on September 27, 2011
Pink Floyd has consistently been a band greatly concerned with preserving the integrity of its catalog. Although "The Dark Side of the Moon" has been subject to frequent remasters and reissues, the band has never before included outtakes, alternate takes, or demos.
So I was quite surprised by the announcement of these Immersion editions of three of the band's most cherished albums. On the set for "DSOTM", you get the (yet again) remastered album, a full live performance, DVD's and a Blu-Ray of surround and quad mixes, DVD's of the films that were shown as part of the original concerts and...here's the bit that still gets my pulse going a bit faster...a CD containing an early mix of the album, as well as demos and alternate takes, and the first release of material from the long-fabled "Household Objects" sessions (albeit, only one song from that aborted album).
Then I was a bit dismayed to learn about the other "value added" materials in the set. Alongside a booklet of related artwork, and another of photographs taken on tour, there is a set of nine coasters (heh?), a scarf (what?) and a pouch containing three marbles (WTF?). For a band whose legacy is carefully preserved to the point of solemnity (the only band I can think of whose catalog is treated with more museum--or mausoleum--type reverence is Joy Division), these trifles are trivial to the point of mockery. Perhaps they are trying to lighten the tone of their image with these artifacts, but these items are quite tacky and are, in the end, really "value minus" materials.
Even more unfortunately, this lack of focus, and attention to quality and detail, runs through the overall construction of the set. The aforementioned two booklets are quite large in page size (roughly 12" x 12"), but are both rather thin and, given they are not hardcovers, are a bit difficult to handle. And there is a green ribbon divider that implies you can simply lift the ribbon to access the four discs lodged in the back of the box; however, the flimsiness of the booklets (and the unwieldily stack of combined miscellany) makes it almost impossible to access those discs without emptying the box of its other content.
As for those four discs I mentioned, they are barely secured in shallow recesses within the back side of the box. I was stunned to open the box the first time and discover all four discs lying lose under the other materials after they had dislodged at some point in shipping. Disc 1 was scratched but playable, but it just as easily could have been scratched beyond repair. And, at this price, the discs should have been secured firmly enough to prevent this, regardless.
Also, this is six disc set, so why are the first four discs in these unreliable recesses within the cover, while the last two are in their own sleeves? Once again, there is considerable lack of thoughtfulness that went into this package--failures of both form and function from a band that used to have impeccable design standards.
So, while this set should have been something that one could proudly display on a coffee table, it is instead a largely useless ensemble with cheap trinkets that slightly damage the band's reputation for me. That said, there is no faulting the audio and video materials here--those alone completely justify the price. But those recordings deserve better than this box. I know I can simply ignore or discard the marbles, scarf and coasters, but I can't ignore the lack of consideration that went into the design and construction of this set.
And although I know the "Wish You Were Here" set will have similar accoutrements, I still want to ask the band to please not cheapen my deep and personal affection for that album with a set like this. Whoever designed these Immersion sets seems to have lost their marbles, so could they please keep them out of the next sets, as well?
on October 29, 2011
I purchased my set from Amazon since even with coupons I can't find a local retailer with a comparable price. I'd read the reviews here regarding the packaging but figured, 'how bad could some scratches be?"
Well, my set arrived with two discs dislodged and one of those with a 1 cm crack extending out from the hub. It's 2011, I just don't understand how packaging can be this much of a challenge. I've been buying CDs since the mid-1980's and know for a fact that there are several mechanisms for securing a disc that are secure and easy to operate. One of those couldn't be adapted for use in this set? How about placing them all in sleeves with different covers at the bottom of the box? What about a larger 6-disc folding sleeve that provides a way to store the discs outside of the box so I don't have to dig to the bottom of the box and deal with those frustrating hubs?
Anyhow, the artwork is excellent, as always. The books and art cards are a nice addition to the set. I don't get the scarf or marbles. Is it a play on Gerald Scarfe? No. Probably not. I've never thought of myself as a scarf-person. I've been to 4 Pink Floyd/Roger Waters concerts and not once did I think, "you know, this is a real scarf-crowd." Although, to be fair 3 of those shows were in the summer. A tie or T-shirt would have been more appropriate I think.
I just received this yesterday so obviously haven't had the time to listen to every version of the album included here, but I have to agree with the others here and say that the Quad mix is awesome.
on October 4, 2011
This is my fourth vinyl copy of this epic recording. Although the remastering is fine, though I'm not sure it's any better than the MFSl vinyl, the condition of the record is appalling. It is loaded with what look like paper scuffs, it has some shiny grit on it that look metallic, it looks like the release agent was roughly wiped from the surface. I was frankly afraid to play it with my favorite cartridge, Grado Red.
I gave it a light dusting with a carbon fiber brush and a good cleaning with my trusty DiscWasher pad and fluid, being careful to eliminatet the grit and grime from the mat on the turntable.
