The Dark Side of the Moon
The Dark Side of the Moon – Live at Wembley Empire Pool, London, 1974
Along with 1975’s Wish You Were Here, Pink Floyd’s now-50-year-old The Dark Side of the Moon represents the quartet’s last blast of democracy, a time when keyboardist Richard Wright, drummer Nick Mason, guitarist/singer David Gilmour, and bassist/vocalist Roger Waters composed and played as one. For one of Pink Floyd’s last shining moments as a unified whole, Dark Side of the Moon—and its rarely heard Wembley London live show recording—represents progressive rock at its most endearing, embraceable, and enduring.
The Live at Wembley Empire Pool, London, 1974 album is its own curio worth investigating, with Wright as the gig’s centerpiece. Moving as he did from Hammond and Farfisa organs and Wurlitzer and Rhodes electric pianos into VCS 3s and Synthi AKS for Dark Side, the grandeur of Wembley finds Wright making electronic ambience as much a part of instrumentals such as “Speak to Me” and “Any Colour You Like" as he does his arsenal of keyboards.
One of the more interesting aspects of this remastered 50th anniversary reissue is, of course, its clarion surround-sound Dolby Atmos mix. The funny thing is that anyone old enough to remember Quadraphonic sound will recall being pulled into tiny stereo equipment salons and being placed in a room with Dark Side of the Moon blaring all around you. The haunting spaciousness and loudly terrorizing tape effects given over to “Time” and “The Great Gig in the Sky,” to say nothing of Dick Parry’s subtone saxophone on “Us and Them,” reminds me of those stereophonic days of childhood—as well as hanging out at Pink Floyd Laserium at night.
No, there are no added tracks or demo versions or rarities on this cold, hard remaster—just the bracing “Breathe” and the back-to-back menace of Waters’ "Brain Damage” and "Eclipse" as you first felt it.