Many consider it Pink Floyd's masterpiece and one of rock music's most influential albums, but 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon is legendary for more than musical reasons. It has a rumored connection to The Wizard of Oz and features the groundbreaking use of segues comprising audio recordings.
There's much to Dark Side unknown to the majority of listeners, but the surprising facts add intrigue to the beloved album.
In 2005 session vocalist Clare Torry sued the band for lost earnings - she claimed they owed her royalties for her improvised contributions on "The Great Gig in the Sky." Torry won the suit against the band and their publisher, garnering 50% ownership of the song and 50% of the royalties. The settlement was reportedly worth millions of dollars.
"Clare came into the studio one day, and we said, 'There's no lyrics. It's about dying - have a bit of a sing on that, girl.' I think she only did one take. And we all said, 'Wow, that's that; done. Here's your 60 quid,'" Waters later recalled.
The Dark Side classic "Brain Damage" was, unbeknownst to many, about Floyd's founding member Syd Barrett, whose dismissal from the band in 1968 was due in part to his drug abuse and worsening mental illness.
"When I say, 'I'll see you on the dark side of the moon'... what I mean [is]... If you feel that you're the only one... that you seem crazy [because] you think everything is crazy, you're not alone," Waters said of the song lyrics.
Songs played in a 7/4 time signature don't often gain notoriety - except for Pink Floyd's "Money." According to Waters, David Gilmour became frustrated over the song's time signature during recording:
I would do things, and Dave would say, "No, that's wrong. There should be another beat. That's only seven."
I'd say, "Well, that's how it is." A number of my songs have bars of odd length.
There is a Beatles contribution in the Dark Side album - albeit accidentally. At the same moment the producers were in the process of recording Abbey Road's doorman, Gerry O'Driscoll, for the DSotM album, an orchestral version of "Ticket to Ride" played in the background.
O'Driscoll delivered a famous line during this unique moment as well: "There is no dark side of the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark. The only thing that makes it look light is the sun."