Pink Floyd and the Wizard of Oz

As most college students are aware, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”, when played on repeat 2 1/2 times from the third roar of the MGM introduction to The Wizard of Oz, produces an unexplainable correlation of sound effects, mood, rhythm, and words.

Although the band has denied any intentional involvement with the Wizard of Oz, those of you who have shared this experience can understand how impossible this coincidence must be.

How did Floyd accomplish this feat, especially 2 1/2 times over, without the benefit of CD technology?

For those unfamiliar with the topic, you can find information at The Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz Album / Movie Synchronization Phenomenon web page.

I personally did the experiment at a friend’s house, and thought it was a bunch of coincidences where the “correspondances” listed are sometimes surprising, and sometimes far-fetched.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Well there are some similarities, but there also a lot of other things that seem to not match up at all.

Try this same test, turn on the tv, with no sound, and play some cd’s or the radio… you will see items that seem to be synergistic without being preplanned.

How do you like that! And without so much as a “Kiss my foot” or “Have an apple”!

I did the pink floyd thing, was amazed. The next CD in the changer was The Who’s Greatest hits and being in a lethargic mood I just let it go. I was amazed by the coincidences with this also. Please note that The Who had nothing to do with the song order on this CD, as it was a greatest hits album it was planned by the record studio. After the movie ended and some sort of documentary was playing (the VCR channel was set to TLC) Dave Mathews Band was playing on the stereo and I continued to be amazed at the coincidences.

There was a point here, but I like, forgot what we were talking about.

It’s a UL as far as I know but the variation I heard was when the girl at the video store told me I should listen to PF:TDSOTM while watching a computer animation video that I can’t remember the name of. It’s mostly coincidence and I’m sure a little wacky 'baccy helps a lot. Maybe Killian’s red would do the trick too but I didn’t have enough in the fridge at the time.

On the other hand I used to have a roomie who would sit on the couch and eat cheesy poofs while staring glassey eyed at MTV with the sound off while listening to different music on a boom box. Maybe he knew something I didn’t.

It’s your fault that I have no one to blame but myself.

In the edit room, we notice this sort of thing all the time. As BurnMeUp suggests, there’s a synergy at work here that’s just about unavoidable. In our case, juxtaposing a music selection (ANY music selection) over edited video will always produce unexpected moments synchronization where you would swear the two disparate elements were designed for each other

The human brain is particularly adept at spotting patterns and discerning intelligence from noise, even if there is none to be found.

Anyone who cares claim it’s anything by a coincidence has to explain one tiny question.

How could Pink Floyd know that you could play a video of OZ and listen to a CD of Dark Side when neither technology existed when the album was released?

“East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” – Marx

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction.

If it were done on purpose, don’t you think they’d have made the length of the album the same length of the film to achieve this ‘perfection’? Or even made it so it played exactly twice during the film? The way it is, you’re stuck partway through the movie when the album ends. No one is sure what to do after that. Play it again? Put in another album?

Home Videos did not exist at the time the album was made. They would have had to steal a film reel from MGM, or whoever owned the film at the time. Everyone today seems to agree that you need the CD of the album. It’s just not the same if you try it wit
a cassette. It’s probably even less effective on a vinyl record, which is how the album was originally recorded (please, correct me if I’m wrong).

I’ve talked to a lot of people about this. Some people say that The Dark Side of the Moon synchronizes even better with Star Wars. And Blade Runner. And even Gone With the Wind. And everyone sees something a little different. It’s never the same for everyone. No one agrees when to start the album, either, which also varies the ‘amazing’ coincidences. Those Pink Floyd guys must’ve been damn geniuses to have created an album that can ‘perfectly’ synchronize with all those movies, eh?

Everyone seems to agree that if you watch your favorite movie with your favorite album, there will be amazing synchronicity.
And many seem to agree that some recreational drugs will help, too.

A friend and I had a similar experience once: we were sitting on his couch, listening to ELO’s “Eldorado” and flipping the channels when we settled on “The Lawrence Welk” show. I know it sounds crazy, but things did seem to sync up, as if the Lawrence Welk orchestra had rebelled and decided to play ELO tunes instead. A very trippy experience.

Another thing to keep in mind is that The Wizard of Oz is a musical, and that the tempos are similar to many of the tempos on DSOTM. Thus, when the munchkins are marching and dancing to the tune of “Money”, it’s not so amazing since “Money” has a nice steady walking/dancing beat.

However, I have always loved watching the tornado sequence to “The Great Gig in the Sky”. I still think it’s a coincidence, but it’s a damn eerie one.

Mr. K’s Link of the Month:

The Enchanted World of Rankin-Bass

I think that a lot of it could be a coincidence. However, a few scenes really make me question whether at least some of the album was composed around the movie. Namely, Alice enters opens the door to Munchkin Land in perfect synchonization with the “Chaching” and the beginning of money. Those familiar with the album know that there are about 10 seconds of silence before Money begins, so this seems to be scripted to me. Any other scenes that stick out, let me know

For what it’s worth, I’m a fairly active member in organized Oz fandom, and our consensus is that it’s just one of those things.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

This applies equally to Trekkie conventions and the Republican Party platform.

There is enough wacked out stuff going on on that album that no matter what was going on when she opened the door, you would think it was an amazing coincidence that had to be scripted. If you don’t believe me, try the same experiment with any Frank Zappa album. You’ll find he scripted them all, as well.