Friday, December 8, 2023
HomeMusicAlbumsPink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (2023 Remaster) Review

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (2023 Remaster) Review

Powerhouse piece Dark Side of the Moon did not need another remaster, but here we are. Pink Floyd demand a cash injection once more and milk their fifty years with a remaster that comes less than a decade after the last one. What improvements to quality and sound have been made since then are no match for the bizarre and empty, almost aimless and unconvincing, choices made here. They are not offensive mixes, they are simply useless. A desire to listen to this remastering is the same desire as listening to everything and anything a band has released. Dark Side of the Moon (2023 Remaster) does nothing to improve the gorgeous, brilliant piece. It is just there. 

Those that enjoy Dark Side of the Moon in whatever format they currently have are provided with not a single reason to listen to this one. Infighting has paved the way to this release. Another remaster. Another one on the way, a different rendition or a different edition. It is hard to keep track of all these bits and pieces, but this latest release is a slap in the mouth and an obvious cash-in. Nothing more than another entry into the feud between two former bandmates, Dark Side of the Moon is now the fought-over fan favourite that will be beaten with sticks until both men are dead. The music is still there but toned and shifted in such minimal, unexciting ways that to consider it a remaster is a bit of an insult. 

Technology waits for no man though and the slick and minor changes made to Dark Side of the Moon do not tarnish the quality of the track but the legacy of them. Trashing a group and one of their finest works, and for what reason? Petty fighting between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. Frankly embarrassing stuff that now has an impact on even the most passive of fans, who now need an explainer under an asterisk as to why another remastering of this album is available. This is by far the weakest remastering available too, especially because of how similar it sounds to the 2016 remaster. Completely useless in its presence and released only to cash in on the nostalgia and legacy. Disgusting, if anything, especially when the likes of Bob Dylan and even Pink Floyd in the past have worked their legacy and their backlogs well. This is nothing more than a wallet-pull stunt. 

Tiresome and dishonest reasons mount a neutered re-release of an album that was fine in its original form. No amount of change, gloss or sophistication in the recording studios of the future can change that, yet fans find themselves back for more and more. As obvious a grift as there ever was, the meaninglessness of fifty years of Dark Side of the Moon is the fault of those who released it, not of those wanting to listen and celebrate. Not a single track is improved on, not a single effort made here can eclipse that of the previous, superior remasters nor of the quality in the original mix. This is a slim part of a major overhaul for Gilmour v Waters, a complete waste that sees the pair air their dirty laundry in public once again.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet


  1. So I guess you’re undecided, then. It might be a pointless question, but which remaster is the best to listen to in digital format? You mentioned the 2016 remaster – is that ‘better’ (even just in your own opinion) than previous releases?

    • For me, the 2016 Remaster, or even the 2011 Remaster, there are such short intervals between the remasterings that they feel vaguely pointless and the bulk of the changes made to this 2023 Remaster, beyond the transition for those with Dolby Atmos, is minimal at best. Feels like a cash-grab for the anniversary more than anything, but the previous releases from the last decade do just fine.

  2. I’ve only listened to Us And Them from this 2023 remaster and I feel the need to warn others: do not listen if you love DSOTM just fine as it is. This is not just a remaster, it’s a remix. Things are obviously rearranged and echoing differently from left and right speaker in a way that seems alien. Gilmour’s voice has been altered to sound more artificial and less soothing. I hate this remastered version with a passion.

    • Now this is an interesting comment. It’s completely contradicting the article and the details you mention indicate that the article’s author did not listen properly. I am going to check if I can identify differences, too and then decide, if I like the new version or not.

  3. Totally agree with eveeything you say Ewan. It does nothing for the Pink Floyd legacy. Roger Waters ravings recently tell of someone delusional, someone who thinks the whole world is listening to him. Well if he sees your article and the feedback of Floyd fans he should hang his head in shame. Greed, greed and more greed. Had he done this for free, for the fans, you could just about accept it.

  4. NOTHING compares to the original soundtracks. That said and NOBODY can equal the brilliant and beautiful voice of Claire Tory. Overall I would give this remaster a 7 of a 10 scale. I still prefer the original sounds of the Vinal Original on a good qualtity turntable like my old Pioneer with an upgraded diamond stylus.

    • I agree on the quality of Clare Torry’s performance and I guess nobody would question that. Luckily, her performance is part of both, the original and the remaster.

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