Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side,' 40 Years Later

By NPR Staff

March 1, 2013

It begins with a heartbeat. Released in 1973, The Dark Side of the Moon was Pink Floyd's eighth studio album. It would become one of the best-selling albums of all time, and its iconic cover image still hangs in college dormitories everywhere.

The record turned 40 this week. To mark the occasion, Weekend Edition asked All Songs Considered hosts Robin Hilton and Bob Boilen where they were when they heard Dark Side for the first time. Hear the full version of this story by clicking the audio link on this page.


BOB BOILEN: Back in 1972, I worked in record stores in Rockville, Md., and a huge Pink Floyd fan. They were coming to the Kennedy Center, and I was totally, totally psyched. My hair was down on my shoulders, much like the band members. I'd give anything to have that hair back.

They came out and performed this piece of music. Everybody in the audience, no doubt, their jaws just dropped. You had no idea what it was — and you have to understand, in 1972, if you don't know what it is, there's nowhere to look it up. It was like, "OK, when am I ever going to hear this amazing music again?"

It was nearly a year later. The truck that was carrying that record, I knew where it was gonna show up so I could get the record, like, four hours earlier than I would have had I waited for it to come to the store I worked in.

ROBIN HILTON: I was probably 12 years old, and I was with a friend who had brought the record over. We were playing chess, and it just blew my little mind.

I remember the song "Time." I can't tell you how many college roommates I awakened in the middle of the night by blasting the alarm clocks going off. There's this line in the song "Time" that still resonates with me today. I still think of it all the time, it says, "You're young and life is long and there's time to kill today." Boy, the older I get, that sure turns out to be true.

It was so crazy to imagine how they could even pull this off; technically, how could they create these sounds? We're hearing so much crazy stuff now in music and nobody gives it any thought — because you can do anything now, right? But when I listen to Dark Side of the Moon now, 40 years later, it still sounds fresh.


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