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Pink Floyd - A Foot In The Door Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Monday, 07 November 2011

Pink Floyd - A Foot In The DoorAt any other time, a new compilation of "the best of" Pink Floyd would get major attention and focus from the fans. A Foot In The Door, released on November 7th 2011 (November 8th in the US), and coming at a bumper time for Floyd fans, has almost been seen as a footnote or incidental, rather than being given the time and attention previous collections, such as Echoes, have had.

Admittedly, with the huge Why Pink Floyd campaign in full flow, fans have been treated to unprecedented amounts of live and studio gems which have been unearthed and given a James Guthrie/Andy Jackson polish. This seems to position A Foot In The Door squarely in the territory of the casual fan, or those who've heard of the band but know little about Pink Floyd's back catalogue, and would like to find out a bit more.

We've taken a thorough blast through this precis of the band as we know many fans will be interested in knowing more, irrespective of what other, more in-depth releases there are around at present.

Many of you will be familiar now with the cover image - an academic striding across stone flags which happen to have Floyd covers and other related images on them. Opening the gatefold gives another, typically Cantabrigian character: a student with his bicycle, on the same stone flags. However, look closely and some of the images have changed. Getting the fans to wonder why will be the aim of Storm's little game here, I'm sure!

The accompanying booklet gives another shot of the academic, this time with a young pupil behind him, sticking out his tongue disrespectfully, and again, certain album covers and images have changed ever so slightly. Harvey the dog also makes a quick cameo appearance in this shot (Harvey appears in other StormStudios recent work). The booklet itself gives no detail on the contents other than the track names, and focuses more on fairly abstract images, along with thumbnails of the band from throughout their career.

Summarising the band's extensive career in around 78 minutes is always going to be a huge compromise, and many fans' favourites will never make it into such an endeavour. As a tool to give a grounding to the uninitiated, though, a thoughtful tracklist can go a long way.

Given a hundred guesses, I don't think I'd have ever thought of Hey You as the first track for A Foot In The Door. An atypical Floyd song, it does seem to work as an introductory track, and it's an interesting juxtaposition with See Emily Play, which follows it.

The Happiest Days Of Our Lives/Another Brick In The Wall, part 2 kick off a not-unexpected sequence of inclusions - Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Time, The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, and Comfortably Numb round out a central "classic era" Floyd segment. Time does take one a little by surprise, as the opening clock sequence is, with the exception of a lone pair of distant chimes, absent as Wish You Were Here fades into the wind. One presumes the edit was to make the song fit into a packed compilation, and of course without the context of the rest of The Dark Side of The Moon, Time seems to work fine without this opening piece. For those unfamiliar with their output, they will not notice anything amiss with the track anyhow.

High Hopes and Learning To Fly provide the two post-Roger tracks, and these are followed by The Fletcher Memorial Home - a great track, but doesn't feel totally comfortable next to Learning To Fly. Would this have been better between Wish and High Hopes? Possibly, and also that would have been more accurate chronologically (not that this is a major consideration on a compilation).

Shine On You Crazy Diamond parts 1-5 comes next, and surely any "best of" would be imcomplete without this.

Completing things is possibly the best ending to any album - the pairing of Brain Damage and Eclipse. Such a wonderful, powerful conclusion, it seems entirely fitting and works so well out of the context of The Dark Side Of The Moon.

Some have questioned the need for another "best of". With the huge amount of attention on Pink Floyd from the various parts of the media at the moment, many who are new to the band will be surely daunted by the options open to them currently. This gives them a good starting point, and also gives fans a really nice compilation to listen to, whether in the house, in the car, on the street, wherever.

The album can be ordered from the following major online retailers, through these direct links:

A Foot In The Door:  
Amazon UK (US)  
Amazon Canada Amazon Germany
  Amazon Spain (ES)  
Amazon France Amazon Italy

Alternatively, for those who want to listen to this compilation on their iPod, iPhone, iPad, or iWhatever, it can also be ordered from Apple's iTunes store through this direct link to their Pink Floyd zone.

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