The numbers attached to ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ are pretty impressive. More than 50 million copies sold worldwide. Fifteen straight years on Billboard’s album chart. Consistently ranked in the Top 10 of many best-albums-ever-made polls. But Pink Floyd’s achievements with their eighth LP go deeper than that. In a way, their 1973 epic changed the way people made and listened to albums. Forty years after its release, there’s still no better head trip — legally at least — available.
Following original leader Syd Barrett’s breakdown and departure from the band in the late ‘60s, Pink Floyd took off in a different direction. The psychedelic tones Barrett brought to the music were still there, but the albums became headier — sturdier in ways that the always-delicate Barrett couldn’t conceive or articulate. Through a series of musically complex and exploratory records, the four remaining members of Pink Floyd connected personal themes to space age freakout music.