Pink Floyd have announced a unique event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their iconic eighth album, 1973’s ‘ The Dark Side Of The Moon ’.
The band are hosting a special listening party in Western Australia – and not just any listening party. They’re sound-tracking the upcoming total solar eclipse. As you do.
The “once-in-a-lifetime” event will be held on Thursday 20 April at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park (Nyinggulu) in Exmouth, a resort town roughly 1200km north of Perth. That morning, a shadow of the moon will brush over Western Australia while it passes the sun.
The event will be timed so that the moment of total eclipse is synced up to the lyrics of ‘Eclipse’, the closing track on ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, when Roger Waters sings: “But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.”
The event will be overseen by Pink Floyd’s long-time creative consultant, Aubrey Powell, the cofounder of the art collective Hipgnosis, which designed many of the band’s timeless album covers.
In a press release, Powell said: “Since its release 50 years ago, ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon’ has been embraced by multiple generations across the world because it examines universal themes of greed, mortality, the dark and light sides of the human psyche and, of course, our place in the cosmos. I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to commemorate its release than with this rare and beautiful phenomenon that visually symbolises so much of what the album explores."
Tickets for this unique event will not be made available to the public, with access only made available to eight winners of a competition. Fans need to submit a 30-second video here, explaining why they deserve to attend the event. Entries will be closed at 11:59pm this coming Friday (7 April). The winners, called Astronomy Domine 8 (a reference to Pink Floyd's opening song of their debut album 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn' - 1967), will get to witness the solar eclipse as the album plays.
Back in the charts (despite a moronic few)
Earlier this year, the band announced a special 50th anniversary reissue of their legendary album which, with more than 50 million copies sold worldwide, has become one of the best-selling albums of all time.
The box set – released last month – includes a live recording of the band’s 1974 gig at Wembley released on vinyl for the first time, as well as a book and new music videos.
The reissue has returned the album to the UK Top 20 for the first time in more than a decade, helping the original album jump from 120 to 17 on the Official Albums Chart. It last appeared in the Top 20 in October 2011.
Rather hilariously (with enough hindsight), Pink Floyd got to see the dark side of their fanbase earlier this year, when they announced the 50th-anniversary edition of their album.
The announcement was made by the band on their social media accounts and featured an updated photo of the band’s iconic prism and rainbow album cover.
Learned fans greeted the news with enthusiasm, but some called out the band with claims of “wokeness.”
“Why does there have to be a bloody woke rainbow!” said one Twitter user, who didn’t quite manage to figure out that if you ask a question, grammatical tradition dictates that a question mark should be favoured instead of an exclamation mark.
One Twitter user handily compiled some of the "best" complaints, which included gems such as “From this moment I don’t listen this band” (again, superb syntax) and “Are you going woke with rainbows, is there a straight flag, I want equal representation…”:
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
To end on a more positive note, it’s worth noting that Pink Floyd released a special benefit single called ‘Hey Hey Rise Up’ last year, in order to raise money for humanitarian charities aiding those affected by the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war.
In December the band revealed they had raised £500,000 (approx. €569,000) for the cause through the song. The band stated that money would be distributed between five humanitarian charities: Hospitallers, The Kharkiv And Przemyśl Project, Vostok SOS, Kyiv Volunteer and Livyj Bereh.