Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here - 25th Anniversary Edition

Year of Release: 2000
Label: EMI
Catalog Number: 5290712
Format: CD
Total Time: 44:09:00

25 years after its initial release (12th September in USA and 15th September in UK), EMI have done none better than to re-package the CD in a tiny miniature replica sleeve, even boasting the original black PVC which adorned the original. In fact Wish You Were Here was the first album Pink Floyd released after the highly succesful Dark Side Of The Moon. Whilst the Beatles had released their "white album" in a completely white sleeve, the Floyd boys thought it would be great to release a "black album" long before Prince could say "funk." The all-black outer sleeve went a little too far for the record company, so they insisted on a sticker being placed on the front of the package so people would at least know it was a new Floyd album. If Floyd had their way it would have been ALL black with the only information being given on the inside of the package. Together with Hipgnosis they indeed made another great packaging which contained as much quality as the music itself. Since the theme of the album was absence, the design itself is absent, not visible straight away. The idea was that when you got home you were supposed to peel off the black shrink wrap, like undoing a present, and throw it away.

Listening to Wish You Were Here as a whole, one has to say that the music once again included more Barrett influences than their previous efforts. Fact is, good old Syd even visited the band when they were recording the album at the famous Abbey Road Studios way back in 1975. The day they were putting backing vocals to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," a homage to Syd, none other than the crazy diamond himself entered the building, after the rest of the band hadn?t seen him for seven years! Most of the band didn't even recognize him as he was looking fat, bald, and haunted. Waters later confided that he cried. At one point Barrett even asked if there was anything he could do, that he was available if needed. He left the building never to be seen ever again!

What you get here is the digitally remastered version of the album that was issued in 1992 as part of the lavish Shine On box set. It has however been repackaged in the same way as the original vinyl release, yet smaller as, of course, it concerns a CD-sized replica now. EMI could have gone one further and could have included "Raving And Drooling" and "You Gotta Be Crazy" (there must be demos around), which were two songs meant to be on the new album, after the band performed these songs live during their tour in '74. At that time it was appropriate to play brand new material during concerts to see what the people?s reactions would be in order to decide whether at all that material would be suited for the next studio album. Sadly those days are long gone! The songs mentioned were later re-written and issued on the band?s Animals album. "Raving And Drooling" then became "Sheep" whilst "You Gotta Be Crazy" is now better known as "Dogs."

The music on Wish You Were Here remains as interesting and crisp as if it was written, recorded and released only yesterday. Gilmour's dreamy guitar still "shines" in "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" topping it all with his bluesy riffs. They make a great link with their previous Dark Side Of The Moon album when they mix a snippet of the well-known "laughter" section in the opening track. The sax solo remains one of the best around: a classic!

Inlays from the 25th Ann. editionWonderful, and at the time very futuristic, remains the inclusion of the machine sounds in "Welcome To The Machine." Also, that acoustic guitar keeps on bringing shivers down my spine! Constant touring in the US probably is the main reason why "Have A Cigar? holds a lot of country references, topped with a bit of funk. Studio tricks galore in the title track, which could easily be placed on Animals, again sporting some great acoustic guitar which literally whirls out of your speakers over and over again. The second part of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" goes back to the "Echoes" period of the band, combining great riffs with some cosmic effects. Wish You Were Here is another great example of a timeless recording and if you still don't have a CD copy of this fine album now?s the ideal chance to do so! Shine on!

Some interesting "tidbits":

The man diving into the lake was a yoga expert who performed a handstand in a metal bucket frame. He held his breath for a long time so that the ripples caused by the commotion of getting into the diving position would die more or less away. He only had to do it 60 times!

The man they set on fire did wear an asbestos suit and an asbestos wig but when he was set alight he was unfortunately facing the wrong way as regards the wind. The wind caught the flames and blew them back in his face burning his moustache severely.

"Have A Cigar" / "Welcome To The Machine" was issued in the States in ?75 but didn?t chart.

Parts of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" were used for the French porn movie La Marge during an oral sex scene.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part One) / Welcome To The Machine / Have A Cigar / Wish You Were Here / Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part Two)

David Gilmour - guitars, vocals
Rick Wright - keyboards
Nick Mason - drums
Roger Waters - bass, vocals
Dick Parry - saxophone
Roy Harper - vocals
Venetta Fields - backing vocals
Carlena Williams - backing vocals

The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967)
Tonite Let's All Make Love In London (1968)
A Saucerful Of Secrets (1968)
More (1969)
Ummagumma (1969)
Atom Heart Mother (1970)
Relics (1971)
Meddle (1971)
Obscured By Clouds (1972)
Dark Side Of The Moon (1973/1992)
Wish You Were Here (1975)
Animals (1977)
The Wall (1979)
Collection Of Great Dance Songs (1981)
Works (1983)
The Final Cut (1983)
The Committee (1985)
A Momentary Lapse Of Reason (1987)
Delicate Sound Of Thunder (1988)
Shine On (Boxed Set) (1992)
The Division Bell (1994)
Pulse (1995)
Wish You Were Here - 25th Anniversary Edition (2000)
Echoes - The Best Of Pink Floyd (2001)
Dark Side Of The Moon - 30th Anniversary Edition (SACD) (2003)
The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn - 40th Anniversary Editon (2007) (2 and 3CD editions)
Oh By The Way (16CD Box) (2007)

Dark Side Of The Moon (2003) (VID/DVD)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: December 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1022
Language: english


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