1. The album has sold 34 million copies worldwide.
2. The album was number one on US charts for one week in 1973, and it made the number two spot in the UK. In 1993, after re-mastering and when it was re-released the album made it to number four in the UK.
3. In Belgium and France the album reached number 1, it was number 2 in Austria, and number 3 in Austrailia. It was number 4 in Holland and number 5 in Spain, Finland, and German but not at the same time. It also made it to number 8 in Brazil during 1973.
4. The Guiness Book of World Records states the album has been on the charts longer than any other album in history……namely 591 consecutive weeks or 11.4 years in Billboard top 200…..a staggering 26 years in some Billboard chart or other.
5. The original title for the album was Eclipse (A Piece for Assorted Lunatics)…..
6. The music and lyrics for the entire album were written during a seven week period in which the band were preparing for a tour which they desperately wanted to premier new material.
7. Some of the lines used on the album were generated from cue cards with generic questions that were given to roadies, anyone at Abbey Road, doormen, and members of Wings including Paul and Linda McCartney. Questions included “Are you afraid of dying?”, “When was the last time you were violent and were you in the right?”, and “What does the phrase ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ mean to you?”
8. Wings guitarist, Henry McColluch provided the line, “I don’t know I was really drunk at the time” that is used at fade out of Money.
9. The stoned laughter used in the background of Speak to Me and Brain Damage is from Peter Watts, a road manager for the Floyd pictured on the back of the Ummagumma sleeve. His daughter is Naomi Watts, a famous actress…..
10. During the recording of the album studio time was interrupted for one of two reasons….soccer or Monty Python television broadcasts. The members of the band were such Python fans that they used some of the money made from the initial success of the album to help fund Monty Python’s Holy Grail film.
11. The album was recorded at Abbey Road on then state of the art 16-track equipment. In order to create the tape loops necessary to achieve the rhythmic chiming of the sound effects for Money……the tape had to be physically cut and mended precisely using a ruler and manually feeding them into a tape machine for duplication.
12. Parsons received a Grammy as the record won the “Best Engineered Album” award.
13. Australian radio listeners voted the album the best album to have sex to in 1990.
14. Us and Them was originally written by Richard Wright in 1969 as an instrumental piano solo intended for use in a movie. The song was meant to be used over slow-motion scenes of student/police riots at UCLA. The music was finally rejected but once Waters penned lyrics the song made on Dark Side.
15. Throughout the 1990s rumors persisted that the album was intended to be played back while watching The Wizard of Oz. Many similarities were depicted between the music, lyrics, and the film. The band have denied that the classic film made an impression on them while recording the album, but if you want to judge for yourself be sure to start the CD at the third roar of the MGM lion at the start of the film!
16. At the end of Eclipse listen for the voice that says, “there is no dark side of the moon really, as a matter of fact it’s all dark”,…..if you listen closely you can hear a muzak version of the Beatles’ Ticket to Ride. It was probably being played in the main offices at Abbey Road and was picked up on the microphones.
I've written about Dark Side of the Moon before.......here.