Emery Coxe Professor Kopper 5/19/2009 COLT 60 S09 "Got to keep the loonies on the path": Alienation through

Unity in Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon “B-bmp, b-bmp, b-bmp…” Slowly out of the silence of the first track, “Speak to Me”, rises the illustrious heartbeat that permeates the soundscapes of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, resurfacing surreptitiously and sporadically as the album progresses until its climactic finish, “Eclipse”, where, after the music culminates in both intensity and intent, the listener is left in a soundless vacuum pierced only by the rhythmic cadence of that same heartbeat, fading to oblivion. From a purely symbolic perspective, this beating heart suggests that Dark Side is more than electronic instrumentals, dubbed vocals, and experimental effects – that there is something organic, something vital, something alive about this record. Surely, when one considers the album’s structure – a singular, continuous, fluid concept rather than unrelated and unconnected tracks – Dark Side seems more an entity than a simple construct. And Dark Side’s history corroborates this notion: with “741 weeks on the Billboard Hot 200 chart”, over 34 million album sales, myriad rankings among the top of Greatest Albums lists, and “8,000 new copies sold each year…in America alone”, it is readily apparent that Dark Side has rooted itself in our collective psyche and is relevant and alive even among today’s audience (Bailey, xiii). What remains unclear, however, is why? Why have 42:59 minutes of progressive rock captured the reverence and awe of untold millions, inspiring countless musings and developing a quasi-mythic legacy? Perhaps it owes to the contents of the lyrics – existential ethics that pertain, in particular, to the concept of alienation in modern society. Perhaps it is the ingenuity of the music. Or perhaps the answer lies elsewhere, unknown and ineffable. While we may never succeed in answering this fundamental question, it is

Coxe 2 still possible to shed some light on the darkness surrounding the album’s success. Particularly, by analyzing the unity and collaboration of the band members while recording Dark Side – resulting in one of the most cohesive albums of all time, both musically and thematically – I posit that Pink Floyd created the ideal canvass to paint their polemic against alienation in modern society, a concern every bit as applicable to today’s society as that of 1973. While the key to understanding Dark Side lies, in part, with the process of its production, equally important is the development of Pink Floyd as a band leading up to this musical masterpiece. By 1965, The Pink Floyd Sound – the initial incarnation of the group, led by Syd Barrett and consisting of all other members less David Gilmour – had played their first show in England, and by 1967, they were well known among Britain’s Underground as pioneers of space/psychedelic rock (by now, they had dropped the ‘Sound’ from their title). However, Pink Floyd’s future as a band in 1968 rested precariously on their ability to replace their visionary, songwriter, and primary source of “creative input” Syd Barrett, whose mental health had deteriorated – most likely due to a latent disorder brought out by the pressures of life as a musician and his relentless consumption of mind-altering substances – so much that it disrupted their live performances (often in memorable and disturbing ways) (Harris, 44). Enter David Gilmour – an old acquaintance of the group – who was initially brought in as a second guitarist to cover for Syd when he was not in sufficient playing condition, and soon thereafter relieved Syd altogether. But with Syd gone, and without the source of their spacey sound, the outlook for Pink Floyd was bleak, as no other members had demonstrated any substantial creative ability to produce songs. As their manager Peter Jenner, who quit once Syd was gone, expressed, “For us, it was ‘What the fuck are we going to do if Syd’s not there?’” (Harris, 55).

