'Echoes' repeats Floyd's greatest
By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff
It's been argued that no best-of collection can do justice to Pink Floyd,
because the band is such an album-oriented act that taking songs out of
context dilutes the full effect.
Photo courtesy of Capitol Records
From Left: Richard Wright (keyboards), Roger Waters (bass,
vocals), Nick Mason (drums) and David Gilmour (guitar, vocals) comprise
one of rock
music's ultimate bands: Pink Floyd.
So when Pink Floyd finally releases a career-spanning two-disc, 26-song
collection — one that's more than two-and-one-half hours long — how exactly
does one listen to it as a critic?
On sheer scope, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd is probably the one release
Floyd fans have wanted for years. Save for the brief Works, a collection
that filled out the band's original Capitol Records contract, Pink
Floyd had never released a comprehensive best-of set.
Four members — David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and, aboard
a Floyd project for the first time since The Final Cut, Roger Waters —
hand in selecting the songs.
Syd Barrett was the only original member not included. Barrett's drug-induced
free-fall has been well documented. It paved the way for Gilmour, and for
an entire album's worth of material (Wish You Were Here).
If it sounds like nothing could tie classic songs like "Time" and "Comfortably
Numb" with "newer" material like "Learning to Fly" and "High Hopes," think
again. The collection doesn't follow a chronological order, but much
like on Dark Side of the Moon, the songs are mixed together to form one
The longer songs are shortened, cutting out some of the excess, but
that doesn't stop "Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-7)" from clocking
than 17 minutes. It also doesn't take away from the trippy atmosphere
it and Echoes provide listeners. There's a reason Pink Floyd's music is
laser light shows. It's about an experience or mood as much as it is
about whether or not you can hum along to the melody.
That's not to say Floyd is completely inaccessible. It's had more than
its fair share of classic radio-friendly songs. "Another Brick In The Wall
"Money" and "Wish You Were Here" are thankfully included (although
"Have A Cigar" and "Young Lust" aren't).
But to get the full history lesson — which this collection obviously
aims for — you have to listen to the Barrett-penned "Astronomy Domine,"
Blues" and, included for the first time on CD, "See Emily Play" and
"Arnold Layne." It's clear the post-Barrett Floyd eased up on the psychedelic
eventually becoming a tighter ensemble.
Echoes also includes the seldom-heard "When the Tigers Broke Free,"
a song that was left off The Wall but included on the film's soundtrack.
song does wonders in explaining why the main character in Waters' story
is so disillusioned.
Is it the best? It's hard to contend with the choices, but "High Hopes,"
"Marooned" and "Keep Talking" aren't worthy of being placed side by side
"Hey You" and "Wish You Were Here."
Aside from that, the original argument remains. While Echoes is a long
time coming, the songs are taken out of context. On the original releases,
served a greater purpose.
Echoes is a good introduction, but to get a better experience, buy Dark
Side, The Wall and Wish You Were Here.
Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd
**** (out of five stars)