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The Dark Side of the Rainbow

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The Dark Side of the Rainbow – also known as Dark Side of Oz or The Wizard of Floyd – is the pairing of the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon with the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. This produces numerous moments of apparent synchronicity where the film and the album appear to correspond. Members of Pink Floyd and the Dark Side of the Moon engineer Alan Parsons denied any intent to connect the album to the film.


In August 1995, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette published an article by Charles Savage suggesting that readers watch the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz while listening to the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon. Savage said the idea was first shared on an online Pink Floyd newsgroup.[1] According to Savage, if you start the album as the MGM lion roars onscreen, “The result is astonishing. It's as if the movie were one long art-film music video for the album. Song lyrics and titles match the action and plot. The music swells and falls with character's movements ... expect to see enough firm coincidences to make you wonder whether the whole thing was planned."[1] In his 1995 article, Savage favoured starting at the lion's first roar, but he acknowledged in 2023 that the third roar had by then become the usual start point.[2]

Commonly noted instances of synchronicity include Clare Torry's howls on "The Great Gig in the Sky" during the film's tornado scene, and the album's final fading heartbeat while Dorothy listens to the Tin Woodman's non-existent heart.[2] Fans created websites about the experience and catalogued moments of synchronicity. In April 1997, the DJ George Taylor Morris discussed "Dark Side of the Rainbow" on Boston radio.[3] In July 2000, Turner Classic Movies aired The Wizard of Oz with the option of synchronising the broadcast to the album using the SAP audio channel.[4][5] Numerous venues have staged Dark Side of the Rainbow shows, where the film is projected while either a recording of the album is played or else a jam band or Pink Floyd tribute act covers it live;[6] for example moe.'s 2000 New Year's Eve show at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.[7]


Members of Pink Floyd have denied any connection between the album and the film. The guitarist, David Gilmour, dismissed it as the product of "some guy with too much time on his hands".[8] The bassist, Roger Waters, said it was "bullshit" and that it had "nothing to do" with anyone who worked on the album.[9] The drummer, Nick Mason, said: "It's absolute nonsense. It has nothing to do with The Wizard of Oz. It was all based on The Sound of Music."[10] The Dark Side of the Moon engineer, Alan Parsons, also denied any connection, saying the band had no means of playing video tapes in the studio at the time of recording.[3] He said he was disappointed by the results when he tried watching the film while listening to the album, and that "if you play any record with the sound turned down on the TV, you will find things that work".[11]

Detractors argue that the phenomenon is the result of the mind's tendency to find patterns by discarding data that does not fit.[12] The film critic Richard Roeper published his assessment of the phenomenon, which he referred to as "Dark Side of Oz". Roeper concluded that while Pink Floyd may have had the resources and technical abilities to produce an alternative film soundtrack, undergoing such an endeavour would have been impractical. Roeper also noted that The Dark Side of the Moon is approximately an hour shorter than The Wizard of Oz.[13]


The fame of Dark Side of the Rainbow has prompted some to search for synchronicities among other albums by other bands and films by other directors. The lengthy Pink Floyd song "Echoes" from the 1971 album Meddle has been paired with "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite", the fourth act in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Both the track and the sequence are approximately 23 minutes.[14] Comedian Matt Herzau claims that the Pixar film WALL-E syncs up with Pink Floyd's rock opera The Wall, which he has called "Another Brick in the WALL-E", after the album's three-part song "Another Brick in the Wall".[15][16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Savage, Charles (August 1, 1995). "The Dark Side of the Rainbow". The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007 – via rbsavage.
  2. ^ a b Savage, Charlie (21 June 2023). "Pink Floyd, 'The Wizard of Oz' and Me". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2 July 2023. Retrieved 18 May 2024.
  3. ^ a b "The Pink Floyd / Wizard Of Oz Connection". MTV News. May 30, 1997. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  4. ^ "Dark Side of Oz". Chicago Sun-Times. July 3, 2000. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Iverson, Jon (June 18, 2000). "Dark Side of the Rainbow?". Audiophile. Archived from the original on April 21, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "David Gilmour interview". Archived from the original on May 5, 2006. Retrieved November 19, 2005.
  9. ^ Kielty, Martin (9 October 2022). "Roger Waters Shares His Favorite 'Dark Side of the Rainbow' Rumor". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2022-10-15.
  10. ^ "The Pink Floyd/Wizard Of Oz Connection". MTV. May 30, 1997. Archived from the original on September 13, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  11. ^ Harris, John (March 12, 2003). ""Dark Side" at 30: Alan Parsons: Pink Floyd". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2008.
  12. ^ "Does the music in Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon coincide with the action of The Wizard of Oz?". The Straight Dope. May 5, 2000. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2005.
  13. ^ Richard Roeper (1999). Urban Legends: The Truth Behind All Those Deliciously Entertaining Myths that are Absolutely, Positively, 100% Not True!. Career Press. ISBN 978-1-56414-418-8. Archived from the original on 2022-01-09. Retrieved 2020-12-10.
  14. ^ Shaffner, Nicholas (1991). Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey. Harmony Books. p. 142. ISBN 0-517-57608-2.
  15. ^ "Another Brick in the Wall-E? Pixar Meets Pink Floyd". Daily Camera/Colorado Daily. July 22, 2009. Archived from the original on July 30, 2012.
  16. ^ Davis, Lauren (July 22, 2009). "Another Brick in the Wall-E? Pixar Meets Pink Floyd". io9. Archived from the original on July 25, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2009.