The Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd

The special edition vinyl "180 gram heavyweight" with a poster included is nothing more than an excuse to bring back one of those records that marked a whole generation. 40 years ago, things were done through trial and error, through pure inspiration, with no real awareness of what the final outcome would be. Much more than LSD, what was behind it all was hard work and dedication to reaching perfection. You don't get there by tripping out with trembling fingers and fluttering eyelids. The Psychedelic image was just that – a front, a pose. The Dark Side of the Moon is a good example of extensive preparation, the music being performed in front of a live audience (more than just the once) before going into the studio to get it all down on tape.  

It was the band's eighth album; David Gilmour and friends were already legends. Their conceptual records and the virtuosity of all its members made it difficult for one of them to stand out, Clapton style, above the rest and be recognised as one of the world's greatest rock guitarists. His reserved character also kept him out of the limelight, but didn't stop him being an enormous influence, as he was a pioneer in the implementation of new technology and electronics in a guitar's sound. Fuelling this creative mix was avant-garde producer Alan Parsons.  

Curiously, Rolling Stone's review of the album in May 1973 criticised the "weak and mediocre" voice, especially in the song The Great Gig in the Sky. The journalist also felt that the track should not have been included on the record or at the very least shortened. Despite this rocky start, since its release, it is calculated that The Dark Side of the Moon has sold 45 million copies (Billboard dixit). Roger Waters' lyrics were ingenious, while Gilmour's voice can hardly be considered an ingredient that helped make the album one of the greatest musical marvels of the 20th century.

It is such a famous work of art that almost everything is known about it – even how much singer Clare Torry was paid for her wailings in the album's fifth track ($30). The magic of this album speaks for itself. What we will say is that readers of Guitars Exchange really must take a good listen to Gilmour's solo in Money, which set a whole new way of playing and listening to the electric guitar in the synthesiser era of the '70s.

The unassuming Gilmour was unfortunately left in the shade, while the huge egos and tremendous talents that were Roger Waters, Rick Wright and Alan Parsons took nearly all the public credit as the 'fathers' of the new sound. His work was not fully realised and appreciated until recently, with his efforts to keep the 'pink magic' flowing.