Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

Explorng the Dark Side


The antithesis of bright bouncy pop was Pink Floyd. Their 1973 album Dark Side Of The Moon remains a landmark today. The brilliance of the project lay in the arranging and production of the music. The result was a new, more spacial sonic experience as in the songs "Time" and "Brain Damage." The song "Money" used a strange time signature and sinister bass line to make a statement about greed. It was completely theater of the mind. The album lyrics pointed to a dark view of the world driven by money and an "us and them" mentality tempered by the passage of time. However deep the intentions were, the album became a conversation piece for university professors. It all came from the same studio where the Beatles unloaded their creativity, Abbey Road.

The influence of The Beatles, The Doors and other creative acts in the sixties inspired several new directions in music and one that captivated Pink Floyd was the development of art rock. Their next album Wish You Were Here continued to explore deep social messages, as the title track was a tribute to Syd Barrett, who had founded the band but lost himself mentally through drug abuse. "Have A Cigar" was an expose of the music industry whereas "Welcome To The Machine" dealt with the broader topic of corporate control taking over people's lives.


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