Apr 282017

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

dark side of the moon

On April 28, 1973 – forty-four years ago today – Pink Floyd’s album The Dark Side of the Moon reached number one in the Billboard Top 200 Bestselling Album charts. Fifteen years later, it was still on those charts. Impeccably produced and beautifully played, Moon deservedly served as the band’s breakthrough. This was an album that worked best as a whole, even if it did contain a top 20 single in “Money,” and it’s an album that’s been covered in its entirety by multiple single artists. Among them: Phish, the Flaming Lips, Dream Theater, and the Easy Star All-Stars, whose Dub Side of the Moon was so successful they released an album of remixes, Dubber Side of the Moon, seven years later.

Let’s just say that when it came time to put together our own Full Album collection, the pickings were anything but slim. Consider the following just one of many, many Moons.

Gallops – Speak To Me (Pink Floyd cover)

In October 2011, MOJO magazine released Return to the Dark Side of the Moon free with each issue. Once again, they did a great job commissioning which bands should record which songs; the entire album could have easily have been featured here, track by track. Instead, you’ll just have to hear Gallops setting the stage with “Speak To Me,” then check out the rest of it on YouTube.

Capital Cities feat. Tupac Shakur – Breathe (Pink Floyd cover)

“We definitely gave it a different twist,” said Sabu Simeon, of the Los Angeles electro-rockers Capital Cities. He was referring to their cover of “Breathe,” which not only gave the song a trip-hop sound, but also threw in a verse of Tupac Shakur’s “Smile” for good measure. Here’s a message to the newborns – it works like gangbusters.

The Squirrels – On the Run (Pink Floyd cover)

Of all the full-album covers of Dark Side of the Moon, the version by the Squirrels, Not-So-Bright Side of the Moon, is easily the funniest, right from the opening sampling of a hiccup. Their version of “On The Run” follows the original fairly closely until the synth loop “breaks”; the replacement hardly misses a beat, but… well, put it this way – we can’t say nobody notices the change.

Lulu Hughes – Time (Pink Floyd cover)

2006’s Pink Floyd Redux promises “a new music experience” in its subtitle. The premise? A collection of Pink Floyd covers by Canadian women, none of them named Avril, Celine, or Alanis. If you think it’s a bunch of soft, approachable takes on Floyd by a bunch of nobodies, you’ll want to apologize after hearing Lulu Hughes sing a pulse-pounding “Time.”

Wave Mechanics Union – The Great Gig in the Sky (Pink Floyd cover)

Clare Torrey’s vocal performance on “The Great Gig in the Sky” was so powerful it could sell bananas (and did!), and it eventually earned her a cowriting credit. She’s so dominant, in fact, that any covers either feature a female singer reaching for the bar she set, or eliminate vocals entirely. Wave Mechanics Union take the latter path, jazzing up the song and throwing in a little vibraphone for good measure.

Mary Fahl – Money (Pink Floyd cover)

Mary Fahl’s From the Dark Side of the Moon was supposed to be released in 2007, but her label went out of business first, leaving the full-on reimagining of Floyd on the shelf until 2011, when Fahl self-released it. The few critics who heard it were wowed by how she changed the way listeners looked at/heard the original. On our Full Album, she lands and entirely deserves the coveted “Money” slot.

A Camp – Us and Them (Pink Floyd cover)

When the Cardigans took a break from recording in 1998, their vocalist Nina Persson formed a side project named A Camp. They released a couple albums and an EP of cover songs that featured an “Us and Them” that gave the song a surprisingly welcome indie feel.

Robben Ford, Steve Porcaro, and Aynsley Dunbar – Any Colour You Like (Pink Floyd cover)

Most classic rock albums have at least one track that usually only gets covered by artists covering the entire album. For Dark Side of the Moon, that would be “Any Colour You Like,” the instrumental that serves as the bridge between the four far-better-known songs on what used to be side two. Everlasting Songs: An All-Star Tribute to Pink Floyd has eleven songs; more than half are from Moon, and one is “Any Colour You Like,” which Toto and Journey vets handle like the seasoned pros they are.

Austin Lounge Lizards – Brain Damage (Pink Floyd cover)

Pink Floyd and bluegrass go together better than you might think, as any fan of Luther Wright and the Wrongs’ Rebuild the Wall will tell you. The Austin Lounge Lizards led off their 1990 live album Lizard Vision with a cover of “Brain Damage” that got the evening rolling with a rollicking how-dee-how-do.

Nguyen Le – Eclipse (Pink Floyd cover)

Born in Paris to parents of Vietnamese heritage, Nguyen Le Sung grew up to be a well-respected jazz guitarist. In 2014 he led a 17-piece band on Celebrating the Dark Side of the Moon, with his own compositions linking the original songs. The closing track, “Eclipse,” sung by Youn Sun Nah, sees the album drawing to a big, sweet, perfect close.

You can find the original Dark Side of the Moon at Amazon.

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