The Dark Side of the Moon, a cult album, a landspan work in the history of amplified music and a pivotal record in Pink Floyd’s history, continues to seduce as well as delight, fifty years after its release. A destiny that the band did not expect, as they unknowingly released one of the three best-selling albums in the world at the time, just tagging behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller and AC/DC’s Back in Black over the years.

David Gilmour (guitar), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass), Dick Parry and Rick Wright (synth) in London in 1973 for the Dark Side tour © David Redfern/Redferns

A record that was ahead of its time from the moment it was released thanks to the work of Alan Parsons, the sound engineer on the project, with brilliant ideas for recording, mixing and the use of state-of-the-art equipment. Since 1973, The Dark Side of the Moon has been re-released many times, leaving the competition several steps behind, including the 5.1 version made by James Guthrie in 2003 for the album’s 30th anniversary. Tha band have always been on the leading edge.

Beyond its commercial success, this record spaned a radical change in the way the band worked, a little over ten years before Roger Waters’ departure. The bassist took more and more control of the compositions, leaving less room for his bandmates - who, according to him, did not invest enough time (this is up for debate). The rest is history. In the meantime, The Dark Side of the Moon is far from being the favourite album of day-one fans, yet this dark-sided release remains one the most famous albums in the opinion of the general public. An album that can be rediscovered with the remastered 50th Anniversary version, ready to take off with singer Clare Torry on The Great Gig in the Sky, before being carried away by the rhythm of Money and its intro which announces the arrival of sampling and looping in pop music, without forgetting On the Run, which prefigures techno with its electronic loop and its 165 BPM tempo.

This anniversary is also an opportunity to put your ears to Live at Wembley Empire Pool, London, 1974, a concert included in box sets released in 2011 and 2016, and remastered for this anniversary. It is also available as an individual live album. A performance recorded by the teams of the famous BBC Radio 1 and whose content retained for this 50th anniversary focuses on the entire The Dark Side of the Moon album.

Pink Floyd and live albums are a whole adventure in themselves, which we are enjoying rediscovering through high-definition reissues like the recent release of Live at Knebworth 1990 and the return to the forefront of Delicate Sound of Thunder - Live and Pulse. These should be enough to satisfy the wait before discovering the object that caused the buzz at the beginning of the year: an unreleased version of The Dark Side of the Moon entirely produced by Roger Waters in solo, and expected to arrive in the next few months.