In case there is anyone on the planet who has not yet become "immersed" in one of Pink Floyd's most famous albums, today EMI is releasing the "Immersion" box set edition of the band's 1979 alienation opus The Wall. This follows similar recent "Immersion" treatments of 1975's alienation opus Wish You Were Here and 1973's alienation opus The Dark Side of the Moon. But times are tough, and there's a lot of Floyd to
make money off of lovingly wrap up for loyal fans. Each of the three aforementioned albums is also available in cheaper "Discovery" and "Experience" editions that don't come with marbles and scarves and coasters and such. Late last year, the band put out newly remastered editions of each of its 14 studio albums. (There was also a fresh Greatest Hits comp for all the half-milers out there.) And what's this? Roger Waters is taking The Wall back on tour this spring? With all that to choose from, is this latest lavish goodie box worth plunking down for? Don't fret. We're here to help you make the hard decisions.
First, the music: It is Pink Floyd's The Wall album in various formats. Okay, now that we're done with the meat, let's get to the pudding. This is an "Immersion" box, baby! That means it's stuffed with all sorts of non-auditory knick-knacks. Below, our by-the-numbers breakdown of everything but the music.
Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $149.99
Approximate number of bricks you could buy for that price: 348
Number of times album has previously been reissued: 7
Number of non-musical items included: 29 (booklet by graphic designer Storm Thorgerson, photo booklet, art print by The Wall illustrator Gerald Scarfe, 4 collectors cards, scarf, replica tour ticket, replica backstage pass, 3 The Wall, marbles, 9 coasters, 6 replica drawings of The Wall live stage set, Gerald Scarfe handwritten lyric poster, credits booklet)
Intended age for marble users (according to choking warning label inside the box): 14. For marbles!
Cost in deutschmarks of a ticket to the band's February 14, 1981 show in Dortmund, Germany: 49 — or roughly $21 at the time — according to replica ticket included with the box.
Average cost of a ticket to Roger Waters' The Wall show at Yankee Stadium in New York City this summer: $133.71. Steep. But the box comes with a two-disc live performance. So you can just plunk down for that and then listen at home where the beer is cheaper. (The box's live performances were previously released in 2000 as Is There Anybody out There? The Wall Live 1980-81. But maybe you'd forgot to buy it back then.)
Number of anti-smoking messages: 1. Here's what it says on the back of the "collectors' cards": "The collectors' cards are a set of obscure Floyd images reminiscent of cigarette cards. (But these are anti-cigarette cards.) They can be found in various Pink Floyd products." It's unclear if Pink Floyd endorses smoking anything in non-cigarette form. Or how, exactly, these cards are anti-cigarette.
Number of sets of the album's lyrics: 2. Once on a poster and once in booklet form. Redundant, but helpful!
Number of informative captions to go along with the photos contained in the booklets: 0. Such an enigmatic band.
Number of Gerald Scarfe-designed scarves: 0. Scarfe scarves. This stuff isn't hard, Pink Floyd.
Number of words uttered by SPIN online associate photo editor Ken Bachor when perusing The Wall goodies: 2. "Pretty tacky."