February 25, 2013 by joesonotheque
Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar presents
THE DARK SIDE OF THE FLOYD
THE MUSIC OF PINK FLOYD FROM “THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN” TO “THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON”
Featuring DJ Stan “Lucifer Sam” Wood
Sunday March 3 – 8PM-2AM – Free, No Cover
960 W. 31st Street, Chicago, IL. 60608 – 773.890.0588 – http://www.community-bar.com
When released in the US on March 1, 1973 (and later in the UK on March 10) Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” was an immediate success, topping the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart for one week. It subsequently remained in the charts for an unheard of 741 weeks (14 years) from 1973 to 1988. With an estimated 50 million copies sold, it is Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. It is certainly ironic that the overwhelming success of this album propelled Pink Floyd into the super star stratosphere of rich rock royalty; being that the albums’ Top 20 hit song “Money” attacked both wealth and celebrity.
Success, especially in the States, did not occur overnight. Their first outing “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”, released at the height of the psychedelic era during the Summer of Love in August of ’67 charted in the UK but didn’t even dent the US market. After Pipers, Pink Floyd released another six albums before achieving worldwide fame with “Dark Side of the Moon”.
This six year journey entailed both minor victories and major losses, the most devastating being the breakdown of their lead vocalist and primary songwriter Syd Barrett to a combination of mental illness and drug use. By late 1967 the band brought in a fifth member, guitarist David Gilmour to augment Barrett’s erratic behaviour. With the release of “A Saucerful of Secrets” in 1968, Barrett had departed the band (or was just let to wander away). Bassist Roger Waters later admitted the band’s difficulties in dealing with Barrett’s demons, “He was our friend, but most of the time we now wanted to strangle him”.
The next few years saw the Pink Floyd dabbling and experimenting in film soundtracks (“More”, 1969 and “Obscured by Clouds”, 1972 which was based on their initial compositions for the French film “La Vallée”, by Barbet Schroeder). With the release of the studio/live album “Ummagumma” in 1969, and which the band members viewed as a failed experiment the Pink Floyd still felt directionless.
Still stumbling forward the band tried to harmonize and reconcile their progressive rock impulses with further studio experimentation using tape effects, psychedelic-styled jam sessions and avant-garde techniques. Their album “Atom Heart Mother” (1970) is centered on side one’s “Suite” which is at the same time both intriguing and somewhat an oddity, a peculiar mixture of gentleness, funk and abstraction.
It was also during this period that erstwhile band member Syd Barrett began dropping into the Abbey Road Studios for sessions. With the assistance of David Gilmour and Roger Waters as producers/musicians, Barrett created his much heralded masterpiece “The Madcap Laughs” (1970). With its cryptic poeticism layered with imagination and wit, the album’s songs created a dreamlike state of childlike mystery. Part Dadaist collage, part nursery rhyme “The Madcap Laughs” would become one of the most influential records in rock’s pantheon, influencing the likes of Robyn Hitchcock, the Television Personalities and Plasticland.
Barrett followed this with his self-titled release “Barrett” (1970) with the further help of David Gilmour and Richard Wright. By this time Syd was in a downward spiral and the recording session were a chore with Barrett forgetting the songs and constantly changing tempos. It does still, however, retain some of the charm and poetic qualities that made him into the illustrious but confused “crazy diamond”.
With their sixth release “Meddle” (1971) the band continued looking for new direction. Its signature track “Echoes” combined a lyrical soundscape with that of a scientific machine with the theme of man and machine echoing all the way to “Dark Side of the Moon”. A collective work by all the members “Meddle” was a far distance from the free-form improvisation of their earlier years.
Often overlooked, “Obscured by Clouds” (1972) finds the band structuring an atmospheric melange with tighter arrangements using synthesizers and even handclaps to balance periods of tension with sensuality. As critic David Cavanagh states; “What makes the album so likeable – and historically significant in Floyd terms – is that Waters, for the last time, is writing lyrics that are tailored to Gilmour’s voice and Gilmour’s personality, instead of using Gilmour’s voice as a conduit for Waters’ own personality”.
With the release of “Dark Side of the Moon” the band saw Roger Waters taking over direction, dictating the themes and writing all the lyrics himself. With the help of engineer Alan Parsons the band used some of the most advanced recording techniques of the time, including multitrack recording, tape loops and analogue synthesisers. Within the lyrics of “Brain Damage” (“the lunatic is on the grass”) the band mates paid homage to Syd and his shattered mental state; years before their “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”. A concept album with each side being a continuous piece of music, “Dark Side” reflects the shifting nature of human experience including death, greed, conflict, hope and insanity.
To pay proper tribute to this formative period in Pink Floyd (there would be much more to follow) Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar is hosting THE DARK SIDE OF THE FLOYD: THE MUSIC OF PINK FLOYD FROM “THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN” TO “THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON” on Sunday, March 3 (approximately 40 years after the “Dark Side” release). Heading the tribute into interstellar overdrive will be DJ Stan “Lucifer Sam” Wood. This great gig in the sky sets its controls to the heart of the sun @ 8PM with a screening of “Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii”, a 1972 concert film featuring the band performing at the ancient Roman amphitheatre in Pompeii, Italy and by Adrian Maben. Atom hearted mother, Stan Wood will follow this with a deejay set covering the early formative period of Pink Floyd and the solo work of Syd Barrett.
There is no cover for the event. Or in the words of the hit “Money” . . .
Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly
But don’t take a slice of my pie