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Music usually expresses emotions. Each band or musician has an emotion they want the listener to feel. Album covers show what the album is about or the story behind the album. The songs tell the story. I’m analyzing Pink Floyd’s 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon. The Dark Side of the Moon uses emotion and credibility to tell Pink Floyd’s story very effectively.
Pink Floyd was founded by Syd Barrett. The band spent most of their career as a band under the name of Meggadeath or Abdabs. Syd Barrett came up with the idea to call the band Pink Floyd from two American blues bands — Pink Anderson and the Floyd council. Barrett became the main influence on Pink Floyd’s music since he was the song writer, lead singer and played guitar on everything. The start of the Psychedelic music movement by the band in the late 60’s was attributed to Syd Barrett.
The band was seen as a cult underground group, so they started drugs, especially acid. The amount of acid they took in could have wiped the population of a small country. It was because of drugs and acid that the founder Syd Barrett had a mental break down. Barrett was replaced by Dave Gilmour and the band had trouble finding popularity without Barrett. That’s when Roger Waters started to write songs for the band. With Barrett being mentally ill, Roger Waters was inspired and wrote the greatest album of Pink Floyd’s career, and probably the greatest success of any band, with the release of the album Dark Side of the Moon. Originally the album was Eclipse, but the band found out it was not popular, so they changed the name to the then and now famous Dark Side of the Moon.
The album was so popular do to credibility. It was Pink Floyd’s 18th studio album. The album held a record of 741 weeks on the Billboard chart. The album was sold world-wide with and estimated fifty million copies sold. The band had also performed the songs on the album live world-wide before recording the album.
The album cover is a famous picture still today. It’s a black background with a white light hitting a triangle. The triangle represents a prism. It has the white light going through it. On the other side a six-color rainbow comes out. The rainbow lacks indigo. The band’s name is in the top right corner circled with the album name. It’s smaller and not as import as the picture. When the band was asked what they wanted as their cover they all choose the prism right away. The prism reflects their light show, but also Barrett’s mental state. Roger Waters insisted on the 6-color rainbow lacking indigo.
The album also uses emotion to reach the audience. The theme of this album is insanity. The first thing in the album that appeals to emotion is in the first song Speak to Me. Speak to Me starts with a heart-beat that slowly gets louder and louder. In the background there’s laughter and the faint sound of someone talking about being mad. Through the use of sound effects the song builds up to a musical climax, that then is used as the opening of the second track, Breathe. Breathe uses time to talk about living in the moment, enjoying life now. On the Run is set in an airport. The theme of On the Run is travel, running from your fears. Time tell a story on how life gets away from you, how youth passes quickly. One of the most important parts is when it says, “And then one day you find ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.” It finishes with, “Time is gone the song is over, thought I’d something more to say.” The Great Gig in the Sky focuses on the fear of mortality by using eerie noises. While, Money emphasizes on how money equals power. The theme of Money is materialism. The more money a person has, the more powerful the person is. Us and Them looks at the two different sides of society from a military view with the general in charge, but it’s the soldier on the field that pays the price with their life. Then it goes to talk about society and how the poor die from hunger, while the rich just don’t care. The song says: “Out of my way, it’s a busy day; I’ve got things on my mind. For want of the price of tea and a slice, the old man died.” It’s amazing how a song about war can be so beautiful. Any Colour You Like is about how society has a lack of choices. The song says, “Any colour you like, they’re all blue.” Brain Damage is about mental illness, it was a tribute to Syd Barrett with his mental illness. Barrett had suffered from schizophrenia and manic depression. There’s a line in Brain Damage that goes on to say, “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.” That line is Waters saying to Barrett that they are both the same, the dark side of the moon standing for the insane side of everyone. Eclipse is the last song in the album; it runs on from Brain Damage and polishes off the album with a list of all the things a person does during his/her lifetime and how life is really the lived on the dark side. The song ends with a heart-beat that starts out loud, and then slowly fades away. The heart-beat symbolizes life and how it flies by so live life while you can.
The Dark Side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd did a good job on using creditability and emotion to sell the album. The cover does the best job at grabbing the audience right away and really shows the audience what to expect. The darkness stands for those who don’t make a difference, the light is the spark, the prism is the transition, and the color stands for the difference that was made. Pink Floyd had an impact on the world without even trying and that is why the album was so effective.
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