In 1973, Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon; the album hit U.S. shelves on March 1st and UK on March 16th. Dark Side of the Moon was the band’s eighth studio album, their most commercially successful album, and one of the best-selling albums ever worldwide. Conflict, greed, the passage of time, and mental illness are all themes that the album explores, largely inspired by the departure in 1968 of founder member, principal composer, and lyricist, Syd Barrett.
The album employs soulful vocals, synthesizers, and even aural puns (clocks on “Time,” cash registers on “Money”). It begins and ends with a heartbeat and maintains a generally low vibe that slowly picks up before reaching an apex in beat and tempo in the final two tracks “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse.”
Yet, what connections does this groundbreaking album have with the Village? Before Dark Side of the Moon was recorded and released, Pink Floyd had played a show at the legendary Fillmore East on April 9, 1970. On the setlist for that concert was the song “Us and Them,” which became the 6th track on Dark Side of the Moon (2nd track on side two if listening in that format). Almost three years before the album was released, Pink Floyd used this location in the Village to highlight new material that would eventually appear on the aforementioned album.
Find a spot, maybe in the East Village, and give this album a listen. If you were around back then and can remember the Fillmore East, maybe use that time to reflect on the venue. If not, head to 2nd Avenue and 6th Street to check out the GVSHP plaque commemorating the site of the venue. But above all, take pride in the fact that even an album as influential as Dark Side of the Moon has a little bit of the Village in it.