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Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here - Experience Edition album cover
4.74 | 167 ratings | 5 reviews | 84% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 (Studio):
1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part One) (1-5) (13:31)
2. Welcome To The Machine (7:32)
3. Have A Cigar (5:08)
4. Wish You Were Here (5:35)
5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part Two) (6-9) (12:27)

Disc 2:
1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-6) live at Wembley, November 1974 (20:22)
2. Raving & Drooling - live at Wembley, November 1974 (12:35)
3. You've Got To Be Crazy - live at Wembley, November 1974 (18:13)
4. Wine Glasses - from the unreleased 'Household Objects' project (2:17)
5. Have A Cigar - alternative version (previously unreleased) (7:12)
6. Wish You Were Here - featuring Stephane Grappelli (previously unreleased) (6:11)

Line-up / Musicians

- David Gilmour / guitars and vocals
- Nick Mason / drums and percussion
- Roger Waters / bass and vocals
- Richard Wright / keyboards and vocals

Additional Musicians:
- Venetta Fields / backing vocals
- Carlena Williams / backing vocals
- Dick Parry / saxophone (disc 1, tracks 1 & 5)
- Roy Harper / vocals (disc 1, track 3)
- Stephane Grappelli (disc 2, track 6)

Releases information

EMI 50999 029450 2 6
Disc 1: Remastered Studio Album
Disc 2: Tracks 1-3 - Live from the Empire Pool, Wembley, London, November 1974
Tracks 4-6 - Studio Outtakes

Thanks to docb for the addition
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PINK FLOYD Wish You Were Here - Experience Edition ratings distribution

(167 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(84%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (2%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PINK FLOYD Wish You Were Here - Experience Edition reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Wish You Were Here.... again, my friend

This review is for the Experience Edition which has the identical bonus CD with live tracks and unreleased material as the massive Immersion Box set. The actual album of course is enduring, masterful, powerful, and unforgettable as we all know, but is it worth shelling out the big dollars for a huge box of CDs and visual aids? Only you can be the judge but I am content with the bonus disk which comes with the Experience Edition and a new 20 page book by Storm Thorgerson. The remastering is by James Guthrie and is crystal clear and the best sound you are likely to hear.

CD 1 contains the remixed masterpiece 'Wish You Were Here', one of the greatest prog albums of all time. The tranquility conveyed on "Shine On" is astounding, opening with a patient, ambience created by sounds of a peaceful stream, a rowing boat, and the distinct keyboard talents of Wright. The music takes us downstream as we enter Syd Barret's jaded conscious thoughts, echoed by the band members themselves. The track is an ode to the twisted genius of Syd and moves through several sections as a multi movement suite orchestrated to perfection. The echoing guitar represents a four octave motif that Floydians have grown to adore. The fragmentation of the beat midway through alludes to the fragmented status of the group since Barret's departure. Indeed this is a beatific paean to the troubled artist who recently travelled to "the great gig in the sky".

"Welcome to the Machine" begins with the mechanized droning of a factory machine, and seems to be a more blatant stab at autocratic society than anything on "Animals" or "The Wall" where humans are forced to obey only to be grinded out as mincemeat; mindless autonomyns. The music business grinds out , processes and manufactures rock artists for their own means, but when they have fulfilled their purpose, the na've artists are chewed up and spat out to make room for 'the next big thing'. The golden mechanized glove on the cover echoes this thought. The man catches alight as he shakes hands now that his deal with the devil has doomed him to extinction.

"Have a Cigar" continues this cynical examination of the music business; full of clich's and innuendos, the lyrics stab at the way the industry elevates artists to drain every cent out of them only to destroy them at the first sign of individual innovation. The rotting carcass of the music artist is left in a smoldering heap so that the new talent can rise out of the ashes in its place. Roy Harper sings this and has a cynical edge in his voice.

"Wish You Were Here" is a beautiful ballad written to show the positive side of a dark nature. The album closes with another segment of "Shine On" bringing the album full circle. The journey is complete making way for "Animals".

CD 2 is a real drawcard as it features quite rare live performances of the album tracks performed live at Wembley November 1974. 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-6)' is performed well and is a much rawer version that the ones you hear on 'PULSE' or other recent concerts. It lasts for a whopping heavenly 20 minutes. The intro is very different, and the 4 note guitar chord echoes well but comes in faster on each note. It is not as measured, seemingly impatient, and the actual vocals are totally different, sung raspy by Waters who is not as soft or smooth as Gilmour. The lyrics are the same virtually but this was performed before the album so it was the first time many in the concert hall would have heard this. As such it comes across as a more urgent song, and has many elements missing from the album. The guitar solo is different and Wright's keyboards are louder and more aggressive in places. The way the piece merges into parts 4-5-6 is better than the way it was broken on the album and on subsequent concerts. It makes for a very lengthy piece but albeit an excellent musical journey. The wailing instruments sound dark and disturbing. I love the way it builds with the faster cadence on drums and the pulsating bassline.

