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MasterCylinder
05-12-2011, 04:21 AM
Pink Floyd in race against time to reissue albums


By Dean Goodman Dean Goodman Wed May 11, 11:58 pm ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) The mammoth CD reissue program undertaken by Pink Floyd is an acknowledgment that the era of physical CDs and lavish artwork is coming to an end, as fans increasingly opt to download music digitally, drummer Nick Mason said on Wednesday.

Two years after the Beatles unveiled a similar program, the British progressive rock band is reissuing digitally remastered versions of all 14 of its studio albums, both individually and as a boxed set on September 26.

But Pink Floyd is doing something the Beatles never did, to the disappointment of Fab Four fans. Three albums will also be reissued with plenty of rarities in multi-disc versions. Revised and expanded artwork was a heavy priority for a band with a history of visual innovation.

"There is a slight sense that we are coming to the end of the period where people will buy the physical record with all the packaging and the information and so on," Mason, 67, told Reuters at the Hollywood outpost of the band's EMI Records label.

"I think it's really important to try and have a last go at that, because if we do end up just downloading everything from now on it would be a shame if there wasn't on record all that good artwork and the things that went with it."

The band's 1973 smash "The Dark Side of the Moon," one of the biggest selling albums of all time, will additionally come out on six- and two-disc configurations.

Exact details of the contents were not available, but EMI previewed several previously unreleased tracks including a fast-tempo live version of "Money," and an early mix of "The Great Gig in the Sky" without the soaring vocals of session singer Clare Torry.

Mason was particularly proud of a track he assumed had been lost to history, a version of the title track from 1975's "Wish You Were Here," featuring French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli.

It dates from sessions at London's Abbey Road studios, Pink Floyd's primary recording base, when Grappelli and fellow violinist Yehudi Menuhin were working down the hallway.

"They came to say hello, which was delightful," Mason recalled. "Someone plucked up the courage to ask them both if they'd like to play something on the record. Stephane absolutely was up for it and I think Yehudi would have liked to, but he's not an improviser and I think he just felt he couldn't do it."

The band opted not to use that version, although Mason in hindsight considers it an unfortunate decision. The two deluxe versions of "Wish You Were Here," available in five- and two-disc configurations, will be released on November 7.

The third disc to get the special treatment is the 1979 double album "The Wall," a semi-autobiographical concept work masterminded by former singer/bassist Roger Waters.

EMI previewed an early version of the hit single "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1)" featuring different lyrics. Waters' opening couplet goes "We don't need your adulation, we don't need your starry gaze," instead of "We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control" from the final version.

The band will issue seven- and three-disc versions of "The Wall" in February. Expanded versions of its other albums are in the works, as is a DVD documentary about the making of "Wish You Were Here."

While there are no plans for a tour -- singer/guitarist David Gilmour has firmly quashed any speculation of that over the years -- but Mason said he hoped the three surviving members might reunite for a charity performance, as they did in London in 2005.

That show marked Waters' first appearance with the band since he angrily left in 1985.

Tensions have eased somewhat between Waters and his former bandmates, and he was fully involved in the reissue program. Indeed, Mason said he planned to attend the London stop of Waters "The Wall" world tour on Thursday

ForeverAutumn
05-12-2011, 05:01 AM
Well that's gonna cost me some hard earned dollars. :thumbsup:

3LB
05-12-2011, 09:29 AM
I'm really gonna have to think about this, since I bought the first round of reissues back in the early '00s.

nobody
05-12-2011, 10:17 AM
I'm not anti-Pink Floyd. But, haven't they re-issued these enough? There's gotta be a dozen versions of Dark Side of the Moon alone floating around. And, I seriously doubt any album needs a 7CD reissue. There's just not that much quality stuff in the vault that didn't make the cut from any album as far as I am concerned.

MasterCylinder
05-12-2011, 10:52 AM
I'm not anti-Pink Floyd. But, haven't they re-issued these enough? There's gotta be a dozen versions of Dark Side of the Moon alone floating around. And, I seriously doubt any album needs a 7CD reissue. There's just not that much quality stuff in the vault that didn't make the cut from any album as far as I am concerned.

