Review of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ immersion edition

By Gillian G. Gaar

Pink Floyd
The Wall (immersion edition)
EMI
*****

The previous Pink Floyd Immersion editions were geared toward the audio geek, offering the same songs in a variety of mixes – original stereo, remastered stereo, 5.1 Surround, 4.0 Quad. The Immersion edition of “The Wall” is more for the rarities geek; instead of numerous mixes, there’s a lot more previously unreleased material.

Pink Floyd The Wall Immersion editionFour CDs are given over to full-length versions of “The Wall,” a newly remastered studio version, and a live version drawn from the 1980-81 shows. As with the other new Pink Floyd reissues, the sound is superlative. CDs five and six feature a wealth of band demos — more than  two hours worth. It’s sometimes a frustrating experience; you’re only given excerpts from Roger Waters’ original demo, edited into a 14-minute suite, when you’d rather be able to hear the whole thing. And in the interest of making the demos more listenable, liner notes state the songs aren’t presented in a chronological order, so you can’t easily track a song’s development. It’s evident that one could compile a box set of nothing but demos from “The Wall” — an enticing prospect.

The DVD also teases the viewer by offering a performance clip from one of “The Wall” shows staged in 1980 in London — that runs for a minute-and-a-half. It’s long been said the quality of the footage wasn’t what the filmmakers had hoped for, but even so, given its historical significance, it’s a pity more material wasn’t featured here. There is an interesting documentary that runs nearly an hour, and a bonus interview with Gerald Scarfe, who designed the creepy cartoon figures used in the production (and the subsequent feature film).

There are all the usual extras that came with the other Immersion sets — the “collectable” scarf, the marbles, the paper coasters, the facsimile memorabilia. A booklet with extensive liner notes and recording info would’ve been more welcome, but never mind. By digging into the vaults, Pink Floyd has come up with a box worth immersing one’s self in.

 

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