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Dark Side Of The Moon

“What is the *song* at the end of Dark Side Of The Moon?”

One of two things. It could be an accidental tape anomaly that the Floyd never noticed when they recorded the song. Or maybe they did notice, but it was so faint that they didn’t care anymore. Or perhaps master just was damaged long after the recording was finished. In any event, if you listen very closely to the end of the song, you can hear the last low note sort of “burp” a bit.

Others have argued that Pink Floyd are too much of a “purist” in terms of their work and would never have allowed a glitch like that to be distributed without having some reason. What that reason is, however, is anybody’s guess.
Nobody knows. But everyone seems to have heard it at one time… If you listen to the very very end of “Eclipse”, and turn your volume up very very high, you will very very faintly hear some music. This has been pointed out several times, but nobody has ever been able to pinpoint exactly what the song is. Some think it’s a Beatles song, others, classical music. And why is it there? A studio trick? Or just sound bleeding through from another studio? Truth is, we’ll probably never know.

Apparently, however, the original “Black Label” Harvest CD does *not* have this music. Curiouser and curiouser…

“Where did the speaking voices on *Dark Side of the Moon* come from?”

People. Lots of people. Just like you and me — sort of. What the band did was this: they prepared a bunch of questions, questions like “When was the last time you thumped someone?” “Why are you frightened of dying?” and “Were you in the right?” Then they took people off the streets, out of other recording sessions, and from within the Abbey Road staff, sat them down in front of a microphone, and handed them a random card, instructing them to say whatever comes to mind. Answers like “I’ve been mad for fucking years, absolutely years” and “I don’t know [if I was in the right], I was really drunk at the time” made it on to the album.

“Where did the idea for the cover came from?”

[From the Shine On book:]

“The idea of the prism came from a series of conversations with the band, especially with Roger and Rick. Roger spoke about the pressures of touring, the madness of ambition… and the triangle is a symbol of ambition. Rick wanted something more graphic, less pictorial, something, as he put it, more stylish than before. Floyd’s lighting show was regarded as very powerful and the prism seemed a good way to refer to that, and be more graphic at the same time.”

And, regarding the pyramids: “A larger physical representation of the triangle was the pyramid…perhaps it could be seen as a testament to madness, more ‘vaulting ambition.'”

“Breathe”

There’s a small error in the lyrics for Breathe on the vinyl versions — at least the 1973 issue, a later reissue and the 20th anniversary CD issue — as well as in the Shine On book.

All list the lyrics for Breathe as “don’t sit down it’s time to *start* another one”.

Thanks to Terence McShery for pointing this out.

“The Great Gig in the Sky”

At about 3:32 into the song, there is a background voice. It’s of a woman, and the what she says is “I never said I was frightened of dying.” Presumably, the question she’d been asked was “Why are you frightened of dying?” and this holds for the other voices on that song, as well. A common misinterpretation of this phrase is “If you can hear this whisper, you’re dying.” But that’s not what it says. Period.

If you listen very closely to the end of the song, you can hear the last low note sort of “burp” a bit.

This could be an accidental tape anomaly that the Floyd never noticed when they recorded the song, or they did, but it was so faint that they didn’t care anymore, or perhaps it happened long after the tape was finished and the master just got damaged.

Others have argued that Pink Floyd are too much of a “purist” in terms of their work and would never have allowed a glitch like that to be distributed without having some reason. What that reason is, however, is anybody’s guess.

“Brain Damage/Eclipse”

The version on ‘Works’ sounds different from the original. That’s because they ARE different! The versions on that album are not from the regular DSotM mix, but rather from the quadraphonic mix. This makes sense when you consider that ‘Works’ was an American release, from Capitol, and that Capitol’s first DSotM CD was taken directly from the quadraphonic LP master. Anyway, the only real difference is in the voices of “Roger the Hat,” the roadie who supplied a lot of voices to the album. In the regular mix, he talks a bit in the background of the song, in the quad mix, he just laughs (and laughs and laughs…).

Also, some people have said that the version of “Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun” sounds much clearer on _Works_ than on ASOS.

Why Are The Japanese Black Label CDs so expensive ?

[Taken in part from an article in Record Collector magazine:]
In the early 1980s, when the compact disc first appeared, the CDs themselves were imported from Japan, which was at that time the only country with the facilities to manufacture the new format. Initial British issues of _Dark Side_, _Wish You Were Here_, _Meddle_ and _The Wall_ had “Made in Japan” on the discs themselves, while the inserts stated the country of origin as the U.K.

