One of the first compact discs I ever bought was Pink Floyd’s 1973 masterpiece The Dark Side of the Moon. My sister had it on vinyl and I always loved the sound of it even as a little kid. But as a young teen developing his appreciation for great music and good sound, hearing it on CD with its promise of perfect clarity – especially with headphones on – was mind blowing for me.
As far as I remember, The Dark Side of the Moon was the first album I ever heard that wasn’t just a collection of songs but, rather, a linear soundscape that took the listener on a trip. Other than the beginning or end of Side 1 or Side 2, there’s no real traditional start or fade out to each song. It’s a glorious journey.
“Dark Side was the first [Pink Floyd album] that was genuinely thematic and genuinely about something,” said bassist and vocalist Roger Waters. And is it ever.
The Dark Side of the Moon also reveals something different to me every time I hear it. I’ve listened to this album a hundred times, and whenever I listen to it, I hear something I’ve never heard or noticed before. It’s so exquisitely multilayered and remains in my personal top ten.
For the further curious, Rolling Stone published a fun “10 Things You Didn’t Know” piece about the album, which includes several items I never knew, like a scrapped cameo appearance on the album from Paul McCartney.
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