This seems to be for the collector that needs everything Pink Floyd...........that group does not include me, however, just in case we have any of those types around here, I posted the story.
I bought a "25-year anniversary" version of the DSOTM CD back in 1995 and it sounds great to me.
I also own a Japenese remastering of Wish You Were Here that is fantastic.

ForeverAutumn
05-12-2011, 11:13 AM
I still have my original PF CDs purchased 20 years ago. Haven't bought any remasters, so this might be a good time to upgrade. I'll wait for the reviews though to see if it's worth it. That's a lot of CDs to replace.

Funny enough, Great Gig in the Sky started playing on the radio as I'm typing this. Wacky!

Rae
05-12-2011, 11:59 AM
The Pink Floyd albums that I regularly reach for (Meddle and Obscured by Clouds) were thankfully just reissued by every record store, thrift store, and yard sale in my town for 99 in case my copies ever wear out.

~Rae

3LB
05-12-2011, 04:17 PM
I'm not anti-Pink Floyd. But, haven't they re-issued these enough? There's gotta be a dozen versions of Dark Side of the Moon alone floating around. And, I seriously doubt any album needs a 7CD reissue. There's just not that much quality stuff in the vault that didn't make the cut from any album as far as I am concerned.this^

to be honest, I am curious to hear rare tracks like a version of Wish You Were Here w/ Grappelli, but tracks like this might be more appropriately compiled on a single Rarities CD. No way am I going to buy and then plow through a 6-CD set of studio outtakes, rehearsals and random chatter, from one recording session.

Further more, why buy these albums in CD format - aren't there ever going to be hi-res releases? Now that would be a good reason to buy the same catalog for the third time.

thekid
05-14-2011, 03:15 AM
I am late to the table in becoming a fan of Pink Floyd so I will eagerly await what comes out. Recently got a SACD version of DSOM which sounds awesome on with my Fisher tube amp/Heresy combo.

dean_martin
05-14-2011, 01:29 PM
sounds awesome on with my Fisher tube amp/Heresy combo.

bet that's the type of system it was played on by many for years. yet the completist would've added a baggie and the gatefold cover for rollin'. what's that under your couch, kiddo?

Woochifer
05-16-2011, 03:48 PM
I'm not anti-Pink Floyd. But, haven't they re-issued these enough? There's gotta be a dozen versions of Dark Side of the Moon alone floating around. And, I seriously doubt any album needs a 7CD reissue. There's just not that much quality stuff in the vault that didn't make the cut from any album as far as I am concerned.

But, none of the versions of DSOTM, aside from the quad mixes and the 30th Anniversary hybrid disc with the 5.1 SACD mix, unveiled any previously unreleased material.

I'm totally down with this, if it's done right. For example, Columbia's boxed set issues for Miles Davis' In a Silent Way and B*tches Brew are very revealing because, aside from alternate takes and supplemental tracks, they piece together many of the long form source tracks that eventually got edited into the album cuts.

Multi-disc sets like this are not for the casual fans. These are for the hardcore completists who want everything to do with a particular artist or album.

Woochifer
05-16-2011, 03:57 PM
Well, good for them. Pink Floyd is one of the few artists that owns their master tracks, so they can undertake this kind of a project. I definitely agree with Mason that we're seeing the last hurrahs for these kinds of edge-to-edge reissues that cull together the original album content with remixes, supplementary tracks, and other vault material.

Universal and Columbia have both done a masterful job with the various projects they've undertaken. Columbia's work with their Miles Davis catalog has been great. They pulled together the various session recordings, alternate takes, and live tracks, and put everything in the proper context with voluminous session notes, essays, and photos.

And Universal has also done some very good things with their Deluxe Edition series. Some releases (like Rush and Nine Inch Nails) included new 5.1 mixes, others (like The Who and John Coltrane) included unreleased live recordings and alternate takes, and others (like Donna Summer) pull together the various remixes, B-sides, and single releases that weren't part of the original album.

While download sites like the iTunes Store have been great for locating hard-to-find tracks or out-of-print albums, they lack the kind of curation and presentation that a well-done reissue/boxed set provides. That seems to be what Pink Floyd is trying to bring to the table for one last go round.