1973, hey I’ve already done this year. This is the year I swapped schools from Carlingford to Barker. Made good friends at both schools but rarely see any of them now. School days are amongst the haziest in my memory, again bumped into a school chum at a party a few weeks back, his face triggered nothing in my memory.
I read that memory is the constant recreation of events. That when we remember something we are actually igniting the neurons that triggered when the event occurred, as if it was occurring again in our brain. This recreated memory may be different from the original. Think about eye witness accounts of an accident and how they not only differ from each other, and can differ over time. Apparently an incorrect memory of that accident can be placed in the brain, and that incorrect memory will be reinforced every time it’s brought to the top of the mind. It seems that memory is always open to reinterpretation.
Dark Side of the Moon. I doesn’t trigger any specific memories. Most of the times I listened to it would have been in the late ’70s through headphone, very loud. Lyrically, it is an album that touches on greed, madness, ageing and death. Big themes, lightly touched. The most personal part of it all are the recordings of Syd Barrett. His mind failing from both psychosis and excessive drug use, Syd was in retreat from music and the world.
Looking through my cd collection, I have two complete covers for Dark Side of the Moon. Guess that’s one of the factors cementing it as an icon.
The first is by the Easy Star All-Stars, called Dub Side of the Moon. A full dub version of the classic album. Wonderfully weird and listenable. Not the heaviest dub album you will ever hear, but fun.
Easy Star All-Stars went on to release a cover of The Beatles Sgt. Peppers album, which was ok, but no great shakes.
The second is the Flaming Lips cover with Star Death and the White Dwarfs. Like Pink Floyd, the Flaming Lips put a lot of time into the soundscape of this album. This is not a dull tribute, but a great reinterpretation. Some of the jams only can only be connected to the original by the occasional madcap laugh and explosion. And then there is a great coughing and wheezing mashup, and a much funkier scream section.
Maybe the prism breaking the light is the right image for all this. Maybe you can’t review classic album, just reinterpret them through your memories.