also by Pink Floyd:
It's impossible to look at an album as well-known as "Dark Side of the Moon" objectively. It's also impossible to imagine what it would have sounded like to a 1973 ear, especially the tricks like the sound effects and interview samples. Now it would be the height of cheese to introduce songs called "Time" and "Money" with samples of clocks and cash registers. These were rooted in Floyd's earlier experimentalism, but now brought into the mainstream with some monstrously good tunes. Whether or not it was original, it is the music that make this album hold up so well 30 years later. Another factor in its success may be that the four members of the band are working equally together without any egos dominating. They would do so again for the last time on "Wish You Were Here". It's not pretentious, or indulgent, they collectively seemed to have one of those years where the inspiration all came at once.
With a theme based on such weighty concepts as life, death, madness and the human condition itself, Roger Waters' lyrics could easily have become cheesy or pompous. But Waters is tasteful here, they don't try to be too clever, he just says things as they are. Waters, David Gilmour and under-appreciated keyboard player Rick Wright play and sing a succession of great tunes that are both immediately accessible and strong enough to last for years. The immaculate production was used to show off expensive hi-fis for years afterwards, but these songs are actually fairly simple. Even Nick Mason gets a solo writing credit for the heartbeat and sound effects of the intro "Speak to Me"! The paranoid "On The Run" is often forgotten as one of the first successful examples of the music that would be called "electronica" 20 years later. "Money"'s famous riff might be in 7/4, but it sounds completely natural and not contrived. Other highlights include Gilmour's huge, much-imitated guitar solo on "Time", the come-down after the climax of "Great Gig in the Sky" and the seamless merge between "Us and Them" and "Any Colour You Like". But listening on another day you might notice a different set of highlights. Unless you haven't got it - in which case, get it!
May 12, 2004