Dark Side of the Moon / The Wizard of Oz

Audio: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
1973, Capital Records (US)

and other Pink Floyd albums (see below)

Video: The Wizard of Oz
1939, MGM Studios,
based on the book by Frank L. Baum

The Setup

The Wizard of Oz has been a classic film, ever since it came out. And Dark Side of the Moon has been a must-have on any album collectors shelf since 1973. Now you can enjoy them together. This synchronicity seems to be a favorite on the Pink Floyd newsgroup; it certainly is discussed a lot there. There are a few different versions of the synchronicity. Following is detailed information on the different theories of how to achieve The Dark Side of the Rainbow:


There are a variety of different ways to start the synchronicity between Dark Side of the Moon and Wizard of Oz. Conventional knowledge seems to hold that the famed Third Roar Theory is the best of the bunch, but I leave it up to you to experiment and choose your own favorite.

Third Roar Theory

Perhaps the best known variation of the Dark Side of the Rainbow synchronicity is the Third Roar Theory. It's certainly the first variation I myself discovered. It works very well and is relatively easy to set up. First put in cd, tape, or record of Dark Side of the Moon that you're going to use; generally this is easiest with cd, but if you're "slumming" it, it is possible to do it with other media (although considerably more difficult).
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.

You'll know you've got it right when the credit for Mervyn LeRoy fades in along with a wonderful sudden transition in Dark Side of the Moon. 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; see below for more information on those. 

Alternate Theories

The next starting point that was called to my attention for this synchronicity is the First Roar Theory, which holds that it is better to start the cd when the MGM lion roars for THE FIRST TIME. This supposedly corrects for some of the "off time" in the Third Roar Theory. A not quite so extreme approach to the same problem is the Second Roar Theory. As I'm sure you've guessed from the name, this theory holds that the best place to start Dark Side of the Moon is after the MGM lion roars for THE SECOND TIME.
Another theory, the Fade to Black Theory, holds that the Third Roar Theory is interpretted too literally, and that the cd should be started after the MGM lion logo fades to black, the true start of the film. The advantage this one has is that the beginning of the cd and the film itself is really at the same point. This theory tends to build on the Third Roar Theory, while the other roars theories tend to discount the Third Roar Theory. Since the Third Roar Theory is the one that I heard first, and that has the world buzzing nowadays, I'd say that's probably the best bet, with the Fade to Black Theory a close second.

In addition to the album, in 1995 Pink Floyd released a live performance of Dark Side of the Moon, in its entirety, on Pulse. And of course some newer Floyd fans have used the Pulse version as the soundtrack of the synch, in place of the original recording. The general consensus has been that the Pulse version is not as good, although, as always, there are people who disagree. But, no matter your opinion, it remains another way of seeing the dark side of the rainbow...

The most out there theory that I have heard yet to date would have to be The Cowardly Lion Roar Theory, which holds that the best place to start Dark Side of the Moon is not at the beginning of the movie, but when the Cowardly Lion roars for the third time (when he first appears). Again, it uses the third roar (three, it's the magic number!!), but with a decidedly different take on the whole synch.


As you may have noticed, Dark Side of the Moon is not as long as The Wizard Of Oz. This has given rise to a number of theories to what should be played after the album is finished. This is where the fun and experimentation is really just wide open; feel free to experiment with this part. If you come up with anything good, share it with us here at the Arkive, either in the mailing list or on the message board.

The Repeat Theory
One of the big favorites of the Dark Side of the Rainbow fans seems to be The Repeat Theory, which holds that the best thing to do when Dark Side of the Moon ends is simply to REPEAT THE ALBUM. The advantage to this is, if you own a cd player with repeat, you don't have to get up during the film ( a hefty advantage for the chemically impaired). The album will repeat approximately one and a half times after the first run.

Animals/Meddle Theory

When I first heard about Dark Side of the Rainbow, the recommended instructions for viewing it were to put in Pink Floyd's Animals (1977) album when Dark Side of the Moon ends and let the album play all the way through. When Animals ends, put in Meddle (1971) programmed for tracks two through five. The movie ends with the track "Seamus" which has a very "down home country" sound to it (which fits very well with Dorothy waking up back in Kansas).

Wish You Were Here Theory
Another variation is to simply put in Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here (1975), which ironically was Floyd's follow-up to Dark Side of the Moon, as the next album in the synchronicity, and let the album run all the way through. So far no one has come up with anything to follow Wish You Were Here.

Animals/The Wall (Disc One) Theory

Yet another way to enjoy Dark Side of the Rainbow is to play Animals (same as the above theory) and when that album ends play the first disc of Floyd's classic rock opera, The Wall (1979).


Welcome to the new Synchronicity Arkive. This is one of the oldest website communities devoted to the mashing up of audio and video. Originally the community called that "audio/visual synchronicity". In 1997, one of our favorites, the match between the movie The Wizard Of Oz and Pink Floyd's seminal album Dark Side Of The Moon, went viral. And that kickstarted our little community. Now, after a long absence, the Arkive is back online and ready to serve that community again.


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