Coxe 3 Yet this pessimistic prognosis was flawed: with Barrett out of the picture, the group, led by Roger Waters, churned out a new CD, A Saucerful of Secrets, that focused musically on “mastery of atmosphere” rather than melodic pop hooks (Harris, 58). And while the Barrett-less group’s initial work outputs seemed “a dogged attempt to maintain the group’s momentum, compromised by…[a] lack of any hard-and-fast ideas”, they maintained a solid fan base, and due to the musical culture of the period, which hastened the artistic drive of musicians due to the “sheer velocity of its schedule”, Pink Floyd released a substantial amount of material between 1968 and 1973 – Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, and several film soundtracks (Harris, 60,62). In retrospect, these works were stepping stones towards Dark Side, as they allowed the Floyd to experiment with new sounds, to explore new grooves, most of all, to find their creative stride. As Gilmour stated, “If you take A Saucerful of Secrets, the track ‘Atom Heart Mother’, then the track ‘Echoes’ – all lead quite logically towards Dark Side of the Moon.” (Harris, 589). And certainly, by 1972 Dark Side was itching to escape the creative confines of the group member’s minds: “dying of boredom”, having already written “The Violent Sequence” for the Zabriskie Point and “Mortality Sequence”, early manifestations of “Us and Them” and “Great Gig in the Sky”, respectively, and having articulated the driving theme (human empathy) behind Dark Side in ‘Echoes’ – “Strangers passing in the street/By chance two separate glances meet/And I am you and what I see is me” – Pink Floyd had paved a solid foundation for what was to come (Harris, 72, 78). All of this came to a head in 1972, when the band booked rehearsal studios during tour breaks to “add new material to their live repertoire” – material that, when finished, would comprise Dark Side of the Moon (Harris, 78). From polishing previous songs – for example, “The Violent Sequence” – to re-writing recent material (“Breathe”) to creating original compositions, Pink Floyd grooved through the kinks as a collective unit to create a unique sounding body of music. As Waters expressed, “Making The Dark Side of the

Coxe 4 Moon…was a very communal thing… ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his need’” (Harris, 79). After a short stint of rehearsal, Floyd hit the road, touring to promote their album Meddle, and each show featured a performance of Eclipse, the functioning title of what would become Dark Side. And as Floyd became more familiar with performing Eclipse, the songs, sounds, and titles continually evolved, refining what they had previously written and tightening their collective sound. But while the concepts behind Dark Side had initially been conceived outside of the recording studio, not until their sessions in Abbey Road, beginning in May 1972, where the band benefitted from collaboration, concentration, and creativity, did the musical ingenuity that characterizes the album truly pour forth. In marked contrast from earlier recording sessions, by the time Pink Floyd entered the studio to begin recording, “Dark Side of the Moon was a fait accompli...very structured, together” (Harris, 104). Thus, the band was able to utilize the studio a much more efficiently than in the past – to enhance and perfect their compositions, rather than conceive them. Aided by audio engineer Alan Parsons, the group began laying their tracks onto tape, focusing on experimental effects – quadraphonic sound, multitracking, tape loops, and analogue synthesizers – to polish and refine their songs. The initial take of each song would generally consist of tracking each musician individually, and significantly, many of the tracks that found their way onto the record were improvised, at least in part – in Gilmour’s case, “The guitar solos were all improvised” (Harris, 111). Similarly, when recording “The Great Gig in the Sky” (then known as “The Mortality Sequence”), Rick Wright’s (keyboards) take, which he had carefully and painstakingly pieced together over the course of several hours, was done in one recording, and considered by band members as “one of the best things Rick ever did” (Harris, 112). After recording the each track, the group would layer and texturize the piece using studio effects that complemented the feel of the music and thematic content, creating lush

