Pink Floyd The Dark Side of the Moon (Immersion Edition) Review

Released 2011.  

BBC Review

An expansive six-disc set with the original album and much more.

Patrick Humphries 2011

Dark Side of the Moon propelled Pink Floyd into the commercial stratosphere, shooting them from the underground into one of the most successful British bands of all time. On its original release in 1973, the Floyd’s eighth album was memorably described as “a stereo wet dream for hi-fi snobs everywhere”.  But there are no sexual metaphors to even begin to describe this six-disc, purse-stretching, memorabilia-packed box. Central among the replica backstage passes, tour photos, coasters and, uh, marbles though is the music, the same music which has mesmerised successive generations for nearly 40 years.

Long overdue for boxing up, for the first time ever Pink Floyd have dipped back into their back catalogue to officially allow long-time fans to get to hear another side of them. Dark Side… is not the only album to receive this expanded treatment – and in addition to these standalone sets, a mammoth 16-disc package, Discovery, is available, allowing the newcomer to take home all of Pink Floyd’s studio LPs with a single purchase. 

But back to the album at hand. In a sense, the scale of the success of Dark Side of the Moon – 724 weeks on the US charts, 28-odd million copies sold – has overwhelmed its content. There does remain something majestic and monumental about the original album – the audacious use of sound effects and dialogue; the commercial favourites Money and Brain Damage; the sonic landscapes of Breathe and The Great Gig in the Sky; the tranquillity of Us and Them. While it may not be the band's best album, from the cover in, it's the one most associated with them.

And with Christmas on the horizon, here is fresh, eye-watering content – the remastered original album; the rarely heard quad mix; a 1974 live at Wembley concert version; Blu Ray and 5.1 Surround mixes; DVDs of concert and screen films. But the real jewels in this crown are the ‘previously unreleased’ recordings: an early mix of the album minus many effects; a funkier Any Colour You Like; Roger Waters’ demo for Money; live concert variations. And among these, the most revealing is The Hard Way from the unreleased Household Objects, the album without musical instruments which the Floyd tried to make to follow-up Dark Side of the Moon, but which was ditched before they went on to make Wish You Were Here. But that’s another story for another Immersion...

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