on November 15, 2011
I'm certainly not one of those people who claim that "everything sounds better on vinyl, just because it's vinyl". I have been disappointed on several occasions upon receiving reissued and/or remastered versions of some of my favourite albums. Everything from poor sound quality to extreme surface noise to awful quality control (when you're spending upwards of $25, I wouldn't expect to receive records with scuffs, scratches and the center hole not completely punched through). That being said, I wouldn't give out a five star rating too easily.
So I love Pink Floyd and when this album became available, I held my breath and ordered it. I'm glad I did. It's awesome in every respect. Sound quality, quality control and the packaging are all superb. Most other manufacturers could learn a few things from this exceptional release. If you like Floyd, get it!
on December 12, 2005
Pink Floyd's follow up to the titanic selling "Dark Side of the Moon" is the often overlooked "Wish you Where Here". Once noted as keyboadist Richard Wrights favorite Pink Floyd album, this body of work demonstrates and highlights the band's musical skill over the often noted Roger Waters lyrical skill. Sharing musical writing duties, (the hidden strength of the group) is evident all over this album. With contributions from Waters, Gilmour, and Wright. Classics include the title track, as well as other gems like "Have a Cigar", "Welcome to the Machine", and a fan favorite "Shine on you Crazy Diamond". Written against the backdrop of original member Syd Barrett's dive into mental illness and alienation, this album will not dissapoint any music lover.
on October 15, 2003
Yes, I said best. It's not as influential as Darkside or as cynical as Animals (2nd best). It's not as experimental like Umagumma, or as grandiose as The Wall. In many respects it is similar to Meddle in it's laid back smoothness, but Meddle lacks the deep lyrical brilliance. What Wish You Were Here is, is musical bliss. Shine on...is an emotionial reverance for longtime friend and former PF frontman, Syd Barrett. Barrett's descent into drugs and madness is well documented in Pink Floyd's classic, Darkside Of The Moon. The next song, Welcome To The Machine, is a musical mantra and lyrical tyrade about the music business' exploitation of young artists. Another shot in eye to the music biz follows with Have A Cigar. Guest vocals by Roy Harper makes this comic shot a classic. The title track is probably one of the best songs ever recorded, and it's the complete musical package. The denouement, more Shine on...revisits old themes, while bringing the album full circle. Pink Floyd has put out a multitude of great albums, but this one makes me laugh and cry in a close your eyes, bob your head and sway type of way. It's that good....buy it.
on November 22, 2011
I don't usually buy the reeditions of compact discs I already have. In the case of this "Wish You Were Here" experience Edition, disc 2 caught my attention and this was a great way to get the bonus tracks without buying the expensive Immersion boxset.
See, this official release now features the pre-Animals tracks Raving and Drooling (Sheep)and You've Got to be Crazy (Dogs) live, but I'll get back to it.
The Wish You Were here album itself sounds very clear and is a big improvement over the original 1980's cd. The sound is slightly louder, but it's much more defined. Beautiful remastering!
Disc 2 starts with a live version of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" which features the best parts of the song. "Raving and Drooling" and "You've Got to be Crazy" are very good versions of tunes that would feature on the Animals album. "Raving" has a synthsizer solo from Rick Wright which was left out or transformed on Sheep. I have preferred this song over Sheep since I heard it. "Crazy" is not totally as polished as Dogs, but the barebone is there and Roger Waters sings beautifully on his part "and when you lose control...". I own a bootleg called "Dogs ans Sheeps" which is a similar concert from USA. Let me tell you that the sound on the Experience release is much better. The performance is also a notch superior with David Gilmour in top shape voice.
Still on disc 2, "Wines Glasses" sounds like the intro of "Shine On". "Have a Cigar" features Roger and David on vocals and Roy Harper only in the chorus. "Wish you Were Here" has a different guitar intro, excellent sound and violonist Stephane Grappelli provides the end solo. I don't think it fits as good as David's scat vocals over acoustic guitar, but that's a nice version.
The artwork looks very good with high definition pictures. A tremendous improvement over the original cd. Everything is there: flaming man shaking hand, business man on sand dune, flying sheets, crawler in the sand and the 3-fold sleeve has the diver. Booklet includes photos of the band in studio and also Harper.
Quite happy with this purchase. Do you self a pleasure and buy it again. You love it, you'll enjoy it a bit more!
on November 12, 2011
This was a great experience! Mastering was perfect. Vinyl is almost black very quiet. One of the best purchases of Vinyl I have made ever. I Am Looking foreward to getting my order of The Wall due in February.
If DARK SIDE is about insanity, and ANIMALS and THE WALL is Waters working out his own neurosis brought on by fame, WISH YOU WERE HERE could be the most sentimental thing the band ever recorded.
After DARK SIDE broke in 1973, the band surely must have felt the pressure to record that monster's followup. So what did they do in light of all the success they recieved? Why, revisit their roots of course, and issue a concept album about the loss of their first lead singer. And while "concept album" has so many negative connotations, or at least pretension, self-important "art", WISH YOU WERE HERE is none of these things. While certainly self-styled as a tribute, it doesn't get as bogged down in its "concept" as THE WALL, and is truly one of Pink Floyd's most personal, most honest albums that the band ever cut.
