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.
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.
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.
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."
Pink Floyd began playing Dark Side of the Moon songs in concert around 1972, a year before the album's official release. To the band's horror, someone publicly released a bootleg recording of the entire album sequence from a London show and sold it in record stores.
Though the band feared the bootleg would hurt album sales, it didn't - Dark Side has sold more than 15 million copies in the US, becoming one of the most successful albums of all time and holding the record for the most weeks spent on the Billboard 200 chart.