Pink Floyd scores ‘Wizard’ hit

Capitol-EMI has found a yellow brick road paved with gold.

A flood of media reports has portrayed Pink Floyd’s 1973 classic “Dark Side of the Moon” as an ersatz score for the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” which has pushed up album sales fivefold. The most recent SoundScan figures, for the week ended Sunday, show the disc sold 17,500 copies; a week before, it tallied 12,500. “Dark Side” usually averages 2,000-3,000 copies per week.

The recently created EMI-Capitol Entertainment Properties, the unit responsible for catalog marketing, isn’t taking any steps to promote “Dark Side” that would appear exploitative, according to Bruce Kirkland, president of EMI-Capitol Entertainment Properties. EMI-Capitol is assisting radio stations in sponsoring listening-viewing parties and pushing for strong visibility at retail.

“A lot of stores have taken the initiative,” Kirkland said, singling out a Gotham HMV store that displayed the album in its homevideo section with “Oz.”

MGM/UA Home Entertainment put a moratorium on manufacturing the video in January and hasn’t jumped into the fray. Kirkland said he and MGM have had conversations, mostly to exchange stories, but the two are not collaborating. Although the 25th anniversary of “Dark Side” — the biggest seller in Capitol Records’ history — is next year, there are no plans for any elaborate celebration.

The band has yet to shed any light on the similarities. A number of Web sites go into great detail about the alignment of scene changes and the music, even suggesting links with other Floyd discs such as “Meddle” and “Wish You Were Here.” A Boston radio station opened the floodgates this spring, and media attention has mounted since.

For those of you playing at home, set the CD player on continuous play and start the CD immediately after the MGM lion’s third roar.

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