Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Once Upon a Time in the Top Spot: Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon

43 years ago today, Pink Floyd were sitting atop the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart with their eighth studio album, an effort which remained on the chart for an astonishing 741 weeks. Yes, that’s right: it came out in 1973, and it finally fell out of the top 200 in 1988. When was the last time you did something that successful?

You go ahead and think about it. We’ll wait.

It may surprise you to learn that The Dark Side of the Moon actually saw its first release in the US, landing in American record stores on March 1, 1973, over two weeks before its UK release on March 16. The day after its release in their homeland, Pink Floyd were playing a midnight performance at Radio City Music Hall. Within a month, the album had gone gold in America, hitting #1 less than two months after its initial release, its sales so profound as to warrant a second tour of the States a few months after that.

And would you believe it was only in the top spot for a single week? True story: despite “Money” being a successful single, “Time” getting a ton of airplay, and just about everyone knowing at least some of the words to a song or two from the album, it was only a one-week wonder at #1.

Still, it all worked out for the band, didn’t it? And for the album, too: it’s one of the 25 best-selling albums of all time in America, and in the UK, it’s the eighth best-selling album of all time. Of course, it probably didn’t hurt that a bunch of people bought it just so they could sync it up to The Wizard of Oz, but what counts is that they bought it.

Oh, and also that it’s a stone cold classic.