As EMI’s massive reissue project for Pink Floyd’s most popular albums draws to a close with The Wall on Feb. 28, some fans have wondered about similar expanded editions for earlier projects. Drummer Nick Mason seems open to it.
“The idea was always to see whether people like these things or not. If they do, of course we could do more,” Mason said in an interview with Billboard.com. “I think it’s an exercise that bears repeating … but I think there might be things to be done that would be rather different to what we’ve done so far.”
For instance, there’s likely not as much archival material available from the initial sessions for Pink Floyd’s 1967 debut Piper at the Gates of Dawn, or the 1968 follow up Saucerful of Secrets — which saw David Gilmour’s debut in a brief five-member edition of band. Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett departed during those recording sessions.
“We wouldn’t do one album like Piper at the Gates of Dawn on its own,” Mason said. “Maybe we’ll take Saucer and Piper and maybe one other one and do an early-years thing — partly because there just isn’t the material in some cases. That might be a more interesting exercise.”
One album from Pink Floyd’s 1970s hey day that hasn’t been mentioned for reissue so far is 1977′s Animals, despite the fact that original bassist Roger Waters has expressed reservations about the original sound mix. Of course, the question then becomes whether the band — which has been at odds, off and on, for decades — could agree on something that like.
“Animals is the one record Roger said he’d like to have a go at remixing,” Mason added. “That might be an exercise worth doing. Maybe David disagreed enough that we could release David’s remix and Roger’s remix and, ideally, my remix as well.”
Here’s a look back at some of our recent thoughts on Pink Floyd and related solo projects. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
DAVID GILMOUR – LIVE AT GDANSK (2008) Missing in the eternal argument embodied in their 1970s lyric — Which one’s Pink? — was my idea that it was neither Roger Waters nor David Gilmour. Maybe there would have been no Pink Floyd, not really, without Richard Wright. That’s what I hear in Live at Gdansk with Gilmour and Wright, recorded in 2006, but issued just days after the former Floyd keyboardist’s sudden death from cancer in ’08. Gilmour’s soloing boasts a newfound directness here, thanks in no small way to the logical and crisp shadings that Wright provides.
GIMME FIVE: 1980s PINK FLOYD, IF YOU MUST Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, alas, was no Dark Side of the Moon. Criticized then as now for being transitional and samey, though, it was far from the worst thing foisted on unsuspecting fans during the 1980s. Check out, or don’t, guitarist David Gilmour’s misfire solo release About Face. Then there was founding bassist Roger Waters’ drab solo debut Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking. Still, it’s wasn’t all bad. Or at least, not shockingly awful. Here’s a list of five tunes worth revisiting.
DEEP CUTS: PINK FLOYD, “ONE OF MY TURNS” (1979): All apologies to Roger Waters, who’s bringing it back on the road, but I was never all that into The Wall. Too much talking, not enough — you know — music. While working out issues in dealing with a meteoric rise to fame as an adult after losing his father in World War II as a child, Waters turned Pink Floyd into his own therapy session — and the musicians around him into sidemen. Whatever its attributes — “greatest concept album ever”?; it’s starting to seem like a back-handed compliment — “The Wall” just wasn’t a band effort, and it suffered for that. That doesn’t mean the record doesn’t have its moments, and “One of My Turns” is one of them.