Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Dark Side of the Rainbow



If you're a rock and roll fan (of a certain age by now...) or a Pink Floyd fan, then you've probably heard this urban legend. If you start their album “Dark Side of the Moon” when the MGM lion roars for the third time, then the action on the screen (mute the sound of the movie itself) of The Wizard of Oz will eerily align with the album's music.

I've always wanted to try this. Big time Pink Floyd fan here. But it seemed like a lot of syncing to make it happen, and my copy of the album is on vinyl, or MP3 on iTunes, so I'd either have to find a turntable needle, or hook up speakers to my computer. Then rent the movie, then get it all set up to push play at the right time. I was lamenting all of this to The Transporter, who has taken History of Rock and Roll, and two music tech classes, who just rolled his eyes at me (ever the teenager) and said, “They've done it for you. It's on YouTube, the whole thing. Mr. C played it for us in class. It's totally trippy, Mom.”

Last night somehow we ended up on the topic again, and decided that we'd do a viewing after homework and dishes were done.

It IS totally trippy. Pink Floyd's lyrics talk about balancing, while Dorothy is balancing on the corral fence. The music builds to a crescendo as the tornado moves in. Dorothy passes out and the music slows and gets all dreamy as she has her visions while the house spins.

Most dramatic is probably that EXACTLY when the movie switches from black and white to color is when you'd have to switch to the other side of the cassette or record, and “Money” starts playing as she beholds the bedazzled world of Oz.

I could go on and on and on (you've heard me do it before in many a post) but I think you should watch it. Some of the synchronicity is so subtle, but if you're a musician or music fan you'll notice the notes matching character's expressions and actions. Absolutely amazing.

Of course, the album is 43 minutes long, so it ends as Dorothy meets the tin man. How it ends and what the music is doing is another totally awesome “coincidence” that I'll leave for you to discover.

We also watched a video of Nick Mason, the drummer from the band, talking about whether this was on purpose or not. The poster of the video doesn't allow embedding  but here's the link to that conversation.

He denies it by saying wow, someone must have had a lot of time on their hands to work that out. My favorite line was, “I bet if you put on The Wall during Ben Hur that would work, too!”

Regardless, it was a completely enjoyable family viewing experience, and as someone said, “Totally trippy!”

I've put the video up for your reference, but I'm not expecting you to spend the 43 minutes right now.


~Tina
P.S So who's watching Ben Hur with me? I'll bring The Wall...


24 comments:

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've always wanted to try this too, so a YouTube link is perfect. I will bookmark this post and return :-) And now I'm really curious about the end of the album.

Misha Gericke said...

So awesome! I wonder how the first person noticed it. :-D

D.G. Hudson said...

Mysteries of the recording universe. It goes with the urban legends. As if we don't have enough to distract us. . .from our writing. It's that curiosity thing we writers have.

Will check it out when I have time. I love Wizard of OZ - the original. The witches were a favorite.

M. J. Joachim said...

I've got to try this! Thanks, Tina. What a great post - and an excellent idea for family time too! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think he's right. Someone had a lot of time on his hands.

Crystal Collier said...

Several years back my hubby (a video/audio production specialist) decided to create the video. (Before Youtube.) We have a DVD copy of the whole thing. Pretty crazy.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Wow, that is something! This is the first I've heard of it. :-)

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Suzanne Furness said...

Wow, really? Never heard this before. I wonder how it was first discovered, or maybe it was planned all along! I'll have to check it out.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've heard that story before! Big Floyd fan here. Oh, now I need to watch it...

Jeremy [Retro] said...

breathe deep... feel the air drifting. you know you are cool and now you have just proven it. i was a late bloomer when i became a fan of pink floyd... now how did i live with out it... i watched the film once and thanks to you i am trying to download this.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Never heard of this before. But it sounds cool and I'f like to try it one day.

Donna Smith said...

Pretty cool! Thanks for the link. I had the time!

Andrea said...

I have wondered! Wonder what would happen if you played the album to a video of bees? hee hee hee

JoJo said...

The ex-h and I always talked about doing it and despite having the Oz DVD and DSOTM CD, and the stereo and TV in the same room, we never did it. I did once put it on random play with a few other CDs that escape my memory and watched the silent movie 'metropolis' and the songs that randomly played matched up with the action in the movie. Floyd's 'welcome to the machine' played as they showed those workers who were moving the clock hands at the factory.

Rachel said...

I've never heard of that. It's weird, but I seriously have to wonder who figured this out and how. Did both things just happen to start at the same time or what?

DAVID WALSTON said...

Wow! I never tried that before. I need to do some investigating myself. ;)

Jeremy [Retro] said...

got it downloaded... now i can watch it all the time. thank you, you made my day!

Briane P said...

So has someone tried that with Ben Hur and "The Wall"?

I'm going to watch that video now.

Briane P said...

I've been watching it, and it would be more amazing if there were sung lyrics everytime someone was talking; I took 'synch up' a little bit too literally, but you're right: it is neat.

Romance Reader said...

Awesome. Thanks for the link.

Nas

Nicole said...

THAT is an interesting find! I like a lot of alternative rock and am not much of a Pink Floyd fan but now you have me curious to see how their song flows with one of the most classic movies of all time. Unfortunately, I'll have to check it out on another day, as 40+ minutes is a long time when I've got to shoot and edit two videos, myself, lol.

Now that I think about it, it might be easier for me to just go and find that Pink Floyd song and listen to it....that way, I'll at least get a feel for what they're talking about in the lyrics :)


~Nicole

criticalcrass said...

interesting! :]

KT Did said...

I actually have some friends in a Pink Floyd Tribute, House of Floyd. They did this once and as trippy as it sounds, it did blend with the music and movie. I guess we will never know if there was anything to do with the movie, but fun exploring it in any case.

M.L. Swift said...

I'm a big PF fan and have never heard that urban legend, but now you have scheduled my next 43 minutes for me. I wonder if you played it backwards if it would finish out the movie.

Fun post, Tina.

M.L. Swift, Writer