I have been a HUGE Pink Floyd fan ever since I was introduced to Dark Side of the Moon back in High School. To me, it is still a perfect concept album. The engineering is exquisite and it is like the audio equivalent of a Moebius Strip: It loops back to itself.
EMI released a 16 disc box set called “The Discovery Set” and all of the albums individually in digipaks. Sonically, the albums have never sounded better. I have owned all of the versions throughout the years. What I really like about these remasters is that they are not overly compressed. There is actually some audio headroom and you don’t suffer from listening fatigue, unlike the Genesis re-masters, which are just too loud, abrasive and have absolutely no subtlety.
I absolutely LOVE the surround mixes on DSOTM and WYWH from the bluray immersion sets. I have fallen in love with SACD and DVD-audio Surround mixes, when they are done right. They absolutely rival the stereo mixes and breathe new life into the recordings you already know and love. You get the rare opportunity to sit within the music as it unfolds around you. They make it better than hearing them for the first time, every time you listen.
I have finished listening to all of the albums, in the order of release, and have realized how much the music has influenced me over the years. Pink Floyd was an original in almost every aspect. The melodies are amazing and they seemed to capture “the intangible” in all of their music. The were definitely pioneers of an ambient approach to songwriting. Some say their sound is nihilistic and depressing (yeah, The Wall isn’t a pleasant walk in the park) but I feel the themes are more along the lines of audio surrealism.
Maybe it has to with Storm Thorgerson’s mind bending dreamlike visuals that accompany their musical work. As an artist, I can attest to the power of imagery paired with music to compliment what you are listening to.
Being a keyboardist, and Richard Wright’s keyboard wizardry, to me, is nothing short of astounding with it’s understated simplicity. David Gilmour’s Bluesy well-defined guitar licks are so carefully chosen and unique to him. Roger Water’s lyrics are filled with an abstract quality and his Bass lines are restrained, but perfectly placed along with Nick Mason’s impeccable yet never “flashy” drumming style. I will never get tired of listening to Echoes…and I am still blown away by the “funkafied” jam section in the middle of the 23 minute epic suite.
Overall, I still love ALL of their music, imagery and uniqueness that still has an incredible presence and vibrancy after all of these years.
If you haven’t seen the film Pink Floyd: Live in Pompeii, I recommend it HIGHLY. To see Floyd playing in the ancient ruins of the roman coliseum amphitheater is priceless. I will never forget stumbling across that video back in the early 90′s, when 7-11 still rented videotapes. I had know idea what it was, took the chance because it was Pink Floyd, and became immersed in it for the next 90 minutes while watching it with a good friend of mine. I have never regretted that decision.