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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A loving tribute
In listening to any cover version, I'm hoping for a band's own interpretation of a song. Something which may capture the essence of the original, yet it goes somewhere new and shows the original composition in a different light. One thinks of the Manic Street Preachers interpretation of Rhianna's 'Umbrella', the Jam doing 'David Watts' by the Kinks or even the Futureheads...
Published on 21 April 2010 by J. Norrish

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm...
Not really sure what to make of this. I'm a big fan of Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips so, 'in theory', this record should be right-on for me… but in reality, it's nothing more than an oddity. Certainly worthy of a listen, a thoughtful nod, and maybe a bit of chin-stroking - but nothing beyond that.

For super-fans only.
Published 8 months ago by D. Hughes


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A loving tribute, 21 April 2010
This review is from: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Audio CD)
In listening to any cover version, I'm hoping for a band's own interpretation of a song. Something which may capture the essence of the original, yet it goes somewhere new and shows the original composition in a different light. One thinks of the Manic Street Preachers interpretation of Rhianna's 'Umbrella', the Jam doing 'David Watts' by the Kinks or even the Futureheads covering Kate Bush's 'Hounds of Love'. Bands showing love for songs which they didn't compose.

The Flaming Lips have attempted the impossible. Covering the Dark Side of the Moon is akin to attempting to remake a classic film. A project which could be catastrophic if mishandled. Think of Psycho. Then the remake. Oh dear!

In the world of music, the Dark Side of the Moon is only equalled by the likes of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the terms of the massive effect it had at its time of release and is able to carry to this day. Certain Albums need not be referred to by their band or artist, just by their name alone. Songs in the key of life... Thriller... Pet Sounds... They capture a moment in time and in our own lives.

The Flaming Lips have not attempted to outdo Pink Floyd, nor have they tried to redefine the songs. Some of them sound very different to their 1973 counterparts (as you'd expect). The real surprise for me is that the album flows with just the same atmosphere which comes across on the original. All of the snippets of interviews from the DSOTM have been spoken here by Henry Rollins, none of it sounds contrived. 'Money' sounds like an alien has given their reading of it, 'Us and them' is about the closest to the Floyd.

All in all, this is clearly a labour of love. One which has been completed for fun above all else, not as a chance to massage egos or pay some bills. Hearing this made me want to listen to the Floyd's epic DSOTM again, I guess that was part of the Lips' vision.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves MUCH More than a mere MP3 release, 4 Jan 2010
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Were you to pick a band that were to inherit the Pink Floyd mantle, you may not be too far away from choosing The Flaming Lips : epic live shows, extended and versatile space-rock jams morphed with frail, smart lyrics, and visionary art.

You couldn't pick a bigger icon to grapple, for with "Dark Side" being the biggest selling album of all time, there is always someone, somewhere listening to it at any given second in human history. The Lips take on this cultural mountain undefeated, retaining their credibility with a worthy if unessential record. You wouldn't sit around arguing this record has to exist - but if a band were to do a song-for-song recreation of it, The Flaming Lips would be my premiere choice.

Whilst the song remains the same, everything else has changed. The approach is the same as if these were just the next bunch of songs the Flips wrote, and the songs shine through.

From the opening : Henry Rollins calmly reciting "I've been mad for years" - to the last notes of a stellar brainmashed "Eclipse", the Flips version is a new venture. Songs known the human psyche, and as familiar as the 1812 Overture, are new, different. And it's proof, as such, that a great album is not just about such songwriting, but also about the sound, the treatment, the approach given to the material. If you're expecting a record where you can predict every drum roll and guitar lick, give up now. As a fan of both bands though, "DSOTM" is an essential listen, even if just once, for fans of either.

The strength of "Dark Side" is, and always was, the timelessness of the themes within it ; song titles betray the core lyrical obsessions, Time, Money, Breathing, Death, Us And Them - the things that drive human beings. A pop psychologist would say that the album has become the most popular suite of music of all time because of this - that it resonates with us on a core level, reflects our drives, our hopes and fears, our obsessions - and does so in conjunction with songwriting that is commensurate with the best of the band's career. Every song was memorable, strong, and all flowed well together as a whole - in effect, one piece of music in ten parts. With songs this strong it would be difficult for it to suddenly dip in power and resonance.

