Moon shines on
Pink Floyd’s album The Dark Side Of The Moon was released on this day in 1973, and its themes of greed, death and madness proved no barrier to success. It has sold more than 45 million copies, and if they were laid end to end they would reach the Moon: indeed, one copy has already achieved this feat, having been placed there alongside a bible and a radio transmitter by an unmanned NASA probe. The album’s best-known song is ‘Money’, which was a top twenty hit in the USA. It was not released as a single in Britain, although a cover version by the novelty group Lieutenant Pigeon reached number 37 in the BMRB chart.
Myths and rumours abound concerning the album, including the widespread belief that it is a secret soundtrack to The Guinea Pig, a Boulting Brothers film in which a young Richard Attenborough plays a tobacconist’s son who wins a scholarship to a public school. Although the music and lyrics do seem to fit the film with uncanny accuracy when the two are played together, this is nothing more than a high-profile case of apophenia – the phenomenon of imagined patterns and connections. Roger Waters, who wrote all the lyrics, referred to the rumour in the song ‘The New Boy’ on his 1988 solo album, The Lake.