A Foot in the Door: The Best of Pink Floyd
The only single disc overview of Pink Floyd’s extensive career is hamstrung by the band’s tendency towards creating sprawling albums, rather than concise hits. Even early songs such as the revelatory “See Emily Play,” Syd Barrett’s lone appearance here, seemed like an anomaly when it hit the UK charts in 1969.
The 2001 double offering Echoes had a larger palette to work with, an enormous advantage over trying to stuff the group’s most popular material into a generous if still limited 80 minutes. But with the recent sonic overhaul/upgrade and reissue of Floyd’s catalog, and some elaborately expanded packages of its biggest albums, the time seems to be right/ripe for this summary. From a more skeptical angle, the oncoming Christmas season typically favors hits collections, a corporate itch that Capitol/EMI is happy to scratch.
Floyd fans will surely quibble over some selections (the inclusion of The Final Cut’s cloying “The Fletcher Memorial Home” is especially suspect), but this isn’t made for them. It’s for the curious who might have heard “Have a Cigar” or “Money” on classic rock stations and want a fuller sense of Pink Floyd before they dive into entire albums where the meat of this band lies.
For them, this will fill the bill just fine, even though it omits tracks from some of the group’s best, albeit darkest, works such as Meddle and Animals. Additionally the lack of liner notes in a skimpy eight page booklet of insignificant photos is a major misstep for an archival release.
Still, any CD that includes 11 minutes of the defining Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5” and indelible progressive classics from The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, all in sumptuous remastered sound, should be a welcome treat under the Christmas tree for those unfamiliar with one of rock’s most challenging and influential acts.