Eclipse (song)

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This article is about the Pink Floyd song. For other songs, see Eclipse (disambiguation).
"Eclipse"
Song by Pink Floyd from the album The Dark Side of the Moon
Published World Copyrights Ltd
Released 1 March 1973
Recorded June 1972 – January 1973
Genre Progressive rock
Length 2:03
Label Harvest
Writer Roger Waters
Producer Pink Floyd
The Dark Side of the Moon track listing

"Eclipse" is the tenth[nb 1] and final track from British progressive rock band Pink Floyd's 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon. It was sung by Roger Waters, with harmonies by David Gilmour and Rick Wright. After Waters left, Gilmour sang the lead when performing live. This song was one of several to be considered for the band's "best of" album, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.[1]

The song is often mistakenly labelled "The Dark Side of the Moon"[citation needed] alongside "Brain Damage" because the two run together and are commonly played together on the radio, giving the impression that they are one song. The incorrect title is derived from a recurring lyric in "Brain Damage" ("I'll see you on the dark side of the moon") and the title of the album.

Composition[edit]

This song serves as the album's climax and features a loud, repetitive melody that builds up, then ends with a very quiet outro. When the main instrumentation ends at 1:30, the sound of a heartbeat from the first track, "Speak to Me", appears, which appears again in 9/8, and gradually fades to silence.

The song consists of a repeating four chord pattern: D major, D over C in the bass (a compound chord usually notated as "D/C".), B-flat major seventh ("B♭maj7" – this chord can be heard as a D minor over a B♭ bass, or "Dm/B♭", a slash chord), and A7 (with a suspended fourth resolving to the major third – notated as A7sus4 to A7). However, the arrangement adds variety. David Gilmour recorded two tracks of rhythm guitar, playing arpeggios, one in open position, and one much higher, around the tenth fret. The lower-pitched guitar part includes the open G and E strings during the B♭maj7, resulting in an added sixth and a dissonant augmented fourth. However, these notes become consonant as they sustain through to the next chord, A7. The quartet of female backing singers vary their parts, rising in volume, and echoing some of Roger Waters' lyrics, as the piece builds in intensity. On the last repetition of the chord progression, the B♭maj7 leads directly to a climax on D major, resulting in a "brightening" effect (known as the Picardy third), as the aforementioned implication of D minor in the B♭maj7 chord shifts to the major.[2][3]

The final words sung on the song and, indeed the album The Dark Side of the Moon directs the listener, "and everything under the sun is in tune, but the sun is eclipsed by the moon." Waters explained the meaning of these words as well as the entire song by asserting:

Paul McCartney was one of the people interviewed by Waters as part of his efforts to develop dialogue to accompany certain songs on the album. His interview was not used, but Abbey Road Studios doorman Gerry O'Driscoll's was. His full answer to the question "What is 'the dark side of the moon'?", part of which is heard at 1:37 in "Eclipse", was: "There is no dark side in the moon, really. Matter of fact, it's all dark. The only thing that makes it look light is the sun."[5][6]

A section of an orchestral version of the Beatles song "Ticket to Ride" can be heard faintly at the very end of the recording. This was unintended, the music was playing in the background at Abbey Road when Gerry O'Driscoll was being recorded.[7] This is not included on the 1983 Japanese Black Triangle CD issue of the album - the sound technicians copied one of the heartbeat samples, removed the orchestral "Ticket to Ride", repeatedly pasted the sample in and faded out the new outro.

Usage[edit]

On 10 March 2004, the song was used to wake the Mars probe Opportunity. It was chosen in recognition of the transit of the Martian moon Phobos.[8] This is not the first time Pink Floyd has been played in outer space; Russian cosmonauts took and played an advance copy of Delicate Sound of Thunder aboard Soyuz TM-7, making it the first album played in space.[9]

The song was also used at the finale of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London called "And in the end", immediately following the lighting of the cauldron by the seven young athletes. The song was played as a fireworks display took place and images of famous Olympians was projected onto the screen, climaxing with a view of the Olympic rings over the earth from a balloon launched at the beginning of the ceremony.

Alternative and live versions[edit]

  • The song is featured on the Pulse CD and DVD and is sung by Gilmour instead of Waters as it was originally.
  • The version heard on the compilation album Works is about 30 seconds shorter, with much of the heartbeat removed. Like "Brain Damage", the song is presented in an alternate mix.
  • In the Flesh – Live also features the track which is segued out of "Brain Damage".

Personnel[edit]

with:

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ Some CD pressings merge "Speak to Me" and "Breathe".
Citations
  1. ^ Guthrie, James. "James Guthrie: Audio: Building A Compilation Album". Pink Floyd. Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon 1973 Pink Floyd Music Publishers Ltd., London, England, ISBN 0-7119-1028-6 (USA ISBN 0-8256-1078-8)
  3. ^ Which One's Pink? An Analysis of the Concept Albums of Roger Waters & Pink Floyd by Philip Anthony Rose. Collector's Guide Publishing, Inc. Ontario, Canada. ISBN 1-896522-47-5
  4. ^ Dallas, Karl, Pink Floyd: Bricks in the Wall, page 107, Shapolsky Publishers/Baton Press, ISBN 0-933503-88-1, 1987.
  5. ^ The Making Of The Dark Side Of the Moon DVD
  6. ^ Inside Out. Nick Mason. First edition, p.172
  7. ^ Willman, Chris. "Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side’: 40 Years Later, 40 Mind-Blowing Facts About The Mad Classic". Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  8. ^ "Solar System Exploration: News & Events". 2004-03-10. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  9. ^ Mark Cunningham. "Pink Floyd and Company – Pink Floyd Articles and Reviews". Retrieved 2010-07-13. 

External links[edit]