Starting in the 1970s, when I started buying albums, there were many albums which were defined by the artwork which graced the front and back. Much of the album art was spectacular, intriguing, surreal, visionary, breathtaking and in many instances, simply gorgeous.
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (1973)
By condensing the sonic explorations of Meddle to actual songs and adding a lush, immaculate production to their trippiest instrumental sections, Pink Floyd inadvertently designed their commercial breakthrough with Dark Side of the Moon. The primary revelation of Dark Side of the Moon is what a little focus does for the band. Roger Waters wrote a series of songs about mundane, everyday details which aren’t that impressive by themselves, but when given the sonic backdrop of Floyd’s slow, atmospheric soundscapes and carefully placed sound effects, they achieve an emotional resonance. But what gives the album true power is the subtly textured music, which evolves from ponderous, neo-psychedelic art rock to jazz fusion and blues-rock before turning back to psychedelia. It’s dense with detail, but leisurely paced, creating its own dark, haunting world. Pink Floyd may have better albums than Dark Side of the Moon, but no other record defines them quite as well as this one.
There are some albums which define the 70s better than other ones. This is one of those albums.