Coxe 5 soundscapes that heightened the album’s atmosphere of alienation. While the studio effects on Dark Side now seem hackneyed, it must be noted that in 1973, they were cutting edge, and infused a new and unfamiliar aspect to Dark Side, one that profoundly influenced the sound, concept, and reception of the piece. For example, the album’s first musical piece “Breathe” featured double-tracking of Gilmour’s plaintive A-major plucking and spacey steel slide guitar, with ample electronic effects to “wet” the sound of each guitar track, creating a glacial soundscape that envelops the listener. Next, one is catapulted across the globe in “On the Run”, a synthesized rendition of “The Travel Sequence”, that utilized the Synthi A, an analogue synthesizer (a novel technology) as well as multitracking of running footsteps, helicopter effects, whispered vocals, and the sound of a microphone scraping up and down Gilmour’s guitar strings (played backwards, for added effect). Similar experimentation with effects throughout the album contributed to the “wet” sound of the music – produced by layering electronic effects over the tracks of each musician – leaving a body of work with a unique, distinct, and foreign texture (that is, a texture never before experienced by listeners at the time). This ambient use of sound pervades Dark Side, contributing to the sense of the album as a collective whole rather than a sum of parts (Pink Floyd – Making). Surrounded by such an outlandish musical environment, the listener is most susceptible to experiencing in some way the alienation Water’s laments in his lyrics, for surely, the music violates standard sounds in such a way that the listener is forced to conform to Dark Side’s strange conventions. Though Dark Side had, for the most part, been conceived in full once the effects had been layered onto the recording, several last minute decisions radically polished the album’s final cut. The addition of four background female vocalists filled out and enhanced previously recorded material – “Time”, “Us and Them”, “Brain Damage”, and “Eclipse” (moreover, their voices were, at times, passed through a Frequency Translator

Coxe 6 to mesh with the wet sound of the instruments). Dick Parry provided improvised, soulful, and breathy saxophone solos on “Us and Them” and “Money”. Clare Torry was brought in to sing vocals on “The Great Gig in the Sky”; with little instruction from the band (she had only been told the song was about “death”), Torry used her voice as an instrument, orgasmically caterwauling an improvisation that, with slight splicing from her few subsequent takes, was used on the song’s final cut (Blake, 199). And most importantly, Waters devised a scheme of questions, which were asked to staff and occupants of Abbey Road, that ultimately engendered thematically relevant blurbs littered throughout the album, contributing to its mystique and sense of madness. For example, when asked about the meaning of the album’s title, Gerry O’Driscoll, a janitor at Abbey Road, contributed the remarkable response, “There is no dark side of the moon. As a matter of fact, it’s all dark…” (Harris, 135). Again, Pink Floyd had benefitted from the “serendipitous magic” of improvisation; with little forethought, and little (if any) guidance, the Floyd had uncovered all the pieces of the puzzle that is Dark Side, and soon thereafter would paste them together properly. The rest, they say, is history. Throughout the recording process – the stage where Dark Side truly evolved into the masterpiece we know and love – the unity and collaboration of the band members (as well as all involved) cannot be overemphasized: it is truly the source of Dark Side’s allure. Once Waters had laid the thematic foundation for the work – “a series of different lyrics that had a theme running through them”, with clear and simple words to illuminate the message – the musical development and tracking occurred in a quite democratic fashion (Gilmour). Though each musician was given ample creative rein with respect to their own recordings, furthered by the freedom to improvise on their tracks at times, the band fostered significant discussion about the layering of tracks in order to perfect parts that sounded inadequate, and these discussions were always cooperative (if occasionally heated). Similar debate and collaboration took place over the inclusion of particular

Coxe 7 sound effects, the “wetness” of the sound, and the use of spoken voices throughout the work (Alan Parsons, of course, was included). So impassioned was the discourse that producer Chris Thomas was brought in to resolve the band’s disagreements (in particular, Gilmour and Waters’ squabbles) – it was he who supervised the final cut, resulting in the addition of “extra guitars to ‘Money’”, the reduction of guitar influence in “Us and Them”, and the completion of “Speak to me”, among other minor embellishments (Blake, 198). The fruit of these efforts was a tight, cohesive composition – a fusion of simple and, on the whole, undemanding instrumentals, straightforward effects, and clear lyrics that juxtaposed itself perfectly to create a complex, intricate, and surreal soundscape, the ideal canvass for Water’s profound diatribe against the alienating effects of modern society. But how, exactly? How did the music of Dark Side generate the ideal canvass for Water’s “expression of political, philosophical, and humanitarian empathy” (Johnston, 134)? The subsequent song-by-song analysis intends to highlight the interplay between sound and concept, tracing the progression of the Floyd’s existential treatise by means of each song’s components. The album’s first track, “Speak to Me”, immediately isolates the listener through the use of white noise, broken by a crescendo amalgamation of sounds – a beating heart, a ticking clock, a cash register – and voices – maniacal laughter, muffled talking, frantic wailing. The resultant effect is a sensation of alienation, as though the listener is inside the head of a lunatic and experiencing his irrational and disconcerting thoughts (or, more disturbingly, as though the listener is himself insane). And though none of Water’s philosophy is explicitly set forth yet, “Speak to Me” foreshadows his ensuing discourse, hinting at the concepts of alienation, greed, time, and madness. To put it best, the beating heart that bookends Dark Side and shatters the silence of “Speak to Me” “alludes to the human condition and sets the mood for the music” (Detmer, 64). Then, after establishing an eerily serene soundscape in the introduction of “Breathe”, Waters begins his manifesto with the lines “Breathe, breathe in the air/Don’t

