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Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon 2011 Experience edition Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon Experience edition 2011Subsequent to the major release day at the end of September which marked the first phase of the Why Pink Floyd remaster and reissue campaign, we're taking a look at another of the releases, as a follow-up to our reviews of the individual albums and the collection box set.

Having Discovered the entry-level edition of The Dark Side Of The Moon, we've now Experiencing the mid-level edition. With the Immersion edition being an expensive proposition for many, we know that some fans are more inclined to purchasing this edition of the band's 1973 album, so we hope our look at it for you will prove useful.

To reiterate previous coverage on this site, this edition of the album features the 2011 remaster of the album, and comes with a second CD containing a previously unreleased and unheard recording of the band live at the Wembley Empire Pool in November 1974.

As we noted in our Discovery edition review, this is an album which (a) doesn't need any introduction, and (b) doesn't sound much different to the previous iteration, having had remastering work fairly recently for the 2003 release. Clearly it's a little more polished than the 2003 edition, but to be honest, rather than the Discovery version, most fans are likely to head for this Experience edition, or the full Immersion treatment, which features a multitude of additional material.

The album sounds great, as it should, and a suitably subtle job has been done with the packaging of this edition. An outer slipcase holds the double-gatefold sleeve, all of which repeats the rainbow heartbeat mandala across each side and even, pleasingly, inside the sleeves which hold the discs and booklet. The booklet itself is very similar to that found in the Discovery edition, with the additional mention of disc two holding the Wembley recording, with a few details of personnel and mix/mastering information.

The live recording was made on a 24-track rig parked outside the venue, over two nights in November. For those familiar with the BBC recording from November 16th, 1974, you will be astonished at the difference in sonic quality with a level of detail and dynamics not heard before. A little tweaking was necessary with one or two aspects of the recording - in particular, one of Nick's drum mics seemed to be incorrectly placed, so Andy Jackson had to painstakingly go through the whole recording to rectify this issue. The end result though shows that this effort was worthwhile.

As live recordings go, this is a very satisfying listen, offering a healthy amount of atmosphere. With the recording being a matrix of the best of both nights, it also trumps the old BBC recording on that score, too. For those worried that you'll spot the joins, you won't - it's only by comparing old recordings of the nights that you'd be able to pick out which song was from which night. Exactly as it should be!

Performance-wise, the band sound very comfortable and relaxed with the music; there's none of the edginess and experimentation of the early iterations of TDSOTM, and they turn in (to my ears) a wonderful rendition of the album. At the time, the band weren't happy with the recording, but in recent interviews - having listened to it again some 36 years later - they've stated just how good they think it is in hindsight. It really is very nice, and I'm pleased they've come to the same conclusion, as it means that we were able to enjoy it as part of this set.

The mix has been done very well indeed. Seperation of the individual instruments is clear and crisp allowing the listener to focus on their favourite, with no detriment to the overall sound of the show. Each musician gets many chances to shine, and a particular joy is Any Colour You Like. The sound effects come across well too, and I never fail to smile when hearing Roger thanking the fans at the end of the performance, and the "tolling bell" tape is stopped very abruptly.

With the studio album so good, coupled with an excellent live recording from a band clearly at one with the piece at that time, this will prove an excellent package for the fan who wants a little bit more. For those who are after all the extras, there's the Immersion set with demo versions, other live tracks, an early mix of the album, and more...but at a higher price. Our review of that version will be here very shortly!

ORDERING DETAILS:

TDSOTM Experience edition:  Amazon UK Amazon.com (US) Amazon Canada
  Play.com HMV.com Amazon Germany
  Amazon Spain (ES) Amazon France Amazon Italy
 
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