'Echoes' gives perfect mix of Pink Floyd

Grade: A

There's just something about British bands--stylistically, musically and lyrically that sets them apart from the monotony of carbon-copy pop culture today.

Pink Floyd has demonstrated this even more with its recent release of "Echoes," which compiles over 30 years of hits from the band.

A reign that started in 1967 with the band's release of "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" is displayed throughout the 26-track, double-disc CD and does not disappoint.

There is no doubt that many dedicated and loyal Floyd fans have already purchased this collection of music which was released this month, and those who have not won't have to break their piggy banks open to get a copy. "Echoes" is reasonably priced and can be found for about $16.

This work is a generous mix of both old-school and modern tracks from the band and was compiled from some of the original recording tapes from Pink Floyd's earlier releases.

Classic and more well-known songs from this collection are "The Wall Part 2" from the "The Wall" release and "Money" from "The Dark Side of the Moon."

"Echoes" the fifth track on the first disc shows more of Pink Floyd's "psychedelic phase" and is an appropriate title for this compiled mass of music. This song resembles tracks put out at about the same time by groups such as The Doors.

Floyd's use of sound effects throughout the songs is an interesting and original trait that gives the group a style all its own. Among some of these background enhancements are the use of helicopters, computer synthesized voices, cash registers sounds and even children singing backup in songs such as "The Wall Part 2."

Music aficionados, not just passionate Pink Floyd fans, can enjoy this CD as well. Many of the tunes are recognizable and still played on the radio today. One example is "Time" off the second disc, originally released off of "The Dark Side of the Moon" in 1973.

The group makes some very interesting musical allusions to other songs and musical compositions all through the collection. In "Echoes" the baseline melody is a modified version of a melody taken from "Phantom of the Opera."

Pink Floyd also ties together its own tunes with subtle melodic references, thus creating a woven continuity throughout. This idea is artfully done, and something beginning rock bands try to do, sometimes without success.

Perhaps this is because Pink Floyd does not use the same musical style in its work. Both CDs show a variety of stylistic creativity, with the use of piano, trumpet, voice distortion and other electronic sounds. This contrast makes for an interesting listen to new Pink Floyd fans and those who have been fans for years.


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