The Year in Music 2023: Pink Floyd celebrate 50th anniversary of ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’

It was a big year for Pink Floyd. Even though the band is no longer together, and not necessarily on the best of terms, they didn’t let the anniversary of one of their most iconic albums, The Dark Side of the Moon, go unnoticed. 

– The Rock & Roll Hall of Famers released a deluxe box set of Dark Side, featuring a newly remastered version of the album, as well as Blu-ray and DVD audio with the original mix and remastered stereo versions. It also included a new Blu-rRay disc and CD of the classic concert “The Dark Side of the Moon — Live at Wembley Empire Pool, London, 1974.”

– To coincide with the release, Pink Floyd held a contest asking fans to create animated music videos for any of the songs on the album and launched a new The Dark Side of The Moon planetarium exhibit.

– They also held a special solar eclipse event on a remote peninsula off the coast of Western Australia to coincide with the Ningaloo eclipse. They hit play on the album at 10:16:54 a.m. so the line “but the sun is eclipsed by the moon” would sync exactly when the total solar eclipse happened. Eight lucky contest winners got to experience the unique event, which was turned into a short film.

– But Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters had a totally different way of celebrating The Dark Side of the Moon — he remade it. The rocker released a solo reimagined version of the album, called The Dark Side of the Moon Redux, explaining it was “a way for me to honor a recording that Nick [Mason] and Rick [Wright] and Dave [Gilmour] and I have every right to be very proud of.”

– Waters even performed the album live at two shows in London, although reports claimed he was heckled for not playing enough music, instead reading from his unpublished memoir and ranting about Julian Assange.

– Unfortunately for Waters, any Dark Side celebrations were overshadowed by the constant controversy that surrounded his political views. He was accused of being an antisemite and two cities in Germany attempted to cancel shows on his This Is Not A Drill tour, although he won a court battle claiming his free speech was being violated. There was even a documentary released purporting to prove his antisemitism, which he vehemently denied.

– Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour inserted himself into the drama when his wife, Polly Samson, called Waters out on social media for being “antisemitic to your rotten core.” He reshared the post and also shared the antisemitism doc on his social media account.

– Released March 1, 1973, The Dark Side of The Moon spent one week at number one and went on to spend a total of 972 weeks on the Billboard chart. As of 1998, the album had been certified 15-times Platinum by the RIAA.

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