Coxe 8 be afraid to care”; these lines, complemented by the peace and calm of the music, convey Waters’ overarching motif – to live unfettered from the norms imposed by society. Shortly thereafter, Waters firmly roots his message in the realm of existentialism, proclaiming “All you touch and all you see/Is all your life will ever be”; clearly, what is to follow will deal exclusively with life and its peripheries. The crux of “Breathe”, however, lies in the song’s final two stanzas. Waters and Gilmour sing “Run rabbit run/Dig that hole, forget the sun” while Wright’s electric piano riff – sliding stealthily from the background to the fore – screeches an electrified glissando, as though exhorting the listener to, in fact, run. Here, the lyrics, heightened by the tension of Wright’s keys, examine the pressures of work and its alienating effects on the individual – the sense of objectification and overwork at the loss of personal pursuits. Waters further reviles the pressures of work in modern society, amplifying the sentiment of exploitation (“When at last the work is done/Don’t sit down it’s time to dig another one”) and introducing the concept that society forces its conventions on people (“Only if you ride the tide”); against the backdrop of Gilmour’s serene yet plaintive chord strumming and slide guitar, these words are poised properly to propel forth their meaning, harmoniously complementing the wistful mood of the music. Then, as Waters’ injects his final reproach, broaching the concept of death – “You race towards an early grave” – the lyrics mesh perfectly and segue into “On the Run”. “On the Run” – designed to conjure the sense of travelling, which, according to the band, is inextricably connected with the fear of dying – features a zany 8-note synthesizer loop, played at a tempo of 166, and a repetitive high-hat loop. Coupled with the running footsteps that pervade the background, the sound cannot but recreate the feeling of literally being “on the run”. Through the addition of maniacal laughter, droning voices (one, an airport announcer, and the other, stating “Live for today, gone tomorrow…that’s me”), and alien sounds – Gilmour’s wicked guitar squeals – the Floyd

Coxe 9 succeeds in shading a hue of terror over the base concept of travel. To cap it all off, the song terminates with a loud crash, imbuing the literal notion of death from air travel. But from the ensuing silence emerges Waters’ next topic of discourse: as the inexorable ticking of clocks permeates the post-crash atmosphere, the transparency of the track’s title – “Time” – is made evident. According to Waters, the impetus for “Time” was his realization that “Fucking hell – this is it...I wasn’t preparing for [life] – I was right in the middle of it, and always had been” (Harris, 82). Heightened by the metronome-like effect throughout the introduction, as well as the sheer slowness and longevity of the song’s first segment, the Floyd fosters a sense of leisure and idleness, as though “there is time to kill today”. The first two stanzas of the song’s lyrics describe this same feeling with lines such as “Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day” and “Waiting for someone or something to show you the way”. However, his ensuing lyrics denounce this passive attitude (“you missed the starting gun”), noting the transience of time (“The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older/Shorter of breath and one day closer to death”) and its interrelation with death. Waters then sharpens his critique, wryly noting, “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way” – an exhortation to seek happiness in life at the cost of societal norms. The concluding lines, in addition to bridging into “Breathe (Reprise)”, summarize perfectly the feeling that drove the production of “Time” – “The time is gone, the song is over/Thought I’d something more to say”. With these words, Waters reinforces the notion that our time on earth is limited and ephemeral. Instantly, the music smoothly slides back into the key of “Breathe”; this time, Gilmour strums more slowly, more gently, more languidly. The resultant soundscape hearkens back to the eerie yet peaceful texture of “Breathe”, yet induces a sense of comfort and complacence in the listener, a perfect complement to Waters’ lines “Home, home again/I like to be here when I can”. Though the reprise is short, it serves two functions: first, to comment on the transitory and taxing life of a musician (and, more

