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THE THROWBACK: Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ Turns 40
March 3, 2013
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40 years ago this month, Pink Floyd unleashed 'Dark Side of the Moon'.

Check out this rare clip of the band discussing their music, their production style, themselves and their fans during the sessions for the record.

It was the eighth studio album by Floyd, recorded in two sessions at the famous Abbey Road studios in London. Several decades later, 'Dark Side of the Moon' is one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Sales were strong from the beginning, and stayed that way: 'Dark Side of the Moon' spent 741 weeks in a row on the charts - from its release in 1973 all the way to 1988.

And it still makes periodic returns. To date, it has sold more than 50 million copies.

By the time of the release, Pink Floyd was already a musical juggernaut. But this concept album really pushed them over the top.

The record covers universal themes of conflict, greed, time, violence, madness, death and mental illness, with the latter partly influenced by former front man Syd Barrett's deteriorating state.

Using some of the most advanced recording techniques of the time, and working with staff-engineer Alan Parsons - who had worked on The Beatles 'Let It Be' and 'Abbey Road' - the band worked analogue synthesizers and a series of recorded interviews with philosophical quotations into the album, creating a unique and iconic soundscape.

Fans have tried countless experiments with 'Dark Side of the Moon'. The most famous is 'Dark Side of Oz'.

In the early '90s, rumours started circulating that Pink Floyd had written 'Dark Side' as a soundtrack for the 1939 film 'The Wizard of Oz'.

Although band members have denied it, there are some amusing synchronicities with the lyrics, melodies and visuals in the film. Check it out below:

Of course, like many a classic album, there are a few contributors that weren't properly credited.

Clare Torry is the voice behind 'The Great Gig in the Sky'. She was a session singer who spent three hours creating what ended up becoming an immortal vocal performance.

At the time, Torry wasn't aware of Pink Floyd beyond their early single 'See Emily Play'.

Guitarist Dave Gilmour instructed her to sing something emotional, Alan Parsons hit record and she was paid $45. The melody was crafted around her and she only discovered she was on the album after buying her own copy.

A few decades later, she earned a songwriting credit in court for those few hours work.

And if it weren't for this album's success, it's quite possible the production 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' would not have been as well-financed. Find out more about the making of the album on this episode of VH1's Classic Albums.

And if you don't have any vinyl to spin today, press play below and breathe in the air.

Plus, be sure to catch The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2, tonight at 8PM. And if you'd like to catch up or relisten, all of the episodes are archived here.


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