The Dark Side Of The Moon
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Song Name: Brain Damage

Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: The Dark Side Of The Moon, Shine On

Run Time: 3:50

Year: 1973

Track Number: 9

Sung By: Roger Waters

Written By: Roger Waters


Pink Floyd - Brain Damage03:48

Pink Floyd - Brain Damage

  • When the band reconvened after the American leg of the Meddle tour, Roger Waters brought with him a prototype version of "Brain Damage" along with other songs such as "Money". He had been playing the song during the recording of the Meddle album in 1971, when it was called "The Dark Side Of The Moon". Eventually this title would be used for the album itself. The song seemed to be partially inspired by their former band member Syd Barrett who had endured mental breakdown. After road testing the new suite entitled "A Piece For Assorted Lunatics", the song was recorded in October along with "Any Color You Like". The piece represents Waters' association with acoustic-tinged ballads, and along with "If" and "Grantchester Meadows", Brain Damage uses a simple melody and delivery. Gilmour actively encouraged Waters to sing the song, even though at this time he wasn't particularly confident about his vocal abilities. In fact the song is the only track on the album to exclusively feature Waters as the lead vocalist. However from this point, he'd soon become the main singer in the group. Richard Wright found the track overly simple, suggesting that the song represented the album's "weakest link". Toby Manning states that the song is actually the album's "emotional core" and that this disagreement between Waters and Wright, further fueled their acrimonious separation. The song was played regularly live throughout the rest of the decade, and Waters continued to play it in conjunction with "Eclipse" on every solo tour since 1984.
  • The song is somewhat slow, and features a recurring lyrical pattern and chorus. Although the actual name of the song is "Brain Damage," it is often mistakenly labeled "The Dark Side Of The Moon" because the recurring lyric in the song is the title of the album. Furthermore, since "Brain Damage" is always followed by "Eclipse" when played on the radio and because "Brain Damage" runs into "Eclipse," it gives the impression that they are one song.
  • Roger Waters has stated that the insanity-themed lyrics are based on former Floyd frontman Syd Barrett's mental instability, with the line "I'll see you on the dark side of the moon" indicating that Waters felt that he related to Barrett in terms of mental idiosyncrasies. The line "And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes..." is referential to Syd Barrett's behavior towards the end of his tenure with the band; due to his mental problems, there were a few occasions where Barrett would actually play a different song than the rest of the band in the middle of a performance. It features a rather famous opening line, "The lunatic is on the grass..." The lyrics "You raise the blade, you make the change. You rearrange me 'til I'm sane." towards the end of the song refer to a frontal lobotomy.
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