Richard Wright's 80th birthday marked by superb Wet Dream remix
Written by Matt   
Friday, 28 July 2023

Richard Wright - Wet Dream 2023 remix - marbled vinyl pack shotToday would have been the much-missed, and much-loved, Richard Wright's 80th birthday. Today sees new mixes by Steven Wilson of Richard's debut solo album, Wet Dream, available on CD and all streaming platforms, with a deep blue transparent marbled vinyl being released on September 29th, and a blu-ray edition of the album following on October 20th (November 10th in the US). The vinyl reissue sees it on the format for the first time since its original release in 1978. It is on streaming platforms for the first time ever including a new Dolby Atmos mix, and the Blu-ray edition of Wet Dream includes the Dolby Atmos mIx, a 5.1 surround mix (DTS-HD Master Audio 96/24), the new stereo mix in Hi-Res Audio (96/24), and exclusive personal images and videos from around this period of his life. It's housed in a book format with four collectable postcards and an 8-page booklet. Since the initial announcement, the Blu-ray has been expanded to also include a flat transfer of the original pre-master of the 1978 stereo mix, taken from the analogue reels, as well as Steven Wilson's 2023 instrumental stereo mixes of the four vocal tracks on the album being added.

This reissue comes with brand new artwork that was commissioned and art-directed by Gala and Jamie Wright, Richard's children and managers of his estate. As per the original release, the bi-fold sleeve folds out to extend the image and features the same vibrant colour palette. This time, the unidentified person in bright red shorts is swimming within deep blue waters of the sea rather than a pool and the image expands out to reveal a boat slightly out of their reach, referencing the nautical theme of the record. The image was taken by Costas Spathis, a photographer living and working in Greece, which is where the album was written and the graphic design is by Carl Glover. The original artwork was designed by Storm Thorgerson and photographed by Audrey Powell for Hipgnosis and features in the vinyl booklet.

Upon rediscovering this record (broadly speaking, quite overlooked or unknown by some Pink Floyd fans), it becomes hugely apparent how much of Richard's DNA runs through Floyd. His distinct rhythm patterns, song structure and style of play exudes throughout, shining a light on his unique talent and influence on modern music.

Yesterday evening, at the Dolby Listening Room in Soho, London, family (most of Richard's were there), friends, and selected media were treated to a pair of playback sessions - in the pitch black - which straddled a Q&A session with Steven Wilson, hosted by Guy Pratt. First, the playback: this was the Atmos mix which is coming in September on the Blu-ray of the album, and simply put, it sounded absolutely superb. The clarity, power, and sheer musical and emotional impact made for a truly memorable night. The Q&A with Steven led to some fascinating insights into the process of finding the original master tapes (which were held at Universal in London), then getting them "baked" by Damon Iddins at Astoria (David Gilmour's houseboat studio), before Steven could take the separate 24-track recordings and create the remix, which gives us an album which has never sounded as good as this!

Here's a glimpse at the Q&A, and the message to the attendees on a screen in the Ray Dolby Lounge (a separate screen was showing home video footage of Richard, which should be on the Blu-ray when that is released).

Richard Wright Wet Dream 2023 Remix playback in London
Richard Wright Wet Dream 2023 Remix playback in London - Steven Wilson and Guy Pratt Q and A session

Finally, if you've yet to hear it, here's a taster of the album:

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