Tracks from the album seep into your consciousness through a number of soundtracks, clips on TV shows, live performances and even an early ‘90s advert for Nurofen. Rarely though, is the album given full attention, listening to each ‘side’ from start to finish, as the band intended. This weekend, Classic Album Sundays are marking the album’s 40th anniversary with a listening party at The Old Vinyl Factory – the place where the first copies of the album rolled off the presses in March 1973.
For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure, Classic Album Sundays is an idea from Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy to bring people together to enjoy an album, from start to finish, with no interruptions and none of the distractions we usually allow to take our minds off the music. That includes texting, talking, tweeting, even going to the loo.
The monthly club began in North London in 2010 and now the night is popping up all over the world. You name it, they’ve played it. Hounds of Love, Nightclubbing, The Stone Roses, Blood on The Tracks, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars… Every month they accept hundreds more album suggestions and pick one to play, uninterrupted. The one condition is that the playback is always on original vinyl. The idea being to open up the listeners to the subtle sounds of a record that mp3s compress away and to make the listening experience a communal one.
Colleen will be introducing the album playback on each night this weekend. She said: “Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ is a very familiar album to many of us. So what can Classic Album Sundays add to the listening experience 40 years after its release? Hosting the session at The Old Vinyl Factory, the site of the old EMI pressing plant, is a reminder of when vinyl ruled and raises the question of how newer formats have changed our listening habits. ‘DSOTM’ was created as two suites specifically for the two-sided vinyl format and attendees at this weekend’s events will be able to hear every nuance and recording detail via a £150,000 state of the art hi-fi from Absolute Sounds.”
If this reverential approach to listening to your favourite music floats your boat then it’s difficult to think of an album better suited to the night than this one. In 2010, Pink Floyd felt so strongly that they took EMI to court because they didn’t want their albums to be available on iTunes in individual tracks, especially as The Dark Side of the Moon is sequenced as two continuous pieces of music. The case was settled and a quick glance on iTunes reveals you can indeed cherry-pick ‘Money’ or ‘The Great Gig In The Sky’ if that’s all you’re interested in. But for fans of the album as an art form or, more specifically this band’s masterpiece, then what better than hearing it once again in full, glorious Technicolor?
The listening sessions take place on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 March. 6pm to 9pm. Tickets are available from www.classicalbumsundays.com – all proceeds will go to War Child.