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Echoes - Pink Floyd

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      12.12.2006 13:43
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      The complete life of one of the 'giants of rock.'

      Forthcoming like a tropical flower of a plant that only bears colour ever fifty years, each Pink Floyd creation has been of wonderment, extraordinary imagination and of the very era that they represented. Taking part in each genre through the blues of the mid Sixties to Psychedelic rock towards the end of the same decade, then on to the rock Gods of the Eighties, they gave us an indication of their mind altering allure. Strangely never individually making a statement apart from the Pink grand master, Syd Barrett, this band stuck together rather silently like glue. Appearing, at first student like with shallow faces and long beards, the members of this giant band didn’t ever look as though they would have the impact on the world as they did. Yet, in this particular album, ‘Echoes,’ we are subjected to the very essence that reminds us how like Gods of rock music they really were.

      As a minor lover of compilation albums, it has to be said that anything by Pink Floyd can’t possibly be seen in the same pigeon hole as the likes of Take That’s new ‘greatest hits’ effort from this year. Where as the latter gave us semi thoughtful pop songs, Pink Floyd, on the other hand gave us depth, vision and not to mention, a defining insight to a genre that still captivates us today.

      Even though ‘prog rock’ as they are termed, is not your thing, this has to be a must in any eclectic record collection simply for it’s unique diversity and orchestral layers of inspirational themes. In this two disc collection, what appears here are not just Pink Floyd tracks but anthems of each generation they stepped through. Gathered together in no apparent order, each tracks spells out a theme and a space in time. Each piece is a window in music history in the Pink Floyd career. Each dictates a mood shift be it before or after the years of Syd Barrett.


      ==============================================


      Formed somewhere in London around the time of the turn of music patterns from mod like Mersey Beat to the colourful, surrealism latter of the Sixties, Pink Floyd had already taken a firm seat in the realms of ‘unidirectional bands’ when they enlisted the help of Barrett. His surrealistic approach to vocals and spiritual song writing gave PF their unmistakeable edge. Drawing them away from the 'run of the mill' blues bands, it wasn’t long before this unusual group were creating pieces enlisted into the top ten. Although the commercialistic world was never one where PF felt most at home, it was were, essentially, the bread and butter was to be found and it is these tracks, as early and as flat as they seem now, are found on this universal album. From the extremism of the title track ‘Echoes’ (1971) which is a definitive story of the typical feeling that psychedelic rock once gave us to the flower power flatness of ‘See Emily Play,’ (1967) which holds very little in the way of Sixties euphoria in general, but is still an essential piece of PF history.

      This first disc takes us through a wide cross section of Pink Floyd attributes from 1967 to 1994. The latter in the shape of ‘Marooned’ feels it’s way through a gentle winding path of Pink Floyd maturity, edging closely toward the present day, this instrumental track cascades our ears into a deep pool of relaxation not unlike a soft rock Enigma piece, that it short in length but also gives us a strong indication of Gilmour’s recent album, ‘On An Island’ (2006) It captures Floyd after the rise and fall of Syd Barrett but the very picture of the band, emerged from the other side and into a new Century. This particular track was taken from the widely accused ‘Division Bell,’ from 1994, which, although adored by fans throughout, was not acclaimed as being open of Floyds best albums with it’s depressing key.

      ‘The Great Gig In The Sky,’ written by Richard Wight also appears from the highly regarded album, ‘Dark Side Of The Moon,’ an album, which has forever been heralded as Floyd’s greatest land mark. Released in 1973, it’s popularity has quite incredibly gown over the years, giving way to each new generation of eager Floyd listeners.

      There will be a few surprises as well as an equally pleasing chance to experience some of the space rock pieces that appeared in psychedelic, epitomising albums such as ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets,’ which opened up the flood gates in the way of the experimental sessions that Floyd members were delving into. The strangeness of ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun,’ may be, to many of you, way over your heads for any sort of comprehensional understanding, so we’re pleased to hear the grounding bluesy ‘Money,’ that follows, rather comfortably, thus showing us that the defining elements of Floyds finest hour was the early Seventies.

      No Floyd time stretching collection could be complete without a handful of sprinkled rocks from their 1975 album, ‘Wish You Were Here.’ Perhaps, apart from ‘Another Brick In The Wall Part Two’ (featured on disc one) ‘Shine On Your Crazy Diamond,’ written as an introverted tribute to Syd Barrett (although he left in 1968) is about as famous as the band has ever got. Created by old school mate and new member Dave Gilmour who was brought in to replace the shamed drug fuelled Barrett, it shows a dramatic shift in the pattern that Floyds music was taking suddenly. I doubt that Floyd could have kept going, commercially on the back of the disorientated Barrett any longer, Gilmour brought to the band a sense of tranquillity and calm in an era where the band became it’s most fragile.