Coxe 10 universally, any person worn down from work), and second, to segue into “The Great Gig in the Sky”. The latter is achieved simply with the concluding lyrics “To hear the softly spoken magic spells”, which connects perfectly to the subsequent piano piece – a mellifluous movement more fitting for a church than a rock concert. After an instrumental introduction that establishes a placid atmosphere, broken only by whispering voices discussing the fear of death, the stage is set for Torry’s mesmerizing vocal performance. The sheer emotion in her screams strikes a chord among listeners, unveiling the concept of death and the contingencies surrounding it; moreover, the seductive quality of her voice shades on erotic quality over the notion of death (it was, after all voted the “Best Song to Make Love To” in 1990 in Australia) (MacDonald, 217). Such impassioned caterwauling gives way to a quieter, more pensive moaning, and fades to silence as Wright gently caresses his final notes, leaving an ambience of blissful calm. Once more, the silence is shattered by sound effects – in this case, a seven-beat loop of a cash register, clinking coins, ripping cash, and more. This loop, in addition to laying the beat for the ensuing song, “Money”, foretells the commentary on greed that will follow. Mirrored by a saucy guitar riff (the product of Chris Thomas’s layering), a cheeky sax solo, and a screeching guitar solo, Waters’ sardonic lyrics deride the societal obsession with money, the oil that greases the gears of the capitalistic machine. By listing off inordinately expensive material possessions, Waters takes his first shot at greed; he furthers this with lines such as “Money, get back” and “don’t take a slice of my pie”, wryly noting the avaricious tendencies that money instills in people. The kernel of the piece, however, lies in the penultimate lyrical couplet: “Money, so they say/Is the root of all evil today”. These words comprise Waters’ message: money engenders avarice and is one factor contributing to the alienating effect of modern society because it divides, rather than connects, people. As the guitar riff of “Money” fades into the background, a medley of voices, all claiming to have been “in the right”, overtakes the ambience of

Coxe 11 sound, furthering the notion of disharmony and disunity among people and foreshadowing the theme of “Us and Them” – the fundamental question of us versus them. Organ and piano then silence the voices, and with the addition of guitar, drums, and bass, a peaceful, spacious soundscape permeates the environment, characterized by, literally, temporal space between the notes of each instrument, and in particular, Wright’s piano and Parry’s breathy sax riffs. This use of space is mirrored in Waters and Gilmour’s singing style, allowing ample distance between such diametric contrasts as “Us and them”, “Me and you”, “Black and Blue”, “Up and Down”, and heightening the effect of these juxtapositions to intensify the disparity between “us” and “them”. And while the lyrics of “Us and Them” reflect aspects of Waters’ life (the death of his father in WWII) and certain societal conditions of the time – Vietnam and the civil right’s movement – the subject matter of his lyrics primarily discusses the question of human empathy: can we resolve the mindset of us versus them, and coexist peacefully, humanely? Clearly, Waters’ is a proponent of empathy; lines such as “who knows which is which and who is who” condemn the tendency of mankind to discriminate and split into factions, instead suggesting that we are all one and the same – human. Finally, in the concluding stanza, Waters interconnects the concept of human empathy with previous theme of time: Out of the way, it’s a busy day I’ve got things on my mind. For want of the price of tea and a slice The old man died. Here, the pressure of time (or lack thereof) is causally linked with a lack of humanity: Waters asserts that people are so caught up with their own hectic, busy lives to empathize with the plight of others. As the final word of the aforementioned stanza resounds, the music immediately segues into the screeching organs of “Any Colour You Like” – a fitting shift when one