So, where does it differ from The Biggest Selling Album Of All Time? The major differences are well, not many : "Breathe" is built on a mass of percussion and distant steel guitar - a far cry from the sparse original, counterpinned by Rollins brilliantly manic, monotone spoken word. The familair guitar is replaced by a biting bass and droning, otherworldly guitar duet : instead of Gilmour's delicate whine, here it resembles an angry 'Metal Machine Music'. "Us And Them" is a simple organ-and-vocal call-and-response, "The Great Gig In The Sky" sits on a heavily-distorted Peaches who approximates, not replicates, the original Clare Torry melody and creates an different way of sort of saying the same thing. "On The Run" - on record a tedious 3 minute demonstration of panning stereo effects and the patch pedal on an old Emulator - is reborn as half-brand-new-Flips-wig-out and the rest resembling the original guitar based jam that early versions of the song (then known as "The Travel Sequence") were. Building "Time" on a litany of coughs, sighs, and hiccups is a genius move ; when the chords break in at 0:44-2:07 it sounds like hell itself has been opened, before collapsing to a simple strummed guitar and fragile vocal, before slipping back into "Breathe" at 4.00 - missing the long instrumental wigouts that made the original so beloved. Whilst almost every note in the same place it always was, it never sounded like this.

Sonically, this album is clearly a labour of love set in the same time and space as "Embryonic", made of invention and with a sense of fun at the heart of it. And Steve Drozd is one of the finest producers of all time - these sounds, drawn from conventional instruments are clearly the voice of a unique musical personality.

As a treatment, this will definitely alienate a few of the more slavish Floyd fans who believe The Holy Canon should NOT be touched. They are zealots who miss the spirit of their beloved band - seeing how little respect the Floyd treated their own work in the seventies with a half-hour version of the 3m30s "Embryo" - it would be fair to say that this reimagining is both respectful and original : a remake that has validity and integrity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annoy the Pink Floyd purists!, 12 May 2011
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As a fan of Henry Cow and King Crimson and the more adventurous end of Prog in the early 70s I wasn't a big fan of Dark Side Of The Moon. It was too mainstream for me. OK technically excellent and some great music and stuff and guitar playing.

But I love this "Flaming Lips And Friends" total cover version. It's more grungy and punky and experimental. No one I know who loves the Floyd original prefers this, of course. But it's also a labour of love and respect, not a pastiche. And although it's grungy and punky and experimental, it has that Flaming Lips aural aesthetic and sounds lush.

So probably not for worshippers of the original, but it works for me!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun from the mighty Lips, 5 Jan 2011
By 
Philip N. Roberts (Barry, Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Audio CD)
I thoroughly enjoyed this bizarre Flaming Lips production. A novel take on a seminal album that previously had been oh so familiar to me. What they do is tangential in the extreme although the original theme is always there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Devious and Insidious, a stroke of genius, 18 Aug 2014
By 
D. Walker (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Audio CD)
This album is gloriously devious. By relying on the fact that most people who will be buying the album already have a note-perfect copy of the original Pink Floyd album in their brains, the Flaming Lips are free to abandon the normal conventions of music. Often, the Flaming Lips tracks are sparse, fragmented, without any obvious melody. If this were a brand new piece of music, it would be very difficult to interpret and make sense of. However, FL take full advantage of the music that plays in your head while you're listening. This album isn't really a standalone piece at all, it's a soundscape of memory-joggers and embellishments that play over, through and around the original music that inevitably swirls around your mind as you listen. Because the original music is so deeply ingrained in the mind, it is impossible to hear the new music without summoning up the old to take the lead. In this sense, the FL are accompanying Pink Floyd and filling in the gaps between their legendary notes. The result is more than the sum of its parts. It's confusing and bewildering at first, but grows and develops to epic proportions once you beckon The Floyd of your mind to play along. Clever, sneaky, devious, and glorious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant, 27 Jan 2012
By 
J. Turnbull (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Audio CD)
I heard this album before I'd heard Pink Floyd's original. I really like both of these versions, but for me, most likely because I've seen The Flaming Lips live, this is simply divine, ultimately playable, and my favourite album of the two.

Listening to the album, you are embroiled into Wayne Coyne's world (no pun intended), you are immersed into the psychedelic nature of the rock. From the beginning of the album with Speak to Me/Breathe, through the iconic Money and finally into the penultimate track Brain Damage this album keeps you engaged.

If, like me, you are late to the party with The Flaming Lips, this album is a great introduction to their genius.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cut from the same cloth, 17 May 2010
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Audio CD)
Were you to pick a band that were to inherit the Pink Floyd mantle, you may not be too far away from choosing The Flaming Lips : epic live shows, extended and versatile space-rock jams morphed with frail, smart lyrics, and visionary art.

