The Dark Side Of The Moon review by The Flaming Lips

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  • Released: Dec 22, 2009
  • Sound: 4
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5.7 Decent
  • Users' score: 4 (69 votes)
The Flaming Lips: The Dark Side Of The Moon
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Sound — 4
I must admit I have no idea what spurred them to make this album. All Dark Side of the Moon covers are doomed to fall short, most often far short, of what might be rock's most brilliant masterpiece, so why waste the time and money? Live performances always made more sense than me, I never understood the pretension behind making it into a studio album though. While it surpasses "Dub Side of the Moon", it is only slightly less silly. To start with, Henry Rollins recites the spoken words parts as if he doesn't even know the meaning of the words and is just reading from a sheet of paper. His speaking voice is quite unremarkable anyway and I have no idea why they chose him of all people for the project. The vocals are passable for the most part, but the background singer on Eclipse made me burst out laughing and the rest is for the most part unremarkable. The music in general has two modes: emotionless and funky. After spacing out through a very dry and dull version of Us and Them (and not in the way you're supposed to), I found myself feeling like I stumbled on to the set of a porno with "Any Colour You Like". It was very much a laugh out loud moment. It seems they basically fused a legendary masterpiece with 80's synthpop. Yeah. I like The Flaming Lips and usually dig their sound, but it just doesn't work here at all.

Lyrics — 8
Here The Lips have it easy: Roger Waters wrote some very brilliant lyrics and all they had to do was sing them. But they sing them badly. Now, I'll give them credit for being on pitch I guess, but it isn't hard when the pitch hardly changes. A spoken word version would have been more effective, not that I'm saying that would sound good either. But hey, there's an idea! William Shatner does Dark Side of the Moon, anyone? This category only gets an 8 because I cannot possibly rate the lyrics lower than that. They are an easy 10 on the original album.

Overall Impression — 5
I don't think anybody, even The Flaming Lips and associates, hoped to compare to the original album. But - and forgive my French - the result here sounds like a bunch of guys jacking off on to Dark Side of the Moon. When it tries to be serious it sounds weak, and otherwise it doesn't sound like The Lips took the original album seriously at all. I'm sure they do, but you can't just throw a bunch of 80's-esque grooves over one of the greatest and most profound pieces of music ever written. It struck me as unintentionally disrespectful, like a bunch of kids were playing it, which is sad seeing how long The Flaming Lips have been around. I can only give them a five for effort.

100 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the bartender
    I just don't understand why anyone would do this.. No matter how you change it, it will always be less awesome than the original
    Lion_Slicer
    Porcupine Tree? You know, out of any band around today, they would easily have the best shot at doing Dark Side of the Moon some justice. I feel that Steve Wilson would have a very interesting take on it, and that it would be unique from the original but still respectful to it. Too bad it's only speculation, it really would be awesome.
    achilles187
    why would the flaming lips take shots at legends, they're disrespecting pink floyd by doing such a dumb, sensless, emotionless album only to try to get more famouse and get more money, but wheres the love for music?
    floydbert
    However, I would rather have Porcupine Tree cover this album than the Flaming lips. Anyone agree?
    floydbert
    Uh... as much as I love this album(alot), I still like Animals and WYWH better. But not the WALL. Darkside is better than that.
    BigZman95
    The Flaming Lips screw up their own music, so what made them think they could cover one of the most popular albums of all time?
    Scourge441
    While it surpasses "Dub Side of the Moon", it is only slightly less silly.
    I thought Dub Side of the Moon was pretty cool.
    Hexagram
    audiofan wrote: Just write your own songs about fighting robots and leave Pink Floyd music alone.
    EXACTLY
    howamidriving? wrote: first: this is actually pretty cool, if you give it a chance instead of writing it off before the first note is even played second: i feel like anyone who says dark side isnt their best is just trying to sound cool. no 17-min songs or pretentious story lines? count me in!
