I picked up the three Pink Floyd “Immersion” boxes recently and after having dove into them, I’m ready to come up with my verdict on them.
A missed opportunity that falls short.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, they are good sets, but for the price, even at the discount I got them for, it just seems there should have been more substance. Without getting into the actual music, let’s take a look at the packaging.
Mention is made of how the packaging of each Pink Floyd album was meant to be special. Dark Side Of The Moon was a gatefold for instance, and the mini-documentary from the release of the Super Audio CD in 2003 which has the band revisiting the album also has them discussing the concepts behind the album artwork. Not just the front cover, which is iconic, but the back cover and inside the gatefold as well. None of this is present in any physical form in the box set. I am not expecting a vinyl copy of Dark Side Of The Moon, but perhaps some sort of replica of the album cover would have been nice.
The inside of the original vinyl gatefold which is missing from the box set.
Included in the original album release were a couple of posters and postcards. Want to guess what is not included in this release? Yep, those very same posters and postcards.
What is included? A replica concert ticket and backstage pass, which are nice additions. Some themed coasters and three marbles (and pouch) which have nothing to do with the album other than they are designed after the album’s theme. A decorative scarf using the motif of the inside album cover is also included, but there is no practical use for it, and as a decorative item, there isn’t much value there. A few postcards with images and notes on the back, mentioning they are “collector cards” and we get 9 out of a possible 57. The three “Immersion” boxes total will not provide the sum total of these cards. A couple of photo books are nice showcasing the band during the time of the album.
Musically the Dark Side Of The Moon seems really good, but scratching the surface you find missing items. There are demos for several songs as well as early live versions which sound quite different. This is good. There is a disc of Dark Side Of The Moon presented live, which offers up a different take on the album. The band played the whole of the album in its entirety when they toured during the recording of the album a well as just after its release. The problem is, this isn’t a complete concert as they would play the album then go on to play several other songs. There are recordings floating around that demonstrate this and are easy enough to find.
Then there are the alternate mixes. Oh, sure the album is presented in its remastered form as well as in a 5.1 surround mix and a quadrophonic mix (more on those in a moment) but I’m talking about the different versions of the songs that are available. “Money” was completely recorded for the compilation A Collection Of Great Dance Songs. “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse” are offered up on Works in alternate mixes from the original album. An edited version of “Us And Them” is presented on Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd. And those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. I’m sure there are others out there. None of these versions of those songs are present.
“Us And Them” (Demo)
Not quite as immersive as I had hoped.
As for those extra mixes of the album, they are presented on DVD and Blu-ray discs. It would have been better to skip the DVD discs and just offer up the one Blu-ray. I understand this set was initially released in 2011 when Blu-ray wasn’t the default home video format just yet, but the cost in releasing the material on two DVD discs then duplicating it onto a Blu-ray disc seems… pointless.
The visuals presented as extras do not include a full live performance. Instead we simply have two songs presented here. Why couldn’t we have gotten a full concert? And the concert screen films are incomplete We get some of the visuals that are presented, but not the whole thing. What is the point?
Similar problems occur with regards to the Wish You Were Here and The Wall sets. They each have marbles, a decorative scarf, coasters, etc. The album packaging which is supposed to be fantastic, is absent. Alternate versions and mixes of songs are not present. The Wall set includes the live album, but not the concert film from the tour. Nor do we get the film soundtrack which still isn’t available legally. There are a lot of demos and “in progress” versions of songs from The Wall, but frankly, the amount of material missing is staggering. I do not feel immersed.