Barry Cleveland: A Saucer Full of Pink Floyd Reissues

| December 16, 2011

I had the very good fortune to receive reissues of the entire Pink Floyd catalog, including"Experience" editions of Wish You Were Here and The Dark Side of the Moon (thought, alas, not the big "Immersion" box sets). The Experience versions come with a second disc: In the case of Dark Side you get ten songs from a 1974 live concert performance of the album, and in the case of Wish You Were Here you get six unreleased tracks, including three live tracks from 1974 and three studio tracks, one from the abandoned Household Objects project. In addition to the 14 studio albums, I also received the new 16-track sampler called A Foot In the Door—The Best of Pink Floyd, which spans the band's career, and features a great selection of songs ordered in a non-linear fashion that works quite well.
Unless you already have the Oh By the Way box set issued in 2007, you will find these remastered discs to be vastly superior to previous CD releases (the audio quality of the 2007 remasters is essentially equivalent, but those CDs weren't available individually). They possess greater depth, detail, and clarity than earlier versions—particularly in the very high and very low frequencies—and are a delight to listen to.
Given that everybody who might wish to be is already entirely familiar with these albums, I won't bother to discuss their musical content except to say that the live bonus tracks previously mentioned are excellent ("Raving and Drooling" and "You've Got to Be Crazy" are early forms of tunes from Animals that were eventually renamed), and the alternative mixes of two studio tracks are instructive—though it is easy to see why (the otherwise great) Stephane Grappelli's violin parts on "Wish You Were Here" were not included in the final mix.
I've already spent quality time with the earliest albums, and look forward to digging into the others soon. —BC
Pink Floyd Photo: Bill Silano

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