    First: it seems the consensus is that this album fails to meet a decent expectation of a "tribute" album or whatever they were going for. Second: I didn't realize that claiming DSOTM isn't the best was a cool thing to do. In that case, DARK SIDE OF THE MOON SUCKS!!! turd
    cobracarg
    lefty311 wrote: Dark Side is good, but not a masterpiece... Wish You Were Here and The Wall were leaps and bounds ahead of Dark Side of the Moon.
    YES... Thank god im not the only person that thinks this...
    howamidriving?
    first: this is actually pretty cool, if you give it a chance instead of writing it off before the first note is even played second: i feel like anyone who says dark side isnt their best is just trying to sound cool. no 17-min songs or pretentious story lines? count me in!
    Casperov
    I haven't heard the studio albumn but I did watch the Lips play the entire Dark Side of the Moon on New Years Eve after midnight in OKC. I can tell you, live, in person, it was pretty freaking AWESOME!! Just speaking to the why waste your time comments: When you can do whatever you want, and don't care what anyone says, you get to do whatever you want That's just what the lips do, make music they like.
    doomsdayscottie
    DARK SIDE IS OVERRATED DARK SIDE IS OVERRATED The Wall and Wish You Were Here are their best [/discussion]
    Jamie_W
    Didn't understand why they were doing this from the word go. Sure, cover a song, but a whole album? Why?
    di4gram
    the bartender wrote: I just don't understand why anyone would do this.. No matter how you change it, it will always be less awesome than the original
    That's so not true, even though it might be in this case. There are covers of a few songs songs I've heard which far surpass the originals.
    audiofan
    Just write your own songs about fighting robots and leave Pink Floyd music alone.
    audiofan
    FRACTUREDx2 wrote: Might as well go film a shot-for-shot remake of The Godfather while they're at it.
    audiofan
    Just write your own songs about fighting robots and leave Pink Floyd music alone.
    lefty311
    Dark Side is good, but not a masterpiece... Wish You Were Here and The Wall were leaps and bounds ahead of Dark Side of the Moon.
    PotBellyShogun
    BrianApocalypse wrote: I love DSOTM, because it illustrates perfectly that the best way to sell records is to make one that convinces the somewhat ignorant and shallow that they're actually intelligent and spiritual.
    HURR
    KurdtStaley
    I'm astonished a label would actually distribute such a ****ing joke of an album. Covering a song or two on your CD, that's cool, but covering an entire album? How do you even get your door in the studio? I guess that shows just how incredibly ****ing stupid record companies are... Now that I think of it, I have no reason to be surprised..
    Harvey_Danger
    achilles187 wrote: why would the flaming lips take shots at legends, they're disrespecting pink floyd by doing such a dumb, sensless, emotionless album only to try to get more famouse and get more money, but wheres the love for music?
    Have you actually listened to it? Because from that comment, it really looks like you're just talking out of your ass.
    banter wrote: It wasn't that bad. I think the main let down is the way they approached the vocals, on songs like money and great gig in the sky, even eclipse, it just didn't work. The music however, especially the bass gave it an energy and sense of live spontaneity the original doesn't have, the original is very precise and clean. Im not saying this is as good as the original by any means, but after youve been listening to an album on and off for about 10 years its nice to have a fresh take on it. Especially considering its one of my favourite albums.
    This man has some sense, so listen to him. I own the entire ****ing Pink Floyd discography and I still enjoyed this, because it's something different and was a labor of love by a band getting back to what made them what they are. And for the record, the Flaming Lips did a good job of covering The Who, too.
    banter
    It wasn't that bad. I think the main let down is the way they approached the vocals, on songs like money and great gig in the sky, even eclipse, it just didn't work. The music however, especially the bass gave it an energy and sense of live spontaneity the original doesn't have, the original is very precise and clean. Im not saying this is as good as the original by any means, but after youve been listening to an album on and off for about 10 years its nice to have a fresh take on it. Especially considering its one of my favourite albums.
    bama72006
    Maybe, and I'm going out on a limb, they weren't trying to one up the original. Maybe just paying tribute or thought it would be fun. It's not there fault it was thrown mainstream and people who do not like the Flaming Lips or the other band are hearing it. If you don't like the lips you won't like this. Trust me the don't need your money or approval!
