Some legends of rock ‘n’ roll are handed down before the records are. That is certainly the case when considering The Dark Side of the Rainbow, the ultimate prog-rock/classic cinema crossover featuring Pink Floyd and Judy Garland you never knew you needed.
We’ve been looking around for some of our favourite rock curiosities and the meeting of these two behemoths of culture was too tempting to turn down. So please, sit back and enjoy Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon set to the classic film The Wizard of Oz.
There are plenty of legends attached to Pink Floyd. When you’ve spent much of your career deliberating moving toward the fantastical and free-spirited you’re bound to gather a few mysteries as you go. This one addresses another stalwart of popular culture, The Wizard of Oz.
The theory goes that if you begin the classic album The Dark Side of the Moon as the MGM lion roars at the beginning of the 1939 film, the album will perfectly sync and the film reflects the sentiments of the songs and vice versa. It’s unknown who actually first synced the albums together, we like to think it was a marijuana-induced miracle, but it was Charles Savage who first brought it to the public’s attention.
In a piece for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette back in 1995, Savage told the world when to press play on the CD and, in effect, provided us all with the first taste of The Dark Side of the Rainbow.
There are a number of moments that work effortlessly with one another. Whether it is Dorothy starting to run after the line in ‘Time’ that reads “no one told you where to run”, or when David Gilmour sings the line “home, home again” as part of ‘Breathe’ as the fortune teller is advising Dorothy to return to Kansas. They don’t stop there either.
As ‘Brain Damage’ starts on the record, Dorothy meets the Scarecrow and he begins singing ‘If Only I Had A Brain’, dancing along the Yellow Brick Road as Roger Waters sings “got to keep the loonies on the path”—but the strangest parts are yet to come.
‘The Great Gig in the Sky’ begins to whirl away as the tornado hits Dorothy. What’s more, as she opens up the door to the Technicolor dream of the Munchkinland, the film’s second act, the original LP’s second side begins and ‘Money’ effortlessly soundtracks the events. The final crescendo comes as the final heartbeats of The Dark Side of the Moon ring out, Dorothy puts her ear to the Tin Man’s chest.
Since then, the story has spread like wildfire and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Pink Floyd fan who hasn’t at least given it a once over.
The Dark Side of the Moon’s engineer, Alan Parsons, has often been asked whether the album was deliberately aligned with the film, something he very much denies. “There simply wasn’t mechanics to do it, we had no means of playing videotapes in the room at all. I don’t think VHS had come along by ’72, had it?”
Needless to say, that hasn’t stopped plenty of theories surfacing about the two documents similarities. Even Floyd drummer Nick Mason was asked about The Dark Side of the Moon: “It’s absolute nonsense,” replied the drummer. “It has nothing to do with The Wizard of Oz. It was all based on The Sound of Music.”
Of course, it’s all very well reading about it but we suggest you sit back, relax and have one of the weirdest rock experience of your life with Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Rainbow.