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El Castillo Eléctrico

Dark Side Of The Moon Review - ENGLISH VERSION



Dark Side Of The Moon Review - ENGLISH VERSION

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I have decided to start Electric Castle with The Dark Side of the Moon due to several
reasons: among others, I think that this is the record which has a wider acceptance inside my castle guests. Also, it is a milestone of progressive rock and inagurates a new and alternative way of understanding of music within the context of rock.

I will explain you: the seed of rock was nonconformity, rebelliousness and transgression, it had important peaks with 70s Punk and 80s Heavy Metal. However, Pink Floyd, ahead of music evolution, suggested intellectual music, based on experimentation, in the possiblities of sound and instruments… in the sensations of the psichodelic sounds that had just borned. They also popularized the idea of an album like a masterpiece, as a whole, completely connected with a guideline, something that nowadays just does not exist. Could you even imagine, dear tenats of this eclectic house, that someone has the idea of downloading separatedly songs from this record from itunes or from Wish You Were Here? Sacrilege! This is a global record,
you have to buy it as a whole, as a vinyl if possible.

I must admit that is hard for me to critic this album without connecting it to another pillar of progressive rock, the already mentioned: Wish You Were Here. This will lead me to a second critic after finishing this one.
The context of this album was that Syd Barret, one of the fathers of the sound of the early band, had already left, and the band was now leaded by Roger Waters and David Gilmour. They were who, with Nick Mason and Richard Wright, inside the mythical Abbey Road Studio and with the sound engineer Alan Parsons, conceived a piece of art wich reflected human madness, a methamorfosis shown in the figure of a lunatic, and spiced up with money, fame and war. This was the first record ever edited in 16 tracks, a new technological standar, which allowed them to have a more precise sound and also add more noises and electrical sounds.

In fact, that is the first to appreciate in the Speak To Me (Breathing) opening song: sounds that results in a quietly and lisergic melody that carries gradually, like an ancient train, to the human brain insides, that is the host for the sensations musicians are trying to express. Around the minute 3:15, a sweet shove of a hammond prevents us not to sleeping, and a few later the interlude "On the Run" raises train velocity due to percussion, whereas traveller inside can watch the passing landscape, turning to unreal, and scenified by consecutive electronic effects. We have already crossed the thin line between the sanity and the unreal madness of modern human mind.

Train movement is sleeping us, and apparently silence is suddenly broken by the shrillness of alarm clocks.At this moment is when "Time", one of the best Floyd's compositions for me, carries us to a special state of conscience, in which the train shows us all the plans we have not been able to perform, and the bitterness of the imposibility to fulfill our dreams, ever when we are dreaming. In the mood of a blues
song, the female chorus part that swings Waters' voice to a desperation scream, are
unavoidably touching. Guitar sounds perfectly, and unity of psichodelic evolution that grown with Pink Floyd is sublime.

Now it's time of The Great Gig In The Sky, that show us the death fear sublimating in a soaring sky gospel. Piano draws the clouds and vocal melody moves them from side to side... and suddenly, we wake up!.

This moment is not the one related to time, but something much more material. "Money" starts blatantly with a thuggish plucking that constructs the most radio song of this album. Sax carries us to the exclusive world of wealth, casinos, vip clubs, which start to twist in a spiral until they crash in the magnificent final guitar solo, full of contrasts, of pools and pitchs, and then, the beginning vocal piece returns in a fading-out way.

Then it comes for me the second culminating point of Dark Side: "us and them". Wrapped up in a sweet sax melody and a voice resigned to human condition, to frustration. Duality, enemies, yin & yan... are overcome by a man of sorrows, that is not able to understand his vicinity killing themselves in bloody sides. Then it cries in refrain using female chorus as tears, never equaled in another album. Sax carries us deep into a feelings orgy, in one of the most exciting sax solos for me, that then sobs until song ending.

"Aint Colour you like" is just an appendix of the previous song, in a more psychedelic mood, making a cohesive transition towards the final catharsis. It is clear that this composition was placed in a very clever way in order to prevent for a saturation between "Us and Them" and "brain Damage", through a contribution of light melodies and crossed solos drawing the path to the lunatic grass-lied-down finale, the moment at which he understands that his madness is wonderful as is the only way to scape from time, money and blood.
Metaphorical content of the gorgeous poem hiding in this song, becomes beyond and it places into the same level of music. "Brain Damage" never could be the same song without that verses, that refrain, that magic that travels towards the final eclipse, staging of thriumph of insanity over reality ("everything under the sun is in tune but the sun is eclipsed by the moon").

Maybe this record could be a bad example of what I want to show in this strictly musical blog, but when you are taking approach to this masterpiece, you cannot save yourself from the needing of trying to understand the feelings that builts it, the passion that express it, and the strength with which it is performed. After all, music is passion, and this record shown that genious to compose, and focusing of music in the instrumentation and to recreate on it, does not kill the soul of artistic expresion. When people brand the progressive tag as a series of technical instrument uses, that results in a bored and no moving artistic expression, I think they prejudiced these records that inagurates this genre and are keeping stand the tendency on it. Dark side Of the Moon is not a record to feel and understand at the first hearing; it is a record to let settling down, to hear it in a peaceful moment of the day and take relax or excite with its soothing or impulsives ups and downs.
Never insanity was so clever...

P.D: As curiosity, an urban legend tells that there is a suspicious relationship between this record and the Wizard Of Oz film. If you hear this record while you are viewing the film, scenes matches with perfection with the sense of song lyrics...this is what people says.
  • Congratulations, you have a wonderful web, I´m impatient for the next post. Despite this, I would like to suggest orange color for text (or put something behind it) because It's difficult to read.
  • Thank you for mentioning that Alan Parsons was the engineer on this album.

    The original credits on the jacket listed Alan as the producer but later versions have removed his name completely.

    The album never would have been such a masterpiece without his contributions.
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