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Happy Birthday To Dark Side Of The Moon

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The historical album hit store shelves on this day back in 1973. Here’s what made it so iconic, the connection to Wizard of Oz and what the band members did with some of the cash they made.

If I could only listen to five albums for the rest of my life, this would be on the list.

Dark Side of the Moon actually debuted in 1972, well ahead of its release to the public. Pink Floyd played the material live in the US, UK and Japan before heading to Abbey Road Studios to lay the tracks down. Dark Side is considered a concept album and dealt with the themes of mental illness, passage of time, greed, guilt and death. If you listen closely to the speaking during some of the songs, you can hear actual audio of band members talking about their own death and how they would like to die.

Producer Alan Parsons was responsible for the sonic excellence of the project, and used the most technologically advanced equipment available including tape loops, analogue synthesizers and multi-track recording.

Upon its release, Dark Side was immediately a success, topping the Billboard charts for one week. Though it only spent one week at number one, it remained in the Billboard Top 200 for 741 weeks, longer than any other album in history.

To date, more than 45 million copies have been sold, making it the most commercially successful album the group has ever released and is one of the best selling albums in the world. Thanks, in part, no doubt to the fact that there have been a few digital remasters and anniversary re-releases. Regardless, it still sounds best on vinyl.

Dark Side of the Moon is also home to one of two songs not sung by one of the members of the band. That song would be “Great Gig in the Sky” that was wailed by Clare Torry, who was paid for her work, but came back in 2004 to sue for royalties and song writing credit, even though there are no real words to the song.

So, what did they guys do with their new found wealth? Richard Wright and Roger Waters bought mansions in the country, Nick Mason started collecting expensive cars and they all dumped a bunch of money into Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

By the way, even though the first side of the album is exactly as long as the black and white portion of the film and there are too many coincidences between the movie and the record, the entire group and producer Alan Parsons have denied that Dark Side of the Moon was specifically recorded to synchronize with The Wizard of Oz. That being said, it’s still pretty cool. Click here to see for yourself.

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