Then came time to listen. The dead groove at the beginning had a "swish swish swish" noise leading into the thumping of the first track. Clicks and pops occured at irregular intervals all through side 1. The first track on side 2, "Money", was awsome, then the quiet levels of "Us and Them" failed to cover up the background noise. The playing condition of this brand new Lp on 180 gram vinyl was at best a VG+. As I listened to the rest of the album I began typing up the RMA request from Amazon.
I only hope that the replacement LP is in better condition than this one that was obviously rushed to packaging.
Well, my second copy was just like the first. I returned it for a refund and also cancelled my pre-order for "Wish You Were Here" vinyl.
If I didn't know better I'd say it's a conspiracy to kill the booming vinyl trend.....
on October 8, 2011
Like so many others here, I anticipated the arrival of a set like this for a very long time. Once I had a chance to delve into its contents, I found myself delighted with some of its offerings, and dismayed with others. Fellow reviewers have already discussed some of the issues at hand here. Nonetheless, I hope the review I'm about to share will add to the conversation, and perhaps shed a little more light on them.
I love a wide variety of music, but DSOTM has always held a very special place in my heart. Ever since I first heard it when I was six years old. It floated into my brain. Permanently inscribing itself in my psyche. Up to the time this set arrived at my doorstep, I've owned two other copies of DSOTM. One of them being a cassette made from the vinyl copy of a relative, and the other, a gold disc from Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. Before the announcement of the immersion version, I passed on every remaster. Content with what I already had. This set seemed to offer so many options though, and I couldn't resist.
The blu ray in particular is a huge draw for me. So far, my favorite mix has been the uncompressed 1973 original. The sound fills the room with such detail and depth. It's the Dark Side I've always loved, but clearer, brighter, and more richly defined than ever before. The Alan Parsons quad version is also nothing short of spectacular. Unfortunately, my reciever has an issue with that track on the blu ray and wont play it properly, so I've had to hear the quad mix via Dolby on the DVD.
Another highlight of the blu ray, is a roughly 18 minute easter egg. It's hidden in the video sub menu. Highlight the option for the 2003 documentary. Then, press the right arrow on your blu ray remote. After the documentary option turns pink, press enter. You'll then be treated to the Q&A recording session between Roger Waters and roadie Roger The Hat. You know, the guy with the Maniacal laugh in On The Run. A shiny golden egg indeed!
For all that I love about this set though, I can't escape the feeling that the Floyd laid a few eggs here. The two concert cuts from 72' are cool, but they don't look or sound that great. A shabby sounding mix that's clear but dull. Black bars taking up the left and right majority of my high def screen. While the footage itself sits like a slightly oversized postage stamp. Square in the middle and listless. It's the same story with the concert screen films. It's nice to see them, but the experience is diminished because they don't fill the screen.
Also, why no BD Live capability on the blu ray? It would be great to have downloadable content from the Pink Floyd archives. Like a gift that would've kept on giving. In a medium that seems to have so much interactive potential, it's a shame that so many artists, and so many studios drop the ball in that respect. Probably out of ecconomic concern on their part. Since the downloadable content is essentially given away.
It's also a shame to see that the set has been packaged so poorly. Before I recieved mine, I watched a few unboxing videos on Youtube, so I knew what I was in store for. Most of the discs were secure, but my concert CD was loose and scratched. Ugh! Thankfully, it plays fine. I took all the discs straight out of the box and put them in jewel cases. Where they should've been to begin with!The picture books are alright, but with an album as important and meaningful as DSOTM, why not a book full of recollections from other artists about the album? It had enough impact on The Flaming Lips that they released their own version! It would've been great to read stories of how the Floyd's masterpiece has touched so many lives.
The trinkets are quaint, but as other reviewers have also noted, it's totally moronic to have the majority of the discs buried in the bottom of the box. After all, the music and footage on them are my chief reason for buying sets like this. Despite the fact that DSOTM is timeless, and there is a lot to love in this set. It's difficult at times to escape the feeling that it was (almost literally) thrown together, and could've offered us so much more.
on October 2, 2011
The pressing quality is not quite up to par. There was quite a bit of surface noise in the lead-in and the trail-out deadwax. Many annoying pops and ticks while playing on various different tracks. Multiple cleanings helped, but only cut surface noise a bit. The record labels are bubbled around the outer edge. One side of the record has a streak across it from the outer edge to the deadwax. The sound quality is OK but not really impressive compared to the 2003 30th Anniversary edition. The original 1973 U.S. version of the LP actually sounds better than the 2011 version. The U.K. and German SQ quadraphonic versions are superior to all. The gatefold album cover and the extras inside, like the posters and stickers, are the best of the best.
on July 20, 2006
As I'm writing I'm listening to the original CD edition, mastered shortly thereafter the debut of Compact Disc format, 20+ years ago. Moments before, I was listening to the 30th anniversary edition on my discman, to confirm what I've felt while I've listened yesterday in loudspeakers.
I'm not an audiophile, but I do own a reasonable stereo system and I'm a musician and so I have some good ears. And alas, "Dark Side of the Moon" in its 30th anniversary edition does not deliver. It sounds more like the "Tamed Side of the Moon".
