Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (Experience Edition review)

Capitol Records is in the midst of a massive reissue program of the Pink Floyd catalog.  Icon Fetch reached out to several veteran Dayton musicians to give their takes on their favorite Floyd albums.  Nick Kizirnis has played in several legendary Dayton bands like Cage and the Mulchmen, and is currently doing shows with his own Nick Kizirnis band.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (Experience Edition) (Capitol/EMI)  review by Nick Kizirnis

Floyd’s “Dark Side” Experience release feels both nostalgic and new

I bought Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” LP at The Forest record store in Dayton, Ohio after hearing “The Wall” at a friend’s house. I thought “The Wall” was amazing, and I had to hear more.

I don’t know how many times I listened to “Dark Side …” but I do remember that the chills I felt never left me, even as I started exploring other Floyd albums. Eventually I moved onto other bands and other LPs, but I never forgot the “Dark Side …” (or the poster the LP contained which hung on my wall long after it was torn and ragged).

Listening to the newly re-mastered “Dark Side of the Moon (Experience Edition)” took me back to those first days. I remembered the turntable I wore out and speakers that, as limited as they were, delivered what I thought were the most unbelievable sounds in the world. While I don’t think there’s need to review the brilliant songs themselves (there are enough reviews out there that will provide a lifetime of reading), I will say that the care that went into delivering this version exceeded my expectations and even my hope.

And then there’s the bonus live CD, recorded in 1974 at the Empire Pool in Wembley. While I’ve heard live Floyd bootlegs, they were always pretty low quality recordings, which made it difficult to really get into (especially after hearing the live tracks on “Ummagumma”).

But this recording caused me to hear the album in a new way. The performance reproduces the “Dark Side …” album beyond faithfully.  The band emphasizes and varies guitar riffs, harmonies and even cooler transitions from one song to another that make the songs sound new and exciting all over again.

While there’s nothing short of excellent performances, I will note that “Breathe” brings back those chills from long ago, the instrumental “On the Run” had already evolved from the LP version just one year later, and “Us and Them” is absolutely beautiful.

The sound quality is truly amazing. Finally! A full-length live Pink Floyd record (no, “Pulse” does not count). Even if you have everything (and I think I might), you need this.

In addition to the 2-CD set, there is a deluxe, six-disc “Immersion” box, which contains unreleased recordings, video, a documentary, a 5:1 version of the record and even a scarf. While everything looks really great, the box set is for those who must have everything the band has ever released. Having heard/read and seen all sorts of alternate versions, interviews and odd recordings, I think I’ll be OK with skipping it this time around (probably).