Why I’m not buying any of those Pink Floyd box sets

I see there’s a shock-and-awe advertising campaign for the reissues of the classic 70s albums by Pink Floyd. Prominent position in HMV, staff wearing t-shirts bearing Storm Thorgenson’s iconic artwork, the works. And I’m not buying.

Yes, an album like Dark Side of the Moon is all-time classic which has stood the test of time and has finally emerged from the long shadow cast by of Punk to take its rightful place in the British Rock Canon. But let’s face it, if you really cared about the album, you’d already have it on CD, right?

September has been one of the best months for new progressive rock releases I can remember for a long, long time. In the space of two weeks there have been new releases by Dream Theater, Opeth, Anathema, Matt Stevens, Mastodon, Steve Hackett and Steve Wilson. Amazingly two of those releases even got four-star reviews in The Guardian! That’s one hell of a lot of new music, and you can have all of it for the price of just one of the ridiculously overpriced “Immersion editions” that you’ll probably only ever listen to the once.

I realise the target market for these things is the middle-aged bloke who stopped caring about new music when he got married and had kids decades ago, and now in the throes of his mid-life crisis is desperately trying to reconnect with his long lost youth. He’s probably never even heard of Opeth. His loss.

Don’t be that guy. Don’t buy the box sets. Pink Floyd really don’t need your money. And EMI certainly don’t deserve it.

22 thoughts on “Why I’m not buying any of those Pink Floyd box sets

  1. I’m not buying any of these Pink Floyd box sets

    Dond. Neither am I. But then I’m not buying anything else either … one album ONLY since well before the kids’ summer holidays. (Richmond Fontaine’s The High Country, if anyone cares).

    Good to see you’re still around, kalyr.

  2. I’ve bought two albums this year which is quite a lot, for me! Not sure when I’d ever get time to listen to a box set of anything. And this from a middle-aged Pink Floyd fan.

  3. Hi Tim –
    I’ve been having the same thoughts about This Mortal Coils box set – £105 quid for 4 cds.. CDs! not even sexy vinyl!

    re-done art work will be beautiful – but it’ll be the size of a postage stamp – the music on 3 cd’s I’ll own….. and I’ll own some of the ‘never to be released’ (until we decide to cash in next time) 4th cd – because I used to buy all the 4AD stuff… but I’d really like the tracks I don’t own, but you know what – I will be buying new bands music instead, because since $AD has been sold – I now weep at the pleasure the label used to give me and despair at the marketing.
    Good luck to them – I love all the people involved in the project – but they wont be getting any money from me.

  4. I’m still shaking my head at Alex Petrie dishes’ description of it as a vast box set… 6 discs! Lightweight.
    And still fuming at, well, you know….

  5. In Amazon in Japan the box set is 16 CDs


    It is ¥ 21,264 for the USA import which is 176 pounds. There is no domestic release available yet.

    As the USA import of the remastered The Wall is more than ¥10,000 just alone, I am sure many fans will buy the Box set.

    But my problem is not the price of the Box set alone but the price of import Albums. The prices are really high so I rarely buy import albums (domestic cd typical price is about ¥2000 compared to (domestic cd typical price is about ¥ 10,000)

    I do like to have the media for my favourite albums but I normally down load them and then later when prices come down buy the media.

    I listen to music I own on CD differently to music I own on downloads. With CD I listen from my Hi FI and usually sit down and really listen to the music or like get lost in in it, with the downloads I have them on my iPod or laptop and listen when I am doing something else like sewing or reading or writing or things like that and of course when I am on the subway and things like that.

    I will not buy this box set as I am not so into Pink Floyd but I am sure very many people in Japan will!!!

  6. This has been a good year for my sort of music too, with new albums from Gillian Welch, Ry Cooder, the Gourds, Robert Earl Keen and Martin Simpson, and a boxed set from RT which I’m supposed to be reviewing for tincanman’s website (and I AM working on it, tcm, honest!).

    I did buy one expensive boxed set earlier in the year – over £100, and I already had all the audio. But that had been illegally downloaded, and I felt guilty in case TP was running out of money. And I found myself really needing the two DVDs, the Blu-Ray of everything (even though I don’t own a player), the book about the songs, the vinyl album, the notebook, the backstage passes (why?) and the posters.

  7. Much respect Tim for your ever-open ears and mind. I’ve no need of the boxed set either, though if they help any of my fellow middle-aged blokes with children through any mid-life crises they might be experiencing – well, there are worse things they could do ?

  8. The real torture for me this month is going to be the release of the Beach Boys Smile.
    There’s no way I’m shelling out for the boxed set ( in truth I’ve probably got most of it anyway) but the sight of it does set my old heart racing a bit….all those lovely discs…..I suppose I could sell my daughter…

  9. Quite right Tim. This new release is the musical equivalent of mechanically recovered orange juice – it’s a dilute and leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. I was up in Fife yesterday and listened to Johnnie Walker’s Sounds of the Seventies special and felt that they were deeply in flogging a dead horse territory. All the alternate takes nonsense seems to be lost even on Dave Gilmour who seems incapable of recalling whether there were spats about the development of the album. I shall continue to keep a look out for a better copy of the original lp at the car boot sale and am surprised that they have not done a massive vinyl box set because that would be the ideal way to wring the last few bob from their slavering over 45’s market

  10. When I posted the same rant on my own blog, it got a link via Facebook from Classic Rock Present’s Prog’s official Facebook page.

    Not only did I get a massive spike in traffic, I also had a good laugh at the idiot commenters. Especially those who thought I was an ignorant youth. I think I struck some raw nerves there.

  11. well said, Tim! There really is so much great great new music coming out all the time which seems to me to be far more deserving of our hard-earned cash.

    Mind you, although it was only a Best Of… CD, NIrvana’s Best Of…was easily worth the price for “You Know You’re Right” alone….but maybe that’s just me!

    (i’m trying to restrain myself from laying into the Floyd, but I really really can’t stand ’em! The Wall is the only record i’ve owned that i’ve given away!…but maybe that’s just me…)

  12. I’m not buying any of those Pink Floyd box sets

    Neither am I. I’ve got all the Floyd albums already (except The Wall, Final Cut and Momentary Lapse, and the cash-in compilations), so why should I buy them again?

    The whole exercise smacks of record label greed.

  13. I tend to buy new bands’ albums, they need the money, and ‘obtain’ old stuff from the internet, arguing the likes of Van Morrison and Neil Young don’t really need the money (not a very convincing argument for theft, I know). I don’t usually go in for re-issued stuff, unless it’s the 5 cds for 12 quid (Springsteen, Miles, Laughing Len) to make up a full set, or it’s stuff that is truly changed for the better by re-mastering. I recently received a set of a dozen or so Van Morrison early albums (including The Inner Mystic – a live bootleg) which are unbelievably good. Like a seemingly grubby grey stair rod that polishes up into a sterling silver candlestick.

  14. Am sure the die-hard fans will enjoy the various versions & out-takes. I’m not really interested in diluted versions of DSOTM & WYWH, as the band didn’t do bad with their original editorial decisions. Emerged from the long shadow of punk? Yeah, just like MJ’s Thriller was completely overlooked.

    Did buy an Unmen album for $0.36 on Amazon the other week.

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