Dark Side Of The Moon, The Wall, Wish You Were Here
While it may be hard to hear the sonic nuances in Pink Floyd’s music from your bike’s speakers, things quickly change with headphones. The music of The Floyd is probably best reserved for long stretches of deserted backroads, without the ambient road noise of 18-wheelers.
Most of you out there should be familiar with these albums and probably have them downloaded in your iPods. But just as Harley entices us into buying our bikes all over again—piece-by-piece, due to constantly updated parts, so too have record companies discovered that they could sell the same albums over and over again. And that’s what EMI has done with Pink Floyd’s catalog with all-new remastering and added bonus content in several newly configured versions.
This review is just for the remastered versions. The super-deluxe editions are nice, but configured more for home use with all the bonus material, liner notes, and pretty pictures. Yeah, that’s neat to show off to your friends but less important to bikers who need only the music.
So, is it worth it? We can unequivocally state, “it all depends.”
If you’re a Pink Floyd nut, then “yes.” Yet, even casual fans will find that the music is somehow made cleaner and brighter. Dark Side of the Moon was a perfect album, and like most of Floyd’s works, the songs were intended to be listened to in a specific playing order as one full work, a la The Who’s Tommy. Sure “Money” was the hit single but it’s nowhere near as nifty as some of the album’s trippier tracks. In fact, Dark Side was the culmination of all the Pink Floyd albums that came before it, selling something like 75 bazillion copies. It was, and still is, the pinnacle of rock composition, strangely appealing to almost every segment of society. So if you just have one or two songs from the original album downloaded, now here’s an excuse to get the whole album. There’s also a second CD containing a previously unreleased 1974 live version of the entire album from beginning to end.
Wish You Were Here was the follow-up to Dark Side. It’s another concept album purportedly inspired by the group’s mysterious founding member Syd Barrett. The album takes a while to get going, but once underway it makes for mesmerizing music, probably best for the after-ride unwind—especially if you listen via headphones. It’s also a great way to park your bike at the top of a hill—with the sound system switched on—and take in a sunset. This remastered release has one CD and it’s probably never sounded better.
The Wall is arguably band member, and bass player, Roger Waters’ greatest contribution to the band. Some considered it the band’s pinnacle of achievement, but in truth it tends to wallow in its own production values, made even better in this latest remastering effort. The album is about an emotionally crippled rock star and many songs poke fun or ridicule the very idea of rock stardom. If you haven’t heard it in a while, you may discover that there are a lot of subtle nuances that could serve as contemporary social commentary. And one can even imagine Dr. Feelgood’s all over the country cooing the words of “Comfortably Numb” to each patient they dispense “legal” drugs to. Makes ya think, that’s for sure.
It’s hard to imagine any band today reaching the creative zenith of Pink Floyd. Perhaps it’s that we no longer have the patience to actually sit and listen to music anymore—everyone wants that catchy hit single. And that’s what makes music like this so enjoyable on the road devoid of videos or even illegal substances. All you need is a full tank of gas and no particular place to go. These albums, particularly Dark Side and Wish You Were Here, can be a great way to unwind after a long, hard day.