My #1 album oriented petpeave is when people say that saying Dark Side of the Moon is the best floyd album is a cop-out.
The sheer beauty of Dark Side from it's opening moments of choas in sounds that will all be revisted throughout the songs on the album to the final hearbeat as we realize "there is no dark side of the moon, in fact, it's all dark" can capture any listeners soul and send it straight into the stratosphere of euphoria and self-realization. Not a dull moment and not a single song goes without its own unique touch. DS was released in '73 and instantly became one of the single most important albums ever recorded from it's release. Up until this point, prog rock was in the hands of bands like King Crimson who had a sound that paved the future, but Floyd took over after the release of this album. If you are a real Floyd-head, you know the irony behind this album when you watch the film Live at Pompeii. As they are in the studio, Roger Waters and Co. constantly say how they are becoming a thing of the past and how their music will become captive to the late 60s. Wow were they wrong.
The songs on this album are so great, that they are next to impossible to take them away from the whole album as an entity. The only song that does this without flaw is "Time" but even when you hear that on the radio, you instantly need "The Great Gig in the Sky" to follow. This is why Dark Side is a triumph of an album and the best of the Floyd catalogue. Albums like Animals and Wish You Were Here are easy to break the songs apart, but on DS, you here "Us and Them" on the radio and get pissed when they do that awkward quick fade out to cut of "Any Colour You Like." Same when they cut off "Breathe" into "On the Run." The transition there is so important to the song that came before it that it sucks to hear it alone.
Another thing that makes this one of my all time favorite albums is the fact it has the ability to take you out of your body and transport you through your life via meditation. One of my all time favorite moments in the history of my all-too-short existence was in High School when George, Erin, Courtney and I sat on the balcony down the shore and watched the tide come in as wqe silently listened to Dark Side straight through. It was such a zen moment in my life that I constantly listen to this album in the dark (no pun intended) and meditate about how life flashes by. Roger Waters' pointed and cynical observations are perfect for seeing the reality around us.
It's the perfect album for an LP as well. Just let it run straight through and lie there. It sounds great on vinyl (as do most Floyd albums.)
I can't think of where my life would be if I hadn't bought this album in 7th grade. I think things would be totally different. This and Tommy were catalysts for my journey into the classic rock phase of my life. Before hearing Dark Side, my favorite albums were Weezer, Odelay and STP's Purple. Not that these are bad albums (all three are on my all time list with Odelay in the top 10.)
"Time" is my all time fav Floyd song and is #3 on my all time songs list. But my favorite lyrics hit when "Us and Them" come along and I will leave you on that note.
Us and Them
And after all we're only ordinary men
Me, and you
God only knows it's not what we would choose to do
Forward he cried from the rear and the front rank died
And the General sat, as the lines on the map moved from side to side
Black and Blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and Down
And in the end it's only round and round and round
Haven't you heard it's a battle of words the poster bearer cried
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There's room for you inside
Down and Out
It can't be helped but there's a lot of it about
And who'll deny that's what the fightings all about
Get out of the way, it's a busy day
And I've got things on my mind
For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died