Psychologist Daniel Levitin dissects Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Here’s an enduring legacy. Pink Floyd’s album “Dark Side Of The Moon” was released 50 years ago today, and it’s still on the Billboard charts. It’s the longest charting album in history.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “BRAIN DAMAGE”)
PINK FLOYD: (Singing) And if the dam breaks open many years too soon, and if there is no room upon the hill.
FADEL: “Dark Side Of The Moon” can be enjoyed for its far-out sonic landscapes or its inventive production. You can also study the lyrics. Much of Roger Waters’ writing was inspired by a former member of Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett. He was forced to leave the band he created when his behavior became too erratic. Some say it was a psychotic break.
PINK FLOYD: (Singing) The lunatic is in my head.
FADEL: Author and cognitive psychologist Daniel Levitin is a Pink Floyd fan, and he studied these lyrics from a psychologist’s perspective. He joins us now.
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The striking thing was that Syd Barrett dropped in, while they were working on the album, as revealed by one of the band members in an interview within a film about Pink Floyd.
It was as if he, from a distance, felt that they were paying a tribute to him. Nothing had been told to Syd, and they hadn’t seen him for many years. I believe the recordings were being done in the USA, so Syd had to cross the ocean to visit them.
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