Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here Immersion Set Review

DualDisc Reviews

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975) – Immersion Box Set – EMI (5 discs + stuff)

Yes, it's not a box but it IS a box—filled with loads of Pink Floyd material of various sorts.

Published on November 19, 2011

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975) – Immersion Box Set (5 discs) – (Ceci n’est pas une boîte) – 2 CDs, 2 DVDs (one audio-only) + 1 Blu-ray; 36p. printed booklet, 20p. photo book, 12p. credit booklet, Storm Thorgerson art print, collectors’ cards, facsimiles of tickets and other memorabilia in two envelopes, an art scarf, three large clear marbles in small black sack, 9 coasters with Storm Thorgerson sketches, poster – EMI Blu-ray/ Dolby Surround ($120 on Amazon) *****:

(David Gilmour, vocals & guitars; Nick Mason, drums; Richard Wright, keyboards/piano/vocals; Roger Waters, bass guitar & vocals & all lyrics)

Another lavish pop artistic experience, all in a big strong and square box, adorned with a cover illustration obviously an homage to surrealist Rene Magritte. The subtitle of “Ceci n’est pas une boîte” (It’s not a box) is a takeoff on Magritte’s famous painting This is not a pipe, in which he emphasized that it was an image of a pipe — not a pipe for smoking. Pink Floyd’s artwork by Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis was frequently influenced by Magritte—along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Jeff Beck, Oregon, The Firesign Theatre, Paul Simon, Jean-Luc Godard, Terry Gilliam and many others.

Most of the music materials have not been previously released, except for the first CD, which is a newly remastered version of their original 1975 album with its five tracks: “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 1, Welcome to the Machine, Have a Cigar, Wish You Were Here,” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Part 2.” CD No. 2 has six previously-unreleased audio tracks, including three from the 1974 live concert at Wembley, a tune from a never-released project, “Household Objects,” an alternative version of “Have a Cigar,” and a special version of “Wish You Were Here” featuring Stephane Grappelli on violin.

The first of the two DVD discs has five tracks in Dolby Surround audio only, at various sampling rates ranging from 448 kbps to 640 kbps. There are mixes for stereo, 4.0-channel quad and 5.1 surround. I tried the 640 kbps versions, but both they and the 448 versions are filtered thru Dolby Digital’s 48K codec, so I couldn’t tell a great deal of difference. Three of these are repeated on the Blu-ray disc (No. 5) in much better uncompressed resolution (96K/24-bit). The second DVD disc has five short videos and is basically duplicated in higher resolution on Disc No. 5, the one Blu-ray disc. I guess it’s for those lacking an SACD player. The audio for the film portions on Disc 5 are either 48K/24-bit or PCM stereo.

The Blu-ray disc is extremely confusing since it has absolutely no on-screen display for the first three audio-only tracks. A screen allowing selection between the audio and video portions appears only when you get to the fourth track. I had thought my Blu-ray player had died on me. Also, the producers evidently didn’t pay for the special license to make the Blu-ray navigable without requiring a video display (as Naxos does with their audio-only Blu-rays). The disc contents are: “Wish You Were Here” in three different formats — 5.1 surround, the original stereo mix of 1975, and a quad mix of 1975. Tracks Nos. 4 & 6 are some concert screen films from 1975, the first with one of the Floyds running across some sand dunes, and second with animation of a rotating floating body in space. The fifth track is a short very surrealistic but well-done six-minute film by artist Storm Thorgerson—the best of the bunch visually. The concert films repeat some of the same Pink Floyd images—both live action, color slides, and animation—and the first two are different visual versions of the beginning only of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” with the same music track. They were often projected on screens behind the band as they performed onstage.

Since there are no SACDs, if you have a Blu-ray deck, the set gives you a chance to enjoy the creative use of surround for which Roger Waters and Pink Floyd have long been known. (He even offered compatible surround sound on one of his LPs. I recall one involved a dog barking behind you, even with two speakers.) While we have found the SACD version of the same surround material usually sounds slightly superior or at least identical to the lossless Blu-ray version, Disc 5 gives those without multichannel SACD a fine opportunity. Some users have even said they actually prefer the 1975 quadraphonic mixes to the new 5.1 surround mixes. There are no credits for DTS-HD Master Audio processing–just for Dolby Surround for the two DVDs, so it appears the first three tracks of the Blu-ray disc are uncompressed 96K/24-bit 5.1 surround—providing the very highest sonic quality (unless you’re youthful enough—and your hearing is totally undiminished by loud rock concerts and poor earbuds—to appreciate 192K sampling…Ed.).

