Pink Floyd are a band with a still huge and devoted fanbase despite the fact that they haven't released a new record in nearly twenty years. I was going to go further and suggest that we are never likely to see a proper reunion given the unfortunate and sad demise of Richard Wright, but after the recent reissue campaign, albeit largely record company led, you never know do you?
Although the remaining members do not seem to be overly motivated by filthy lucre, possibly Roger Waters apart with his endless live re-creations of The Wall, I would bet that their label, the increasingly cash-strapped EMI, are continually badgering one or other of the band to reform, go on tour and cut a live album.
Which brings me to the current gargantuan reissue program. Centred around the fabled "Immersion" editions of Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here, at a mere £84.99 each. Looking at Amazon you will no doubt be aware of the online retailer's linked suggestions whenever one buys an album - they may suggest for instance that if you're in the process of buying, say, Close To The Edge by Yes that you buy Fragile and The Yes Album while you're at it, all for £13.95. Well, in Floyd's case if your bank account is up for it and you go for The Discovery Box Set (the complete discog reissued plus sundry gubbins) at a trifling £140.47 it suggests you also buy the Immersion editions of DSotM and WYWH for a total of - get this - £310.45!! Don't these people realise that the whole Western world is bankrupt?
DISC 1 – CD 1:
The Dark Side Of The Moon digitally remastered by James Guthrie 2011
DISC 2 – CD 2:
The Dark Side Of The Moon performed live at Wembley in 1974 (2011 Mix and previously unreleased)
DISC 3 – DVD 1, ALL AUDIO:
- The Dark Side Of The Moon, James Guthrie 2003 5.1 Surround Mix (previously released only on SACD) in standard resolution audio at 448 kbps
- The Dark Side Of The Moon, James Guthrie 2003 5.1 Surround Mix (previously released only on SACD) in high resolution audio at 640 kbps
- The Dark Side Of The Moon, LPCM Stereo mix (as disc 1)
- The Dark Side Of The Moon, Alan Parsons Quad Mix (previously released only on vinyl LP/8 track tape in 1973) in standard resolution audio at 448 kbps
- The Dark Side Of The Moon, Alan Parsons Quad Mix (previously released only on vinyl LP/8 track tape in 1973) in high resolution audio at 640 kbps
DISC 4 - DVD 2, ALL AUDIO VISUAL:
- Live In Brighton 1972: Careful With That Axe, Eugene (previously unreleased on DVD) Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (previously unreleased on DVD)
- The Dark Side Of The Moon, 2003 documentary (25 min EPK)
- Concert Screen Films (60 min total): British Tour 1974 French Tour 1974 North American Tour 1975
Screen films play in stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound
DISC 5 – BLURAY, AUDIO+AUDIO VISUAL -AUDIO:
The Dark Side Of The Moon, James Guthrie 2003 5.1 Surround Mix (previously released only on SACD) in high resolution audio at 96 kHz/24-bit
- The Dark Side Of The Moon, Original stereo mix (1973) mastered in high resolution audio at 96 kHz/24-bit
- Live In Brighton 1972: Careful With That Axe, Eugene (previously unreleased on DVD/BluRay) Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (previously unreleased on DVD/BluRay)
- The Dark Side Of The Moon, 2003 documentary (EPK)
- Concert Screen Films (5.1 Surround Mix): British Tour 1974 French Tour 1974 North American Tour 1975
- Concert Screen Films (High Resolution Stereo Mix): British Tour 1974 French Tour 1974 North American Tour 1975
DISC 6 - CD3:
-The Dark Side Of The Moon 1972 Early Album Mix engineered by Alan Parsons (previously unreleased)
- "The Hard Way" (from ‘Household Objects’ project)
- "Us And Them", Richard Wright Demo (previously unreleased)
- "The Travel Sequence", live from Brighton June 1972 (previously unreleased)
- "The Mortality Sequence", live from Brighton June 1972 (previously unreleased)
- "Any Colour You Like", live from Brighton June 1972 (previously unreleased)
- "The Travel Sequence", studio recording 1972 (previously unreleased) - Money, Roger Waters’ demo (previously unreleased)
Sounds like good value for your pound/buck, but if you look a little closer, most fans have already got most of this, and what is the point of putting the quad mix on there unless it somehow utilises your 5:1 system as a quad simulation? No, what interests even the casual fan is the live at Wembley disc and the Early Mix album. Certainly the former and probably the latter too have been available as bootlegs for years, but it's a given that the quality on this reissue far surpasses the illegal versions - one hopes at least!
As far as booklets etc go the other extras include ...a scarf!....3 black marbles (huh?)...9 coasters. The Storm Thorgerson 40 page LP sized book apart, and to use the Cockney vernacular it's "largely bollocks, innit?"
You have got to credit EMI for their base cunning though, for the Wembley gig is split between this set and the yet to be released Wish You Were Here Immersion Edition. So, if you want to hear the concert in its entirety you'll have shell out 2 x £84.99. Why oh why couldn't they have put all the extras from DSotM and WYWH and The Wall in one box, which I and doubtless thousands of others would probably have bought?
Mind you, EMI have a track record were cynical exploitative reissues are concerned, particularly after the underwhelming Beatles back catalogue boxes. My guess is were it not for the Fab Four and Floyd this record label would have gone under longer ago.
Nick Mason, who has always come across as a thoroughly nice bloke, untroubled by the ego excesses of Waters in particular, and Gilmour to a lesser extent, has said in various interviews that "it's there if you want it" in answer to questions similar to mine. He obviously has no concept of what it is to live in these economically stringent times, and I suppose he can't be blamed for that, but neither does he seem to have any concept of what being a fan of a band entails.
Floyd will no doubt make big bucks from this reissue program, and it's not as though they need it although EMI undoubtedly do. It would be nice to think that the band themselves could use this new income stream to finance a box set of the extras for us less wealthy contingent of fans, but don't hold your breath.
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