Archive for November 2011

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here [Hybrid SACD]   Leave a comment

An endless stream of Dark Side Of The Moon reissues punctuated with not one, but two Hi-Rez reissues of Wish You Were Here is refreshing. I decided to take the comparison thing in a couple of different directions.

First, I ran the Red Book (RB) layer of the SACD against the 2011 catalog CD remaster, as included in the Immersion Edition. While the catalog remaster sounds better than any previous issue, it suffers by comparison to the RB layer on the SACD. The RB layer has less compression, and more detail than the catalog reissue. The sound is more dry than I am used to, but not unpleasantly so.

Second, I ran the stereo SACD track against the stereo track from the Immersion Edition Blu-ray. The SACD has tighter bass response, and better definition overall. Not surprising, since the Blu-ray track is only at 24-bit / 96 kHz.

One example is Nick’s cymbal work during “Have A Cigar.” On the Blu-ray, you can tell what kind of cymbals are being played. On the SACD, the cymbals actually sound like they are supposed to (for example, the decay on the ride cymbal). Nick’s drum work is typically on the soft side. For the first time, I’m hearing everything that comes with it. Wonderful stuff.

Overall, the SACD track had the same kind of dryness to it I found with the RB track, and again, it’s not a problem. In a lot of ways, the SACD feels like a Steve Hoffman job.

A final bit about the packaging and extras. While I find the small, hardcover book-like packaging a little annoying, and the eight-page booklet quite light, they at least got the non-A/V extras right: They included a copy of the original postcard (the text on the back differs from the original), along with four other cards that include the most associated images: The mechanical handshake graphic for the sticker on the original album cover; The Burning Handshake; The Floyd Salesman; and the Sand Swimmer.

This release is a must have.

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Posted 2011/11/30 by MG Nagy in Uncategorized

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Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (Immersion Edition)   Leave a comment

This set has almost all the same strengths and weaknesses of the DSOTM Immersion Edition. I guess they should get points for being consistent. The same use of 24/96 on the Blu-ray (When my SACD for WYWH arrives, I’ll get to do the Blu-ray vs. SACD thing.), and another outstanding quality extra tracks disc. This one includes early versions of songs that wind up on Animals. This extras disc has become one of my favorite discs from The Floyd, period.

The extra visual material is lacking. The 20 or so minutes of projection footage (you get to see where some of the animation used in The Wall movie came from) keeps company with a rather poor short film by Storm Thurgerson.

We get two more nice books that could have been one, another nice print, and another load of non-A/V nonsense. At least they addressed some of the packaging shortcomings by putting all five discs in cardboard sleeves, with the option of tacking four of them into tray attached to the inside of the box.

And, of course, the glaring omission: They left out the postcard included with the original release (And again, an item that was included for years).

Proper treatment of Animals & Meddle, please.

Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon (Immersion Edition)   Leave a comment

While I am a bigger-than-most fan of Pink Floyd, decades of critical listening has made me… critical. With that in mind, on with some jabber about this re-release of DSOTM:

I am not a big fan of the record (I rank it somewhere in the middle of the catalog), so I don’t own the SACD for comparison. However, of the dozen or so different releases of DSOTM I have heard, this latest remaster is easily the best I’ve heard.

The compelling bits that had me make the buy were an early mix of the album and other extra tracks, visual content, and the fact that a lot of it was going to be included on Blu-ray. To qualify this a bit more, I am a two-channel kind of guy, exclusively. So, my comments are only about the 2-channel LPCM tracks. The Blue-ray tracks are only 24/96. Hell, they could have done that on a DAD or DVD-A. Quite the waste of media format.

Highlights of the extra tracks include Richard Wright’s solo-piano demo of Us and Them, and sequences that later become finished tracks on DSOTM (sourced from a previously unreleased show at Brighton in 1972). The sound quality of the Brighton excerpts is fantastic.

The extra visual content includes the DSOTM related backing films from three different tours. As the tours are over the course of only a couple of years, the evolution makes for very interesting viewing.

And now for good news / bad news rap. The good news is the extra visual material includes two more tracks from the Brighton gig, apparently filmed for some sort of promotional. The bad news is, they did a straight transfer. While the poor film quality can be excused (probably shot on 16mm, at a live rock gig in the early ’70s), there is no excuse for the crappy audio. They used the audio track from the film, rather than the source used for the other Brighton tracks included. From there, they could have cleaned things up as needed, and re-synced.

As for the non-A/V things included, it is a mixed bag. The two books are great (and could have been made into a single volume), as is the inclusion of the art print. I could have done without the marbles (each is single color glass with an applique), drink mats, trading cards, replica backstage pass, ticket stub and what-not, and most certainly, the scarf. To keep the rant short, I’ll leave it at What. The. Fuck.

Then there is the bad packaging. Four of the six discs snap into trays attached to the bottom of the box, while the other two are individually sleeved. All the discs should have been sleeved (or put in a six-disc CD jewel box. Yes, they exist. I have several in use.).

The Close: I am glad I got the set, because I really like some of the extras, and having some of them on Blu-ray. The things that piss me off the most are the stupid do-dads that push the price up, and a major omission: How could anyone releasing a box set of DSOTM expect to be taken seriously when it DOES NOT INCLUDE the two posters and two stickers that originally came with the album (and were included for over a decade)?

I won’t hold my breath waiting for an invite from the marketing/production dept.