The endurance of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon on the Billboard Top 100 Chart is legendary, and its continuing sales and ongoing radio airplay ensure its inclusion on almost every conceivable list of rock's greatest albums. This collection of essays provides indispensable studies of the monumental 1973 album from a variety of musical, cultural, literary and social perspectives. The development and change of the songs is considered closely, from the earliest recordings through to the live, filmed performance at London's Earls Court in 1994. The band became almost synonymous with audio-visual innovations, and the performances of the album at live shows were spectacular moments of mass-culture although Roger Waters himself spoke out against such mass spectacles. The band's stage performances of the album serve to illustrate the multifaceted and complicated relationship between modern culture and technology. The album is therefore placed within the context of developments in late 1960s/early 1970s popular music, with particular focus on the use of a variety of segues between tracks which give the album a multidimensional unity that is lacking in Pink Floyd's later concept albums. Beginning with 'Breathe' and culminating in 'Eclipse', a tonal and motivic coherence unifies the structure of this modern song cycle. The album is also considered in the light of modern day 'tribute' bands, with a discussion of the social groups who have the strongest response to the music being elaborated alongside the status of mediated representations and their relation to the 'real' Pink Floyd.
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Professor Russell Reising is from the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Toledo, USA.
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