Take for instance the guitars and sax on "Money". On the 30th anniversary edition, their sound has been so softened that it sounds like Huey Lewis and the News, like almost any 1980's song of the genere. Or Clare Torry's vocals in "The Great Gig in the Sky", where he seems to sing backstage with the group ahead him. Or even the drums on the intro of "Time", where Nick Mason seems to suffer from arthritis if we take the sound for granted.
There are some improvements, sure - there's no distortion in some moments here and there, and sometimes the drums (but not the cymbals - excessive noise redution?) sound clearer than the 1983 remaster. But the emotional feeling and the fury have been lost, in some way. Perhaps it's the aging of the tapes, but I don't particularly believe this - listen for the DVD-Audio/CD edition of "Elis & Tom", recorded in 1974 and you'll notice the difference - there's a big, big improvement relative to original CD edition.
In short, a lackluster. It's my first SACD, and I must say that I'm not impressed - actually, it's quite the contrary.
INCOMPLETE BOXSET OF DARKSIDE OF THE MOON. IT SHOULD INCLUDE ECLIPSED.
Back in the day whan it was a vibrant, innovative band, a Pink Floyd concert would consist of a first set of all new material that had not been recorded yet and a second set of older material. In the first set of Pink Floyd concert, the band would play and experiment with new material before committing it to vinyl in the studio.
During the 1971-2 concert tours, the first set of a Pink Floyd concert consisted of a suite of music called Eclipsed. It was mostly what would become Dark Side of the Moon. At that time, it wasn't complete and did not include some compositions, such as Great Gig in the Sky. But, it had other, different musical interludes. They do include some of the interludes from the live recordings in 1972, but I think they should have included the complete suite.
Anyway, to make this a complete boxset, a CD of Eclipse should have been included. If they didn't have a recording of one those concerts, then they should have done what Frank Zappa has done. There are many bootlegs out there that contain Eclipsed and some with very good sound (better than many legimate live albums that released today, like the recent Black Crowes Warpaint Live). Frank Zappa went out and got bootleg recordings of his old concerts and released them on CD, thus collecting the money he deserved in the first place.
What is included is a fantastic live version from the 1974-5 tour of Dark Side of the Moon which is nearly an hour long. It is soooo much better than the live version that the band did on the 1994-5 tour and is included in the album Pulse.
Note that during this 1974-5 tour, the first set of the concert included "Ravin' and Droolin'" which would become Sheep and "You've Got to Be Crazy" which would become Dogs, plus Shine on You Crazy Diamond, and added later in the tour Have a Cigar, all before either Wish You Were Here or Animals were released. The encore was Echoes played in a "snow storm".
on October 6, 2011
I love Pink Floyd and love this Album, but I feel like I got gamed on this one. The thing that really rubs me the wrong way is the audio visual content. I mistakenly thought there would be live video of their 1974 concert tour, not just the films shown on the screen. "Screen Films", now I get it. Just watch the very short 2003 documentary they include in this and it's obvious they have concert footage from this era. I suppose they will release another box set of the concert footage. Oh, no, my check book can't handle any more of this. For over $100 dollars, they should have included at least a live video of each song on the album. Nothing against "Careful with That Axe" or "Heart of the Sun" those were fun, but this so called immersion box set is screaming out for more live concert footage. Screen films, seriously. I'm the chump, I guess. If you really want a good video on Dark Side of the Moon, I'd suggest the Classic Albums DVD for $9.73 at Amazon.
The other thing I was really hoping would be here are more of the studio recording out-takes. Remember in "Live at Pompeii", when Rick Wright was banging out the chorus for "Us and Them" on the Piano or when David Gilmour was playing that Kick A** guitar solo in "Brain Damage". I was hoping that would at least be in the Parson's Mix, but low and behold, no such luck.
Overall, here's what I thought
The new 2011 mix, haven't listened to it and don't care.
The 5.1 version - Epic, changed my life, worth at least the price of the 2003 SACD version. Quad Mix was great also.
1974 Live Recording- Fun but quickly forgettable. Wanted to see the live show not just hear it.
Previously un-released. Will listen to the Alan Parson's mix at least a few more times. Liked that. The other stuff was interesting but not really that good. See above. Wanted alternate recordings and out-takes.
Audio Visual Content - Very Disappointing. EMI should be ashamed about how sparse this was. For the money there should have been two disks of live versions of these songs from 1972, 1973 and 1974. We all know you have it.
But hay, at least I have the marbles.
on October 13, 2015
Received this set today but it seems kind of sketchy. Everything, including the box it came in, is labled as the property of a library.
on December 16, 2013
This is a good album. It is also the album which made Pink Floyd a mainstream band. Prior to this album most people reacted to the words Pink Floyd with a reaction of "who?". The song Money is prob one of their more popular songs and is also one of their worst. It is not the Pink Floyd of earlier days. Unlike their earlier albums like Meddle their is no challenge to this album, it is in fact borderline AM material and as a result is the album which most people discovered the band with. To each his own but this listener prefers their earlier material 'weird' as it may be. The masses obviously prefer this settled down version of the band as reflected by album sales etc. To each his own.