Dark Side of the Moon Released
The 24th of March 1973 AD
Going against the standard method of releasing an album and then touring to promote it, the band Pink Floyd toured with the music of Dark Side of the Moon in order to perfect it before recording took place.
Thus the music was first heard in public at a gig in Brighton , at The Dome, in January 1972. The music press – which with a few exceptions was very enthusiastic – got a preview concert of its own at The Rainbow a month later. Tours and other commitments then pushed the recording into the background for a time.
Abbey Road Studios were where the band chose to make the recording, working there in May and June of 1972, and finishing things off in January the following year. The inevitable link between that studio and The Beatles was reinforced by the engineer on the album, Alan Parsons, having previously worked with The Fab Four; and Paul McCartney recording some spoken words for the work, though they were not in the end used.
The long gestation period for the record is perhaps part of the reason it became such a unified and unique work, a concept album of the more intelligent sort that was indeed concerned with concepts – including greed and insanity – rather than an event or novel. Though each side is in effect continuous, the songs Money and Us and Them are frequently played as individual songs, as is The Great Gig in the Sky with its ethereal vocals.
Released on March 24 in the UK (March 10 in the US) it spent just one week at the top of the US album chart, and only ever reached number two in the UK: but it had amazing longevity, spending 15 years in the charts in America for example. With sales approaching the 50 million mark the album also gave the band, Roger Waters , Dave Gilmour , Nick Mason and Richard Wright, immense financial resources, some of which happily went towards another British institution, the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
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