Classic Album Brunch

Us and Them: Dark Side of the Moon 45th anniversary
Illustrated Talk – Ralph McLean discusses the enduring appeal of one of rock’s masterworks

Four and a half decades ago, one of rock music’s mightiest and biggest selling albums of all time emerged from the shadows – Dark Side of the Moon was Pink Floyd’s eighth and still best-known album.

Partly inspired by the deterioration of the band’s former frontman Syd Barrett, the songs on the 1973 album also dealt with themes of greed, conflict and the passing of time. Although the songs were shorter and more focussed than previous Floyd output, the recording process at Abbey Road involved some very advanced techniques for the time, and included snippets of recorded interviews sprinkled throughout the album – including a memorable cameo from the young Henry McCullough, who was recording Red Rose Speedway with Paul McCartney and Wings in one of the adjacent studios.

It went on to sell over 45 million copies and remains one of the most successful albums of all time. The unmistakable soulful sound of David Gilmour’s guitar was to the fore throughout the album, and has made it one of the greatest guitar albums ever. For this special illustrated talk, Ralph McLean will reveal some of the stories behind the creation of the album and discuss its enduring influence.