Since this blog seems to have taken a musical interlude anyway, we’ll just carry on with that theme here. A few weeks ago, Pink Floyd re-released their entire studio catalog (everything but a few compilation and live albums), digitally remastered by James Guthrie. Several years ago, they released all their albums, digitally remastered. From what I gather, they did it again because their recording contract obligates them to another release, but the band is pretty definitely done. So my understanding is that they did this to skirt the issue.
There was a boxed set for the previous remasters called, Oh, By the Way, and this time is no different with the Discovery boxed set. Unlike last time, though, I’m fully aware of what’s going on, and with the boxed set coming out a little cheaper that purchasing the albums individually, and knowing that I would want to replace my entire collection, I went with the set.
I’ve been listening to their earlier albums, and I think I’m going to write up an entry here for each of the albums. I’m hearing some new things due to the remastering, and I’m hearing some new things that I simply didn’t notice or appreciate before. So consider this an introductory post to an upcoming series. Note that this will not be a weekly series. This is partly because I’m erratic in my posting schedule anyway, and partly because the Immersion set for The Wall will not be released until February 2012.
Wait, what’s that? Immersion?
Yes, the Why Pink Floyd? program consists basically of three parts: Discovery, Experience, and Immersion.
The Discovery aspect, which obviously includes the Discovery boxed set, consists primarily of the fourteen studio albums, digitally remastered, with a new booklet that includes full lyrics for all songs, and mini-lp packaging. These are all available individually as well as in the boxed set. There are no other frills here. No bonus tracks or anything like that. The boxed set comes with a book of largely unseen (or effectively unseen) images for advertisements and special editions and such designed by Storm Thorgerson and his teams at Hipgnosis and StormStudios, who have been partners with Pink Floyd pretty much throughout the entirety of the band’s history. That’s the only extra thing in the box. There’s also a new “best of” compilation called A Foot in the Door. Like the rest of the Discovery line, this compilation offers nothing in the way of extras or rare tracks. It’s a single disc set with a pretty predictable selection of songs.
The whole point of the Discovery line is, as the name suggests, to expose Pink Floyd to those who aren’t familiar with their music, and to provide the remastered albums for those more casual fans who just want to pick up a few key albums.
The Experience collection is for those fans who want a little more of the Pink Floyd experience. At this point, there are only three albums getting this treatment: Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. DSOTM was released the same day as all the Discovery albums, WYWH will be released at the end of October, and The Wall will be released in February. Each of these adds another disc to the album, featuring live recordings, alternate recordings, and demos. As far as I know, none of this bonus material has been released previously. We’ll get to the specifics when I talk about these albums individually. Rumors abound that other albums will get an Experience version at some point, but that is so far unconfirmed.
For the true fanatic, there are the Immersion sets. Again, only Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall get Immersion versions, and again, there are rumors about other albums in the future, but again, no hard information about that. These are full blown boxed sets. They include the remastered album, the extra disc from the Experience set, and a minimum of three more discs, including a DVD with multiple audio mixes and a Blu-Ray with video features. There is also a bunch of other marketing paraphernalia, including coasters, replica tickets and backstage passes, scarves and even marbles. As far as I’m concerned, these extra baubles help justify the inflated price of the boxes, but I’m strictly buying for the audio and video discs. As with the Experience versions, I’ll cover the Immersion sets when I get to their respective albums.
For the record, in case anyone reading this has any pull, I’d like to see Experience/Immersion releases for Animals, The Final Cut, and A Momentary Lapse of Reason.
I’ll start with the new compilation, A Foot in the Door, and then proceed with all fourteen Pink Floyd albums in chronological order of first release. I’ll try to release a new post on this every one or two weeks until completion.