it many times, for whaever reason I have played mostly from 6-9 previously. Musically this felt like a medley; Us and Them had a huge impact on me. I had listened right through on a number of occasions, I’d never got anything like this before though (maybe subconcious snippets).

    Ultimately this process has yielded so much more from something I already knew was great, I was truely living to music…. It has inspired me to think on about so much more music I have encountered/loved and yet never truely appreciated. What an opportunity!

    Being a curious chap I had considered reading reviews etc on this album before the living to music session. I decided against it as I felt it may cloud my judgement/experience; I would recommend the same for everybody else.

    I think it’s great to compare and contrast how we perceive a piece of art; also for people to provide yet more opporunities…Simon I have never heard those, thank you!

  26. Dan Soulsmith September 7, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Personally, Dark Side Of The Moon has a lot to answer for! In my teens I was listening to Metallica, GnR and Nirvana etc, but I needed something different. A combination of factors led me to Pink Floyd. My introduction was by inheriting my Dad’s Hi-Fi stereo and his tape collection, which had ‘Meddle’ in amongst all the Roxy Music albums. I found ‘Meddle’ very exotic, atmospheric and otherworldly. At that time I’d started studying art & design at Withens Lane in Wallasey, where I met a lot of very interesting people indeed. This was also when I began supplementing my studies with cerebral substances. So musically I needed new horizons. A trip to Skeleton records in Birkenhead led to my first vinyl purchase… Dark Side Of The Moon.

    In a short space of time Pink Floyd led me to Ozric Tentacles, to Future Sound of London, The Orb, Orbital, Goldie and LTJ Bukem. My mind had been truly opened!

    Looking back, it was the soundscapes and the journey concept I was enjoying. However, if I was to single out one track from DSOTM it would definitely be ‘Any Colour You Like’. I remember pumping this out on my Dad’s Mission speakers, listening to it and thinking this is the vibe I want to explore. That synth-funk-guitar-wah-jazz with a chugging beat. But I didn’t know where to start. I can say with all certainty that ‘Any Colour You Like’ led me to jazz-funk & disco, which in turn led to Greg Wilson, and to me writing this comment.. here, now. It’s like I’ve come full circle maaan!

    Unfortunately I couldn’t listen to DSOTM on Sunday as I was presenting my Drum & Bass radio show here in Manchester (Still doing my bit for deep atmospheric D&B). But I’m now going to dig out DSOTM and immerse myself once more. It’s been a while!

    It’s been great reading the comments here. Some interesting accounts and experiences shared.

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Syd Barrett, and the influence he had on DSOTM..

    Also, it’s definitely worth hearing about DSOTM from the dinosaurs’ mouths..

    Right, where are you my old friend? It’s time to crank the Missions again!

  27. Simon Stanley September 7, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    God I’d forgotten just how good this album really is. Listened on headphones and it sounded amazing!! Love the fact that you can hear the occasional analogue 24-track tape hiss. A rare sound these days. The stereo spacing is wicked too. The toms and guitar stabs panned out nice and wide in the mix. Superb!!

  28. Alexis September 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    (Originally posted on the Living To Music DSTOM Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=135935593115284&ref=ts)

    Never knew “Us and Them” was called that but Dick Parry’s sax is delicious!

    Any Colour You Like is mushrooms watching your hand move and made me laugh

    All in all, the whole album took me right back to being young,
    …impressionable and carefree, hearing things I didn’t know could be done
    and i thank you so much for encouraging me to relive that.

    FKN AMAZING…excuse my mouth xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  29. Alexis September 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    (Originally posted on the Living To Music DSTOM Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=135935593115284&ref=ts)

    OMG, i remember saying Greg I thought I was 12 or 13, my friends parents had put curtains up either end of their hall for their kids to have a “space” for themselves. Sammi’s brother passed a spliff, and put on this album….I had my first smoke and listened to this OMG yet again. Listening tonight I was swept away, …back through time, to that settee and that crackly sound on their stero…LUSH!
    Breathe is a breath
    On The Run to hear the softly spoken magic spells
    The Great Gig, Clare Torry exhuasts me with that vocal wailing OMG
    Money….I got the timing wrong 12 out of 13 times and LOVE the bass all the way through, maybe that’s my instrument?!

  30. David Green September 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    (Originally posted on the Living To Music DSTOM Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=135935593115284&ref=ts)

    Had my experience with the original 73 quad mix on a sansui qrx 8001 and 4x 70’s Celestion speakers. All the equipment like the music is from 73 and sounded absolutely sublime as always. I have always seen this LP as the ten commandments of making a classic album. Still do !

  31. Gavin Kendrick September 8, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    In 2005, I went camping with some friends in an apple orchard in Burtle, a small village near Glastonbury. We took the scenic route, stretching out the journey by a couple of hours, and before long I started to fall asleep in the passenger seat. Somebody slipped ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ into the CD player and I remember the soaring, heart-wrenching vocals in ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’ ripping into my semi-lucid state. I had never heard anything like it.

