Dark Side of the Moon:
|yes this is for the whole album|
Okay, hold on to your butts, this one might get a bit pretentious. That happens when you talk about your favorite band.
I rediscovered music through Pink Floyd. While I frequently will point to another very specific moment that involved The Who as my "musical awakening", I had been secretly stealing my Dad's Pink Floyd CD's for about 6 months by that point. It started with The Wall, and eventually moved on to Dark Side of the Moon. Both albums remain probably my top two of all time. It depends on my mood. If I'm sad, it's The Wall. And to be fair, The Wall has meant a lot to me over the years, it doesn't lose any impact.
But there is just something about DSOTM. There is a fantastic documentary out there about the making of this album (Classic Albums: Dark Side of the Moon) and in that doc the senior editor of Rolling Stone makes a quote similar to this: "It's the quintessential concept album; the concept is there, perfectly clear, you can understand everything it's trying to say, yet it's also the kind of album that can take you places in a dark room"
Which sounds like it's perpetrating the "stoner" stereotype of the Floyd, which is, and has always been, completely unfair. They weren't a stoner band making stoner music. In fact, compared to other bands of their era, they are quite the opposite. Each band member is very fluent and coherent, well spoken, and respectable. They don't sound like they've been hit by drugs at all, as opposed to other bands from the 70's.
The point the guy was making with that quote, is that when Dark Side hits you the right way, it hits you hard. Everything clicks and you do have a fantastic experience. The "Climax" of the album is a thing of beauty, and easily my pick for the best ending of any album. It shows that you really can't break the album into parts, to really "get into it" you have to listen to it from start to finish, while paying attention. If you do that, you will feel that sort of transcendence that you get when you experience something beautiful. It's my musical version of a sunset over the mountains. I don't listen to DSOTM very often, in fact, maybe once every 5-6 months, but thats because I don't want to ruin it. I want to be able to experience that forever.
For the picture, I tried to sort of illustrate the "transcendence" feeling I get when I'm in the album. Everything is circular and building upon itself, lifting you higher into that bliss. You pull in the power from all the details and use it to climb. For me, it's spiritually invigorating. It does more then make me happy, it's kinda like meditation. You come back afterward happy, relaxed, and satisfied. The picture went through several versions, and I'm not entirely happy with the result (It looks kind of silly) but it's a hard feeling to communicate.
However the one constant of the whole picture was the blue dude (Inspired by a alternate cover of "Pulse", not Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen) and he's easily the part I'm proud of, so I scrapped the BG for this alternate version, which is a little thin, but I think I like it better:
ps. I want to mention at this point I have never tried any drugs at any time in my life, and I never will.