Spaced Odyssey

The 'ultimate headphones album', having now sold in advance of 25 million copies, is given a comprehensive tune-up (and a smart new sleeve) for its 30th birthday

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Thirty years after its original release, the carrot being dangled before the faithful to celebrate yet another anniversary of this icon of the rock era is a version in a format called 5.1, although it’s hard to imagine how another sonic clean-up will help the toked-up trudge of Nick Mason’s drumming. But it’s worth raising a cheer, for while it probably wasn’t their finest hour artistically, this latest reissue does offer the chance to challenge the idea that Dark Side Of The Moon is a monument to turgidity and misguided ambition.

Dark Side Of The Moon was the first rock record to assume an extra-musical life of its own, acquired by millions almost as a lifestyle choice. Even the States fell at the band’s feet?never entirely at home with UK prog, the comparative simplicity of this music made art-rock for the mass market a reality.

It’s perhaps the enigmatic nature of the beast that is its enduring marvel; that one can listen to it and not have the faintest idea why it leaves you uplifted, a particularly incongruous reaction given its dyspeptic content. “How did they do that?” you ask and, of course, there’s no answer. There are no grand gestures, no coups de th


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