The Original, Humbling, Possibly Accidental, Pre-Video Age... DVD Easter Egg

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In 1973 Pink Floyd released The Dark Side of the Moon, the band’s greatest commercial and critical success. The album is as equally revered for its innovative use of synthesizers, sampling and looping as it is for its unique exploration of how one is driven to insanity. The group's interest in the latter subject was likely inspired by the departure and voluntary seclusion of former lead singer/composer, Syd Barrett. (Wikipedia)

This work is regarded as one of the finest rock albums of all-time.

In the early to mid-1990s members of the alt.music.pink-floyd usenet group began discussing whether or not a series of grand cosmic synchronicities or purposeful alignments result when the start of DSOTM is lined up with the third roar of the MGM lion at the beginning of The Wizard of Oz. (Since DSOTM is significantly shorter than The Wizard of Oz, one is required to play the album on repeat more than twice to match the length of the film.)

Viewing the fan-based discovery and the genesis of the phenomenon as unintentional is troubling. Playing movies and albums at the same time and reviewing their synchronicities had no precedent in the early 90s, so it's unclear what motivated someone to originally try this. More importantly, the clear signposting at the roar seems like a convenient shorthand to be used while rehearsing or tweaking - so perhaps a person involved with the album’s production ultimately revealed this secret.

Despite these hints at intentionality, it's important to remember that DSOTM was created during an era that preceded movie ownership. If Pink Floyd were to have purposely written the album to match up with the movie, no one could have seen this creation outside of a theatre (if at all, as this was well before the age of Rocky Horror-type midnight movie screenings). It’s definitely impressive to create a work that is “ahead of its time,” but its a different, bizarre, staggering achievement to make something inside (and that determines the shape) of your career-defining album that is so far ahead of the technology of the time that it might never be experienced by more than 50 people. Was Pink Floyd partying with electrical engineering Ph.D. candidates who clued them into the imminent, explosive progress of video and its implications for viewing movies at home – that would eventually unleash their project to the masses?

As there’s no accounting for taste or strong convictions, it would be foolish for me to try to convince you that this work is intentional. Yes, the movie transitions from black & white to Technicolor when Dorothy opens the door to Oz – right as the song “Money” begins. Yes, the lyrics “don’t give me that do goody good bullshit” line up with Glenda’s arrival – and so on, and on.

There are as many moments of chilling, bizarre coincidence as there are head scratching spans of nothing. However, given that the 43-minute album coincides on repeat with moments throughout the entire length of the 98-minute film, it appears that Pink Floyd could be forgiven for some dull, unrelated parts. In fact, what intensifies the experience for many viewers is the inconclusiveness of the evidence - if each part of every song coincided with the film, it wouldn't be as eerily interesting.

Best of all is the band's continued refutation of (and chuckling at) claims that they knowingly created this, which only further intensifies the mystery.

So, the next time you discover a hidden behind-the-scenes-featurette on your Dark Knight DVD, please wait about 20 years (or at least a few minutes) before tweeting about it, out of deference to the genre's quasi-originator.

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