Pink Floyd, ‘A Foot in the Door’ – Album Review
With 'The Best of Pink Floyd: A Foot in the Door,' Pink Floyd are once again attempting to distill songs from their various highly-cohesive albums into a compilation format designed to be an easy entry point for new fans.
For nearly 50 years now, Floyd have been part of the rock 'n' roll landscape. Their position near the top of that hill has only grown more entrenched over time. This year marked the start of the 'Why Pink Floyd?' re-issue project that continues on through 2012, and the 'A Foot in the Door' is a single-disc distillation of the best from that campaign.
As the title suggests, this album tries to cover a lot of ground in a short time. It's hardly enough to whet the appetite. From the early brilliance of 'See Emily Play' up through one of their last stabs at greatness, 'High Hopes,' we get an all-too-brief glimpse into what made, and continues to make, this band so fascinating to generation after generation.
The songs do not run chronologically -- or logically for that matter -- but in a way, that may help the cause of indoctrination. By mixing up the order, it takes the focus off any particular era of the band, and aims it soley on the songs.
Things begin eerily with 'Hey You' form their landmark album 1979 'The Wall,' then switch gears in the blink of an eye to the technicolor early days with the band's second single, the aforementioned 1967 track 'See Emily Play.' It's one of the greatest singles ever made -- but unfortunately, it's the only track included from the Syd Barrett-era of the band. A mere three minutes long, it is just a flash of the colors used during the band's first amazing chapter.
So, what else have we got here? Well, the obvious radio staples like 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2),' 'Money' (the uncensored version, thankfully), 'Wish You Were Here,' 'Have A Cigar' and 'Comfortably Numb' all make obligatory appearances. But none of the band's wilder explorations of sonic terrain make the list. Actually, nothing before 'Dark Side Of The Moon' except 'Emily' is found here -- not one song from such giants as 'Meddle,' 'A Saucerful Of Secrets' or 'Obscured By Clouds' is included. Even their amazing 1977 album 'Animals' is shut out of the party.
It all centers around the heavyweights -- 'Dark Side Of The Moon,' 'Wish You Were Here' and 'The Wall' -- with twelve of the sixteen tracks coming from those three albums alone. It is, in a way, a disservice to a truly unique musical force that not only radio, but the band itself, goes back to the same well over and over again (we should note that the song selection was hand picked by the band).
With such a history, even a double-disc collection could barely scratch the surface, but limiting it to a single disc and including the same batch of songs you can hear every day on any given classic rock station might just prove two things: the public wants what the public gets, or the public gets what the public wants. In other words, another great band is being short changed by its own history.
That being said, the songs, even those we have heard time time and again, all sound incredible. The newly re-mastered tracks shine on nicely, shimmering like the crazy diamonds they are. And for the casual fan, it serves it's purpose.
It is obvious that great attention and care is being given to the band's re-issue campaign with the 'Immersion' and 'Experience' editions in particular. It's just a shame that a bigger foot wasn't able to be put forward through this particular door.