The Alternate Side Of The Moon (Moon – 72)
(51:34) A collection of outtakes and early rough mixes from the recording sessions to Dark Side Of The Moon, Abbey Road Studios, Summer/Autumn 1972
Brain Damage (work-in-progress mix, Dave G. overdubs lead guitar, “Where would Rock ‘n’ Roll be without feedback”)
Money (Roger Waters home demo)
Time (early rough mix – no lead guitar overdub)
Us And Them (early rough mix – no effects)
Brain Damage/Eclipse (alternate mixes made for quadraphonic version of the LP)
Us And Them/Any Colour You Like/Brain Damage/Eclipse (Tracks 6 & 7 are an alternate rundown of Side 2 of the album. The songs are featured here in longer, unedited form, including many unused overdubs and production ideas, very different (and better?) to the released versions. Dubbed directly from the 16 track master tapes sometime in the 1990s in perfect stereo quality. Surely a highlight and a must-have for every Floyd fan!)
Brain Damage/Eclipse (more work-in-progress going on here. Dave G. has another go at overdubbing lead guitar)
The Alternate Side Of The Moon collects various outtakes and alternates from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon sessions. Some new alternate mixes of Side 2 were first released earlier this year on the Silent Sea Production, The Great Gig In The Sky. Silent Sea completed the Dark Side outtakes with early live performances from the Rainbow in London, 1972. The Moon label wisely presents only outtakes which are in absolute stunning quality throughout. In addition to what Silent Sea offered, the Moon label also includes the early rough mix of “Time” and the quadraphonic mix of “Brain Damage/Eclipse”.
The disc opens with Gilmour overdubbing lead guitar fills in “Brain Damage”. This is essentially the same takes that were featured in the Live At Pompeii film. “Money” is the Roger Waters demo version that has been previously floating around for some time. It is a very good quality home demo with Roger’s vocal double tracked over the main riff which is played on acoustic guitar. This version of “Time” has also been available before and sounds very similar to the finished track without the guitar solo and fades a few seconds into “Breathe (Reprise)”. You really get to appreciate Dave’s rhythm guitar track by itself and how well it ended up interacting with the missing lead track.
The first version of “Us And Them” is a very dry alternate mix with no repeat on the lead vocal and some extra sax fills. The choruses are down in the mix allowing the attack from Wright’s piano to come through more. This is an interesting mix that unfortunately fades early. The quadraphonic mix for “Brain Damage/Eclipse” follows with canned audience noise mixed into the intro. There is a gap of silence between the tracks but is otherwise another interesting listen.
The next two tracks contain the entire side two from Dark Side Of The Moon taken from the One Side Of The Moon tape. This tape is rumored to have been run off by a studio intern, with all the faders up, during the engineer’s lunch break sometime in the 1990s. However it came about, this is an absolutely phenomenal listening experience for anybody. There are extra guitar and sax overdubs as well as longer and more apparent tape loops and interviews. Hearing all these things now that were left out or mixed down in the final mixes is priceless. “Money” starts with a longer tape loop and has an extra track of guitar soloing. The song also doesn’t fade so we get to hear all the messing about at the end. “Us And Them” has two tracks of saxophone that the final mix was drawn from and again with no repeat on the lead vocals. The last few seconds are clipped off and abruptly jumps into “Any Colour You Like”. The cynical laughter during “Brain Damage” goes on much longer than normal as does the tape loop at the end of “Eclipse” where we hear “There is no dark side of the moon really, as a matter of fact, it’s all dark. The only thing that makes it look light is the sun.” This material is definitely the highlight of the disc and one wonders what side one might sound like in this light.
The final version of “Brain Damage/Eclipse” is different from the first track of outtakes and has more Gilmour overdubs where he continues to add fills through to the end of “Eclipse”.
The Alternate Side Of The Moon comes as a cool digipack with a nice vibrant take on the LP cover art. I honestly can’t say enough about this release. Certainly essential for all Floyd collectors.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)