Wow has it been 40 years already since the release of Pink Floyd’sDark Side of the Moon? I remember well March 17, 1973 when that recording debuted (US release date according to Capitol Records). The FM radio station I listened to out of New York City, WNEW-FM 102.7 leaned on it strongly. I bought my vinyl LP copy on the Saturday afternoon it was released here in the States. On the following day, Sunday the 18th of March 1973 I was fortunate to witness Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon 1973 Tour. They performed at The Palace in Waterbury, Ct. I wrote about that experience in the blog post hyper-linked below.
Pink Floyd and EMI Music will mark the 40th Anniversary of the original UK release of The Dark Side of The Moon on 24 March 2013, as fans around the globe unite to turn a specially designed moon dark. Centred around a global playback of the album on PinkFloyd.com, each memory, thought and photo tweeted as fans rediscover the album will count towards the creation of a dark side of the moon.
Starting at 00:01am GMT on 24 March 2013, for the entire day fans all over the world will be able to share thoughts and comments via twitter using #DarkSide40 and witness the impact as the volume of messages combine to turn the moon dark.
When it comes to branding and logo there may not be a more discernible icon than the Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon “Prism”. (Well perhaps the Rolling Stones Lips might top it…) It was designed by Storm Thorgerson when he was with Hipignosis. I have been a major fan of Storm Thorgerson for decades.
Keep watching the Pink Floyd Web page, http://darkside40.pinkfloyd.com/ for the variants of the Dark Side of the Moon prism. Each day another square in the diagram gets filled in and I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon 😉
One of the most historic concerts I have seen over the decades was the original Pink Floyd performing Dark Side of the Moon on tour. The date for that concert was March 18th, 1973. The venue was the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Dark Side of the Moon was released on March 17, 1973. The album gathered momentum quickly but was not yet being played in its entirety on progressive FM radio stations. The song “Money” was an immediate hit and the crowd that night cheered loudly when it was performed.
We were fortunate to catch Pink Floyd before the updraft of chart success took them to the next level of fame in rock and roll. They were soon playing arenas and stadiums versus lesser sized concert halls like the Palace Theater where we saw them play (2,500+ seats) It was a mere two weeks later on April 1st, 1973 that Dark Side of the Moon reached No. 1 on It then remained in the charts for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. It is estimated that 50 million copies have been sold. It is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide.
I have several specific memories of that night. The first memory is that the event was over sold. We had real numbered seat balcony tickets but Koplik & Finkel who booked this event sold way too many tickets. We ended up sitting on the carpeted stairs in the balcony. It was a definite fire code violation situation. We did end up with a great line of sight to see the band.
My second memory was that they played my favorite Pink Floyd song, “Echoes” from Meddle. I love how that song builds to a crescendo force. They used a light display behind them that gave the impression of a darkened sun as it rose in the sky as they played. I always found “Echoes” powerful in its presentation. I became enraptured with the opus when I first saw Pink Floyd on the silver screen in Live at Pompeii.
My third memory was when they performed “Great Gig In the Sky“, the female singers stood in the opera boxes on the sides of the theater and spotlights reflected on their flowing white dresses. That section of the performance reverberates strongly in me even now, 39+ years later.
I am thankful that I had the insight to buy tickets to this concert at the Nimbus Water Bed Shop in New Haven, they were a ticket outlet in those days. It was a historic event that my wife and I were able to witness live. 🙂
Why Pink Floyd? week continues on Thursday with a look see at Pink Floyd’s follow up recording to Dark Side of the Moon. Wish You Were Here was released on September 12, 1975 (36 years ago). Richard Wright and David Gilmour have each declared Wish You Were Here their favorite Pink Floyd album.
I first heard Wish You Were Here at the WNEW-FM Christmas Concert at the Westchester Theater (The concert starred Renaissance, Janis Ian and The Stanky Brown Group). It was played extensively in between stage changes for Renaissance who was the headlining act. I was surprised to hear the enthusiastic crowd response to the music as it wafted through the concert hall. I developed an immediate connection with “Welcome To The Machine” which to me has always signified our society’s interdependence upon technology. I am a 30+ year technology professional and “Welcome To The Machine” speaks to the engineer/designer I’ve become.
1) My first lengthy encounter with the music of Pink Floyd was in the 1970 film Zabriskie Point by Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni. Pink Floyd’s music was the most memorable feature of this surrealistic movie. I made a special point of seeing this film based upon an article I read about Antonioni and Pink Floyd in Rolling Stone magazine. I came away from this movie with the visual nature of Pink Floyd firmly planted in my psyche.
2) My next intervention with Pink Floyd was the album Meddlewhich I was introduced to again as a music backdrop at a fellow college student’s place. “Echoes” was the selection on Meddle that intrigues me with its evolving dynamics to this day.
3) My next visual experience was the 1972 film, Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. This was a surround sound concert of Pink Floyd filmed without an audience on the floor of an amphitheatre in Pompeii. There were many interesting and novel cinematic techniques. You were taken to the heart of the sun by the director, film crew and Pink Floyd. I saw this in the movie house where the large screen amplified the sound and video experience.
Dark Side of the Moon
I was fortunate to see Pink Floyd with my fiance’ Rosemary in April 1973 at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. I purchased the $6.00 tickets to this concert at Rubber Match Waterbed in New Haven, a Ticketmaster ticket outlet (remember those…). The concert was oversold and we ended sitting on the stairs in balcony that night. I am very proud to say I saw Pink Floyd perform Dark Side of the Moon on March 18th, 1973 the day after it hit the U.S. charts. As everyone knows Dark Side of the Moon spent 741 weeks (15 years) on the charts from 1973 to 1988. This ranks as one of my top three concerts of all time out of more than 400+ concerts I have attended in 42 years!
I purchased a copy the first week it was released in March of 1973 at Cutlers in New Haven. I actually got in trouble with the WNHU-FM station manager because I played it from beginning to end one day during our July 1973 début week. I had violated the playlist policy that was in force at the station at the time. (3 songs from the A list, 2 songs from the B list every hour…) Having seen Pink Floyd perform Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety four months earlier I just had to repeat that experience for my listening audience.
What an exciting week for Pink Floyd fans and music collectors. The Why Pink Floyd? EMI/Capitol sales and distribution campaign commences today for North America. All the studio albums are newly remastered including unreleased music from the archives & collectors’ box sets.