Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tributes to Dark Side, from all sides

It's not the best selling album of all time, but it may be the most covered. Sure, the Beatles' "Yesterday" is the most covered song ever, but how many Beatle albums have been covered in their entirety?

Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of the Moon has been, repeatedly.

A few years ago, after hearing an excerpt on NPR, I bought a copy of Dub Side Of the Moon by the Easy Star All Stars. As the name implies, it's a reggae/dub version by the Easy Star label's stable of artists. Pretty cool. Surprising how well some of the tunes translated to the reggae idiom. And they even made it Wizard Of Oz compatible. I was impressed!

Then last week I heard about Dark Side Of the Moon A Cappella, from a group of artists on the Vocomotion a cappella label. This one is so faithful to the original that when I loaded the CD on my computer, iTunes mistook it for Pink Floyd! (Someone told me that iTunes - or the Gracenote CDDB, which iTunes queries - identifies CDs by the number and lengths of the tracks.) Incredibly, these folks (who also say their recording is Wiz compatible, and even throw in a couple of musical allusions for those who are paying attention) recreate many of the synthesized, layered, electronically altered sounds of the original using no instruments and few if any studio effects. I'm not sure which is more impressive: that they did such a great job, or that the 1973 original merits such attention.

The other recorded cover (which I have not heard) is by the Squirrels, a self-described "bubble gum-punk" band out of Seattle. Jam bands Phish and moe have both performed DSOTM in its entirety in Halloween concerts.

Geez! What's next, a country version of The Wall?

No comments:

Post a Comment