WISH YOU WERE HERE returns to the longer song format dominant on the earlier PF records. At only five songs, two of them take up around 27 minutes of the album's 40 minute running time.
Lyrically, WISH YOU WERE HERE is primarily a tribute to the band's now long departed lead singer, Syd Barrett. His story is well known. He had a long history of mental illness, peaked with the Floyd's first album PIPER AT THE GATES OF DOWN, did some singles and two unreleased songs (Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man), and had some participation on SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS. After that, Barrett was out and Gilmour was in full time. Barrett then went on to release two solo albums (Madcap Laughs and Opal), and then, like Graham Parsons and Nick Drake, his career was cut tragically short. While the other two died, Syd Barrett became a recluse, and for the last thirty plus years of his life (he died summer 2006) lived as a recluse with his sister in England (my mother country).
Much of the remorse and sorrow on WISH YOU WERE HERE is regarding Barrett's fate. Here's a man who was in Pink Floyd, one of the biggest bands ever, and now he's gone. The Illness took over. Some of Waters' most poignant lines come from the title cut, especially the lines about trading a walkon part in the war for a lead role in the cage, meaning he left fame and rock life to become something much more reclusive.
As far as being a followup to DARK SIDE, though there aren't that actual many songs on WISH YOU WERE HERE, there is some great aural qualities. "Welcome to the Machine" really points the way to Waters' paranoia that would culminate in ANIMALS and THE WALL. "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", both parts, is vintage Pink Floyd, and some of the best Floyd around. Great instrumentals, great lyrics, heart-felt tribute to Barrett. "Have a Cigar", sung by Roy Harper (you Led Zeppelin fans would now him by the song off LED ZEPPELIN III, "Hats Off To Roy Harper"), is all about the music business, and how clueless record executives can be in regards to the bands their companies represent. Of course, I'm referring to the classic question of which person in the band is named Pink Floyd, not realising that's the name of the band, not a person in the band. Deep respect indeed.
Ironically enough, Syd Barrett showed up for an afternoon in 1975 during the recording of this album. He listened to the band play "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". He was fat and bald, and the band didn't recognize him. His appearance really shook everyone up.
For me, Strom Thorenson's cover art truly captures the spirit of the album. The man, representative of the band, is shaking the truly incendary man's hand. The band must continue on, and though the other man is on fire and a brilliant star, he simply cannot continue on their world. And so they bid adieu.
Overall, this is one of Pink Floyd's better post DARK albums, and serves as a great followup to a fantastic album. It's a nice concept album, and a very fitting tribute to one of rock's great lost icons, Syd Barret. We all wish you were here Syd.
on July 27, 2006
Stunningly beautiful, haunting, mesmerizing. Almost achingly touching.
Altough contains more than tribute songs to former band member, Pink Floyd's founder Syd Barret, when you stop listening to this album you are left with serenity surrounding you. You feel good.
Buy this, listen to this and have a silent moment. For both, appreciating this masterpiece and remembering Syd, who shall remain greatly missed.
Keep shining, you masterpiece of an diamond.
Nothing less than five stars, for both.
on November 17, 2011
As one of those reviewers that trashed the DSOTM re-release, I have to concur with everyone else that this release is light years better in terms of the quality of the pressing and sonics. Let's hope The Wall follows suit!
on July 9, 2013
As great as Wish You Were Here is -- and I listened to it dozens of times as a teen -- it was never my favourite Floyd album. Because the only edition I had was the original 8-track (really!), I decided to get this re-release. Bought the "experience" edition rather than the "immersion" edition because after getting the Dark Side and Wall immersion editions, I realized I was just after the music, not the little extras (do I really need marbles?).
This version is a great remastering, the live tracks are fantastic and "Wine Glasses" from the Household Objects project seals the deal.
on August 7, 2007
Dark Side of The Moon is their most well-rounded record, Animals is their most poetically hard-hitting record, and The Wall is their biggest commercial success (and probably my second favourite by a very small margin), but if my house ever caught fire and I could only save one PF album, I'd definitely take Wish You Were Here.
What makes it my favourite is that it balances Waters' emerging lyrical input perfectly with the fundamentals of the band; melody, progression, underlying ambience, and thoughtful songwriting. It doesn't lean too close to the radio set like DSOTM, and the group has yet to become dominated by Waters' dark (albeit incredible) lyrics like on Animals, The Wall, or The Final Cut. Wish You Were Here instead is a prog rock gem that to me defines how great Pink Floyd was. To top it all off, there's poetic justice in knowing that Wish You Were Here is of course a tribute to 'Floyd's long-lost founding member, Syd Barrett.
If you're only a few years into progressive rock like I am, a n00b if you will, (haven't been listening to it since the 70's) and for some bizarre reason you haven't heard Wish You Were Here, then check it out! And just because a band might be popular with the mainstream, it doesn't necessarily make it a bad band!