      Roger Waters, from this point took the vocals most of the time from then on and the band kept the same surrealism but kept it on an even keel. This second disc takes us back through a season of Floyd anthems that see this change in not just the line up but in the direction of this psychedelic band now floating somewhere into the middle of aging rock and mediocre tracks that only the over forty’s would appreciate. This, it must be aid, was not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. The band had taken on a persona towards the end of the Eighties as being giant rock Gods who once were making good hits too. Now they appear initially, almost as if trying to out do each other in gig venues.

      In the second part of this album, the band gives us a route through the Eighties era of the band, an era that broke a great deal of prog bands yet also made a few. Such great masters had their day and found a whole new audience in the era of lip gloss and big frills. No one really wanted to listen to a bunch of guys who resembled their Dad’s anymore. The sobering ‘Comfortably Numb,’ which was recently covered by the Scissor Sisters, shows us their moment in 1979 when Floyd where nervously embarking on the next unknown decade. They brought in strings, to give their existing song writing talents a more up to date feel. Although we are still brought back down to Earth with a few gems from the jagged edged album, ‘Meddle,’ (1971) which, personally, I felt was their shining moment in their growth from psychedelic to listenable, foot tapping rock. ‘One Of These Days,’ is a classic example of angry Floyd here. They create a vision of double bassed effects and sound disorientation as well as a thrashed drum section that is Floyd at their energetic best. This is eventually followed by ‘Learning To Fly,’ and then a typical Barrett influenced ‘Arnold Layne,’ which may be super psychedelic and mind altering enough but this also show the very strong effect that Barrett had on the band. So much so, that it doesn’t sound like the same band. This is where we have two schools of thought. It would appear that it is correct in assuming that there are two camps when it comes to fanatical thoughts over Pink Floyd. There are those who adore the works of Barrett and will always be firm in the knowledge that Floyd was only Floyd when they were bearded, young and taking drugs. Then you have the school who wholly support the arrival of Gilmour and his sublime effect on the band aging them most gracefully and thus allowing the title of ‘giant rock band’ to fit perfectly.

      Although the being of Barrett of asked to leave, there never has been a moment when any of the members have dismissed his haunting presence on their recordings since. They have tribute to him at every gig and here, he still is very much a member of the band, even though he is not credited in the front sleeve. This still gives the listener the defining tour around the world of Pink Floyd from ‘Sgt Pepper,’ imitations to the dreamy guitar riffs of Gilmour’s excellence. This album is moving and like any history of anything or anyone, a band’s life is a life that has it’s birth, it’s maturity and it’s final days. It lives with a heart and a soul and hurts when a band member leaves, asked to leave and so on.

      Pink Floyd were an enigma whether they were your cup of tea or not, they were an institution and a presence in time. Any one interested in music, particularly British music history should take a journey through the mind, the spirit and the ‘Echoes,’ of Pink Floyd.


      Tracks include;

      Astronomy Domine/ Shine On Your Crazy Diamond/
      See Emily Play/ Time/
      The Happiest Days Of Our Lives/ The Fletcher Memorial Home/
      Another Brick In The Wall (part two)/ Comfortably Numb/
      Echoes / When The Tigers Broke Free/
      Hey You/ One Of These Days/
      Marooned / Us And Them/
      The Great Gig In The Sky/ Learning To Fly/
      Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun/ Arnold Layne/
      Money / Wish You Were Here/
      Keep Talking / Jugband Blues/
      Sheep / High Hopes/
      Sorrow / Bike


      Pink Floyd are;

      David Gilmour
      Roger Waters
      Richard Wright
      Nick Mason




      Echoes - The Best Of Pink Floyd
      EMI records 2001
      2435361112
      www.pinkfloyd.com

      ©sam1942 2006
      Ciao and dooyoo

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      • More +
        09.03.2003 10:15
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        • "A Bit Pricey"

