Wish You Were Here
Immersion Box Set: Collector’s Edition and 180-gram vinyl remaster (EMI)
By Patrick Prince
Some albums never get old. Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” is one of those albums. It’s one of those desert-island discs that should remain by your side forever. Now, with the “Why Pink Floyd?” campaign at full throttle, EMI gives fans a box set to salivate over: the “Wish You Were Here” Immersion Collector’s Edition box set.
Besides the original album on remastered CD, there are all sorts of goodies. The set includes fantastic unreleased audio tracks. There has been much made of violin extraordinaire Stephane Grappelli’s version of the song “Wish You Were Here” — a decent but inferior version of the legendary final cut — but the real joy is the Blu-ray/DVD extravaganza of audio mixes (surround, quad and original stereo) and visual material.
With the good, there’s always the useless, at least when it comes to collector’s editions. Here the disappointments are pretty minor. For instance, is there really any need to include a set of glass marbles? There are enough memorabilia replicas enclosed to keep any fan happy without a bunch of bland-looking glass marbles in a black pouch. Unless these are the marbles Syd Barrett lost a long time ago, I am not remotely interested.
Of course, the real joy for this fan is the newly remastered 180-gram vinyl release of “Wish You Were Here” (which really should have been included in the Immersion box set).
180-gram vinyl always makes for a more pleasant listening experience, especially when it comes to Pink Floyd, where you want to enhance the nuances any way you can.
By the time you flip the record over to Side Two and get to the often-overlooked parts 6-9 of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” you should be devoutly delivered — and just in time to hear the magnificent guitar solo on Part 6 (which is absolutely spine-tingling and, at times, sounds like a cross between a train whistle and an angst-ridden scream). Much has been said of the influence of Syd Barrett on this album, but “Wish You Were Here” is also a tribute to the talent of the late Richard Wright. Wright’s keyboard playing is phenomenal in every part. He shines here as much as anybody.
Both the Immersion Set and the 180-gram vinyl of “Wish You Were Here” are must-haves.