Pink Floyd’s colossal, wallet-emptying reissue campaign

With sales of audio and visual discs plummeting, who would have thought that the surviving members of Pink Floyd, in collaboration with its (ailing) record company EMI, would be asking us to reach into our pockets one more time?
Not only that, but reach down to the depths of pockets we didn’t even know we had, to magically find the cash to pay for all of the Pink Floyd goodies in the ‘Why Pink Floyd…?’ reissue campaign.
Starting in September 2011, and stretching through to 2012, the campaign will release “music from the archives, collectors’ box sets and complete studio recordings remastered.”
So, just when we thought we’d seen all of Pink Floyd’s catalogue thoroughly remastered already, here comes a massive re-flogging of their work on CD, DVD, Blu-ray disc, “an array of digital formats”, viral marketing, iPhone apps, and even SACD.
Those who have already forked out for numerous different remasterings and repackagings of the hi-fi demo room staple, Dark Side Of The Moon, will be delighted to learn that the bona fide rock classic will be the first reissue on 26 September, in a 6-disc ‘Immersion’ box set and ‘Experience’ two-disc set, as well as collectors’ vinyl LP and various digital formats.
Dedicated followers will rejoice at the “alternate takes, unreleased tracks, restored live concert screen films and a live recording of the legendary The Dark Side Of The Moon performance at Wembley in 1974.”
Amongst the plethora of releases will be the ‘Experience’ editions, which couple “one classic album with a further disc of related content from that album to offer a deeper listening experience.”
On 7 November, Wish You Were Here will get the same special treatment. A 5.1 surround version of the album, mixed by James Guthrie, will also be released via independent label Acoustic Sounds.
The Wall will get its day in the sun on 27 February, 2012, with a 7-disc ‘Immersion’ set and a 3-disc ‘Experience’ edition (and collectors’ edition vinyl LP).
Oh, and wait for it – there will also be a “digital marketing plan utilising user-generated content to allow fans to make their own creative contributions to the band’s music.” That’s nice of them.
You have to wonder, in the age of the download, whether even dedicated fans will be willing to spend really big bucks just to buy their favourites again on formats that are already going through their death-throes. Personally, I would want to know whether the albums are guaranteed to be notably sonic improvements, and at least have some notes from those who undertook the remastering process to even begin to justify the re-spend. GARY STEEL

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