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Pink Floyd Fails Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Science Class: ‘There Is No Dark Side’ of the Moon

Pink Floyd Neil Degrasse Tyson
Keystone / Michael Campanella, Getty Images

Pink Floyd‘s The Dark Side of the Moon boasts plenty of rock gravitas – but science? Not so much.

The ground-breaking album has long been celebrated for its remarkable musical depth, its striking cover design and its history-making run on the Billboard charts between 1973-88. The only problem, says noted scientist and TV personality Neil deGrasse Tyson, is that no dark side of the moon exists.

Over the course of his career, Tyson says he’s spent an inordinate amount of time trying to disabuse people – Pink Floyd fans or not – of this wrong-headed notion.

“I blame Pink Floyd for this,” Tyson tells the Hollywood Reporter. “There is no dark side! There’s a far side, and there’s a near side, but all sides of the moon receive sunlight. So, the fact that Pink Floyd had an album with that title meant I spent decades having to undo people’s [misconceptions]. As an educator, if I had a time machine, I’d go back and change the title of that to The Far Side of the Moon, and I would restore thousands of hours of my life.”

Tyson notes that some of the final words spoken on the album, as the song “Eclipse” ends, are actually “there is no dark side of the moon” – but confusion reigns again with the next line: “It’s all dark.”

The narrator of those lines was Gerry O’Driscoll, a doorman at Abbey Road Studios where Pink Floyd completed Dark Side of the Moon. He was one of several contributors who were enlisted by Roger Waters to provide spoken-word snippets throughout the project.

In reality, however, the final portion of his comments was edited out – and they actually might have pleased Tyson: “The only thing that makes it look light,” O’Driscoll said in the unreleased longer version, “is the sun.”

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