It’s one of the iconic images of the modern western world – the album cover from Dark Side of the Moon, the 35 million+ selling album from Pink Floyd.
One of my teenage pleasures was listening to the LP last thing at night in bed – with headphones on and the lights out. To my surprise this seems to have been a common teenage experience – Mrs O did the same (though she was also a nocturnal listener of Tangerine Dream). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – how else could you stay up late without your maw and paw knowing.
This week the Floyd won another piece of their long running case against EMI. EMI had been flogging the concept album on itunes but were allowing each track to be sold individually – apparently against the spirit of the contract betwen EMI and the band which had been signed before the explosion of internet downloads. £10 million in royalities were up for grabs (Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie – Waters, Money from Dark Side of The Moon).
I can’t help but think that it seems rather ironic that an album cover that features a beam of light being split by a prism into it’s rainbow colours can’t itself be split up into its various bits. It also makes me wonder if the next logical step for the Floyd legal team is to insist that everyone who in the future listens to the digital album has to get up from the sofa twenty minutes in and press continue to simulate changing sides – just like the original vinyl LP concept experience. That should maintain the concept perfectly – which is a point isn’t it? Will you be able to buy the Pink Floyd back catalogue by album side? Back in the day of Sanyo and Ferguson Music Centres concept albums always got split up, but in 20 minute chunks as opposed to 4 minute bite size pieces – so should The Floyd really be that bothered? Ten million quid? You betcha!