April 15th, 2010
Following up on last week’s show of demos, outtakes, and whatnot, I present this week an early version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
In late 1971 the band had begun working on Roger Waters’ concept of an album dealing with things that drive people mad. By the latter half of January 1972 they had a rough sketch of the album ready to be given a live preview. It debuted on the 20th at the Brighton Dome in Brighton, UK. Due to problems with the PA being unable to play the pre-recorded tapes, the Floyd were only able to get through part of “Money” before having to abandon the new material and revert to the tried and true. You can listen to the entire show over at Big O.
Two days later the band were at Wintergardens in Bournemouth and they were able to run through the entire set of new material. There are some very familiar passages but also some spots which would change drastically over the coming days and months. For instance, “On the Run” was known as “The Travel Sequence” and is a lengthy bit of guitar jamming. Mason’s hi-hat work presages the recorded version but that’s about all they have in common. Similarly, “Great Gig in the Sky” is called “The Mortality Sequence” and is missing piano. The focus is on the organ and it also features taped spoken word passages of various bits of the Bible being read. Here, “Eclipse” retains the melody from “Brain Damage” but twists it all over the place and eventually becomes a cacophony of feedback and air raid siren organ run amok. Presumably the elements described in the previous songs that can drive people mad have worked.
I listened to Dark Side of the Moon so much during my high school and college years that I just can’t bear to play it anymore. And so it is on indefinite hiatus. However, I enjoy listening to its prototype. The edges haven’t been polished smooth yet. There’s no sax and no female backing vocals and it just has that rough feel of Meddle, which I like.
The Travel Sequence
The Mortality Sequence
Us And Them
Any Colour You Like