Pink Floyd is one of the most influential rock groups of all time, and one of the most commercial successful. Their progressive and psychedelic music is marked by philosophical—though often rather cynical—lyrics (all printed in one of the included booklets), striking album art, spectacular live shows crowded with electronic gear, and sonic experimentation—especially with surround sound. Rogers and Mason met while studying architecture; Wright died in 2008.

The physical extras/trinkets in the big box are rated by Floyd fanatics as either terrific or worthless. The various booklets and memorabilia could have been all included in a single large booklet, the scarf is artistic but won’t keep you warm, and one reviewer observes “anyone who pays $120 for this set and uses the coasters must have lost their marbles—and not the ones in the box, if you know what I mean.” (Anyway, one of the Thorgerson coasters has a rather disturbing image you probably wouldn’t want to pass out to your party guests. And I understand they were already offered as part of a previous Pink Floyd album.) I’m afraid I’m not enough of a Floyd fan to know the reason for including the little black bag of three marbles. One interesting physical fact about the box are the four raised spider-center holders in its bottom, designed to hold the first four discs. But the discs come in little plain white cardboard sleeves instead of stuck to the box—which is probably more protective from scratches to the discs. Also, there’s no place to stick the Blu-ray disc.

The superb hi-res surround in this set enables both avid fans and those just interested to fully appreciate a complete immersion in Pink Floyd. I understand the next Immersion box set will be devoted to their The Wall album.

—John Henry

Buy From Amazon

Special thanks to John at  for the exclusive rights to reprint this material.

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats. Over 100 SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes

Will Oldham Vinyl Reissues

Folkster Will Oldham and Domino Records explained in a press releases that they will be re-releasing five Palace records: 1993's 'There Is No One What Will Take Care of You,' 1994's 'Days in the Wake and Hope,' 1995's 'Viva Last Blues,' and the 1997' 'Lost Blues and Other Songs' on February 27 in the UK. A US release date has not been set.

Each of the albums will be repressed on vinyl and presented on CD in a "mini LP style pack," save for 'Lost Blues and Other Songs,' which comes as a mini-gatefold card CD pack and on double-gatefold vinyl. The reissues will also feature new artwork and liner notes written by Oldham.


very interesting read, I know for a fact that there is more unreleased music from Hendrix, that sadly, we may never get to hear:

More previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix coming, Billy Cox releases new album

Phyllis Pollack, Rock Music Examiner

On the heels of the release of his new solo album, Old School Blues, Jimi Hendrix bassist Billy Cox made an appearance at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles last night. Paying tribute to the film Blue Wild Angel, Jimi Hendrix at the Isle of Wight, which was shown at the Museum's intimate Clive Davis Theater, Cox was joined by its Academy Award winning filmmaker Murray Lerner and Hendrix historian John McDermott. The late guitarist's sister Janie was aslo in attendance. During the evening, it was announced that Hendrix' legacy would expand to include more previously unreleased material in the future.

later in the article:

A February 24, 1969 Hendrix performance at the Royal Albert Hall, recorded on 16 mm fillm, has never been officially released, although at least four different versions have surfaced in varying quality, none up to today's audiovisual standards. For years, Hendrix fans have hoped that the footage would be technically upgraded and sonically enhanced. Its long-awaited official release has been stalled for years, due to a series of pending legal issues.

Read the rest at


lovely cover art:

Ministry New Album Due In March

Ministry will return with a new album 'Relapse' on March 3, 2012 on 13th Planet Records and fans can follow the sessions via a series of candid behind-the-scenes videos. The videos, viewable at the 13th Planet Records YouTube channel, give fans a sneak peek into everything from band meetings to recording sessions, where very important matters are discussed such as the right way to play a fast riff and how much Ministry founder Al Jourgensen likes cargo pants.

Ministry's current live line-up includes longtime Ministry guitarist and Rigor Mortis alumni Mike Scaccia, Prong's Tommy Victor and Aaron Rossi, Soulfly bassist Tony Campos and Fear Factory keyboardist John Bechdel, in addition to Jourgensen.


album cover art for the day:

Pre-Order Christian Mistress' 'Possession'

Olympia, Washington’s heavy metal voyagers CHRISTIAN MISTRESS delivers unto us their long-awaited Relapse debut Possession. The follow-up to 2010’s critically-acclaimed Agony & Opium, Possession mines deep from the same vein and sees the band standing on the shoulders of metal luminaries of the past. The quintet, lead by powerhouse vocalist Christine Davis and the twin-axe attack of Ryan McClain and Oscar Sparbel, distill traditional heavy metal into the sound of now.

The release is on green marble colored vinyl.

