By condensing the sonic explorations of Meddle to actual songs and adding a lush, immaculate production to their trippiest instrumental sections, Pink Floyd inadvertently designed their commercial breakthrough with Dark Side of the Moon. The primary revelation of Dark Side of the Moon is what a little focus does for the band. Roger Waters wrote a ...
By condensing the sonic explorations of Meddle to actual songs and adding a lush, immaculate production to their trippiest instrumental sections, Pink Floyd inadvertently designed their commercial breakthrough with Dark Side of the Moon. The primary revelation of Dark Side of the Moon is what a little focus does for the band. Roger Waters wrote a series of songs about mundane, everyday details which aren't that impressive by themselves, but when given the sonic backdrop of Floyd's slow, atmospheric soundscapes and carefully placed sound effects, they achieve an emotional resonance. But what gives the album true power is the subtly textured music, which evolves from ponderous, neo-psychedelic art rock to jazz fusion and blues-rock before turning back to psychedelia. It's dense with detail, but leisurely paced, creating its own dark, haunting world. Pink Floyd may have better albums than Dark Side of the Moon, but no other record defines them quite as well as this one. [The Immersion Edition is the name Pink Floyd invented for their massive, mega-deluxe single-album reissue campaign, inaugurating the series with a six-disc box set of Dark Side of the Moon in the fall of 2011. Previously reluctant to open their vaults, Floyd now overcompensate with a ludicrously lavish box that truly does immerse a listener within the album's world. The original album, remastered again in 2011 by James Guthrie, accounts for the first disc, along with the first DVD-Audio that contains Guthrie's 5.1 mix from 2003, and Alan Parsons' quadraphonic mix from 1973, never before reissued. Also never issued officially is the Floyd's live set from Wembley in 1974, here as a second CD, nor has Parsons' original 1972 mix, issued here on an exclusive CD that also contains "The Hard Way," from the abandoned Household Objects album, live versions of blueprints for Dark Side in "Any Colour You Like," "The Mortality Sequence," and "The Travel Sequence," the latter also present in a studio version, and demos of "Us and Them" and "Money." All this doesn't account for the books, the collector cards and prints, the backstage and ticket replicas, the coasters and scarf that push this set to the cusp of parody while retaining a sense of silken indulgence for the dedicated Floyd fan. As nice as the packaging is, the real news of the set is the bonus audio: the live concert is excellent, the Parsons mix is notably different in parts - particularly during extended instrumental sections on "The Great Gig in the Sky," "Us and Them," "Any Colour You Like," and "Brain Damage" -- and the skeletal demos, along with the live run-throughs, contain the thrill of hearing an overly familiar piece at its tentative origin. Whether this is worth over a hundred dollars is totally up to the listener but for those who invest, they won't be disappointed in immersing themselves in this super-deluxe box.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi