Pink Floyd's Dark Side of The Moon, undoubtedly the band's most succesful album, was released six years before I was born. For that reason, I feel somewhat strange writing about it. Part of my brain is saying, "You don't deserve to write about this...pass it on to the fans who loved Pink Floyd ever since Piper at the Gates of Dawn came out." I'll admit, I don't own all of their albums or know the band's history from beginning until endless reunion tour. However, I do know what I like, and I'm a big fan of Dark Side of the Moon.
I didn't exactly grow up with the album, mind you. In fact, it wasn't until a few short years ago that I heard it for the first time in its entirety. Here was an album that really seemed timeless...in terms of overall quality and production, this album could have practically been released last week. After I heard Dark Side of the Moon, I gradually began to fill in the gaps in my future Pink Floyd collection. My favorite of theirs is still Meddle, but Dark Side of the Moon really has a special place in my collection. This album deserves every praise and accolade it has recieved in the past 30 years; for not only the quality of the music, but for the scope and ambition of the album itself.
I'm hardly the only person to feel this way. Since the album's release, it's been hard to get away from...in fact, I'm surprised it eluded me for as long as it did! There's been countless dissections of the record over the years, and even the infamous "Wizard of Oz" comparison (you knew that would come up at some point, right?). In short, I won't bore you with another review of the album, since I'm not here about the album itself anyway.
"Classic Albums: Dark Side of the Moon" is Eagle Vision's newest behind-the-scenes DVD, and Pink Floyd fans finally have a real reason to "see the music." This nice little companion piece shows a fair amount of both classic and current footage of live performances, demos, and more! Other highlights include interviews with the band members, and even a chat with Alan Parsons (the album's engineer). Running time of the main feature is a little thin at just under 50 minutes, but what we do get is quite satisfactory.
The DVD Video
A mixture of classic and current footage usually yields mixed results, and this release is no different. However, the video was rated quite high for several reasons. Classic footage (some dating back to the late 60's) looks very nice cosidering the source material, and light dirt and scratches on the print can be expected. Fans probably won't mind, as this adds to the experience anyway. Newer footage appears clean and bright. Additional points are also awarded for everything being formatted in anamorphic widescreen, which really brings it all together. Overall, a quality effort.
The most important thing here has to be the sound, and did it deliver? Well, although the only sound option is 2.0, it really sounds clear and full. In fact, this is one of the best 2.0 tracks I've heard yet! You'll want to crank the volume really loud, but while (most) Pink Floyd fans have moved out of their parents' basements by now, this may have your neighbors complaining. Invite 'em over instead.
Also incuded on the DVD is about 35 minutes worth of additional behind-the-scenes footage...you could mainly call this "the B-side footage," as it was cut from the main feature initially, but it's definitely worth your time to check it out. Especially nice are the acoustic performances by some of the now-quite-mature-looking band members.
The specific breakdown of each section is as follows: Brain Damage, Money, Us and Them, Waters' World View, Breathe, Time, Waters on Rock'n'Roll, Chris Thomas, Gilmour's Guitars-Breathe, Gilmour's Guitars-Great Gig in the Sky, Gilmour's Guitars-Us and Them, and Gerry has the Last Word. Each runs anywhere from one to six minutes, and are a welcome inclusion to this solid release.
Nicely animated menus with album-themed artwork, and background music of a radio tuning in songs from the album. These really fit the mood well and were a nice touch.
Should anything else have been included? With the total running time being just under 85 minutes, I couldn't help but feel there could have been a bit more included. A few ideas would be an additional photo and artwork gallery, or even a full live performance of the album in its entirety. An optional DTS mix would have been nice to hear as well. However, like I said before, what we do get is very nice...you won't be disappointed. This is definitely one to add to your collection, especially with the low MSRP.
Final Thoughts Well, there's not much more to say about this disc, and I hope I've conveyed the overall quality of everything included. Classic Albums: Dark Side of the Moon is a nice trip down memory lane (although for some fans, the lane is longer than others!). From the quality of the music to the great footage found here, this DVD comes Highly Recommended.