I’ve written before about the Mandela Effect and have no real answers or explanation for it.
I am interested in it as a Fortean and/or psycho-social phenomenon and, let’s face it, that girl in Moonraker DID have metal teeth and it was ‘Interview with a Vampire’. That’s much more pleasing as a title than ‘Interview with the Vampire’. Why on earth would the definite article have been chosen by Anne Rice?
Even from a cynical marketing perspective, ‘Interview with a Vampire’ implies sequels. The definite article in the title we are now offered just doesn’t work as well.
Small changes to a title have an effect on the rhythm and meter of the whole so it is noticeable when changes are made.
In this vein, when I discovered this week that Pink Floyd‘s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ is actually now ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ my reaction was “No fucking way is it. Nor has it ever been ‘The Dark Side of the Moon.”
In this case, I knew for sure that the album had never had ‘The’ in front of it. I had been a massive Floyd head as a teen and the change was as obvious as it was jarring.
MANDELA EFFECT OR OPERATION MINDFUCK?
Certainly, a quick investigation of youtube showed up a few people hailing this as the latest Mandela Effect to be noticed- and such a blatant one as well- that how the fuck could people just carry on as if this wasn’t happening?
I dug deeper. Remnants of the album with no ‘The’ kept cropping up.
Search engine listings whose listings contained no ‘The’ (Rolling Stone Magazine here)
would lead to articles with ‘The’ added to the album’s title:
At this point I concluded that this was one too obvious a script change and immediately set about spamming Mandela Effect forums.
Then I dug a bit deeper and found a somewhat more prosaic yet believable explanation than parallel universes or Operation Mindfuck.
At Newsweek (obviously part of Operation Mindfuck itself but probably not here) I discovered:
“At the start of 1972, Pink Floyd had assembled the pieces of what they were now calling Dark Side of the Moon: A Piece for Assorted Lunatics. Unfortunately, they learned another band, Medicine Head, had just released an album with the same name. As a result, Pink Floyd retitled the work Eclipse and began rehearsals to debut the album live in a series of shows in the early part of the year. Despite some technical glitches (such as a power failure during an early performance of “Money” in Brighton), the new material was well-received by both fans and the press. And, when Medicine Head’s album failed to generate much interest, the work reverted to its original title: Dark Side of the Moon (the “The” wasn’t added to the title until the 2003 reissue).”
So, there we go. An object lesson in not letting yourself get carried away following a thread with a particular idea in mind. In this case, not a Mandela Effect. Just a bad idea to rebadge ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ as ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ a few years back, doubtless to reflect how ‘important’ the album is.
It does bugger up the poetry of the original title though.