        I am a bit biased because Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands, and because of my bias, I expect only the best from Pink Floyd. I feel this is a CD that lives up to the Pink Floyd name, despite not having all of the best songs on it, but in order to get every good one into one set, you'd need atleast 5 CDs (all of Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall; and then a mix of Animals, Division Bell, and Momentary Lapse of Reason). Even though this is a compilation, it still stays true to the Pink Floyd style. For instance, if you listen to The Wall or Dark Side of The Moon, there is rarely a definate ending to a song. All the songs flow into eachother and work together to express a certain mood or opinion (opinion especially in these two cases). The songs on this CD are also blended together and flow as well as they possibly can. The CD gets to the heart and sould of Pink Floyd. It is the epitome of Pink Floyd. This CD includes the essential Pink Floyd songs: "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," "Comfortably Numb," "Us and Them," "Another Brick in The Wall II," "Sheep," "Money," "Time," etc. I could go on forever naming all the great Pink Floyd songs. I love the cover art. In case you didn't already notice, they've found a way to incorporate album art from every album they produced. For Dark Side of the Moon, they have a prism. For Momentary Lapse of Reason, they have a bed. It's a clever way to tie everything together. For a person who is not familiar with Pink Floyd, this CD provides the spirit of Pink Floyd. It gives the listener an idea of what they are all about and serves as a great basis. For a person who is familiar, and I am very familiar, with Pink Floyd, it's a nice CD to have in your collection, this way you don't have to keep switching CDs. In my opinion, this CD is well done. I love cruising to it or fallin
        g asleep to it. Unfortunately in my case, I like every single Pink Floyd song. I wish the CD would have included Learning to Fly, Dogs of War, and the entire Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall albums. For a Pink Floyd nut like I am, this CD is no good. I would rather just buy The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Division Bell, and Momentary Lapse of Reason. Before this, I already owned all those CDs, but now that I've heard this CD, I have been exposed to the earlier work: anything with Syd Barrett and the album Animals. I am glad I have this CD or I might have never heard "Sheep" or "Arnold Layne." MY FINAL RATING: For a person who IS familiar with PF, I give it a 3 because it's a compilation and you've already heard these songs, yet it's nice to have it all on one CD. For a person who ISN'T familiar with PF, I give it a 5 because it's everything you need to become a fanatic. OVERALL: 4

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          20.08.2002 23:10
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          • "Not to the usual standards"

          This album is, by Pink Floyds standards, rather weak. I bought it, without question, because it addorned the sacred name of Floyd. However, I felt a little let down by the packaging, and the choice of songs. Even David Gilmore accepted that no-one could actually be bothered with the selction process, so it all became rather hurried. What could have been a "best of...." album, became an excuse to make a few quick bucks. Shame on you, Floyd! However, all was not lost, as at least one of Syd barretts excellently penned songs, "bike", features prominently, showing that even now, almost 35 years after leaving the band, he is a prominenet part of bother their and our lives.

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            26.03.2002 00:14
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            • "read opinion"

            I write about Pink Floyd, one of the great bands that have marked the history of music. WHAT?!? But who said that? I know that the double CD “Echoes” is a “Greatest Hits”, but, before listening to it, I didn’t know this group, so I write a review of what I listen to at present. Before, I knew only the song “Another Brick In the Wall” (to tell the truth, I had also listened to “One of These Days”, because it is the theme song of an Italian TV programme, but I didn’t know that it was sung by the Pink Floyd); now, this is still the only song that I know. And why? The answer is simple: the other songs are disgusting. Many opinions on Dooyoo about music are written speaking about every single trace of a CD; in this opinion it is no use adopting this scheme, because all the songs seem to be identical for me (none is noteworthy), and so I can make a single speech. But what the hell have they done to be so famous? The first thing that you can notice in their songs is the duration: incredibly excessive! I’m talking about songs which last 10 – 15 minutes! And they could at least be beautiful and varied! The content could be condensed in a nucleus lasting a few seconds; then this nucleus is repeated endlessly. I’ve said this opinion to a friend and he has replied: “Ah! So you don’t like psychedelic music!”. Well, if you want, I can accept this comment, but don’t say that this kind of music is listenable. In fact, this kind of music can please you if you “take it in small doses”, but eventually it is really disgusting. When I listen to a song I pay attention to two parameters: the music and the sung part. I have to acknowledge taht this group succeeds in creating an incredible atmosphere of mistery, but then what’s the use of this effect, if it doesn’t dissolve? On the other hand, so
            me songs start very quietly and after 3 minutes, when they have reached the peak, suddenly end. As far as the words are concerned, they are very few, and, what’s more, they are not even sung with a beautiful voice. The aim of someone who produces some music is entertaining the listener, not making him sleep. To reach this aim a sustained rhythm is usually used; and if this feature is missing, don’t sing at least with a sleepy voice! It is a pity: some interesting musical cues are present, but in these songs they turn into an incredible boredom; perhaps they could be extracted and inserted in some other songs... I do not feel like recommending this CD to anyone: I usually listen to music to cheer myself; I listened to this CD when I felt a bit depressed... it made me sink into a state of tiredness and of absolute emptiness. An idea of old things comes out of the CD, and if this is “The best” I daren’t think of how is the rest...