Coxe 12 considers that this song serves principally as a necessary transition between “Us and Them” and “Brain Damage”. “Any Colour You Like” is an instrumental jam, featuring a wet amalgamation of organ, synthesizer, and guitar that creates an alien ambience, altogether funkier, faster, and less eerie than that of “Breathe”. Nevertheless, the listener must not be fooled: this song is the second reprise of “Breathe”, glossed over with electronic effects to create a grooved out vibe, seemingly unrelated to former without strict scrutiny or a knack for picking out musical notes. And though there is no explicit message set forth in the song, it follows logically that hidden somewhere obscure lies another tenet of Waters’ philosophy; after all, each previous track was charged with intent. This prediction is accurate: according to Waters, the title, “Any Colour You Like”, Thus, the band’s decision to reprise “Breathe” a second time in a cryptic and abstruse way mimics the concept of a lack of true choice in society, harmonizing with the overall treatise against the alienating tendencies of modern society – clearly, the lack of choice implied by “Any Colour You Like” pertains to the notion that society imposes norms on people, robbing them of self-determination and instilling within them a feeling of isolation from others. At the end of “Any Colour You Like”, the song serves its requisite purpose, transitioning fluidly into “Brain Damage” – “the spark for Waters’ whole concept”. In marked contrast from previous songs, the guitar reduces to a simple 4-note progression, the drums drop off to closed hi-hat half notes, and the organ lays out a near-silent background. Posed against such a simple setting, Waters’ straightforward lyrics assume the fore – an essential for the album’s thematic core. Immediately, Waters conjures the concept of alienation using madness as a metaphor for said sentiment – “The lunatic is on the grass” – that is heightened by Gilmour’s howling slide guitar (and, later, maniacal laughter), resounding whenever Waters utters a line containing “lunatic”. The remainder of the first stanza condemns societal conventions and, moreover, societal notions of

Coxe 13 madness, using the contrast between the first line and the last (“Got to keep the loonies on the path”) to convey the idea that the desire to “walk on the grass” is natural and that a society that imposes such illogical and authoritative norms is, in fact, insane. The subsequent stanzas intensify the songs interrelation with madness – “The lunatics are in my hall”, “The lunatic is in my head” – all the while reducing the experience of madness from an observant to a personal perspective, allowing the singer to empathize with those who feel the same. Waters then incriminates society for this madness (“You raise the blade/you make the change/You rearrange me ‘til I’m sane”), linking strict societal conventions that curtail personal freedom as a cause for this lunacy. The song’s final chorus bears the crux of the song’s message: paying homage to Syd (“If the band you’re in starts playing different tunes”), and identifying with other “loonies” (“If the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear/You shout and no one seems to hear”), Waters utilizes the chorus of background singers to reinforce his message and engender a sense, not of isolation, but of unity, singing “I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.” With these words, Waters connects his plea for empathy with the concept of alienation, suggesting that one is not alone in experiencing isolation and moments of madness, and that others too struggle with the same issues. As the singers’ final cry rings out, only instrumental music remains – the same simple backdrop, with an electrified synthesizer that imbues a sense of insanity into the music itself, enhanced by maniacal laughter and an uttered voice. Suddenly, Mason’s floor tom pierces through the synthesized ambience, counting the band off for the album’s veritable climax, “Eclipse”. Wright’s organ dominates the song’s bridge into the lyrics, wailing fervently as Mason accentuates the sound with crashes and cascading drum fills, adding an epic tinge to the soundscape. After the instrumentals set the mood, Waters launches his dialectic; each line follows the form of its predecessor (“All that you touch/All that you see”, “All that is now/All that is gone”),

