This year, Pink Floyd’s masterful prog rock album The Dark Side of the Moon turns 40. Yes, 40. Exploring themes ranging from conflict and greed, to mental illness and the passing of time, The Dark Side of the Moon has “everything you’d ever want … : Grand, transporting melodies, synapse-ripping synth experiments and sound collages, intricate musicianship, state-of-the-art studio sound and John Lennon-meets-Thom Yorke lyrics like ‘The lunatic is on the grass/Remembering games and daisy chains and laughs/Got to keep the loonies on the path.'” Or, so that’s how Rolling Stone magazine sums up the album that it now ranks 43rd on its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
Next Monday, BBC Radio 2 will honor Pink Floyd’s magnum opus with a new radio drama from legendary playwright Sir Tom Stoppard. Apparently Stoppard (who co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil and Shakespeare in Love) first considered writing a play based on the album back in 1973. Now, some 40 years later, he has “transformed the Pink Floyd classic into a psychedelic mash-up of Kantian philosophy, epic rock and John Prescott soundbites,” writes The Independent. To get you ready for Darkside, as the play will be called, Aardman Animations has created a three-minute trailer that evokes themes from the album and play. Says the director Darren Dubicki:
I spent time absorbing the rich detail from the Pink Floyd album, their art and the drama script. What was fundamentally important to us was that we retained a consistent visual tone that echoed the imagery created over the years for the band. The insanely surreal and powerful artwork created by Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis has always had a strong distortion on reality. Their sense of space and twisted context make for some uncomfortably beautiful art. This tone has been consistent for decades and we wanted to honour this with our contemporary digital, and analogue, slant on the style.
You can watch the trailer above, and find some wonderful Pink Floyd material in the section below.
Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour Sings Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18
Watch Pink Floyd Plays Live in the Ruins of Pompeii (1972)
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Performs The Wall at the Berlin Wall (1990)
Do you know if this will be available as a podcast?