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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 7 November 2011
I already give the original album 5 stars and it's been reviewed a zillion times. The interest here is in the 2nd disc. After hearing a few bootlegs from the Wish You Were Here tour over the years, I'm already familiar with the 2 tracks `Raving & Drooling' & `You've Got To Be Crazy', which were renamed when they finally appeared on the Animals album released in 1977. To me, the intensity and energy of those tracks performed live on the WYWH tour were the highlights of that tour. This live recording of Shine, Raving & Crazy is amazing. The performances are top-notch and the audio is so clean and fresh to the ears - you can't beat this for a live 1974 recording. I wasn't sure of what to expect because of some live discs I've heard included in Deluxe albums released by other artists that were hardly better than an average bootleg. This will blow you away - turn it up!!
Wine Glasses - can't tell you much about it except that it doesn't offend the ears.
The alternate versions of Have a Cigar & Wish You Were Here are of real interest for any hardcore fan.
Roger & the boys supply the vocals on this version of Have a Cigar. Waters didn't think his vocals were right for this track at the time. Roy Harper happened to be recording an album at the same studios at the time so Floyd asked him for his assistance for the original album version.
The actual structure of Wish You Were Here is different, let alone a different lead at the start from Gilmour. Add to that the violin solo played by French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli up high in the mix as a lead instrument and you have something very different from the familiar version.

Pros and Cons of disc 2:
Pros: the whole of disc 2 is what a lot of us fans have prayed for.
Cons: not enough live material. It would've been awesome to have the whole Wembley gig, warts and all.

Excellent release.
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on 20 February 2000
Wish You Were Here really has to be listened to all the way through from start to finish in one sitting. Any other way just doesn't do it justice. David Gilmour's opening guitar notes on Shine On You Crazy Diamond ring out like cathedral bells and this was the inspiration for Roger Waters' haunting lyrical tribute to lost band member Syd Barrett. Welcome to the Machine is a gutsy attack on the recording industry and has to be heard just for the clarity of the stereo acoustic guitars ringing out over the swooshing synthesizers and rolling tympanies. Have A Cigar features Roy Harper on vocals and funky guitars and continues the disillusioned rock star theme. The absolute classic Wish You Were Here follows, with one of the best openings of any rock song ever produced. Shine On You Crazy Diamond returns to conclude the album. If there is a better album from this era, I'd like to know what it is. The packaging of this album (designed by long-time Pink Floyd cohort, Storm Thorgerson) is as equally as impressive as the music itself and likewise deserves to be studied at length. Although released in 1975, this album has not aged or become dated with the passing of time at all. Buy it.
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on 7 November 2011
There is no question that Wish You Were Here is a 5 star album, but this Immersion box set is over priced and a disappointment.

Firstly, at the time of writing, it costs the same as the Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion box, £84.99, but contains one less disc. At least the Dark Side box contained an extra CD of demos and alternate mixes, which made it a little more desirable.

Discs 1 & 2, the remastered original album and bonus tracks, can be bought for £12.93 as part of the Experience edition.
For your extra £70+, you get 2 DVDs and a Blu Ray disc, replicating the DVD contents. Therefore, if you have a Blu Ray player, the DVDs are redundant. There is no doubt, however, that this is where the holy grail is contained, with the release of the long awaited 5.1 mix of the album, in addition to the original 1975 Quadrophonic mix and concert screen films.

As with the Dark Side set, the rest of the box is filled with 'collectibles', most rather pointless and of 'cheap' quality. The two photo books are flimsy and lack much content, the scarf and marbles are pointless, & the print, collector's cards, replica ticket and backstage pass are interesting to look at once, but you won't need to return to them again. EMI could have left all these out and cut the price.

If you have an SACD player, I would recommend buying the SACD instead, which contains the 2011 remaster and 5.1 mix. Although it has to be imported, it is available from European online sites for around £30, including shipping. That way, you can still own the 5.1 mix and save yourself £50 odd quid.
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on 8 November 2011
The music on "Wish You Were Here" - possibly the Floyd's best-ever album - is faultless and can be recommended without reservation, especially this remaster which offers the listener subtle but significant improvements on previous incarnations.

