The Dark Side of The Rainbow

A look into the relationship between Pink Floyd and ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Photo by KMUW

Sam Wiegand, Staff Reporter

Most great movies have incredible soundtracks that fit the meaning, purpose, and feel of the movie. Some people have decided that the original soundtrack isn’t enough. This brings up the term movie synchronization, which involves playing music over a movie, and somehow it still works and syncs up. After diligent research, I discovered one band appeared to have far more examples of this than any other: Pink Floyd.

The cover art of Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon."

The cover art of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon.”

Pink Floyd is a rock band that formed in the 1960s and has a unique form of rock music full of instrumentals and random noises. These instrumental moments really helped them sync up with films.  There are dozens of examples of movies and Pink Floyd matching up, such as their rock opera “The Wall” and the Pixar movie “ Wall-E.” Also, “2001 a Space Odyssey” matches up with their song “Echoes.”

The biggest and most notorious example of movie synchronization is in the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” and Pink Floyd’s legendary album “The Dark Side of The Moon.” Someone discovered that if you play the record while watching the movie, it syncs up on way too many occasions to just be a coincidence.

In multiple interviews, the band has denied intentionally trying to make it sync up, but there are far too many moments to believe that. Starting in the song “Breathe,” Dorothy is balancing on a railing right when a lyric about balancing occurs.

Another very blatantly obvious moment of synchronization is when Miss Gulch (the witch in real life) appears. Right as she bikes onto the screen, the song “Time”  begins with the loud playing of bells. This perfectly illustrates foreshadowing of an evil character.

Here’s one that is best seen to be believed. During “Great Gig in the Sky,” the house is taken by the tornado. First, the song is about the sky, and the tornado takes the house into the sky. Also, the song gets intense right when the tornado picks up and practically goes along with the twister itself.

Dorothy meets the Scarecrow.

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Dorothy meets the Scarecrow.

Right when Dorothy wakes up and opens the door to enter munchkin land, the song “Money” plays a sound of a cash register. “Us and Them” practically syncs perfectly with the dancing, as well as multiple lyrics going along with little things happening on screen. Another great moment occurs when Dorothy meets the Scarecrow who wants a brain. Instantly as she meets him, the song “Brain Damage” starts.

There are dozens of other instances of synchronization throughout the movie and album. Now you might believe these are all coincidences but think about this. The cover of the album is dark light hitting a triangle and coming out as a rainbow. In the beginning of the movie, it is black and white, only to change into color.

Movie synchronization is an incredibly odd yet rewarding thing to find and discover. Very few combinations actually work well, this happens to be one of them. I highly recommend trying it. Even if you don’t think it syncs you still get to watch a good movie and listen to some classic rock.