Mendelsohn: I think, out of all the albums we’ve talked about thus far, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon may loom the largest. It’s beloved, it’s reviled, it’s taken on a life of its own beyond that of its creators to represent some sort of cultural movement that involved panel vans with paintings of half-naked women riding Pegasus on the side of them. Commercially, it’s virtually unmatched but critically, it isn’t loved across the board. Thoughts?
Klinger: I’ve never liked this album.
I didn’t like it when my eighth-grade chums were trying to tell me how deep and heavy it is. I didn’t like it in college when it became inextricably paired with a damp towel across the bottom of a dorm room door. And while I’ve certainly mellowed in my disdain for it as I’ve come to realize that there are more important things in this world to be outraged by, I don’t especially like it now.
I’ve now listened to it several times in preparation for this piece, and about the best I can say about it is that sonically it’s quite impressive, making it far and away Alan Parsons’ finest achievement (sorry, I Robot).
Mendelsohn: Finally, an album you don’t like. Personally, I think Dark Side may be the perfect rock record. All killer—no filler! But before we get into that, I need some clarification. Is your disdain directed at just Dark Side or is it Pink Floyd in general?
Klinger: I’m the sort of person who thinks that Pink Floyd never fully recovered from losing Syd Barrett. But I do remember thinking “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II” was fun when it was a hit—you know, because I was 11 and I thought school was boring. What does that say?
Since then, I’ve revisited most of their catalog, and I’m inclined to believe that most of their 1970s output is strictly for the bean bag chair. I realize this is something akin to rock heresy, but I don’t care. To my ears, Dark Side of the Moon lacks much in the way of punch. Oomph. Zazz.