The album starts with a heartbeat.


SIMON: "The Dark Side of the Moon" was Pink Floyd's eighth album. And though it's still often played, it came out 40 years ago this week - and it remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. On this anniversary, we asked a few of our colleagues at NPR Music to tell us what they think makes this album special.


BOB BOILEN, BYLINE: I'm Bob Boilen. I'm the host of NPR's ALL SONGS CONSIDERED. Back in 1972, I worked in record stores in Rockville, Maryland and a huge Pink Floyd fan. And they were coming to the Kennedy Center, and I was totally, totally psyched. My hair was down on my shoulders, much like the band members. I'd give anything to have that hair back.


BOILEN: And they came out and performed this piece of music. Everybody in the audience, no doubt, their jaws just dropped.


PINK FLOYD: (Singing) Money, I get away. Get a good job with more pay and you're OK.

BOILEN: You had no idea what it was - and you have to understand, in 1972, if you don't know what it is, there's nowhere to look it up. It was like, OK, when am I ever going to hear this amazing music again? It was nearly a year later. The truck that was carrying that record, I knew where it was going to show up so I could get the record, like, four hours earlier than I would have had I waited for it to come to the store I worked in.


ROBIN HILTON, BYLINE: I'm Robin Hilton and I'm a producer for NPR's ALL SONGS CONSIDERED and co-host of the show. I can so vividly remember where I was when I first heard this. I was probably 12 years old, and I was with a friend who had brought the record over. And we were playing chess, and it just blew my little mind.


HILTON: I remember the song "Time." I can't tell you how many college roommates I awakened in the middle of the night blasting the alarm clocks going off. And there's this line in the song "Time" that still resonates with me today. I think of it all the time. It says: You're young and life is long and there's time to kill today.


FLOYD: (Singing) And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you.

HILTON: Boy, the older I get, that sure turns out to be true.


FLOYD: (Singing) You missed the starting gun.

HILTON: When I listen to "Dark Side of the Moon" now, 40 years later, it still sounds fresh. And that's why you're always going to see the "Dark Side of the Moon" poster hanging in college dormitories for the next 50 years.


FLOYD: (Singing) (unintelligible)...

SIMON: Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton of NPR Music. This is NPR News.

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