Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pink Floyd - Echoes


When we first started this project, I wanted to exclude best of CDs.  Mine argued against it mainly because I couldn't, at the time, come up with a satisfactory reason.  She is a girl who likes to know why, dammit all. (Mine says: I wonder why that is? hee hee)

Well, this CD is the best of reasons.  While the individual tracks are outstanding, their context is completely lost.  And Pink Floyd, for all they're known as, are big on context. Floyd releases weren't just a date, they were an event.  Conceptually one of the most ambitious and successful bands in the world, they continue to delight and inspire generations of fans, like very few others bands can do.

But if I've got to do this review, I'm going to have to talk about my favourite Floyd album.  For most, it's a generational thing.  If you're older, like me, it's Dark Side Of The Moon and if you're younger, not like me, it's The Wall.  But not to be difficult, my favourite is neither of these (although both these albums are in my favourites of all time list).  Mine is Wish You Were Here.

I remember buying the album and playing it non-stop, only pausing to turn it over.  I was living by myself in a single room (at the time I was in the defence services - the less said about that the better).  This music took me to places I'd never been before even though I was straight, sober and very, very green.  I loved this album so much.  I still have that copy even though we don't have a record player.  I will never part with it.

As far as Echoes goes, I will take my lead from Mine.

VERDICT: THROW IT OUT and buy the box set


When the pointy stick landed on this YourZ was a bit surprised to find it in my collection - and I explained it was a radio-industry freebie.  I've mostly ignored this CD because the mere concept of listening to a bunch of Floyd songs NOT in the order they were originally presented - i.e. not on the original albums - seems to me somewhat distasteful.  An opinion I know is shared by the band, whose efforts to stop the single-sale of songs via download has been taking up lots of time in various courts.  I think they won - but who knows?

Anyway, it's kind of strange to listen to Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 when it's not followed by Mother, or to not hear the chinks and chimes of Money following The Great Gig In The Sky.  But what listening to this album made me realise is that I absolutely frakkin' LOVE Pink Floyd.  Me.  The person who turns her nose up at anything remotely prog-rocky in today's music.

Floyd were a large part of my teen years and in fact formed an integral part of my introduction to.... you guessed it... marijuana.  I had a group of friends (Hi Kathy, Joy, Bernie and Cheryl!) and we used to have one afternoon off school each week for sport.  Like we ever raised a sweat.  Anyway our sport consisted of sitting at somebody's house passing the bong, and very often listening to Dark Side Of The Moon.  When we weren't listening to Black Sabbath or Kiss.  Positively stereotypical for the late 70s, don't you think?

But my best Floyd memory is of The Wall and listening to it in the home of a friend (male, not my boyfriend) soon after it was released - late '79.  He put it on the turntable and we lay on his sofa and listened to it.  I think the only thing he said was "Other side?" when side one ended, and all I said was "Yes, please."  I remember walking home afterwards, with the songs reverberating through my head.  So my vote for Echoes shouldn't come as a surprise.

PS I never knew it until we saw a documentary show on the band but Dave Gilmour was a real SORT, wasn't he?  He's aged well, too...

VERDICT: THROW IT OUT and buy the box set

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  1. I own this as well, but I don't know why. As you say, you cannot listen to PF out of context, it just isn't right.

    I noted some posts back that there is a court case on this very theme. Well, the jury's back and the Floyd have won. No downloading site will be allowed to sell individual PF tunes. Only sales of complete albums will be available and this is entirely correct. Each album is a work of art in itself. You wouldn't buy the top left hand corner of a Renoir, now would you?

  2. This is definitely a tough one to review. Because as you said, you have to listen to Floyd the way it was intended to be listened to. Although, I still find that Echoes was put together quite well. I would never listen to Echoes over any other Floyd album (maybe with the exception of The Final Cut), but given the daunting task of creating a greatest hits album of Floyd material, I think they did quite well. The transitions between songs are solid and the song selection was great as well. I guess as a Floyd enthusiast it sort of bothers me that they trimmed up "Echoes" but a casual fan probably wouldn't notice anyhow. Intergrating all those songs that are so different (i.e. Syd era, The Golden years, Waters dominated era and the Gilmour years) is extremely tough. So ultimately, I'm very torn on the album. Because on one hand I think they did an excellent job of putting the album together, but on the other hand this greatest hits album probably wasn't really necessary at all.

  3. MO, we too noted the court case, though we didn't mention it in our reviews (we generally prefer to concentrate on what the music is to us on a personal level). However, I will say I was pleased Floyd won out in the end. I'm not sure what this will mean for their back catalogue in the future, in this age of iPods and single song downloads. But then again, its not like they don't have a quid or two anyway.


  4. Jeff, you hit on the thing that bothered me the most about the collection - the integration of Floyd eras. It seemed wrong to hear 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' followed by 'Time', for instance. More than any other band I can think of, Pink Floyd are the quintessential album band. Even recent artists covering 'Dark Side Of The Moon', while adding their own interpretation, don't mess with the song order.

    I guess the assumption for making a 'Greatest Hits' album is to hopefully introduce the next generation to Pink Floyd's music but may well be unnecessary, as you say.