It’s a genius idea, and a last-minute 2009 music release: The Flaming Lips, modern rock’s leading psychedelic kings, will release their version of Pink Floyd’s landmark 1973 opus, Dark Side of the Moon. The album, entitled The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs With Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon, will be released on December 22 exclusively through iTunes. Starting on December 29, it will be made available on all digital retailers. As the title suggests, it will feature prominent guest appearances by punk vocalists Henry Rollins and Peaches. What’s more, The Flaming Lips will perform the album in its entirety during their annual New Years Eve Freakout! in their native Oklahoma City. Lips leader Wayne Coyne recently spoke with Pitchfork about the unexpected release:
Pitchfork: Did you always like Dark Side of the Moon? It seems like that album helped start the era of overblown rock that punk eventually tried to take down.
Wayne Coyne: Dark Side of the Moon gets slagged a lot because it’s so popular, but I never felt that way. And even though John Lydon had that “I hate Pink Floyd” t-shirt, he would probably be the first person to say that the early days of Pink Floyd were very much punk rock. They were just some guys who couldn’t play that well who decided, “Fuck it, we’re going to make some weird noises and call ourselves Pink Floyd.” Punk quickly became a knee-jerk cliché, but when it started it did seem like anything was possible. If you look closely, Pink Floyd is probably a lot more punk rock than a lot of punk rock groups were.
I remember when we opened up for the Jesus and Mary Chain in San Francisco around 1984 and we played “Wish You Were Here”. After we played it people were just aghast, like, “Why would you play a fuckin’ Pink Floyd song at this seminal noise punk rock show?” But we cared so little about these strict rules of what was cool and what wasn’t. And if we’re thinking of punk rock as pissing in the face of whatever the established cool is supposed to be, playing that Pink Floyd song on that night was the most punk rock thing we could have done.