Dark side of the moon, Pink Floyd - Exploration of human psychology
Photo. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon album cover, designed by Storm Thorgerson - groundbreaking sound and powerful lyrics. The themes revolve around conflict, morality, greed, time and mental illness.
I have learned that The Dark Side of the Moon is not a mysterious or ominous place, but rather the title of Pink Floyd`s the eighth album. Anyway, Pink Floyd's music was for me like a puzzle where I had to put the pieces together to understand it, or at least trying. Lately, I have updated myself about the band through magazines and websites such as Mojo, Wikipedia, Pink Floyd's official website and other websites. On 11th April 2023 I attended a Roger Waters concert at Telenor Arena, Fornebu in Oslo - This Is Not A Drill 2023 Tour (Wikipedia) - The Last Farewell tour. It inspired me to find out more about the band's history, music, members and more. I really needed to dig deeper into their divine universe to understand them better, and get more out of their music.
What is it about this album that makes it still so relevant? Many things, but one thing stands especially clear for me: psychology. Do you think you can learn more about human psychology from a Pink Floyd song than from a textbook? Pink Floyd is really an intellectual band the dvelve with complex aspects of human life. The band act like psychologists studying and explaining the mental processes, brain functions, and behavior in a non scientific way. Pink Floyd is at times about the dark truths of life. Listen to the songs Breathe and Time, they cover the entirety of human life.
All that you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be
As I consider it: The Dark Side of the Moon is about madness, and The Wall is the disconnect with society. Both albums are about a person who experience social disortian and mental problems: The Dark Side of the Moon is very much about Syd Barett, and the Wall it sounds for me to be very biographical. It`s actually about Roger Waters himself, his life and experiences told by himself.
When I was a child I had a fever
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I've got that feeling once again
I can't explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am. ~ Comfortably Numb, The Wall
The Dark Side of the Moon is a album that really got inside my head. I think I never will be finnished with it. It`s both regarding my desparate attempts to understand it and its greatness. Since the album was released in 1973, I still struggle with understand it. For me it is a journey in a human life and mind from start to to end. It also give a a sense of self-reflection. The phrase "the dark side of the moon" is used to describe something mysterious and unknown. It`s just what the human mind is. The psychedelic sounds of the album strengthen the feelings of human madness.
Did Pink Floyd invent psychology? Not actually, but I think the band woke the interest for this subject in a popular way. Also very pedagogic. While their lyrics often touch on psychological and philosophical themes, the field of psychology has a much longer history. Even though Pink Floyd didn`t invent psychology, their music was about hidden or unexplored aspects of the human experience. Teaching in psychology seems to me being very challenging. It`s probably not a subject you can point directly to any fact based answers. What Pink Floyd really invented, or at last developed, was the psychedelic space-rock and blues-based progressive rock. The band also became known for their biting political, social and emotional commentary.
Who is the founder of psychology then? According to Wikipedia, though Sigmund Freud is certainly one of the most famous psychologists in history. It`s actually Wilhelm Wundt who is considered the “father of psychology.” He established the very first psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Austria, and it is because of him that we have scientific psychology. As the psychologist Daniel Levitin describe the album: "But listen, the very first thing you hear on the record is that haunting heartbeat and some machine sounds and voices. And I always imagined it as a mental hospital" (Psychologist Daniel Levitin dissects Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon - source: NPR Music).
Something to learn from the albums? Both albums, The Dark side of the Moon and The Wall lyrics are open to interpretation. It`s not like school book. Each listeners may find their own meaning depending on their perspectives and experiences. Several songs on the album touch on the theme of mental illness. "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse" specifically explore the darker aspects of the human psyche. The lyrics of "Brain Damage" include the famous lines "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon," which contribute to the overall theme of hidden or obscured aspects of the human mind.
How can I really understand Pink Floyd's music? This is mentioned exactly as "the dark side of many". Maybe I need to read more between the lines. I don't think listeners are meant to understand everything. To try to understand a bit, you need more insight into the background of the band members and what was going on at that time (historyy lesson). I assume that some of it can also be a bit of a private nature. Unless you ask them directly, you will never know for sure what they are thinking.
Even if I don't understand everything, that doesn't mean I can't enjoy their music. Whether I understand Pink Floyd or not, I really love them. Let their mystery live!
Stein Morten Lund
25th July 2023
- Travel adventurer and rock`n roller
Pink Floyd are an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic groups, they were distinguished by their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows. They became a leading band of the progressive rock genre, cited by some as the greatest progressive rock band of all time (source: Wikipedia).
What Is the Dark Side of the Moon? (source: Now)
What is the dark side of the moon? Is it strictly the name of the classic 1973 Pink Floyd album, or is it a real phenomenon?