These early discs — which are said to be superior to standard UK/US issues (excepting _The Wall_, which had several problems) — can easily be distinguished because they have an all-black label side with silver lettering. These Japanese- manufactured CDs are now highly prized by hardcore collectors, both for their vastly superior sound quality and for their rarity. Expect to pay around #20 [20 UK pounds] or so for copies.

“What are all these different ‘Dark Side’ releases?”

Recent releases of Dark Side of the Moon — from the Shine On set, the XX anniversary CD, the “normal” EMI remaster, and the live rendition on Pulse — have provoked a few new questions.

“Song Credits and Tracking Differences”

Several changes in the Dark Side song crediting have occurred in some recent releases of the song cycle (Shine On and the audio versions of Pulse). These are:

Song and Original Credits New Credits
“Speak to Me” (Mason) –> Mason, Waters
“On the Run” (Gilmour, Waters) –> Gilmour, Waters, Wright
“The Great Gig in the Sky” (Wright) –> Wright, Waters

It’s interesting that these changes occur on Shine On and the Pulse audio releases, but not the videos of DSoT or Pulse, nor the EMI remaster or the XX Anniversary DSotM CD. I can’t imagine that Storm and company aren’t aware of these discrepancies, though I suppose it’s possible. But assuming there *is* a reason for them…what is it?
The best I (Matt) can come up with — and I freely admit this is quite a stretch — is that, for the audio recordings, it’s a part of the agreement between the current Floyd and Roger Waters. The reasoning involved would be that Waters was understandably reluctant to have songs he felt strongly involved with used to promote something which he felt was illegitimate. So when DSotM or its component songs are used in conjunction with — and thus used as a sales incentive for — post-Waters Floyd material, the current Floyd agreed to give Waters credit for several songs that he did a marginal but still significant amount of work on.

The Wright credit would then be a kind of “if you get credit for your role on this, Rick should get credit for his role on that” thing. And when the albums are sold on their own, as the XX Anniversary CD or normal remaster, the original crediting holds. Finally, the video recordings fall under a separate copyright, so this doesn’t apply to them, and they use the original credits as well.

This theory would also give an explanation for the differences in the tracking of “Speak to Me” and “Breathe” on the various releases. On _Shine On_ and _Pulse_ they’re tracked separately; on the XX CD, they’re together. Let me stress again, though, that this is all just speculation on my part — it has no basis other than the fact that it matches the circumstances, and I can’t think of anything else that does…

“The New Cross-Fade”

The EMI remastered versions of DSotM have an added “bridge” between “The Great Gig in the Sky” and “Money” that all other releases lack. Being first released on vinyl, there was always a gap between the two songs caused by the album break; this gap was perpetuated on the cassette and original CD versions. When James Guthrie, Doug Sax and Alan Parsons went to remaster the album, they also added in a new cross-fade to make the transition flow more smoothly.

Some people claim not to hear the cross-fade, but if you listen carefully, you should notice that the final note of “Great Gig” doesn’t *quite* fade out completely before the first coin sound effect of “Money” is heard. The cross-fade is subtle, but it **is** there.

(It’s worth noting here the obvious but sometimes overlooked fact that all the older albums were created and recorded for vinyl. “Money” wasn’t just in the middle of DSotM, for example — it was the start of the second side of the LP.)

4 comments on the “Dark Side Of The Moon” page

  1. September 17th, 2012 at 10:54 pm


    Floyd Fan

    I wonder why there is no video in existence of an old 70’s Pink Floyd concert with Clare Torry singing “Great Gig in the Sky.” There’s plenty of videos of OTHER women singing this part (even with Pink Floyd)- but not the ORIGINAL singer.

  2. January 1st, 2013 at 3:24 am


    Pete

    The “anomaly” at the end of The Great Gig in the Sky was actually the last note in the song being sped up then returning to normal speed in order to fit the whole song on the first side of the record.

  3. February 2nd, 2013 at 12:07 pm


    Anonymous

    Just heard an old song from Julie Covington (Only Women Bleed) and found myself singing Dark Side of the Moon..musically they are the same! Go Listen.

  4. February 2nd, 2013 at 12:08 pm


    roger

    I posted the above comment……….

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