    RaveRock
    I enjoyed this. You guys just can't stop sucking on Pink floyd's dick
    bolezhinkov
    yeah I think its a good record. anyone who thinks the original is untouchable needs to have a reality check.
    benx3000
    doomsdayscottie wrote: DARK SIDE IS OVERRATED DARK SIDE IS OVERRATED The Wall and Wish You Were Here are their best [/discussion]
    FUCK YEAH AND ANIMALS On a side note, this album wasnt all that terrible, people are just like HOLY SHIT I LOVE PINK FLOYD EVEN THOUGH I WASNT EVEN BORN WHEN THEIR LAST ALBUM CAME OUT HOW DARE YOU
    crazy8rgood
    This album was ****ing awesome. You're all just stuck up and think "Oooh nooo, how dare somebody try to do this! raaage!!!" It was a solid attempt, and it paye tribute to Pink Floyd. At least they didn't try to sound exactly like Pink Floyd. Peaches vocals on Great Gig in the Sky = Fuck yeah My only complaint is Henry Rollins doing the interview bits, he's very annoying.
    Ledforthehead
    Why do people like the wall? It makes me sick and sounds nothing like anything else they've done. Animals was their last great album, and greatest album.
    jfreyvogel
    The best cover of a Floyd song I have heard was Us and Them done by Between the Buried and Me. Not joking. Listen to it.
    Abacus11
    charliezard! wrote: Pink Floyd sucks. This is probably better than the original, but I dislike the original too much to give this one a chance.
    Consider this: Most of the pseudo-indie, pseudo-good "bands to say you like to make people think you're interesting" bands that you're into wouldn't exist if it weren't for bands like Pink Floyd paving the way over 40 years ago. Fortunately though, Pink Floyd has also inspired some amazing bands and artists over the years, The Flaming Lips included. I probably shouldn't have replied to that... but someone saying "Pink Floyd sucks" is just too stupid for me to leave alone.
    TerminalSpirit
    Wow... getting a little heated in here. Okay Dark Side is a classic but it hardly means that it is infallible or untouchable. To turn the argument on it' head, if Pink Floyd (if they were of course still in formation) did a cover album of The Lip's Soft Bulletin (arguably as much of a classic as DSOTM in it's own right) would there be as much controversey and screams of "MURDER!" flying around? The thing is, you have to respect this album as a standalone piece of work. In the same way a composer interprets Beethoven's 9th a band must take an album and apply their own idiosyncracies and groove to the music. That's what I hear when I listen to this record, The Lip's gave birth to their own bastard child. Although possibly not as well recognised as his legitimate brother, it still has a lot of style. Plus, it's not like Flyod's album's disappeared off the face of the Earth, so just stick on the original!
    Abacus11
    I doubt anyone will agree with me but I've listened to about half of this album and so far I think it's pretty good. DSOTM is one of my favorite albums of all time and has been for most of my life so I can't honestly say that the Flaming Lips covers are as good or even close; but they are interesting. One of my favorite bands (The Flaming Lips) covering one of my favorite albums by my favorite band (Pink Floyd) is intriguing to me. I don't understand why so many people are being negative about this. Of course it's not as great as the original, it's not supposed to be. It's a reinterpretation of a classic album by a very creative band. Enjoy it for what it is.
    Casperov
    KurdtStaley wrote: I'm astonished a label would actually distribute such a ****ing joke of an album. Covering a song or two on your CD, that's cool, but covering an entire album? How do you even get your door in the studio? I guess that shows just how incredibly ****ing stupid record companies are... Now that I think of it, I have no reason to be surprised..
    I think they have their own studio..... I don't think they would turn themselves away.
    hobo4hire
    Ok, so i really need to get my opinion of this album out, because for the first week that i knew of this albums existence I was one of the many people who found this album both wrong and offensive. However today I could not get the question out of my head "Why would flaming lips even try to do something like this?". They knew it wouldn't sound anything like the original, and would only accomplish pissing off lots and lots of floyd fans, then the answer hit me like a flying pig, and gave me a whole new appreciation for this album. Of course FL knew that the album would go down like it did. They had to have been completely aware that mimicking an album as important as DSotM in any seriousness would end bad. Thats when i realized, this album is not serious at all! and in that lies its brilliance. This album is right here is post-modernism at its finest (perhaps a little to early for its time in my opinion, but thats kind of the point here). seriously, if the flaming lips wanted to cover dark side, and do it seriously, it wouldn't have been as good as floyd, but it would be way better than what we have here. What the lips are doing here is far from a serious attempt at covering one of the best albums of all time, they are innovating new concepts in music by touching the untouchable in ways that the general public just isn't ready for, but at the same time creating new ideas and expanding the pop-culture world by doing things that seem wrong. Music today is a lot of crap, that sounds like a very biased and opinionated statement, but who doesn't agree with me? I will say there are some good bands out there, but for the most part the artists of past that we have all known and love are dying, and new artists are emerging that are just getting harder and harder to understand and appreciate. This is something that comes along every few decades, where the art of the old generation becomes old and dull to the new generation, and the art of new generation becomes odd and un-tasteful to the old generation, and what better way to kick off this trend by making light something as sacred as Dark Side of the Moon. It seems like a depressing thought at first, but if you found anything enlightening about my long-ass comment, give this album another listen and maybe you will find the same appreciation in it that I did. I somehow get the feeling that more and more things like this will occur as time passes.
    pantallica95
    charliezard! wrote: Pink Floyd sucks. This is probably better than the original, but I dislike the original too much to give this one a chance.
    Now people, don't feed the troll. Ignore this^ post. OT I don't think covering an entire album is ever a good idea.
    The_lizard_king
    I'm always apprehensive when it comes to other artists covering floyd, I can't do cover floyd with justice. However I hear dream theater does a decent job?
    steevo92
    TheIceCreamMan wrote: Even if I had never heard the original I highly doubt I would like this album. .
    Listen the original its a masterpiece really... for me its the greatest album what ever made along with metallicas master of puppets and iron maidens number of the beast
    paquiquinho
    Never heard this album though I'll give it a biased shot. I'd love to be capable of listening to it without the previous idea that it'll suck but I think that's just not possible. :\ I'm not a big fan of Flaming Lips either. And I think that Floyd's best albums are DSOTM and WYWH. I'm not a big fan of The Wall. All Floyd albums are great, don't get me wrong, I just don't think the wall is the monster album everyone makes it to be.
    Led Lennon
    Idk where all the hate comes from, but I actually really enjoyed this album. Yeah, Money was a little stupid, but Time and Great Gig In The Sky were great interpretations. Don't know why everyone is like HOW DARE YOU FLAMING LIPS, butI thought it was fun and creative.
    Warehouse
    lefty311 wrote: Dark Side is good, but not a masterpiece... Wish You Were Here and The Wall were leaps and bounds ahead of Dark Side of the Moon.
    Kinda agree with you on Wish You Were Here, can't agree with you at all on The Wall. That said, Meddle is right up there with DSOTM for me, although "Dogs" is my favorite Floyd song of all time.
    TheIceCreamMan
    Everyone taking it like "How dare you try and recreate DSotM" should calm down. I was really looking forward to this and I was hoping for great things, however, in general the album was just poor. It has nothing to do with the original either. Even if I had never heard the original I highly doubt I would like this album. They just didn't do a good job.
    FLbassplayer21
    Insult to the original. When it comes to Floyd Everything and everybody falls epically short.
    NakedInTheRain
    Equivalence wrote: Their next album should be Kid B.
    Please don't give them any ideas; my head will actually blow off if that happens.