I have collected vinyl for almost eight years now, since I got my first turntable for my 16th birthday. Since then, it’s been a rollercoaster of eBay, Discogs, auctions and pawn shops to find just the right records for my shelf. And quite frankly, I’m like most other record collectors. I see a record I like or want, I buy it! If it’s just for that one song, I get the 7” instead. And I am quite picky when it comes to records. I don’t think I own a single record, actually, that I haven’t personally hand-picked from a shelf or had on one of my many Christmas wish lists. Still, there are some records that I think should be on most collectors’ shelves. And where better to start with one of the first records I ever got: The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd (1973)
I got this for Christmas in 2006 from an aunt who bought in at a record store in Oslo. It was a brand new, still wrapped 30th anniversary repress on 180g vinyl, and sounded simply fantastic.
Dark Side of the Moon is often considered to be the best work by Pink Floyd and constantly ranks in the top tier when it comes to “Greatest Albums Ever”-lists, and both Q Magazine and Rolling Stone have indeed named it the best album ever (2008 and 2010 respectively). It was recorded in 1972-73 and released in 1973 to rave reviews, and soon become one of the bestselling albums ever, spending an unprecedented 753(!) weeks on the Billboard Album list in the US (for those of you who don’t like math, that’s 14 ½ years). The major hit single was “Money”, but seeing as DSotM is a concept album, it’s best enjoyed when played in full, especially on a crisp vinyl.
Also nice is it that it’s a cheap vinyl seeing as it’s been a best seller for so long. You can pick up nice VG+ copies on , Amazon, Discogs or MusicStack for a few bucks, but if you really want to experience it: get the MSFL-half-speed-mastered vinyl from Japan. This retails at 100+ USD, but it’s worth every cent.
But why should you buy it? Why is this album so much better than the others out there? Well.
First off, while not one of the first, it is one of the greatest concept albums ever. From the sound of heartbeats in “Breathe” all the way to the final D-note in “Eclipse”, it is a fantastic journey through the great prog rock of the 1970s. All in all, it’s an album that greatly summarizes why the 70s were the best years in music. Second, it’s showcases just how mad proper rock music can be. This album has it all, guitar solos, bass solos, weird time signatures (7/4ths), acapella screaming ballads, the sound of clocks chiming and lots of other soundbytes that would otherwise seem completely insane to put on an album, but really helps the atmosphere of DSotM, binding all the odd bits and bobs together to a amazing 50-minute symphony of glorious rock.
So if you wanna be a serious record collector: Dark Side of the Moon should be high on your list of records that needs a spot on your shelf!