Dark Side of the Rainbow (also known as Dark Side of Oz or The Wizard of Floyd) is a name used to refer to the act of listening to the 1973 Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon while watching the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz for moments where the film and the album appear to correspond with each other. The title of the music video-like experience comes from a combination of the album title and the film's song "Over the Rainbow". It is also a reference to the rainbow from a prism design on the cover of the Pink Floyd album.
Although the Dark Side of the Rainbow has become famous, its origin is murky. In 1994, fans of Pink Floyd discussed the phenomenon on the Usenet message board alt.music.pink-floyd. Even at that point, knowledge of who first thought of combining the two works, and why, was already lost.
Since then, several waves of attention rippled through popular culture. In August 1995, a newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana, published the first mainstream media article about the "synchronicity", citing alt.music.pink-floyd. (Note that the term "synchronicity" is used here to mean: The apparent or alleged purposeful parallels in timing between two different creative objects, in order to create a single new object, or to enhance the experience of one of them; rather than the philosophical meaning of Synchronicity, in which the coincidence would be unintended by the creators.) Soon afterward, several fans began creating websites in which they touted the experience and tried to catalog comprehensively the corresponding moments. A second wave of awareness began in April 1997 when a Boston radio DJ discussed Dark Side of the Rainbow on the air, leading to further mainstream media articles and a segment on MTV news.
In July 2000, the cable channel Turner Classic Movies aired a version of Oz with the Dark Side album as an alternate soundtrack.
Coincidence versus intent
Fans have compiled more than one hundred moments of perceived interplay between the film and album, including further links that occur if the album is repeated through the entire film. This synergy effect has been described as an example of synchronicity, defined by the psychologist Carl Jung as a phenomenon in which coincidental events "seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality.", although most accounts assume that the effect was deliberate on Pink Floyd's part. Detractors argue that the phenomenon is the result of the mind's tendency to think it recognizes patterns amid disorder by discarding data that does not fit. Psychologists refer to this tendency as apophenia. Under this theory, a Dark Side of the Rainbow enthusiast will focus on matching moments while ignoring the greater number of instances where the film and the album do not correspond.
Pink Floyd band members have repeatedly insisted that the reputed phenomenon is coincidence. In an interview for the 25th anniversary of the album, guitarist/vocalist David Gilmour denied that the album was intentionally written to be synchronized with Oz, saying "Some guy with too much time on his hands had this idea of combining Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon."
On an MTV special about Pink Floyd in 2002, the band dismissed any relationship between the album and the movie, saying that there were no means of reproducing the film in the studio at the time they recorded the album.
Replicating the effect
Perhaps the best known variation of the Dark Side of the Rainbow synchronicity is the Third Roar Theory. It's the variation I was first introduced to. It works well and is relatively easy to set up.
First put in the CD of Dark Side of the Moon (it can be done with vinyl or tape, but CD is much easier). Pause Dark Side of the Moon on track one.
Put in The Wizard Of Oz and wait for the MGM lion logo to appear.
When the MGM lion roars for THE THIRD TIME, unpause Dark Side of the Moon.
The first indicator that the setup is correct: The transition from the song "Speak to Me" to the song "Breathe" syncs with the fade-in of producer Mervyn LeRoy's name on the movie.
The album should end with Dorothy putting her ear to the Tin Man's chest, to the tune of the ending heartbeat on the album. Since Dark Side of the Moon is not as long as The Wizard of Oz, there are a number of variations for what to do next.
Over 100 synchronicities have been documented here and include:
"... Look around ..." Dorothy looks around.
"... All you touch ..." Dorothy touches the farmhand holding a bucket on his arm.
Auntie Em shows up and begins talking as the woman's voice on DSOTM chatters away.
Toto wags his tail in time to the clicking sound effect.
The chimes in Time begin at the appearance of Almira Gulch, on her bicycle, and the chimes stop when she dismounts.
The song playing during the entire tornado scene and while the house is up in the air is "The Great Gig in the Sky"
"Up and Down ..." On "up", the Wicked Witch of the West is holding her broomstick upright, and on "down" she lowers it.
Dorothy listens for a heartbeat (or lack thereof) in the Tin Woodsman's chest, and we hear that very sound in DSOTM.
Phenomenon or what?
I say it's BS. Smoke another fattie.