- Audio CD (February 28, 2012)
- Number of Discs: 7
- Format: Box set
- Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
- Label: Capitol Records
- ASIN: B004ZNAXX2
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,931 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,926 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
The Wall - Immersion Box set
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Immersion Editions present the complete artistic experience. Lavishly packaged in a sturdy 29cm square box, the sets contain remastered, previously unreleased and audio-visual material, plus much additional content – reproduced memorabilia, brand new graphics, art prints, collectors’ items, lavish booklets and more.
One of the most acclaimed concept albums of all time, The Wall from 1979 is renowned as Roger Waters’ Rock Opera dealing with abandonment and personal isolation. Adapted for cinema by Alan Parker featuring Bob Geldof in the lead role, and featuring the unique artwork of Gerald Scarfe the album also yielded the hit single Another Brick In The Wall Pt2. The Immersion version features
the classic Studio album digitally remastered and presented as a limited edition high quality boxset featuring rare and unreleased audio and video material, plus a new 44 oversized perfect-bound booklet, a book of original photographs, exclusive merchandise and facsimile collectables.
DISCS 1&2 – CDs 1&2
The Wall digitally remastered by James Guthrie, 2011
DISCS 3&4 - CDs 3&4
The Wall album demos (previously unreleased)
DISCS 5&6 - CDs 5&6
Is There Anybody Out There: The Wall Live (digitally remastered in 2011 by James Guthrie)
DISC 7 - DVD, AUDIO VISUAL
Another Brick In The Wall pt2 promotional video – restored in 2011
Behind The Wall documentary
Gerald Scarfe Interview
Short filmed extract of Earls Court concert featuring animation
44 page 27cm x 27cm booklet designed by Storm Thorgerson
Exclusive photo book
27cm x 27cm Exclusive Storm Thorgerson Art Print
5 x Collectors’ Cards featuring art and comments by Storm Thorgerson
Replica of The Wall Tour Ticket
Replica of The Wall Backstage Pass
Prints/Cards of Mark Fisher’s stage drawings
3 x white marbles with design of bricks
9 x Coasters (unique to this box) featuring early Storm Thorgerson design sketches4-8 page credits booklet
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Top Customer Reviews
Discs 1 and 2 are the 2011 James Guthrie remasters of the album. Disc 3 contains 27 demos, all of which are "band" demos rather than Roger or David's "home demos." Since the demos were my main interest and reason for buying this, I will address that topic first. The Immersion version does contain two CDs worth of demos, containing a total of 64. Since I do not have that version, I will not address whether I am lacking anything essential by not having the 37 additional demos that appear on that version. Based on my research I am not. At least 22 of the 37 demos on Immersion are excerpts of Roger's home recordings totaling about 15 minutes. Two others are David's demos of "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell." Other than that, the remainder appear to be additional band demos at various stages of development, all of which appear in at least one form or another on Experience. The actual demos themselves are titled "Work in Progress" and are aimed at giving a glimpse into how the project came to its final form. My interest was more in hearing alternate versions of songs and the two songs that did not make the album. In my opinion, except for completists, the Experience version does a good job at this. The two titles that did not make the album are "Teacher Teacher (later appearing as "The Hero's Return" a B side from the "Final Cut.") and "Sexual Revolution," (later re-worked as "4:41 a.m.") from Roger's "Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking." The remaining 25 demos range from interesting to "I only need to hear this once." Probably the most interesting item here is "The Doctor" which is an early version of "Comfortably Numb." The sound quality of the demos varies from mediocre to passable. In my estimation, there are probably no more than ten that are substantial and that I will listen to again. After listening to all 27 (totaling 75:04) minutes, I cannot imagine listening to another disc of demos. Therefore, for my purpose, I think the Experience Edition was the appropriate choice. Please note, I am merely comparing the Immersion and Experience versions for demos. There are numerous other reasons one might wish to purchase the 7 disc Immersion set.
As far as the Discs 1 and 2, I will not comment on the music because it has all been said before. The album is a classic. The main issue here is the quality of the remastering. I compared my copy from the "Shine On" box to this on high end equipment and honestly could not hear any dramatic difference between the two. The 2011 remaster sounded slightly less bass heavy, slightly louder, and the vocals and drums appeared to be more upfront in the mix. However, I had to strain to hear this and the difference was very slight.
Like the other "Experience Editions" ("Dark Side" and "Wish You Were Here"), "The Wall" is packaged in a cardboard case. The booklet is similar to the LP in attempting to recreate the artwork and handwritten lyrics. However, no information is provided regarding history, guest musicians, etc.
So how do I rate this? I give it four stars. Five stars for Discs 1 and 2 and three stars for Disc 3. I think it is the weakest of the three expanded albums from the series because it has the least essential bonus material. There is also less of difference in sound quality, which is excellent, over the earlier remasters. This is likely due to the fact it is a newer release and always had excellent fidelity.
If you are interested in getting a new copy of "The Wall" with an extra disc of material you probably won't listen to more than a few times, this is a great purchase. If you have either of the previous two "Wall" remasters, there is no substantial difference in sound here. If you merely want a new copy without the extra disc, the standard 2011 remaster is the best option. If you have the money and can spring for the Immersion Version, I would say go for it. It is the most complete version of this classic album available at this time. However, I do want to stress again that the Experience Version contains 3 CDs with 27 demos on Disc 3. Anyone interested in more than this must purchase the Immersion Version.
