I’ll never forget where I was when I first heard about Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album syncing up with The Wizard of Oz. I was a fueler at Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix, on a break. I picked up USA Today, of all things, and read of this discovery in 1997. Being the skeptic, I swiftly broke out my copy of TWoZ and DSotM to check it out for myself.
Lo and behold, I watched rapt through the entire album, convulsing in glee as sync after sync after coincidence, etc. visited my sensibilities. And it’s been debated to death since then, but here’s the weird thing, the conundrum for me. Yes there are a lot of coincidences, which I’ll get to. There is also the fact that no member of Pink Floyd, or producer maestro Alan Parsons could have predicted a sync between a DVD and the CD. Aside from that, are we to believe these hippie musicians of the 70s were given a copy of the film reel to TWoZ?
It’s even more complex, and the possible/impossible hybrid grows with the fact that I learned in 2004, that if you put the CD on repeat… even more synchronicity ensues. The best part of that revelation was when they are walking towards Emerald City and the field of poppies. As the lyrics softly intone:
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.
Scarecrow falls to his knees on cue, man. On cue. Also, the “Home, home again” lyric before that is heard at the end of the movie when Dorothy’s clicking those heels.
Before I list the memorable and challenging syncs, here’s what has to be one of the most telling sequences perfectly captured.
You can get all the hyped up and relevant detailed sync list at Everwonder but here’s my take, and the syncs (or synchs, if you prefer) that sizzle:
For me, the tornado sequence/ “Great Gig in the Sky” was proof positive that there’s something to this.
The first significant sync comes directly after Judy Garland sings “Over the Rainbow,” and hits right at the edit to Margaret Hamilton riding her evil ride- cue the alarm clocks at the beginning of “Time.” First of all, the song leading up to this moment was a throw-away sound effects nonsense song, that doesn’t even appear to sync. Until you look at the title, of course. ”On the Run” syncs with “Over the Rainbow” via the letters OTR.
“Us and Them” is rife with syncs, including the Wicked Witch appearing from her cloud on the word, “black,” stark and bold in colorful Munchkinland, and the dancing matches up perfectly as Dorothy skips on down the road.
“The lunatic is on the grass…” plays over the Scarecrow’s scene / “Brain Damage”/”Eclipse” ends with a heartbeat, and we see Dorothy tapping the Tin Man’s chest.
The album cover. What in the wide world of sports does a prism have to do with insanity? Or the moon? That actually always bugged me about the minimalist art choice for an album of such musical proportions as this. All I can think is, Rainbow. And the fact that The Wizard of Oz was one of the very first feature films to use Technicolor technology. “It is interesting to note that Technicolor technology back then involved the use of a prism inside the movie camera which created alternate black & white strips of film each tinted in the primary colors of blue, green, and red.” This use of a prism-like splitter is true of most old school video cameras, too.
Do you see what I see? “Brain Damage” | “Any Colour You Like” | “Us and Them” | “Money” | Now that’s called dropping the Baum, albiet in reverse order on the album playlist!
Now I’m off to see if Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk syncs up with Dune.