Pre Order your copy today!


in music history for december 10th:

In 1927, the Grand Old Opry made its first radio broadcast from Nashville, TN.

In 1949, Fats Domino recorded "The Fat Man," considered to be one of the first rock 'n' roll records, and seven other tracks during his first session at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Studios in New Orleans.

In 1953, after raising $8,800 for the project, Hugh Hefner published the first Playboy magazine, featuring a photo of Marilyn Monroe from her 1949 nude calendar shoot.

In 1959, the four male members of the Platters were acquitted on charges of aiding and abetting prostitution, lewdness and assignation. The charges stemmed from their August 10, 1959 arrest in Cincinnati, OH.

In 1961, one week after first meeting with Brian Epstein to discuss his taking over as the Beatles' manager, John, Paul, George and Pete Best were back in Epstein's office for a second interview. The band was now eager to listen to Epstein's proposal following a booking the night before where they played to only 18 people. After being assured that they were not expected to change their musical style, John spoke for the others, saying, "Right then, Brian, manage us!"

In 1963, "The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" featured a story about the new British pop music sensations, the Beatles. The report originally had been scheduled to air November 22 but was delayed because of the presidential assassination.

Also in 1963, Donny Osmond made his debut with the Osmonds on NBC's "Andy Williams Show."

In 1965, in San Francisco, the Grateful Dead played their second concert ever, their first at the Fillmore Auditorium.

In 1966, Brian Wilson's masterpiece, "Good Vibrations" becomes The Beach Boys' third Billboard number one hit. At a cost of $16,000, it was the most expensive single ever produced in music history up to that time.

In 1966, new music reaching the US record charts this week included The Electric Prunes "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night", The Monkees' "I'm A Believer", The Blues Magoos' "We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet" and Keith's "98.6".

The Electric Prunes originally formed as The Sanctions at Taft High School in Los Angeles, renaming themselves in 1966. They were introduced to record producer Dave Hassinger, and after a series of rehearsals at Leon Russell's house released a debut single, "Ain't It Hard". Despite its commercial failure, Reprise Records agreed that the band could record a second single.

Convinced that the band could not write their own songs, Hassinger sought material from the professional songwriting team of Annette Tucker and lyricist Nancie Mantz. One of the tunes was "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)", a song that, according to some sources, was originally conceived as an orchestral piano ballad. However, according to Tucker, "I came up with the title one day and called Nancie. She loved it and we wrote it the next day in one half hour....The words were there and my melody came easily. I was influenced by the Rolling Stones at the time and that is how I heard that song being recorded....Nancie and I envisioned this as a rock song." A demo version recorded for Hassinger by singer-songwriter Jerry Fuller (in some sources wrongly identified as Jerry Vale), may have been the source of the story of the song's origin as a ballad.

At the time, the Electric Prunes comprised singer James Lowe, lead guitarist Ken Williams, rhythm guitarist James "Weasel" Spagnola, bassist Mark Tulin, and drummer Preston Ritter. The oscillating, reversed guitar which opens the song originated from the rehearsals at Russell's house, where Williams recorded with a 1958 Gibson Les Paul guitar with a Bigsby vibrato unit. According to Lowe, "We were recording on a four-track, and just flipping the tape over and re-recording when we got to the end. Dave cued up a tape and didn't hit 'record,' and the playback in the studio was way up: ear-shattering vibrating jet guitar. Ken had been shaking his Bigsby wiggle stick with some fuzztone and tremolo at the end of the tape. Forward it was cool. Backward it was amazing. I ran into the control room and said, 'What was that?' They didn't have the monitors on so they hadn't heard it. I made Dave cut it off and save it for later."

The single was released in November 1966. At first it was caught up in the Christmas rush, but in early 1967 it made steady progress up the US chart and finally peaked at #11. It also reached # 49 in the UK chart. Its success enabled the band to tour, and to release an album of the same name and a successful follow-up single "Get Me To The World On Time".

Electric Prunes - (Live/French TV, 1967)

In 1967, the Steve Miller Blues Band signed with Capitol Records for an unheard of $750,000. The group drops the "Blues" from its name.

In 1967, 26 year-old Otis Redding was killed when the twin engine Beechcraft he was flying in crashed into the icy waters of the Squaw Bay area of Lake Monona, just outside of Madison, Wisconsin. His death came just three days after he recorded his only number one hit, "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay". Four teen-aged members of his back-up group, The Bar-Kays also perished. Only 20 year old trumpeter Ben Cauley, who was sitting directly behind Redding on the plane, survived. He and James Alexander would reform The Bar-Kays and went on to record with Stax artists such as Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, and The Staple Singers.

