Psychedelic: a look at Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

There is a rumor, a sort of urban myth if you will, that has been swooping the Internet, popping in and out of corners, since 1994: it is called “The Dark Side of Oz”. The theory is that if you were to start playing Pink Floyd’s 1973 album “The Dark Side of the Moon” precisely at the third roar of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”, you will observe many synchronicities between the film and the movie (like when Dorothy starts to jog on the yellow brick road, the band is singing “no one told you where to run”).  Many, Floyd included, consider this entirely coincidental; others think it’s completely absurd and untrue; still more (and I’m partial to this one) think it requires some seriously bored friends, a state of strong alcoholic stupor and a dingy basement for it to work: it remains an arguable phenomenon that has yet to be resolved to this day.

I am giving this example to give you an idea of how wide-spread Pink Floyd’s influence has become over the course of the 40-something years they have shared their phenomenal music and ideology with the world. From the most trivial Internet myth to the most  psychedelic anti-war film (warning: the trailer is violent and graphic in imagery. Creepers are guaranteed), Floyd is without question the space rock band.

The real question is, where do I begin? I want to avoid rattling off every favorite song I’ve ever had, avoid raving like a pretentious fart about the subversive phenomenon that was and is their 1979 album “The Wall”, avoid ranting about how the subsequent albums  didn’t even begin to live up to that magnificent rock opera,etc. I refuse to play the Floydhead this one time, because I know that Pink Floyd is a band that not everyone likes, that not everyone has even heard. What would honestly be the point of preaching my rattlings, though perfectly valid, to the rest of the world? No, I’ll take the high road, and instead try to begin to explain their sound.

It is first off, without question, amazing: Pink Floyd takes the pure rawness of Roger Water’s voice combined with impressive bass, quality computerized sounds, beautiful string swells and incredible guitar riffs and cranks out every sound imaginable: from the simple, poignant Vera to the complex, emotion-ridden Comfortably Numb ,their music is diverse, intense and always interesting.

Their lyrics have sometimes, though it may sound very hackneyed, genuinely touched my soul: the sheer power of Waters’ scratchy voice and the vivid imagery in the lyrics in some songs have simply taken my breath away. To this day, I will cite Nobody Home as one of my favorite songs of all time: the string swells and tragic lyrics are some of the most beautiful out there.

Damn, I really have ended up playing the Floydhead, haven’t I? No matter, I guess: it’s what this blog is here for. For everyone out there that hasn’t heard their sound, I suggest you give them a try: there really is a song for everyone. I would recommend “The Wall”, for it’s brilliantly executed anti-war message, but also because the songs are so damn good. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to click my heels three times and go rent a certain movie.

~Ady

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~ by thetunarhythm on April 24, 2009.

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