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              18.03.2002 03:05
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              As the full title suggests, Echoes is a collection of some of Pink Floyd's best songs. The double CD also serves as a kind of documentation of the band's history. Even today, 'the' Floyd remain one of music's biggest influences, with bands such as Radiohead singing their praises. In an era of the supergroup and when live music was an art form, Floyd were sitting at the top of the tree. And it's all here some 30 years of awesome back catalogue dusted up and put together in the form of one double album. It is worth reiterating that, despite a fondness for pyrotechnics, Pink Floyd were no gimmick band, and they played all their instruments. They can be likened to Led Zeppelin in many ways ? songs that ran for almost a quarter of an hour, they didn't release singles for more than a decade and they never pandered to pop. But other than that, Floyd were poles apart from anything else around in their time. Perhaps strangely, tracks appear in a non-chronological order, but it seems to work. Some of the more sombre stuff is mixed in with the upbeat to really keep you interested. Classics to listen out for include See Emily Play, Happiest Days Of Our Lives and One Of These Days. Throughout, Gilmour's genius guitar stands as true today as it did back then, and this is a must-have in any rock fan's collection. Unless you can afford the individual albums of course!

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                19.11.2001 23:14
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                I am sure everyone on the planet has heard of Pink Floyd - one of the most famous, yet mysterious bands of the latter parts of the 20th century. And here they are reminding us that they are still around as we take a few early steps into the 21st century where we are ruled by manufactured pop bands and money hungry music-executives, who seem more interested in merchandising revenue than in originality, freedom and musical talent. Lets face it, if Pink Floyd were just starting now they would get nowhere. But, fortunately for us Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright formed a band in the late 60's when anything goes....LSD, marijuana and free love etc... Pink Floyd are often referred to as Quasi-Classical, Space-Age Rockers and their music referred to as Wagnerian and Operatic. The reason these description sound so strange (and ridiculous) is because PF's music is varied, innovative and does not conform to any particular standards (other than that laid down in their previous albums). This album takes us through the entire history of the band, from early singles like 'See Emily Play' and 'Arnold Layne'. The singles were shortly followed by the band's first album 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn'. Echoes also contains the classic space-age number 'Astronomy Domine' and 'Bike' taken from the first album. Shortly after the first album lead singer/songwriter/lead guitarist Syd Barrett departed due to health reasons (mostly mental apparently). Fortunately the band had already brought on board Dave Gilmour - a friend of the band who was originally brought in to cover Barrett for the live shows where he seemed particularly unstable. After Barrett departed, Gilmour's influence began to push the band slightly more mainstream which eventually culminated in the release of the All-Time Classic album 'Dark Side of the Moon'. There are a few tunes fro
                m this album: 'Money', 'Time', 'Great Gig in the Sky' & 'Us and Them'. Fortunately this record also contains some of the more traditional marathon-length Floyd tunes like 'Shine on you Crazy Diamond' (a tribute to Syd Barrett), 'Echoes' and 'Sheep'. Its good to see that they didn't cave in and fill the album full of 4 minute tunes. 'Division Bell' (the band's most recent studio release in 1994) is well-represented too, with 'High Hopes' and 'Keep Talking' (which features the voice of Stephen Hawking). There is quite a good mix throughout the album, the tunes are not played in order of release and each album is well-represented: 'Learning to Fly' & 'Sorrow' from 'Momentary Lapse of Reason'; 'Sheep' taken from 'Animals'; 'Hey You' & 'Comfortably Numb' & 'Another Brick..(part 2)' taken from 'The Wall'; 'Shine on you Crazy Diamond' & 'Wish You Were Here' from 'Wish You Were Here'. (You may or may not have seen Wyclef Jean, the ex-Fugee, on MTV doing a version of 'Wish You Were Here' recently). I would recommend this album to most fans. I own a few Floyd albums (Division Bell, Momentary Lapse..,Wish You Were Here, Dark Side, Relics and Pulse) and I enjoyed 'Echoes' immensely, but I did miss a couple of tracks like 'Run Like Hell' and 'Take it Back' which are a couple of my personal favourites. 'Echoes' is a good album to own, but for those of you who want to experience things properly you have to listen to one of the live albums like 'Pulse' (released 1995) or 'Delicate Sound of Thunder' (released 1988). I prefer Pulse as it contains a few tracks off Division Bell and the encore is my 3 favourite songs (Run Like Hell, Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here). We can only
                hope and pray that the band can put the contract/money/control wrangles to one side and do the decent thing, and do a series of (farewell?) gigs for those of us too young to see them last time and others who have followed them since their heyday.

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              • Product Details

                Disc #1 Tracklisting
                1 Astronomy Domine
                2 See Emily Play
                3 The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
                4 Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
                5 Echoes
                6 Hey You
                7 Marooned
                8 The Great Gig In The Sky
                9 Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
                10 Money
                11 Keep Talking
                12 Sheep
                13 Sorrow

                Disc #2 Tracklisting
                1 Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-7)
                2 Time
                3 The Fletcher Memorial Home
                4 Comfortably Numb
                5 When The Tigers Broke Free
                6 One Of These Days
                7 Us And Them
                8 Learning To Fly
                9 Arnold Layne
                10 Wish You Were Here
                11 Jugband Blues
                12 High Hopes
                13 Bike