Sunday, October 02, 2011

Pink Floyd's The Discovery Studio Album Box Set

Pink Floyd's The Discovery Studio Album Box Set. About $180.00.

From the Winnipeg Free Press:

What you get: Remastered versions of all 14 Pink Floyd studio albums in gatefold CD cases and a 60-page book of alternative and rare artwork.

What it needs: People who purchase the box set are probably going to be hardcore fans who know all about the band, but some notes on the history of the group would have been a nice touch. A disc featuring non-album singles like Arnold Layne and See Emily Play would have made this totally complete.

Here's an album by album breakdown:

  • The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Year released: 1967

Notes: The first and only album with drug casualty/pop genius Syd Barrett. A psychedelic/space rock masterpiece.

Highlights: Astronomy Domine, Intersteller Overdrive, Bike.

5 out of 5

  • A Saucerful of Secrets

Year released: 1968

Notes: Barrett was out and guitar god David Gilmour was in, joining bassist-vocalist Roger Waters, keyboardist-vocalist Richard Wright and percussionist Nick Mason on a set of material that balances the band's prog tendencies with flights into folky fantasy.

Highlights: Remember a Day, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Jugband Blues.

4 out of 5

  • More

Year released: 1969

Notes: The soundtrack to the French film More was released as a proper Floyd album in England.

Highlights: The Nile Song, Green is the Colour, Ibiza Bar.

3 out of 5

  • Ummagumma

Year released: 1969

Notes: A double disc set featuring an album of live material recorded in 1969 and a studio album with every member getting the chance to show off a solo piece. The four live songs all surpass the studio versions.

Highlights: Careful with That Axe, Eugene, A Saucerful of Secrets, Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict.

4 out of 5

  • Atom Heart Mother

Year released: 1970

Notes: The album is bookended by two meandering instrumental suites that clock in at 23 and 13 minutes respectively, but also contains one of Waters' most touching ballads, If.

Highlights: If, Summer of '68, Fat Old Sun.

3 out of 5

  • Meddle

Year released: 1971

Notes: The band delves into some lounge, blues and pastoral folk, but offer up one of its early career highlights: the 23-minute epic Echoes, which took up an entire side upon its original release.

Highlights: One of These Days, A Pillow of Winds, Echoes.

4 out of 5

  • Obscured by Clouds

Year released: 1972

Notes: The soundtrack to a French film called La Vallée. Mostly mellow and folk-oriented, it reached No. 1 on the charts in France.

Highlights: The Gold It's in the..., Wot's...Uh the Deal, Free Four.

2 1/2 out of 5

Dark Side of the Moon

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Dark Side of the Moon

  • The Dark Side of the Moon

Year released: 1973

Notes: The band's commercial breakthrough that stayed on the charts from the time of its release until 1988. If music fans only have one Pink Floyd album, it's either this one or The Wall.

Highlights: Breathe, Time, Brain Damage.

5 out of 5

  • Wish You Were Here

Year released: 1975

Notes: A tribute to Barrett, the album is bookended by the sprawling nine-part Shine on You Crazy Diamond. The title track can be still heard around campfires across the globe.

Highlights: Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Have a Cigar, Wish You Were Here.

5 out of 5

  • Animals

Year released: 1977

Notes: A series of lengthy progressive pieces of social commentary comparing different classes of people to Dogs, Sheep and Pigs

Highlights: Dogs, Pigs (Three Different Ones), Sheep.

4 1/2 out of 5

  • The Wall

Year released: 1979

Notes: Double album rock opera about the life of an alienated rock star that was made into a movie starring Bob Geldof. Earlier this week on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Waters said he would be bringing The Wall tour back to North America next year. Consider this a request to come to Winnipeg.

Highlights: Goodbye Blue Sky, Comfortably Numb, Run Like Hell.

5 out of 5

  • The Final Cut

Year released: 1983

Notes: A divisive album amongst Pink Floyd fans since Wright was kicked out of the band and Waters assumed total songwriting control on another concept album, this time about war based on his father's death in WWII. Consider it The Wall Part Two.

Highlights: The Post War Dream, The Gunner's Dream, The Final Cut.

3 1/2 out of 5

  • A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Year released: 1987

Notes: If The Final Cut was Waters solo album, then A Momentary Lapse of Reason is Gilmour's, but not as strong. Waters was out and Wright was back in on this album which mostly seemed like an excuse to mount a tour (resulting in an unnecessary live album).

Highlights: Learning to Fly, Dogs of War, On the Turning Away.

2 out of 5

  • The Division Bell

Year released: 1994

Notes: Another excuse to tour without Waters, but at least this time they came to Winnipeg for one of the greatest stadium shows this city has ever seen. There are some good moments to be had and if anything, it's worth listening to at least once for Gilmour's great guitar work.

Highlights: Poles Apart, A Great Day For Freedom, High Hopes.

2 out of 5

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