    Listening again on Sunday, this improvised melody was still the standout moment in the album. The delivery was made more poignant when I later found out that Roger Waters told Clare Torry, the session vocalist who, in 2005, won her court case to be credited as co-author of the track, that ‘there’s no lyrics’ to the song: ‘It’s about dying.’

    The sonic breadth of the album left a strong impression after hearing it again this week. The contrast between the shrill, abrasive clock chimes and warm, pulsing bass were brought to the fore on the high quality sound system that we used to listen.

    Having read much of the feedback about this Living To Music session, on Greg’s blog and other internet forums, a recurring experience seems to be that the lyrical message sinks in many years after first listening. My appreciation of this experience was more focused on the sound than the meaning, and I look forward to revisiting the album at a future date and comparing my impressions then with the thoughts that I’ve shared tonight.

  32. Alex K September 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Participated in this too – and listened to the original surround-sound mix of the album – fantastic, and I’d forgotten just how great this album was. A few people had never really listened to it before either, so it was fab to see how they liked it. Even considering our high expectations, we enjoyed it a lot more than most people were expecting!

  33. greg wilson September 13, 2010 at 11:39 pm #

    Once again, thanks to everyone for sharing their impressions – this is a really important part of the whole experience, and so rewarding for those reading through who’ve also participated (and I’m sure still interesting for those who haven’t). Everyone comes at this from their own particular angle, which is what adds to overall the richness and depth, enhancing our own perception by considering the perceptions of others.

    It’s a bit like the Sufi story of the blind man and the elephant, where each of them is touching a different body part and in disagreement as to what it is they’re touching (when in reality it’s the same thing). What we’re doing is almost the opposite as we know what it is we’re going to touch before we start (the album we’re listening to), but all connect in a different way, and from a different place (even if we’re in the same room), before bringing our seperate experiences together as part of the communal whole.

    Great albums like this have many layers – that’s why we can listen to them over the decades and still hear something new and surprising. These layers are discovered by different people at different times, and when you know an album, supposedly inside out, and then unearth another nugget of discovery, because someone else has shone a light on this previously elusive aspect of the whole, it’s a form of unconscious altruism, underlining what sharing, in its purest form, is all about.

  34. greg wilson September 14, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    Nearly forgot, a couple of recommendations.

    ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ has been explored in the wonderful BBC series ‘Classic Albums’ – if you haven’t seen it, it often pops up on BBC Four, so keep your eye out for it. For further detail check out the John Harris book, ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon – The Making Of The Pink Floyd Masterpiece’ (2005) .

  35. daddy ad September 17, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    i love what you’re doing greg. my wife and i obeyed all rules and even got the oil lamp out for the listening session! we were listening to the audiophile version stan ricker mastered and had the record professionally cleaned before listening on an a-class sound system. it was like listening to a different album. not only because of the incredible sound but also because we listening and nothing more. phones were off and we were immersed in the music. i’d forgotten how damned funky parts of the album are, which was one of the most striking realisations for me. i can’t wait until the next one.
    thanks for the inspiration greg.

  36. Colleen "Cosmo" Murphy September 18, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    Wow – the overwhelming heartfelt response to this is inspiring!

    I got really excited about this “movement” when Greg told me about it as its something I have had a good rant about for ages. I love ranting and had a nice little chin wag about listening vs. hearing on our DarkStarr blog. I won’t go into it all here but suffice it to say that in this day of multi-tasking, tweeting and the degraded mp3 download, we need this!

    This album has always been a favourite of mine. I listened to it and over and over alone in my room during my teenage years and the song “Us and Them”, somewhat of a teenage anthem, still resonates today. I, too, had to suppress the urge to break out into song as surprisingly I can still remember all the words (without looking at the gatefold ;). Recently, it has been one of the albums of choice that we play for friends when they want to experience our sound system as it was recorded and mastered so well.

    As you can see from my husband’s comments above, we were pretty lucky in our listening situation and I felt somewhat guilty that we weren’t sharing this. I thought how amazing it would be to do this as a more communal listening experience on an audiophile sound system and ran the idea by Greg who loved it. Just to give those of you interested the heads up, we will have an event for the next listening session (Abbey Road – yes!!) which will be either the first or second Sunday of October. There will be very limited spaces on a first come first serve basis, but if you’re interested, please join my Cosmodelica Facebook group as that is how I will send out the details.

    Thanks Greg and hope you can make it down to one of the listening events in London!

  37. moviegalaxycom December 3, 2011 at 12:08 am #

    Watch this awsome film Snow White and the Huntsman Online on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0gnjIi3Nrs

  38. world clock February 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Living To Music – Pink Floyd ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ | Greg Wilson – just great!

  39. Lazarus MacIntosh July 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    First listened in 1975 at age 13 entirely on headsets. First ever Vinyl LP owned. First LP listened to stoned and riveted. First Internet Meme tried (Wizard of Oz – to GREAT DELIGHT). First Band ever saw at a HUGE Stadium (Chicago IL, Fathers Day 1977) Band played to an estimated audience of 95,000+ WHAT a Zeitgeist to belong with. Whoa …


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