The bonus disc, likewise, sounds superb and contains some peerless music, from the three '74 live tracks; the eerily beautiful "Wine Glasses" from the aborted "Household Objects" project; a lengthy, more languid "Cigar" sung by Big Rog; to the album title track, complete with a sparkling contribution from Stefane Grappelli.

It's the rest of it that lets this set down. The AV DVD is very short and contains some de-contextualised screen films from '75 (boring after one viewing, TBH) and a pointless Thorgerson short film. That's it. The audio DVD has surround mixes, as does the DVD.

There's the usual tat (cheap scarf, marbles, un-memorabilia and cardboard coasters) and a couple of flimsy books which, while better than the DSOTM books could still have been more comprehensive - and in hardback too.

Unless you're absolutely desperate to own surround versions of the album, I can't really recommend this box, which represents very poor value for money.You'd be better off buying the Experience two-CD set which is about a fifth of the price.

Poor show, EMI! And the Floyd should show some interest and force their record company to do a better job.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 January 2012
This review is about the Super Audio CD edition of this album "Wish You Were Here: 35th Anniversary Edition".

I was lucky enough to get a copy of this limited edition SA-CD via a Japanese pre-order back in November 2011 and I'm glad I did. It's a testament to the incredible work that James Guthrie and his collaborators have done remastering and remixing this landmark Pink Floyd album. There are a couple of different ways to purchase the new masters. There's the authenticly repackaged Wish You Were Here [VINYL] and the single cd "Wish You Were Here [Discovery Edition]" which contain just the original album. There's the double cd "Wish You Were Here Experience Edition", the ridiculously expensive box set "Wish You Were Here Immersion Edition" and of course the SA-CD. All I was really interested in was the 5.1 mix or the original Quad mix and almost shelled out the money for the box set. I'm glad, after reading all the bad reviews for the box set I decided the SA-CD was the best option.

Firstly the new stereo master which sounds much clearer than it's previous digital release back in 1994 with nice separation and rich bass tones. No doubt the advantage of SA-CD playback. But the real delight here is the 5.1 surround mix, originally prepared back in 2003 for release by EMI but shelved when they, like all of the major record labels abandoned the SA-CD format. I thought I knew every note of this album as it's always been my favourite Floyd release. The surround mix allows you to hear such amazing detail that, maybe until now, has only been heard by a select few who have the original Quad mix done by Alan Parsons. I could go on writing about all the new aural experiences this 5.1 mix allows you to pick out with the additional separation of surround sound but that would spoil it for potential listeners. The transition between "Have A Cigar" and the title track is awesome, that's all I'll say.

I hope everyone that was wanting a copy of this album on Super Audio got one on pre order (you'll be glad you did) and not too many third party sellers have picked up multiple copies for future selling at extortionate prices (as most SA-CD titles are currently being sold). It's the best SA-CD of rock music I've heard for many years. Now all we need is "The Wall" on Super Audio, wouldn't that sound great in 5.1?

"Remember When You Were Young..."
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on 7 November 2011
I'm a sucker for remastered versions even though I know that it's just an excuse to get you to buy something you already own. However just occasionally, it's a revelation. Wasn't convinced that the 2011 Dark Side sounded that much better but the second disk was worth the cost of admission alone. Where the 1994 double live CD Pulse was hampered by having to synch with the visuals (Comfortably Numb aside), back in 1974 they were able to stretch out more and these are real live versions not studio copies. WYWH has real live cuts also from 1974 and the long lost Stéphane Grapelli version of Wish you Were Here. The story goes that he was recording with Yehudi Menhuin at Abbey Road, popped by and was persuaded to jam along. Shame that Yehudi didn't join in as well. But it doesn't stop there, the sound is wonderful (play the old and new remasters side by side and you'll be knocked out) and is worth having even without the second disk in my view. This is the definitive remaster - just a shame that others in the series are not as noticeably different but perhaps they were nearer to perfection to start with!
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Another sonic feast from the remastering session undertaken by James Guthrie and Joel Plante at Das Boot Recording. This album has been improved significantly, as have the rest by this remastering, better stereo separation, as can be heard at the start of Shine On, the warbling sounds and the keyboards are so well defined in the stereo image that it possible to hear that each note comes from a different place. Everything sounds so much better and realistic when compared to the previous issues, cleaner, clearer, less obviously digital(an oxymoron if ever), better bass, again for the bass and also the keyboards, easier to understand singing, better harmonic content and so on.......