'Raving & Drooling', a 12 minute song, is well performed live, with a lengthy synth solo that warbles with ascending and descending cadence. Gilmour's soaring lead complements a rather spacey passage of synth. This earlier version of 'Sheep' is actually my preferred version without all the studio trickery, and with just plain amazing musicianship. The section where the Lord's Prayer parody is meant to come in is all the better, and even creepier, without the subliminal narrative. Powerful and emotional throughout, this is one of the finest live Pink Floyd performances.

'You've Got To Be Crazy' is the last live piece on this album and is very long at 18 minutes. This is an earlier version of the classic 'Dogs'. The vocals are well executed by Gilmour and are quite different lyrically, though not as good especially with the repetition and unimaginative content. It is interesting to see where the original song comes of course, but it simply exists as a curiosity as 'Dogs' is one of the best Pink Floyd studio tracks without a doubt. The lead break is here and always a treat with Gilmour absolutely on fire in one of his most incredible solos.

The previously unreleased tracks naturally have popped up on various bootlegs but they sound so good on CD.

'Wine Glasses' is first from the unreleased 'Household Objects' project. This is the weird project that stemmed from the idea using household objects to emit sound, indeed one of the projects was to play the Albert hall, literally play the actual hall. This segment from the overblown project is the part where the band indulged in filling up wine glasses and then recording the amplified sounds they made as one rubbed the rim of the glass. It perhaps sounded good on paper but really is a failed Floyd project that thankfully does not see the light of day except for this 2 minute snippet of sound which is similar if not identical to the intro of 'Shine On'.

'Have A Cigar' is one of my faves and this alternate version is hard to take at first. Roy Harper sung the version on the album as a rare guest appearance, and he sounded fantastic on the album. Waters and Gilmour sing on this instead which is fine by me as they sung it on live performances and I always liked the sound they generated. This one lasts for 7 minutes and is worth hunting down especially to hear the odd alternative lyrics. The music is virtually identical though mixed slightly differently, the loud synth is underplayed and not as powerful, too thin and whispy for my liking. The harmonies by Waters and Gilmour grew on me though, and, although not as good as the other version, I am glad I was able to finally hear this.

'Wish You Were Here' featuring Stephane Grappelli is last on the album and this is very different especially with the violin. This is a 6 minute rarity that is now no longer rare of course. The classic song is given a very unusual treatment without the annoying radio transmission intro, and we can hear the guitars very clearly, which I appreciate as a guitarist who has played this many times. Also the song returns to the opening verse unlike the album version and therefore is longer. The violin soloing is okay but I am not a fan of this as it makes it sound bluegrass and country. The violin goes on for too long really and I am glad it was excised on the album cut.

So the Experience Edition of Pink Floyd's classics is once again worthwhile for the avid Pink Floyd addict. I can't see there being anything better than this packaging apart from the box set. Incidentally the Immersion box set features the same bonus disk as on this set but the extras are killer! Once again, similar to 'DSOTM' set and 'The Wall', that box is lavish and you can go the whole hog and grab the ultra-expensive box complete with heaps of needless audio variations, hi def, hi fi, live archives, and DVD and Blu Ray excess. The added trimmings are there such as the cool scarf, coasters, a bag of marbles, pink postcards, an art print, and 2 massive lavishly illustrated books. Makes a nice gift!

In any case the more reasonably priced double disk Experience Edition with remastering by James Guthrie, and a new 20 page booklet designed by Storm Thorgerson is a fantastic purchase and one that should keep Pink Floyd fans raving and drooling for quite some time.

Latest members reviews

5 stars 5 stars for the unbelievably great studio album. The real treat here is the 2nd disc. Most all alternative versions, bonus tracks etc turn out to be a tremendous letdown. The Experience Edition is not one of them. Finally "Raving and Drooling" and "You Got to Be Crazy" make their appearan ... (read more)

Report this review (#1301562) | Posted by tdfloyd | Friday, November 7, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Wish You Were Here - Experience Edition is a large upgrade in sound from the previous issues of the album. On this one, they have done it right. The album itself is a five star album, with the remastering itself deserves a five star rating, too. So why do I rate this at only four stars? ... (read more)

Report this review (#906014) | Posted by wehpanzer | Monday, February 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Why oh why have we waited so long for these Gems? Let's hope that this is just a taste of the material to be released over the next decade or so. What we get is essential Floyd 30 years later that it should have been released. This isn't some late Pulse like farce, rather this is the Floyd ... (read more)

Report this review (#566326) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Friday, November 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 5 stars for the original album. As for the bonus cuts, every Floyd fan is of course simultaneously "raving and drooling" at the prospects of having these, and yet surely asking, "Why can't there be more?" As for what's here: 1) an early live version of "Shine On" is certainly welcome, but this ... (read more)

Report this review (#565371) | Posted by jude111 | Thursday, November 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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