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