The Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion Edition: The Anatomy of Something Quite Good

A few days ago I shared my thoughts on the Nevermind Super Deluxe debacle. But that wasn’t the only classic album to get the deluxe treatment last week.

Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon was also reissued. Much like re-issue of Nevermind, it was released in several formats:

 

Standard Edition
The album remasterd, available digitally, on CD and on vinyl (with a download code, good job EMI!).

Experience Edition
The album remastered on the first disc, and a complete concert performance of the album taken from a 1974 concert. Available on CD and digitally.

Immersion Edition
This edition has all the things. In addition to the remastered album and the live concert, the Immersion Edition includes:

An audio DVD (not a DVD-A), with the 2003 5.1 Surround Mix; an LPCM stereo mix; and the freakin’ 1973 QUADROPHONIC MIX in both standard resolution audio and high resolution audio.

A second DVD with live footage from the 1970s; a 25 minute documentary about the album; and the concert screen films from three of the band’s tours.

A Blu-ray with the 5.1 mix and the new mix in uncompressed 24-bit audio, as well as everything on the second DVD in high-definition.

And finally, a third CD with a never-before-released early mix of the album by Alan Parsons; a track from the never-before-released Pink Floyd album Household Objects; and several demos that were also never-before-released.

That’s six discs of awesomeness. But wait, there’s more! You also get two booklets; a poster; replica tickets and stickers; Pink Floyd marbles; collectible cards; coasters and a bloody scarf. When you lay it out all together it kind of looks ridiculous.

That’s a lot of stuff, but the real gem of this collection is that third CD that features the original mix of the album and the rare tracks. That mix is drastically different. The random vocal samples aren’t the same in some places, and “Great Gig In The Sky” is almost a different song entirely. It’s fascinating to listen to. Hardcore Floyd fans should eat it up.

The demos are great as well, but the hands-down, must-hear track on this disc is “The Hard Way” an instrumental from Pink Floyd’s never-released/never-finished Household Objects album. It’s minimal, experimental, haunting and beautiful. More Household Objects material is set to be included on the Immersion Edition of Wish You Were Here, and if this song is any indication, I can’t wait to hear more!

There are few problems with this set though, the biggest being the  packaging.

The first two CDs and the two DVDs are housed in the bottom of the box, without any casing of their own. When I opened my box, three of the four discs had been knocked loose and were just sprawled around. Thankfully they weren’t seriously scratched, but I could see this being a serious sticking point for some. Also, the Blu-ray and third CD are kept in plain cardboard cases, also making it easy for them to be thrown about the box during movement. An odd choice.

Also, the marbles, collectible cards and scarf, while nice, are a bit excessive. I would have rather had them excised in exchanged for a slightly lower price.

Finally, there’s the issue of the remaster itself. It’s very good and not that big of a change from the previous CD remaster. However, it is a little too loud during “Money”:

There is the slightest bit of clipping on the left channel. Is that a big deal? Probably not. It’s so slight that I doubt it’s even noticeable to the human ear. But it does show that the engineers and mixers reponsible for this remaster have succumbed to The Loudness War, which is troubling. It does leave me worrying about the remaster for The Wall as well, since that album is much louder.

So is this worth the money? Well, if you’re a die-hard, psychotic Pink Floyd fan with too much money – then definitely. And if you’re a psychotic Pink Floyd fan with not enough money – then you should probably save up and get it anyway. Some of the bells and whistles are a little pointless (I mean, marbles? Really?), but the audio/video content more than makes up for it.

Pink Floyd
Vegetable man
Scream Thy Last Scream
Pigs On The Wing (8-track Version)
There should be a rule: If a band has enough unreleased/rare material to fill a Wikipedia page, then it should get released. There are so many unreleased Pink Floyd tracks still in the vaults that it’s criminal.

I went through a phase of hunting down Pink Floyd bootlegs and rare recordings in my college days, back when you could easily find MP3s on websites. Most of those recordings sound like pure shit though (96kbps rips of vinyl bootlegs) so I’ll spare you those. These three tracks are nothing special in terms of Pink Floyd rarities, you can get them on countless blogs, but it’s all I really got. Both “Vegetable Man” and “Scream Thy Last Scream” are Syd Barrett tunes. Both reflect his messed up mental state, which is probably why the band still has never released them officially.

The 8-track version of “Pigs On The Wing” is interesting. “Pigs On the Wing” is a two-part song on the vinyl and CD versions of Animals, but that couldn’t be done on the 8-track version due to some technical limitations of the format. So guitarist Snowy White recorded a bridge solo that connected the two parts. It’s a cool little curiosity and I hope it gets a proper release someday. It was released on a Snowy White compilation a few years ago, but that CD is already out of print and goes for a mint online. Animals is being skipped over for an Immersion Edition for the time being and that’s really a shame, it’s a brilliant record that is shockingly underrated to this day.

7 Responses to “The Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion Edition: The Anatomy of Something Quite Good”

  1. Arnold Layne says:

    “back when you could easily find MP3s on websites”? What planet are you living on now? I can – on Oct. 2011 – usually turn up 98% of anything I’m looking for within 3 minutes.

  2. monomod says:

    Hi. A brilliant album but I don’t think I can bear to SEE the guys on DVD. They look incredibly ugly. Even in 70s terms… 🙂

  3. Lost Turntable says:

    I meant large pages with never-ending links of popular music. The pre-Napster days.

  4. Arnold Layne says:

    Oh – you mean as opposed to now, when an artist and title along with magic words like blogspot, wordpress, filestube, avax, rapidshare, mediafire, etc put into Google can get you pretty much anything and everything in a matter of seconds, many of which are files that have been sitting there for years at this point. Gotcha.

  5. Lost Turntable says:

    It was poorly worded, I’ll grant you that. But I was talking about sites like The Pink Floyd Arkive and similar websites that just can’t exist anymore.

  6. Arnold Layne says:

    You don’t have to post this one – but here you go, if you’re interested :

    [link removed]

    http://avaxhome.ws/music/rock/progressive_rock/Pink_Floyd-A_Tree_Full_of_Secrets-the_definitive_rarities_compilation-Vol_1-3_of_10.html

  7. Lost Turntable says:

    I removed the first link because it shared content you could easily get legally. But thanks. Also, you proved me wrong. So congrats on that.

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