Pink Floyd loads everything into one holiday package
by Steve Morse
New boxed sets are flooding the market for the holidays. They're coming from Talking Heads, Jefferson Airplane, Hank Williams Jr., the Troggs, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, and many others. But none is a more massive project than Pink Floyd's "Shine On", an eight-CD box that you'll need a wheelbarrow for transporting home.
"If you're going to do a boxed set, you might as well do it properly," Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour says dry-wittedly in a phone interview from London. The set contains seven previous Floyd albums, plus a separate CD of singles and rare B-sides. It's expected to retail at close to [US]$150.
"The record company thought the price would be too high and wanted us to do a smaller box, but we really thought this would be an extremely good package for fans," says Gilmour. "I took it on myself to find all the original masters. There was a lot of crawling through vaults to get them. But everything's been remastered and I'm very pleased with it. Of course, there are some tracks that I still can't abide, but now I can't abide them in fuller living stereo."
Unlike some boxed sets, though, this one is not stocked with previously-unreleased tracks. "Everything we could possibly use, has already been used," says Gilmour.
Another sidelight to the box is that it's all been approved by former member Roger Waters, who had sued several years ago to try to prevent Gilmour and fellow Floyd members Richard Wright and Nick Mason from using the name. "It's still pretty unpleasant," says Gilmour.
"But Roger is still a shareholder in Pink Floyd business."
Meanwhile, Gilmour has returned to his hobbies of "flying airplanes and playing with cars a bit." As for the prospect of new Floyd music, he says, "Plans are pretty loose at the moment. Don't hold your breath. We're starting to play around at the moment, but that's just the moment. But when we do come back, you can be sure it will be another extravaganza. That seems to be the only way we know how to do it."