The bonus cd is by turns wonderful and yet a reminder of what could have been. The live 74 gig stuff is outstanding in sound quality and makes the missing Echoes all the more frustrating, why was it left out? Raving and Youv'e Got To Be could have gone onto an Animals bonus cd and Echoes thrown on here, or onto another bonus cd for Meddle. Anyway, these are all fine tracks. Wine Glasses is superb, I loved it, and now know where the intro for Shine On came from. The vocals on the alternative Have a Cigar are first class, can't see why they got Roy Harper in for that one. The Stephane Grapelli violin playing adds a really powerful emotional layer to Wish You Were Here that surprised me, again superb stuff.

Overall a magnificent addition to any Floyd fans collection. Highly recommended.

edit - it has struck me going back through this album and the Animals album just how much Rick Wright contributed to the Floyd sound. I would put this and Animals up as testament to the skill and musicianmanship of Rick as being second to none for getting a mood across. Floyd are often remembered for David Gilmours scorching guitarwork and Roger Waters acerbic lyrics, so I think it is only fair to point out the superb keyboard playing on this and Animals to redress this imbalance.

Nicks drumming comes across a lot better on all of these remasters, while I am praising the band.
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on 9 November 2011
If you're buying this for the Blu-ray 5.1 surround mix then don't bother as this mix is ruined by some very noticeable clicks towards the end (at 41:48, 43:54, and 44:10). The last one is a very loud crack from the front, left speaker right as the music fades. If you want this particular mix it would be better to wait until EMI correct these faults.
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*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2011 SINGLE-DISC VERSION ***

I've reviewed the 2011 remasters of Pink Floyd's "Meddle" (1971), "Obscured By Clouds" (1972) and "The Dark Side Of The Moon" (1973) - all of which are sonically amazing - but hugely disappointing on the packaging front (miniscule booklets that exclude original details and don't expand your knowledge a jot). It's pretty much an identical story here. But let's get to the details first...

1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1 to 5)
2. Welcome To The Machine
3. Have A Cigar [Side 2]
4. Wish You Were Here
5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6 to 9)

"Wish You Were Here" was originally released 12 September 1975 on Columbia Records PC 33453 in the USA and 15 September 1975 on Harvest Records SHVL 814 in the UK. This 26 September 2011 single-disc version (released 27 Sep 2011 in the USA) on EMI 50999 028945 2 2 is a straightforward 5-track remaster of that studio album. A 2CD 'Experience' Edition and a 6-Disc 'Immersion' Box Set both arrive on 7 November 2011 (see images below). This single-disc 'Discovery' reissue comes in a gatefold card sleeve with a newly laid-out 12-page inlay inside (total playing time 44:18 minutes).
[Note: original UK copies of the vinyl LP came in a 'black' shrink-wrap with a centred circular 'clasping-hands' sticker obscuring the cover underneath (US issues had 'blue' shrink-wrap). This new issue doesn't feature either of those, but instead simply uses the now familiar artwork underneath - two men shaking hands (one of them on fire).]

Like all the other albums in this 14-title reissue series - JAMES GUTHRIE and JOEL PLANTE have remastered "Wish You Were Here" at the Das Boot Recording Studios in Tahoe in California (Guthrie is a Sound Engineer associated with the band since 1978). The original 1st generation master tapes have obviously been given a thorough going over because it truly feels like each segment has had a staggering amount of time spent on them - worrying out every single nuance possible. The audio result is truly impressive.