This double album ranks up there with other noted classic rock double studio albums like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Tommy, Exile on Main Street, Quadrophenia, Blonde on Blonde, London Calling, The White Album, Physical Graffiti, Electric Ladyland and many others.
The concept for The Wall still holds up over 30 years after its initial release.
The idea came to bass player/singer Roger Waters whom was upset with himself after spitting on a fan on the last gig of the Animals tour at Montreal's Olympic Stadium.
In 1978, Roger was writing and recording demos that would become The Wall (many to appear on the Immersion Version in 2012). Meanwhile, drummer Nick Mason was off producing other acts (ranging from punk rockers The Damned to prog rocker Steve Hillage) whilst the other two principle Pink Floyd songwriters whom were guitarist/singer David Gilmour and keyboard player Rick Wright were recording their first solo albums in France which both came out in 1978.
In late 1978 the band, along with KISS/Alice Cooper/Peter Gabriel/Lou Reed producer Bob Ezrin, began demoing the songs for The Wall at Britannia Row Studios in London (these too are to appear on the Immersion Version in 2012).
The band properly began recording The Wall in April of 1979 in two studios in France (and later at studios in Los Angeles and New York) with Waters, Gilmour, Ezrin and engineer James Guthrie producing to avoid the crazy English tax laws as the band was almost bankrupt due to their agents stealing the money in a way that they still owed the British tax companies taxes.
All of the songs, save four, were written by Roger. The album's three best tracks "Young Lust", "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell" were co-written by Gilmour. Then, "The Trial" was co-written by Ezrin.
The Wall was a concept album which told the story of a character named Pink (a composite of Roger Waters and Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett).
After we begin with the bombast rock of "In the Flesh?", The Wall story begins when Pink goes through a traumatic childhood of losing his father in war ("The Thin Ice" and "Another Brick in the Wall (pt.1)"), cruel sarcastic teachers ("The Happiest Days of Our Lives", the chart-topping single "Another Brick in the Wall (pt.2)"), an overbearing mother ("Mother"), problems with adolescence ("Goodbye Blue Sky") problems with success ("Empty Spaces"), relationship troubles ("Young Lust" (wife leaves him), "One of My Turns" (snapping when the groupie comes in room and many other problems (like the wife beating in "Don't Leave Me Now") one goes through before walling himself off from the rest of the world ("Another Brick in the Wall (pt. 3)" and "Goodbye Cruel World").
The second disc starts with Pink walled off from society (starting with the classic "Hey You" and "Is There Anybody Out There?") then ponders his life in a hotel room ("Nobody Home") and thinks back to his father's death ("Vera" and "Bring the Boys Back Home"). The highlight of the album is "Comfortably Numb" which tells the tale of Pink being confronted by a doctor to take something before he could go on with the show. The song was first intended for David Gilmour's 1978 solo debut but was thankfully left off and saved for The Wall. The track is a classic and is always in the Top 10 greatest rock song/guitar solo polls! The track "The Show Must Go On" is Pink being led to the show and then as a fascist dictator Pink is performing like a madman as depicted in "In the Flesh", "Run Like Hell" and "Waiting For the Worms" before having his own trial ("Stop" and "The Trial") and is ordered to knock down his wall to start life fresh ("Outside the Wall").
Band turmoil during 1979 reached an all-time high and Roger eventually kicked Rick Wright out of the band citing Rick wasn't doing squat when in fact Roger was setting Rick up to fail from the word go. Rick was let go but stayed to finish the album and did The Wall shows in 1980/81 as a paid musician (the other three members lost money from staging the shows). Rick played on most of the album (even co-producer James Guthrie stated Rick played on more of The Wall than given credit) as does Nick whom is not on drums for half the record (Jeff Porcaro played drums on Mother, Jeff's father Joe played snare drum on Bring the Boys Back Home and there's no drums on some of the tracks).
Despite the band turmoil, The Wall became Pink Floyd's third US chart-topping album (stayed at #1 for 15 weeks), sold over 25 million in the US alone (second highest selling album of original material of all time here in the US and best selling double album ever though some configurations were on one cassette and one heavily edited 8-track cartridge), spawned the greatest rock concerts ever produced (documented on Is There Anybody Out There and many boots available) and a classic film.
As part of the 2011 Why Pink Floyd? campaign, the band re-release this masterwork with a remastered CD painstakingly done by James Guthrie (one of the original co-producers of the album and the engineer of the album) and Joel Plante. Out of the CD issues I have owned of this album, this is probably my favorite version (sure beats the lifeless EMI Europe remasters from 1994) apart from the original vinyl record. Also the booklet is excellent and does a great job replicating the original vinyl LP art apart from the change in color text of front cover writing.
As of 2016, the album has been re-released on Pink Floyd Records (distributed by Sony Music) with different artwork on the CD compared to the Discovery edition from 2011 and 36 plus years on is still the best album of the 1976-83 phase of Pink Floyd (the Roger Waters power trip).
The Wall is still a classic today and is highly recommended!