‘The band were actually watching Mary Poppins’: Engineer Alan Parsons hilarious take on the Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz phenonenon

Count Alan Parsons, engineer on Pink Floyd’s legendary Dark Side of the Moon, as another in the long line of skeptics when it comes to syncing the album up with “The Wizard of Oz.”

The combination — commonly referred to now, after years of rumors and innuendo, as either “Dark Side of Oz” or “Dark Side of the Rainbow” — involves playing the 1973 Pink Floyd album alongside the muted 1939 film. There follows a number of canny instances in which the two appear to work in concert with one another.

Members of Pink Floyd have maintained for years that all of this weird synchronicity is merely a coincidence. But yet, as you can see in the attached video above, the clues abound.

As Dorothy sits precariously on a fence, it coincides with the line from “Breathe” where Pink Floyd talks about balancing on the biggest wave. Almira Gulch appears just as the alarm clocks sound to begin the song “Time.” The tornado sequence occurs in sync with “Great Gig in the Sky.”

There’s more: The cash-register opening of “Money” begins just as Dorothy enters into Oz. Scarecrow is introduced with the song “Brain Damage.” As Dorothy bangs on the Tin Man’s empty chest, a heartbeat echoes on Dark Side.

Now Parsons, who has also done studio work over the years with Paul McCartney and the Beatles, the Hollies, Al Stewart and with his own Alan Parsons projects, has now offers his take — with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

“As for the Wizard Of Oz … I have to keep correcting people,” Parsons tells Joe Bosso of Music Radar. “The band were actually watching ‘Mary Poppins’ the whole time they were making the album. (Laughs.) Or we can tell it differently and say they were watching ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!’”

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To try it at home:

Cue up Dark Side of the Moon and pause it at the beginning of the first track. Start “The Wizard of Oz,” and let it play past the lengthy intro credits until the actual film begins. Here’s your cue — when the MGM lion roars a third and final time. Press play, and then mute the film. The open credits should sync up with Pink Floyd’s opening crescendo for the album, and then producer Mervyn LeRoy’s name should fade just as the first note of “Speak to Me” begins. If not, start over to get it just right. Good luck.

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  • paul conatzer

    Also, the Wizard of Oz isn’t as big in the UK as it was in the US. It’s not on TV nearly as often…

  • http://www.advergames.com Anthony Giallourakis

    There is a real possibility that some of the brilliant lyrics from The Dark Side of the Moon were crafted from a single source by Roger Waters. If that is correct, the clues are there in plain sight.

    I have often thought that bread crumbs have been left along the way. Perhaps in time, we will find out.