You couldn't pick a bigger icon to grapple, for with "Dark Side" being the biggest selling album of all time, there is always someone, somewhere listening to it at any given second in human history. The Lips take on this cultural mountain undefeated, retaining their credibility with a worthy if unessential record. You wouldn't sit around arguing this record has to exist - but if a band were to do a song-for-song recreation of it, The Flaming Lips would be my premiere choice.

Whilst the song remains the same, everything else has changed. The approach is the same as if these were just the next bunch of songs the Flips wrote, and the songs shine through.

From the opening : Henry Rollins calmly reciting "I've been mad for years" - to the last notes of a stellar brainmashed "Eclipse", the Flips version is a new venture. Songs known the human psyche, and as familiar as the 1812 Overture, are new, different. And it's proof, as such, that a great album is not just about such songwriting, but also about the sound, the treatment, the approach given to the material. If you're expecting a record where you can predict every drum roll and guitar lick, give up now. As a fan of both bands though, "DSOTM" is an essential listen, even if just once, for fans of either.

The strength of "Dark Side" is, and always was, the timelessness of the themes within it ; song titles betray the core lyrical obsessions, Time, Money, Breathing, Death, Us And Them - the things that drive human beings. A pop psychologist would say that the album has become the most popular suite of music of all time because of this - that it resonates with us on a core level, reflects our drives, our hopes and fears, our obsessions - and does so in conjunction with songwriting that is commensurate with the best of the band's career. Every song was memorable, strong, and all flowed well together as a whole - in effect, one piece of music in ten parts. With songs this strong it would be difficult for it to suddenly dip in power and resonance.

So, where does it differ from The Biggest Selling Album Of All Time? The major differences are well, not many : "Breathe" is built on a mass of percussion and distant steel guitar - a far cry from the sparse original, counterpinned by Rollins brilliantly manic, monotone spoken word. The familiar guitar is replaced by a biting bass and droning, otherworldly guitar duet : instead of Gilmour's delicate whine, here it resembles an angry 'Metal Machine Music'. "Us And Them" is a simple organ-and-vocal call-and-response, "The Great Gig In The Sky" sits on a heavily-distorted Peaches who approximates, not replicates, the original Clare Torry melody and creates an different way of sort of saying the same thing. "On The Run" - on record a tedious 3 minute demonstration of panning stereo effects and the patch pedal on an old Emulator - is reborn as half-brand-new-Flips-wig-out and the rest resembling the original guitar based jam that early versions of the song (then known as "The Travel Sequence") were. Building "Time" on a litany of coughs, sighs, and hiccups is a genius move ; when the chords break in at 0:44-2:07 it sounds like hell itself has been opened, before collapsing to a simple strummed guitar and fragile vocal, before slipping back into "Breathe" at 4.00 - missing the long instrumental wigouts that made the original so beloved. Whilst almost every note in the same place it always was, it never sounded like this.

Sonically, this album is clearly a labour of love set in the same time and space as "Embryonic", made of invention and with a sense of fun at the heart of it. And Steve Drozd is one of the finest producers of all time - these sounds, drawn from conventional instruments are clearly the voice of a unique musical personality.

As a treatment, this will definitely alienate a few of the more slavish Floyd fans who believe The Holy Canon should NOT be touched. They are zealots who miss the spirit of their beloved band - seeing how little respect the Floyd treated their own work in the seventies with a half-hour version of the 3m30s "Embryo" - it would be fair to say that this reimagining is both respectful and original : a remake that has validity and integrity.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm..., 30 Dec 2013
By 
D. Hughes - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Audio CD)
Not really sure what to make of this. I'm a big fan of Pink Floyd and The Flaming Lips so, 'in theory', this record should be right-on for me… but in reality, it's nothing more than an oddity. Certainly worthy of a listen, a thoughtful nod, and maybe a bit of chin-stroking - but nothing beyond that.

For super-fans only.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good listen, 5 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Audio CD)
Not a classic revamping of an essential album but well worth a listen for Henry Rollins alone. Not a fan of the slight tinkering with some of the lyrics though
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side, 19 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Dark Side Of The Moon (Audio CD)
I b ought this after hearing the flaming lips version of smoke on the water, don't expect a cover version it's more of an interpretation. But I like it, it's not as good as the original but it is a brave reworking of a classic album.
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