Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon on DVD
By Jim Bray
Wow! If youve loved this album since it crept into the Me generations
collective consciousness in 1973, youll love revisiting its creation in
this dynamic DVD release.
Part of VH-1s Classic Albums series, this DVD is a loving
look at the crafting of the album that, according to Ask Yahoo,
I remember Dark Side fondly. It hit like a ton of bricks when it
was first released; Ive been through numerous copies of it since then,
from the original vinyl release to the Ultradisc, to compact disc, and now to
the Super Audio CD (and why, oh why, havent they released it in DVD-Audio?).
Its a masterpiece, bar none, one of the greatest rock albums ever made.
It made me a Pink Floyd fan. My previous experiences with Floyd had convinced
me they were just some weird spacey band, and perhaps they were. Since Dark
Side, Ive revisited earlier works and am a fan of everything from
Atom Heart Mother on (except for "the Final Cut") - but its Meddle (with
Echoes and One of These Days) that started Floyd onto
their road to greatness, and Dark Side of the Moon that turned that road into
The music, the performances, the production, all combine to create not just
a record, but an audio experience, and listening to the album today is just
like listening to it thirty years ago - if only it had been recorded digitally
So it was with gusto that I opened this DVD when it arrived. I had never seen
the Classic Albums series on TV, so I didnt know what to expect. And I
must admit that I was thrilled with this nearly 90 minute documentary.
It kicks off with the opening music/sound effects that kick off Dark Side,
becoming a montage of tunes and comments, setting the scene beautifully. And
all four Floyd members are there: Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright
and Nick Mason - a wonderful feature since theyve long since gone their
separate ways (especially where Roger is concerned). Yet here they are, in the
recording studio again (though you can never tell if theyre there at the
same time), not only reminiscing about the genesis of the album, but playing
excerpts from it live and letting us in on the production secrets
that made this album such an aural experience.
Also on hand are Alan Parsons, who engineered the original release before going
on to his own career as a band leader, and Chris Thomas, whos listed on
the album as mixing supervisor but who (one gets the impression)
was a unifying force that took the four divergent visions of the Floyds and
from them helped hone the final sound of the album.
My favorite section was Money, not so much because its my
favorite song on the album (it isnt) but because it gives a wonderful
look at the crafting, mixing, and sweetening of the album.
It starts with Rogers memories about creating the memorable sound effects
track, and stretching it across the room using a mic stand to give it the proper
musical beat length, and continues through the recording of the individual tracks
and the mixing - including adding reverb and other effects - and where the effects
were dumped in favor of the raw sound, to great effect. Its not only a
great look at a great song, its a fascinating view of the recording studio
But each track is dissected to varying degrees and you get musical and philosophical
insights into the album and the band (well, Waters covers the latter to a certain
Theres also a set of extras, which is really welcome. A lot of it is
more background on the album, and to be honest it would have been well suited
to be included in the show itself (it appears to be "cutting room floor
stuff eliminated so the program would fit the allotted broadcast time). My favorite
is the Dave Gilmour guitar segments, including some lovely pedal steel work.
The DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen, 16x9 TV compatible, which is
a very welcome surprise. The picture quality is excellent and watching it on
a large, widescreen TV (we used a 57 incher) makes the animated sequences extra
Audio is Dolby Digital stereo (ah, we wouldve loved to experienced the
new 5.1 surround mix) and its also very good.
About the only disappointment was that they didnt include the entire
album, audio only (or, better still, with the video material) as a bonus. I
would have loved to have heard it in Dolby Digital; my CD sounds good, but its
a little thin and shrill in places - a common problem with CDs of older
Bottom line? If you love this album, you should watch this DVD.
Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon, from Eagle Vision
84 min. anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1, 16x9 TV compatible), Dolby Digital stereo
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