The Dark Side of the Moon is Pink Floyd’s greatest commercial success. This is the LP with the famous cover art of light refracting through a triangular prism, an image so iconic it is almost universally recognizable due to the massive reach of the album. The record focused on correlating themes of mental health, greed, death and conflict, among others. These were topics that had been previously explored by the psych-rockers, but were never incorporated in such a direct manner as was used in this 1973 release.
On this day 44 years ago, these British rock revolutionaries played a show at The Spectrum in Philadelphia – just fourteen days after the official release of The Dark Side of The Moon. Having lost founding member Syd Barrett five years before, the tracks featured on this record appeared to be a final catharsis for the remaining four members of the group in the process of coming to terms with this major change in the band’s dynamic.
The 1973 leg of the tour came after a group of shows played the previous year promoting the new record. The set list for this particular show, as with most others on the tour, consisted strictly of the tracks that made up Dark Side played consecutively from beginning to end. It’s a testament to the importance of the finely tuned narrative: even though it’s abstract, you need to hear it as a whole.
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, Dark Side pioneered the usage of recording technology like analog synthesizers and tape loops. One such example of a track off The Dark Side of the Moon, as well as the sixth song in their set that night, as well as the song that earned Pink Floyd an eternal spot in the hearts of psych-rock aficionados all over the world, is the innovative incorporation of the sounds of commerce in “Money.” Played directly after was fellow heavy hitter “Us & Them”; at over seven minutes long, this is by far the longest track on the album. The obvious jazz influences make this a standout in the set and served as a reminder of the diversity in musical abilities offered by Pink Floyd.
You can download the entire set for this 1973 show in Philadelphia by clicking here. Lucky enough to have attended this concert? Share some memories with us in the comment section.
Pink Floyd, The Spectrum