On original 1975 vinyl and even later Audiophile represses, this most loved of their albums has always been a sonic disappointment - and frankly the 1994 remastered CD wasn't a whole lot better either. That's no longer the case. Little will prepare fans for "Have A Cigar" (sung by fellow Harvest Records label mate Roy Harper) and "Wish You Were Here" (the two opening tracks on Side 2). The funky keyboards and choppy guitars of "Have..." are unbelievably clear - huge in your speakers - while David Gilmour's acoustic guitar lead that comes in at about 1:10 minutes on "Wish..." is simply gorgeous (lyrics above).
The power of the synths on "Welcome To The Machine" still thrills, but the album's centerpiece has always been the 9-part "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" which is spread across both sides of the album (Parts 1-5 opening Side One, Parts 6-9 ending Side 2). Suddenly it's as if a fog has been lifted off the recordings - by the time it hits Dick Parry's astonishing sax solo at 11:10 minutes - I'll admit to having the same chills I had when I first heard it - all those innocent years ago. Another surprise is how good Parts 8 and 9 on Side 2 are - superb keyboard work from Rick Wright and often forgotten in favour of the more famous Parts 1 to 5 on Side 1. It's an impressive remaster, it really is - Guthrie and Plante are to be praised for their work here.

I wish I could say the same for the staggeringly unimaginative packaging. The 'Pink Floyd' logo you see in all the photos advertising these new reissues turns out to be a sticker on the outer shrink-wrap that gets lost the second you unpeel it. The card sleeves are like The Beatles 09/09/09 EMI reissues - glossy and flimsy - so they smudge with finger prints the second you open them and are easy to bend and crease. The CD itself has the new generic artwork (the sticker design on the outer packaging) repeated in different colour variations throughout the series - a sort of Turquoise and Pale Green for "Meddle", a garish Red and Pink for "Obscured By Clouds", Black and Gray for "Dark Side..." and for "Wish You Were Here" we get Blue and Green. But where is the beautifully designed sticker that graced original album sleeves on both sides of the pond - or the superb logo on the original label? This ludicrous new design has no relevance to the original and speaking of the disc itself - there's no protective gauze sleeve for the CD either so it will scuff on repeated plays. They've put the postcard that came with original albums as a centre-spread in the booklet instead of printing it separately - one of the biggest bands in the world and we get this cheapo s***...

But the skimpy booklet is the biggest disappointment. Although it has the lyrics (like this is a major improvement) it seems little different to the 1994 issue. It has no history on the album (it was about Syd Barrett and the music industry), no pictures of European and Worldwide 7" sleeves for "Have A Cigar" (the single lifted off the album), the different US album artwork etc. There are a few pictures of the band in the studio; the gatefold has the man swimming through sand (newish), but naught else to get your teeth into. OK - it does look nice and does the job adequately - but that's all. It's a lazy-assed approach on behalf of EMI and undermines the sterling work done on the sound front. I hate to come across like some nick-picking fan boy here, but it would have been nice to actually 'discover' something on this so-called 'Discovery' version (docked a star for that). And the superb 17:32 minute Parts 1 to 7 'Edit' of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" on the 2001 2CD Best of "Echoes" is A.W.O.L. too.

To sum up - I'm thrilled to say we finally get five-star sound for this truly unique album, but sadly only 3-star presentation in my book. Still - with the truly beautiful sonic upgrade - the casual listener is advised to dig in, rediscover and enjoy.

Die-hard fans however might want to wait for the Japanese Editions that will inevitably arrive in 2012 on the far superior SHM-CD format (a better make of CD playable on all players). With their faithfully reproduced artwork and audiophile reproduction - they may give your bank manager a cold sweat - but they will absolutely be the ones to get if the best is all you'll accept.

On hearing this - "Meddle", "Obscured By Clouds" and the magnum opus that is "The Dark Side Of The Moon " should be your next port of call. I suspect many will feel exactly the same...

PS: fans of memorabilia should note that for this launch - HMV London is giving away a titled banded-envelope containing 6 colour postcards in the same style as the one in the original LP (a girl diving into a lake) for customers who purchase 2 titles in this reissue campaign. They're gorgeous and will probably become future collectables.
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on 9 November 2011
Compared to the excellent Dark Side of the Moon SACD this is a major ripoff

You are forced to buy marbles, clothing and other debris in order to access the 5.1 mix
What a rip-off...
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