MY DESERT ISLAND ALBUM: LEIGH THOMAS
ASSUMING I was stranded on a desert island, not by my own choice, and could be in possession of one album only, I would want an album that I could totally get lost in. I would want an album that echoes my situation and makes me feel comfortable with being removed and isolated from the world. An album to go completely insane with, and yet one that stimulates and keeps alive my senses with an assault of sounds, colours, textures, dynamics, emotions, and contemplations.
For me, that album would have to be Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon.’
No doubt the album has been detailed top to bottom over the years, and to declare that it is regarded as one of the all-time greatest is stating the obvious. But for me it is an album I would never get tired of listening to, and is both familiar and nostalgic, yet remains thought provoking and stimulating listening.
This album is a finely crafted work of art that draws you into its frenetic world, and draws you deep within yourself, with its heartbeats, wailings and swirling psychedelic soundscapes. Constantly activating your adrenalin with tracks like ‘Speak To Me’ and ‘On The Run’ with its pulsing assault of 20th Century machines that seem to close in on you like some kind of dystopian nightmare. The album then lets you ‘Breathe’ and unwind, with dreamy, thought-provoking tracks like ‘Us and Them.’ These shifts in mood and dynamics are condensed in ‘The Great Gig In The Sky,’ with its soft, mournful cries escalating to tortured wailings and dramatic score.
There is also plenty of commentary woven into the fabric of this album, much of it still holds relevance today. Themes of distrust of authority, the futility and absurdity of our existence, and the illusory nature of reality, arise throughout and particularly in ‘Us And Them,’ and ‘Money.’
Musically, these guys knew how to rock and groove as well! ‘Time’ is my favourite track and a brilliant showcase of the band’s musicality with its driving groove, ominous atmosphere, chirping Wurlitzer and amazing soaring, mournful guitar solo that only Gilmour can deliver, and its thought-provoking lyrics that have you asking yourself, “how the fuck did I get here?”
‘Brain damage’ is another brilliant track that perpetuates the recurring themes of insanity and may give comfort whilst marooned on a desert island, if you find yourself talking to a basketball!
The album concludes itself almost in summary with a culmination of the ideas expressed throughout with the beautiful Beatlesque anthem ‘Eclipse,’ leaving a parenthesis in which the listener may contemplate, until the silence becomes unbearable, and one has to start the album over again.
LEIGH THOMAS ONLINE: Leigh Thomas (leighthomasmusic.com)