3. Floyd fans were first treated to Dark Side of the Moon in concert more than a year before the album was actually released.
Though the lush textures and spacious arrangements of Dark Side of the Moon make it sound like a purely “studio” project, the band actually aired out all of the songs in concert – in the exact same sequence that they would appear on the album – more than a year before the album’s official release. The band premiered Dark Side of the Moon: A Piece for Assorted Lunatics (as it was provisionally known at the time) at the Brighton Dome on January 20th, 1972; and though it was inadvertently cut short that night by what Waters called “severe mechanical and electric horror,” the band went on to perform the song cycle in its entirety in during the rest of their 1972 live dates, further refining the songs (and the transitions between them) as they went. The band would eventually record all 10 of the album’s songs onto the same reel of 16-track master tape at Abbey Road, an unusual approach that nonetheless paid considerable artistic dividends.
“The way one track flowed into another was an extremely important part of the overall feel,” Alan Parsons told Rolling Stone in 2011. “So we could work on the transitions as part of the recording process rather than just part of the mixing process.”