Pink Floyd, “Us And Them”

People often add science-fiction connotations to Pink Floyd’s 1972 masterwork Dark Side Of The Moon, and there is no doubt that the music contained can levitate listeners to uncharted astral territories. But the titular phrase could easily have been “around the bend” or “out where the buses don’t run,” because this is a song cycle about the very earthly problem of madness. So it is that the songs on the album catalog all the things that can drive a person crazy, including the pressures exerted by modernity, time and money. “Us And Them” directs its attention to war. It wouldn’t be the last time that Floyd’s chief lyricist Roger Waters would tackle this subject. But it’s arguable whether or not he was ever again able to detail the folly and inanity of war with such simple eloquence. It is important to note as well that Waters was aided in his efforts by the stunning beauty of the music composed by Pink Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright. The music is languid and restrained in the verses, before rising to fever-pitch intensity in the refrains. Wright’s plaintive piano, David Gilmour’s bluesy guitar and Dick Parry’s wailing saxophone all weave in and out of…

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