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Album: The Dark Side of the MoonReleased: 1973
In the pre-Dark Side
live performances, this song was usually just low drumming and a heartbeat. On the album, it contains the heartbeat, followed by sounds representing things that can drive you to madness: spoken bits, a clock ticking, a cash register, coins clinking, synthesizer, then at the end, a mad shriek. It was Clare Torry that Pink Floyd used for the closing screams as the song fades to "Breathe
." She is later heard on "Great Gig In The Sky
This is Pink Floyd's only song that gives all composing credits to drummer Nick Mason, who generally didn't write the songs - he called the composition a "color sound montage." At one point Roger Waters claimed this credit was a "gift" to Mason, which didn't help band relations.
Pink Floyd's road manager Peter Watts contributed the crazed laughter on this song. The father of the actress Naomi Watts, Peter died of a heroin overdose in 1976 at age 30.
The title doesn't appear in the lyric - "speak to me" is what the album's engineer Alan Parsons would say when testing a microphone.
There are lots of little aural details on the Dark Side of the Moon album that lend it to repeated headphone listening. An example on this track: the heartbeat comes slightly from the right, which simulates the sound of a person's heart if he were standing directly in front of you.