Be enlightened by the Dark Side of the Moon album cover For those of you who like the Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon marked the peak of their musical success. Rolling Stone, among many others, rated it their best album ever – and most…
Be enlightened by the Dark Side of the Moon album cover
For those of you who like the Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon marked the peak of their musical success. Rolling Stone, among many others, rated it their best album ever – and most fans would probably agree. Just for the record (no pun intended) it wasn’t mine – I preferred their earlier, trippy stuff such as Atom Heart Mother, Meddle and A Saucerful of Secrets. But what does my opinion matter?
The fact is Dark Side of the Moon is one of the most celebrated albums and album covers of all time. I didn’t want to talk specifically about the album’s music, but the tracks on in it unquestionably shaped the final artwork. Without the likes of Time, Any Colour you Like and Eclipse the cover would have looked entirely different.
And this super-iconic album couldn’t have been more timely. Pink Floyd was about to take the world by storm. Prior to DSotM, Floyd were as cult a band as you could get. Their sound was eclectic, unique, weird and wonderful. It was experimental and unpredictable. They were known for being ‘on the road’ a LOT. They loved touring. And their fans would follow them religiously, anywhere and everywhere. In the grand scheme of the music scene in the late 60s/early 70s, they were somewhat under the radar. And I suppose many of their original fans wanted it to stay that way.
But change was on the horizon. Big time. On 1 March 1973, the band, under Harvest Records, released the record that would change the relatively unknown psychedelic prog rock band from England into one of the biggest bands on the planet (some even argued that DSotM initiated their downfall as later albums couldn’t match its genius). So from 1973 Pink Floyd was adored around the globe. They’d suddenly become, mainstream.
Not that mainstream is a bad thing, hmm, but whether they liked it or not, DSotM was the album that changed everything, from their fame to their ever-growing fanbase. Funnily enough, when someone mentions Pink Floyd, I instantly think of their DSotM cover, closely followed by Wish You Were Here. It’s just that unforgettable.
Back to the infamous jet black album cover with the rainbow coming out of that triangular prism thing. It’s certainly intriguing. Founding member, the late Richard William Wright wanted something completely different from what they’d done before. His idea for the cover was something that looked ‘clean, elegant and graphic’.
The image’s inspiration came from revered graphic designer Storm Thorgerson (Pink Floyd’s own cover designer), who’d found a photograph of a prism with a coloured beam projected through it in some random photography book. The photo was given to famed illustrator, George Hardie, who also worked with the band, to artwork the final piece.
Pink Floyd are synonymous with visually arresting album covers. And as ‘cleaner and classier’ an image Richard Wright had requested, it must be said that the DSotM cover was just as marvellously mad and memorable as all the rest. It just happened to be their most famous, by far.
What made the cover even more puzzling is that the band’s name or album title didn’t feature anywhere. Stranger still is the bizarre pyramid stickers that could be found inside the sleeve. But what exactly did it all mean? To this day, no one really knows. It remains open to one’s own interpretation – shouldn’t all good art?
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