While composing (long before actually publishing) post No. 6 of the challenge that my friend put onto me, my favourite online music store notifies me of the delivery of the “Endless River” CD (yes, I am still one with that old-fashioned utterly outdated habit of buying CDs). “The Endless River” is probably to be the real “final cut” of Pink Floyd’s oeuvre. It’s essentially compiled of abandoned tracks for the “Division Bell” album (1994) and at this very moment of writing I have no clue whether it will be able to beat any of the Pink Floyd masterpieces I could have chosen to be featured in this series (10 is far too few for a top album list).
I could have chosen “A Momentary Lapse of Reason”. That one was the first after Floyd’s breaking up with Roger Waters and Gilmour and Waters entering a year-long lawsuite about the IP rights for the band’s name. After Waters having had characterized Pink Floyd’s issues for years, the album is a solid representation of what Gilmour and the rest of the crew where capable of doing without other influence.
I could of course have picked the one before – “The Final Cut” – for a few of the greatest anti-war lyrics ever written in musical history and for the steps at the beginning of “Paranoid Eyes” which used to scare me to death when walking an empty dark street with my walkman’s headphones on …
I could’ve picked “Wish You Were Here”, of course, for “Wish You Were Here” and the “diamond ode” to Syd Barrett (at least as I see it). And I could probably have picked any of the other original Pink Floyd albums for they are all under my utmost favourites in musical history.
However, I picked the most obvious album I could possibly have chosen – “The Dark Side of the Moon” for each and every bit of it. To me it is kind-of a concept album even though the songs seemingly do not form that much of a story-line as in e.g. Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick”. There’s glimpses of psychadelic in it (which I like a lot) as well as those awesome sound clouds that let the music kind-a sweep all over and around you + plus all kinds of real life sounds recorded – as always with Waters’ stuff – really live (like e.g. the interviews for accompanying songs with human dialogs)
Waters reportedly once explained the final song “Eclipse” and the album itself by stating:
I don’t see it as a riddle. The album uses the sun and the moon as symbols; the light and the dark; the good and the bad; the life force as opposed to the death force. I think it’s a very simple statement saying that all the good things life can offer are there for us to grasp, but that the influence of some dark force in our natures prevents us from seizing them.
Another detail (makin’ me chose this one before the others) is that little bit of Beatles in it: When listening to the original album on good gear, one can hear a glimpse of “Ticket to Ride” at the very end, which results – according to different sources – either from it being played in the Abbey Road studios while recording one of the interviews (to be precise, the famous words at the end: “There is no dark side in the moon, really. Matter of fact, it’s all dark.”) or from Alan Parsons (who engineered the record) using a tape which contained the song.
Why not “The Wall”? one might ask. Well … there is nothing compared to “The Wall”. “The Wall” is gloriously unique. Eternally unique. Hence, it cannot rank in any list. Never.
So – here we go – onto “The Dark Side of the Moon”: