2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of little diamonds in the rough
In order to get the most out of this DVD, you'll have to watch and listen closely -- some of the most interesting parts are not obvious. But if you deeply enjoy the album, then you are probably good at picking out such important nuances.
For example, the "bonus" material (tucked away in a separate menu) includes interviews and recordings that are sometimes...
Published on April 21 2004 by Dr. Gonzo
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
The interviews are good. But I would have liked to see more videos of the songs. The price should have been cheaper.
Published 15 months ago by Anthony Sakalauskas
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of little diamonds in the rough,
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)In order to get the most out of this DVD, you'll have to watch and listen closely -- some of the most interesting parts are not obvious. But if you deeply enjoy the album, then you are probably good at picking out such important nuances.
For example, the "bonus" material (tucked away in a separate menu) includes interviews and recordings that are sometimes more captivating than the main documentary. These include very personal interviews with Roger Waters on growing up, love, insanity, death, and human kindness, as well as equally personal solo acoustic renditions of "Brain Damage" by Waters ("the lunatic song" as he calls it) and "Breathe", performed by David Gilmour. Gilmour, along with Rick Wright, provides fascinating musical insight throughout the documentary. Snippets of the performances and interviews are included in the documentary itself, but to get the whole picture, you've really got to watch the bonus scenes.
Another reviewer mentioned that while it is fascinating to see some of the behind the scenes work that went into making "Dark Side", this may ruin the mystique. This wasn't the case for me. Perhaps if you've imagined some themes for the album that turn out to be catastrophically different from what Roger was thinking, I could see how you might be disappointed. But as the interviews evince, the album is about the trials and tribulations of being human. I don't see how your version of the meaning could diverge very far from this, in the cosmic sense. Rather, I think any theme you might associate personally with a song is inevitably close to the intended one. Waters himself seems to oscillate back and forth between various meanings and implications.
As far as the meaning of the album goes, this is what I was hoping to learn more about through this documentary. While it did provide very interesting information through interviews, there was no external commentary. That is, the documentary is a primary source of information, not a secondary one. There is no narrator to formulate hypotheses, point out themes and draw conclusions. This is left to the observer, which really is probably a good thing, following the Floyd's lead. It's just that, if you've listened to (and thought about) "Dark Side" many many times like a lot of us have, and have maybe read one or two interviews with Roger Waters, you won't find much new insight here as far as the "meaning" goes. I do have to admit, though, that hearing and seeing the band members (especially Waters) explain their thought processes and interactions in making the album certainly added a new dimension to the story.
The most poignant moment came when Dave Gilmour was showing how he 'accidentally' came up with that speedy, rolling synth vamp for "On the Run", and admitted that "sometimes things just fit together perfectly by accident... and this album was one of those times" (not a direct quote, but close). This is the sense you get from the documentary, that for whatever reason things just fell into place perfectly. For example, the original version of "Us and Them" was written years earlier by Richard Wright as a score for a violent mob scene in the movie "Zabriskie Point". The lyrics by Waters fit naturally with the music, and the music fits gracefully with the rest of the album.
One of the earlier reviewers mentioned that this DVD will evoke memories of tailgate parties that "hammered us into a glorious haze before the concert", and called the documentary "spankin'". I don't get this vibe at all. The concert footage is brief, and usually doesn't include the actual audio (just the album dubbed over). So even though it will inevitably bring back some fantastic memories, don't expect to hear yourself shouting "smoke dope!" in the background. (Of course this same reviewer classified Floyd as "heavy-" and "heavier-metal rock", so form your own opinion...)
Another reviewer had nothing but glowing praise for this DVD. While I think it's great, and would buy it again in a heartbeat, it has its flaws. For one, it seems very formulaic in its presentation: start at the beginning of the album and go through each song with interviews and video footage on top (fade when necessary). This isn't surprising since it is just one in a series of "Classic Albums" DVDs. (In fact, the intro to the DVD isn't even specific to Pink Floyd -- it's a mishmash of rock n' roll sounds and pictures of floating guitars.) Lastly, as I mentioned before, there are no astounding revelations in the interviews or commentary about the meaning behind the album. You are still basically left to form your own opinions on what the lyrics 'really mean' and what this all has to do with insanity, human suffering, and monetary gain. Anyone who has read an interview with Roger Waters will already be acquainted with his view on these themes.
This is a good documentary that I recommend to all Pink Floyd fans. While it has some shining moments, you have to look carefully for them and some might be disappointed by the matter-of-fact presentation by the band members. If you can retain your wonder and imagination, you'll be rewarded with a new appreciation for the thoughtfulness and childlike spontaneity that synergized to make the "Dark Side of the Moon" the greatest album ever created.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A higher power,
By A Customer
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)If I had to be isolated on a desert island with only one album it would be this one. Not a rock and roll album --a teaching. I would like to be listening to it in my last moments on earth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pink Floyd Thriller Retrospective,
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)Having travelled all over the USA to see Pink Floyd when they have been stateside in concert during their fabulous touring years, I was wild to get this DVD, particularly since I saw them LIVE in concert with "Dark Side of the Moon" in the 70s during their amazing tour. It was the start of Pink Floyd becoming an unnparalled Icon.
This DVD stimulates memories of many a blazing night watching PF wind everyone up and blow us all away. It was great to see the original artists (including Roger) perform in clips from old films of the DSOTM concert plus see him 30 years later along with the elegantly spoken and awesomely gifted guitarist Dave Gilmore, keyboard guru Richard and thunder drummer Nick bandmates discussing their roles in the music creative process that transformed heavy-metal rock and roll into futuristic, crank it up to the max, even heavier-metal rock and roll with a sound signature like no other band then or since. Weird, Wild, Wonderful.
Any number of us PF maniacs can probably recall those outrageous tailgate parties that hammered us into a glorious haze before the concert. Afterwards, with ears ringing like gongs, we partied on and paraded around in Pink Floyd primo concert T- shirts with the tour dates listed on the back while listening to the latest PF release being blasted out of dozens of boom boxes as the night turned into dawn.
Those are the kinds of vibes that this DVD stirs up and I can tell you I loved every single minute of it. A MUST have for your Pink Floyd ultimate collection. It's spankin'!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a concert DVD - Thank God!,
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)This DVD is a selection from the "Classic Albums" series which originally viewed on VH1. As the title of my review indicates, this is NOT a concert or a re-release of the album. Rather, it is an in-depth look at how the album was created. The documentary doesn't use a narrator, but rather incorporates several voices to tell a story, including contributions from all four members of the group, the engineer (Alan Parsons), the mixer (Chris Thomas), the cover/liner design man (Storm Thorgenson), the record company head who pushed and prodded the toads at Capitol Records to get behind the album (Baskar Menon) and several journalists -including David Fricke from Rolling Stone. All of them have "things to say" about the nuts and bolts of record producing, the marriage of art and commerce, and the place of this album in the pantheon of modern popular music (one british journaist calls it "among the most important artistic and musical statements of the last 50 years").
The nearly hour-long "main" presentation is fairly linear, starting with background info from the time that Syd Barrett lost his mind to the formation of the main themes and music for the album before they ever started recording it, to a breakdown of nearly every song in order (with the lone exception of "Any Colour You Like"). Of special note: One gets to see Richard Wright play several pieces of his finest compositions ("Great Gig in the Sky" and "Us and Them") explaining how he came to write them and under what circumstances (his mention of "the jazz" and Miles Davis were fabulous); David Gilmour demonstrates the Synth V.A. - the first sequencer used for "On the Run" and he plays parts of his guitar solos on "Time" and "Money." Nick Mason offers some nice (but too brief) insights into the psychology of the band, and Roger Waters talks a bit about his the impetus behind his lyrics and demonstrates the original bluesy demo of "Money."
The bonus material has some great stuff on it as well - in fact some of it far outstrips the aired material - including : David Gilmour's outstanding acoustic version of "Breathe" and Waters soulful acoustic version of "Brain Damage."
The bonus section also gives a great deal of time to Roger Waters' explanation of how his politics and his life experiences shaped his lyrics and music.
On the whole this is an outstanding piece of film-making, highlighting an important piece of music history. If you are a fan of Pink Floyd this is an indispensible DVD. If you are curious about how great art is created, this is an inexpensive way to find out.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good,
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)The interviews are good. But I would have liked to see more videos of the songs. The price should have been cheaper.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The workings of the Floyd and more...,
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)This is one of the best "Classic Albums" series on video. I think for people just discovering the band and picking up the SACD CD, it's a nice way to see how they made the album and what it took (lots of teamwork behind the console as well as in the studio). The video has the original made for TV part, but the best parts are in the extras, which are about as long.
It's unfortunate that the band never filmed the "Dark Side" tour, and resorted to using a "Set the Controls" promo from the same time period, even though there is 8MM footage out there. Thankfully, some of the "Live at Pompeii" film showed the making of at the time, which they used to great effect, and then showed them in the present day. It's too bad PF neglected to film any of their shows from DSOTM to Animals... there's probably some "lost" footage floating around somewhere that they never knew about. But a lot of the "video" footage they used for the screen during the shows is also shown throughout the show, hopefully one day can be used as part of a video collection (supposedly, Nick Mason is putting one together).
It's too bad they weren't willing to be in the same room with each other during the filming of the show though. A lot of it is really interesting to see Roger, Rick, and Dave break down their songs. But I did think that Dave's voice is starting to show wear, which may be why he is reluctant to do a full Floyd tour and is doing the acoustic shows. Hopefully they can do one show together for posterity at least, covering all eras.
Overall, I don't know if this is something that will be played on the DVD player that often, but it's definitely worth watching at least once.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, best of its breed.,
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)This is one of the best 'recording of' films I've ever seen, of what is broadly accepted as one of the best albums ever recorded. The interviews are excellent and insightful, especially regarding the experiences and headspace of the band before and after making the album, where the inspiration for some of the tracks came from, and how some of the sound effects and instrumental or vocal parts for some of the arrangements came about. And, of course, it's great to see Alan Parsons pushing the faders at the board again while he highlights some of the subtle but important bits lurking throughout the songs, some of which you may not have noticed before. Some of these kinds of films seem to take the magic away from a classic recording, but not this one. I think it further deepened my respect for the exceptional creativity, intelligence and synergy that the Pink Floyd wielded during what I consider their best years. See and hear how one of the world's greatest musical milestones was created.
4.0 out of 5 stars A great look & listen behind the "Dark Side",
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)The "Classic Albums" series, which began as a program on VH-1, takes one popular rock record and - using demo tapes, separated recorded tracks, archival footage and interviews with artists, producers and engineers - tells the story of its creation by dissecting it, song by song. The series previously took engaging looks into The Grateful Dead's "American Beauty" and Steely Dan's "Aja," among others, but "Classic Albums: Dark Side of the Moon" may be its best volume yet.
Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" LP is the 1973 "space rock" aural masterpiece that catapulted the group into the big leagues; the record spent a mind-boggling 741 weeks within the Billboard Top 100 and still remains a cultural and musical touchstone.
Through conversations with band members Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Rick Wright, Nick Mason, engineer Alan Parsons and various critics and artists, the documentary reveals how the group did it, how they created such a unique and innovative soundscape in an era before personal computers, sampling and modern synthesizers (short answer: with talent, hard work and lots and lots of tape machines).
After years of the bickering and legal brawling between Waters and Gilmour, it's nice to see them happily chatting in agreement on at least one thing: that, together, they made one of the greatest rock albums ever.
The documentary also gives a face to the lesser-known voices on the album, including the amazing singer Clare Torry, as well as the random people who supplied the album's strange, background conversations (one of whom was a doorman at Abbey Road Studios).
4.0 out of 5 stars What VH1's 'Behind the Music' should be.,
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD).
This DVD for me is what an interview with a band should be about.
I've gotten so tired of seeing shows about bands that are simply about the dirt and gossip of their torrid lives.
Thankfully, this DVD is nothing about that.
It is about the actual Nuts and Bolts of putting together one of the most classic albums of the century, 'Dark Side of the Moon'. It was really great to see Alan Parsons at the mixing board showing us, in front the camera, what he actually did to mix it. (Alan Parsons, 'Turn of the Friendly Card' also one of my favorite ablums. Which also, oddly enough, includes a song called 'Time')
I found the interviews with the members of the band to be quite down to earth and honest.
In a time where it seems that music is only created as a product on an automobile assembly line to make the most money.
I hope this type of documentary becomes the standard of future music documentaries. Leaving out the gossip and putting in the musical creativity.
4.0 out of 5 stars A must have for Floyd fans (especially Dark Side fans),
This review is from: Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon (DVD)When I heard this was coming out on DVD, I knew I would be purchasing this. Dark Side of the Moon is one of my 3 favorite albums of all time.
That being said, the DVD (for the most part) does not disappoint. It is essentially an hour-long documentary with some extra features adding another 20 minutes or so. It has all 4 original members talking about how the songs were recorded and written. It also includes the original engineers, a few journalists, and Strom Thurgeson who designed the unforgettable artwork on the album.
What stood out to me was listening to Roger Waters talk about his thoughts on the songs and life in general. He had some very inspiring comments. Also, it was fun to see David Gilmour perform an acoustic version of Breathe and show off some other guitar parts. Waters even performs a little acoustic bit of Money and Brain Damage. These performances alone are worth having this DVD.
As a long-time Floyd fan, my only gripe is that it wasn't longer. Pink Floyd interviews are pretty rare... I would have liked to hear even more, although there is plenty of great stuff on here.
And if you haven't heard Dark Side of the Moon before, you need to do that immediately. Your life will never be the same!
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Pink Floyd -Classic Albums: The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon by Roger Waters (DVD - 2003)
CDN$ 15.98 CDN$ 9.98