Guide to Pink Floyd's Dark Side

DAVID SCHMEICHEL -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 4:45 AM ET

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, you're probably aware of all the trippy coincidences that occur when you synch up Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz.

If you're too busy -- or too, you know, straight -- to try it, we can save you a little time: Great Gig in the Sky matches up with the tornado scene, the cash registers in Money kick in as soon as the action switches to colour, Glenda the Good Witch appears on the "goody-good bulls--" lyric, and the closing heartbeat fades out when Dorothy presses her ear to the Tin Man's chest.

(Oh, and -- spoiler alert! -- rainbows figure prominently in both.)

Now, while the Oz experiment has been making the rounds for some time now, there's probably still a lot more you didn't know about what's arguably the band's greatest album.

And since former frontman Roger Waters plans to perform the thing in its entirety when he plays MTS Centre next week, we thought it only sporting to bring you up to speed.

- The album was originally going to be called Eclipse, since the band Medicine Head had already released a record called Dark Side of the Moon. When the Medicine Head album tanked, Pink Floyd took back the name.

- Dark Side of the Moon is a concept album chronicling the modern pressures that can drive humans to insanity: materialism, encroaching old age, and societal inhumanities like warfare and xenophobia. Waters would mine similar territory even further when writing The Wall.

- The original album's iconic cover art -- featuring a spectral rainbow refracted through a prism -- combines indigo and violet into a single purple stripe.

- The wordless vocals on Great Gig in the Sky were provided by British vocalist Clare Torry, who was instructed to scream as though she were having an orgasm. Torry later sued the band for unpaid royalties, eventually scoring a songwriting credit on a 2006 live DVD.

- The sound effects sequence that underscores Money was achieved by recording cash registers, coins, counting machines and torn paper, then feeding the sounds into a tape loop. The noisy alarm bells that precede Time were recorded in an antique clock shop.

- In addition to being the only hit single from the album, Money was also the most frequently performed track in the Pink Floyd canon.

- The snippets of dialogue throughout the album were the result of flashcard interviews conducted by Waters with a series of subjects, two of whom happened to be Paul and Linda McCartney. Though the couple's answers weren't used, McCartney's guitarist (Henry McCullough) contributed the immortal "I dunno, I was really drunk at the time" line, while the laughter heard during Brain Damage and Speak to Me came from Naomi Watts' dad, Peter.

- On most CD pressings, a barely audible orchestral version of The Beatles Ticket to Ride can be heard playing faintly over the closing heartbeat. It's believed the gaffe was a mastering error.

- The disc still holds the record for the most weeks on the Billboard album chart -- anywhere between 14 and 25 years, depending on who you believe -- and reportedly sells so many copies to this day that there is a pressing plant in Germany that is solely devoted to churning out copies of the CD.

- Some of the profits from the album were invested in the making of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. No word on whether anyone's tried synching those two, however.


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