Coxe 14 and are enhanced by drum crashes (landing on the first and last word of each line), cascading fills (following the final word of the line), and guitar arpeggios that peak on the final word of each line, emphasizing the content of the lyrics. Then, the background singers once more enter the equation, filling the backdrop of the song and supporting Waters’ message by inducing a sense of unity in the music. When only the final lyrical couplet remains unsung, Waters has already listed off a set of conditions that comprise nearly every aspect of the human condition – to put it simply, he has described life. This culminates as Waters belts out the last lines: “And everything under the sun is in tune/but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.” With these words, Waters imbues a shade of hope in his polemic on alienation; in his own words, “[it] is the idea that we all have the potential to be in harmony…to lead happy, meaningful, and right lives,” if we can overcome that which mires us (symbolized by the moon eclipsing the sun) (Harris, 96). As the final note of Waters’ cry fades to silence, and as Wright’s organ dies out, the beating heart once more pervades the atmosphere, pounding rhythmically while Gerry O’Driscoll, an employee at Abbey Road, concludes the song’s message, stating “There is no dark side of the moon. As a matter of fact, it’s all dark.” This utterance – augmented by the heart’s repetitive reminder that the song concerns the human condition – offers relief to those experiencing said alienation due to modernity, suggesting that the modern world itself, and not the individual, is mad. Reflecting societal woes of the era, Dark Side was a product of early adult disenchantment that impelled Waters to speak out, to cry for harmony. And certainly, the social and political environment of the times contributed to this cynicism, not only with Waters but also across the modern world. The Vietnam War raged on, yielding turmoil and discontent among the American people that was exacerbated by the publication of the Pentagon Papers and the ensuing executive scandal – Watergate. Across the pond, “British unemployment had reached 904,000 – the highest level since the…1930s.”

Coxe 15 (Harris, 84). Conflict between the British army and the Irish Republicans became increasingly acrimonious: Bloody Sunday, for example, occurred in January 1972. Reactionary campaigns endeavoring to “[roll] back the permissive attitudes of the previous decade” threatened to retrogress certain societal conditions (Harris, 85). Most telling, though, is a story run by The Guardian – a liberal paper from the U.K. – that looked into work-related stress: The numbers affected by psychosis, psycho-neurosis, as well as the less worrying complaints of debility, nervousness, and headaches have been avoid and soaring. According to the [governmental] report, the best way to trouble is to ensure the worker should be satisfied with his work, should be stretched to his limits, but not beyond them.

Clearly, modernity had struck a common chord among people of all different backgrounds, Waters included. Yet, these societal ills are not indigenous to Dark Side’s era; rather, they transcend generations, manifesting themselves in analogous ways. In today’s society, war rages in Iraq; tensions run high between certain nations; and disunity reigns across the globe. Moreover, despite the increased interconnection brought by the Internet Age, reactionaries remain who lament the loss of true human interaction due to digitalization. Perhaps, then, the broad and transcendent topicality of Dark Side – relevant to modernity in any stage – thus explains the success and mystique of the album, answering that most troublesome of questions: Why?

Coxe 16 Works Cited "Any Colour You Like -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 19 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Any_Colour_You_Like>. Blake, Mark. Comfortably Numb. New York: Thunder's Mouth P, 2007. Harris, John,. Dark side of the moon: the making of Pink Floyd's masterpiece. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo P, 2005. Macdonald, Bruno, ed. Pink Floyd Through the Eyes of-- The Band, Its Fans, Friends, and Foes. New York: Da Capo P, 1997. Pink Floyd-The Making of Dark Side of the Moon. Dir. Matthew Longfellow. DVD. Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2003. Reisch, George A. Pink Floyd and Philosophy (Popular Culture and Philosophy). Chicago: Open Court, 2007. Reising, Russell. Speak To Me: The Legacy Of Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon (Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series). Grand Rapids: Ashgate, 2006. Works Referenced Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. Dir. Adrien Maben. DVD. BR, 1973. Pink Floyd. Dark Side of the Moon. Chris Thomas, 1973.

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