In 1969, after songwriter Mark James had released his own unsuccessful version of "Suspicious Minds" Elvis Presley collected his 48th Gold Record for his rendition. It was The King's seventeenth and final number-one single in the United States. Rolling Stone later ranked it #91 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

In 1969, testifying at his trial for possession of hashish and heroin in the Toronto Supreme Court, Jimi Hendrix claims that he had experimented with them, but has now outgrown drugs. After eight hours of deliberations, the jury finds him not guilty.

In 1971, Frank Zappa was pushed from a London stage by the jealous boyfriend of a Zappa fan. Zappa spent months in a wheelchair recovering from a broken leg and ankle and fractured skull.

In 1973, the CBGB club opened in the lower east side of New York City; it became the home of new bands such as Blondie, Television, Patti Smith and The Ramones.

'Wings over America,' by Paul McCartney's was released in 1976.

In 1980, the body of John Lennon was cremated at the Ferncliff Mortuary in Hartsdale, New York and his ashes were given to his widow Yoko Ono, who reportedly took them back to her Dakota apartment.

In 1983, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson started a six week run at #1 on the Billboard singles chart with "Say Say Say". It was Jackson's 10th chart topper, including solo and with The Jacksons, and was McCartney's 29th, including solo and with The Beatles.

In 1988, R&B guitarist/singer ("Love Potion No. 9") Bill Harris of the Clovers died of cancer at 63.

In 1988, Bill Champlin's vocals helped Chicago attain their third and final number one single when "Look Away" hit the top of the Billboard chart. It was one of three Top Ten hits from the "Chicago 19" album, along with "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" and "You're Not Alone".

In 1990, the first Billboard Music Awards took place. Janet Jackson was the big winner with eight trophies.

In 1996, country music singer ("Hello Walls,") and actor ('Country Music Holiday,' 'Hidden Guns,' 'Raiders of Old California') Faron Young, founder and former publisher of Nashville's Music City News magazine, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 64.

In 1998, at Christie's Auction House in London, a recording of a 1963 Beatles 10-song concert was sold for a bid of £25,300 ($41,500 US). A set of autographs signed for a fan in Liverpool in 1961 by five Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Best, and Stuart Sutcliffe – went for £5,195 ($8,500).

In 1999, singer/bassist (Caledonia Mission, Long Black Veil, This Wheel's On Fire) Rick Danko of the Band died of heart failure at 56.

In 2002, in Los Angeles, CA, the Oakwood Postal Station was renamed the Nat King Cole Post Office. U.S. President George W. Bush had signed the act for the change on October 30, 2002.

In 2003, singer/keyboardist Bill Deal, lead vocalist of the Rhondels, died at the age of 57.

In 2004, one of three RCA microphones, used during 50 mid-1950s performances by Elvis Presley for the "Louisiana Hayride" radio show on KWKH in Shreveport, was sold for $37,500.

In 2007, at London's 02 Arena, Led Zeppelin played their first concert in 19 years. Original band members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were joined on stage by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham. More than one million people took part in a drawing for the 20,000 tickets available for the show.

In 2008, the U.S. military used loud music to "create fear, disorient ... and prolong capture shock" for prisoners at military detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to an Associated Press report. Among the songs blasted 24 hours a day were "Born In The USA" by Bruce Springsteen, "White America" by Eminem, "Hell's Bells" by AC/DC, "The Theme From Sesame Street," and "I Love You" from the children's TV program, "Barney and Friends." the barney one would break me.....

In 2009, a rare 1932 Mickey Mouse Christmas card signed by Walt Disney sold at auction in Illinois for $13,987.

In 2009, during an interview with Britain's Q magazine, Paul McCartney was asked if his marriage to Heather Mills was the worst mistake of his life. He replied "OK, yeah. I suppose that has to be the prime contender." The divorce settlement cost him $38.9 million, plus annual payments for their daughter Beatrice.

In 2010, at a New York auction, the original hand-written lyrics of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin" sold for $422,500. holy crap!

Sadly, in 2010, Lady Gaga was named Billboard's Artist of the Year.

And to wrap today's history - In 2010, Jim Morrison was pardoned in the state of Florida by Governor Charlie Christ for his arrest and conviction of public lewdness during a 1969 concert in Miami.

birthdays today include (among others): Chad Stuart (Chad & Jeremy) (70), Ralph Tavares (Tavares) (70), Jessica Cleaves (Friends of Distinction) (63), J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) (46), Scott Alexander (Dishwalla) (40), Brian Molko (Placebo) (39) and Meg White (White Stripes) (37