Body And Soul (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD-1537/38/39/40/41/42)
This new box set from Empress Valley is the expanded deluxe version follow up to their Another Wall (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 1418/1419) release. For this deluxe box they provide alternate or expanded editions of their ten year output from 1973 to 1983, certainly their most popular works hands down. The great majority of this material is certainly taken from the official Immersion sets, none of which I own. Each album comes in its own sleeve with alternate art work and the set is house in a deluxe box, the rear of which exclaims “Songs for the Mind…And the Body”.
Another Side Of The Moon
Disc 1 (73:04) Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, The Travel Sequence, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Roger Waters Interview
Speak To Me sounds like it is from a live version, there is an early mix of the album on the Immersion box set done by Alan Parsons where Speak To Me is missing as it had not been either created or added to the mix. After consulting BBC Archives 1974 (Sigma 1), this is the original of the song, they have added Roger The Hat to the piece as well, taken from the interview with Roger found on this CD as well. The additional of both On The Run and The Travel Sequence is interesting, On The Run is more corrosive than what would be featured on the final product and The Travel Sequence really doesn’t fit, it’s more of the part live with a few On The Run synthesizers added. The Great Gig In The Sky sounds like a part from the Immersion box set alternate mix which features coverage of a moon landing. Us And Them is interesting, at times it sounds like a live version, other times not, the Sax is very high in the mix. The final track is Roger’s interviews done for the album where he asked people questions pertaining to violence, madness, etc. The first and longest is Roger The Hat, a somewhat famous member of the road crew.
Wish You Were There?
Disc 2 (58:19) Wine Glasses, Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (part I-IX), Wish You Were Here Interviews
The Wish You Were Here Immersion set was a bit more stingy with its outtake material, Wine Glasses, Wish You Were Here, and Have A Cigar are from the set. Welcome To The Machine and Shine On You Crazy Diamond are from The Extraction Tapes released in 2014, the quality is much better and while a notch below the official material, it’s not by much. The interviews are a composite of comments done well after the 70’s had passed, Roger, David, Richard, and Nick all talk about Wish You Were Here, as well as Syd Barrett. Some of David’s answers are certainly about the Immersion box set. While not a standard interview per say, the answers come from a place of much reflection.
Disc 3 (64:03) Mademoiselle Nobs, You’ve Gotta Be Crazy, Pigs (Three Different Ones), Raving And Drooling, Pigs On The Wing (complete), Interviews
Mademoiselle Nobs is taken from Live At Pompeii, a fun addition as it’s a variation of Seamus from Meddle yet with a different dog named Nobs. You’ve Gotta Be Crazy, Pigs (Three Different Ones), and Raving And Drooling are all taken from The Extraction Tapes, and like the Wish You Were Here tracks from that tape, are in much better quality. Pigs On The Wing is the version from 8 track tape which features both parts together and a Snowy White guitar solo. There is a 23 minute interview composite that is not listed on the rear of the CD sleeve. Like the Wish You Were Here interviews, most are done more recently with much reflection, save the last one with Roger as he talks about the cover of Animals and Wish You Were Here and the current state of his philosophy. The quality is a bit worse than the other interviews but is an interesting and relevant interview done for radio.
Another Wall Revised Version
Disc 4 (65:28) Prelude (Vera Lynn), The First Bricks, In The Flesh?, The Thin Ice, Another Brick In The Wall, (part 1), Teacher Teacher, The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall (part 2), Mother, When The Tigers Broke Free, The Thin Ice (reprise), Goodbye Blue Sky, What Shall We Do Now?, Young Lust, Sexual Revolution, One Of My Turns, Don’t Leave Me Now, Empty Spaces, Another Brick In The Wall (part 3), The Last Few Bricks, Goodbye Cruel World
Disc 5 (53:26) Hey You, Is There Anybody Out There? (part 1), Nobody Home, The Final Cut, Is There Anybody Out There? (part 2), Vera, Is There Anybody Out There? (part 3), Bring The Boys Back Home, Comfortably Numb, The Show Must Go On, In The Flesh, Run Like Hell, Waiting For The Worms, Stop, The Trial, Outside The Wall, It’s Not Easy
The Wall portion of the set is a slightly edited version of Empress Valley’s Another Wall (Empress Valley Supreme Disc EVSD 1418/1419) release. The first disc has Another Brick In The Wall prelude and Another Brick In The Wall part 3 prelude removed, no issues with that as they were really just redundant tracks. This really does help the first disc flow better as well. On the second disc the version of The Show Must Go On is a few seconds longer. The only other difference is the CD’s have more elaborate pictures on them, this version features a Scarfe sketch mash up, the music quality is excellent like the first edition.
The Final Cut Expanded Edition
Disc 6 (53:44) The Post War Dream, Your Possible Pasts, One Of The Few, When The Tigers Broke Free, The Hero’s Return (part 1 & 2), The Gunner’s Dream, Paranoid Eyes, Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert, The Fletcher Memorial Home, Southampton Dock, The Final Cut, Not Now John, Two Suns In The Sunset, Interview
The Final Cut is referred to as the 1983 mix expanded addition which adds When The Tigers Broke Free taken from the 1982 single mix version and The Hero’s Return from the 12″ UK Not Now John single. They have added or reduced some of the between song sound effects. I only have the 2004 official expanded version of the album so to me, there are minor differences, mainly in the between song sound effects. The last track, again not listed on the cover, is a 6 minute interview with David about The Final Cut. The guitarist speaks frankly about The Final Cut project and his dissatisfaction with the material and the end results. It’s been years since I’ve listened to The Final Cut, I had forgotten how good it really is, certainly the inclusion of David Gilmour to the project made it as good as it is, his musical contributions in writing may be nil but his playing, etc is very good.
Bonus Disc: Another Side Of The Moon
Disc 1 (70:33) Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, The Travel Sequence, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Mortality Sequence, The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Roger Waters Interview
This bonus disc features the same mix as disc 1 but adds The Mortality Sequence in with the mix. Sadly the band did not have a full version from earlier, a professional recording from February 1972. This is a very interesting artifact, so somber is Richard’s organ. The spoken word is very difficult to hear sadly, at times there is another voice that can be heard, again difficult to fully make out what is being said. The version of The Great Gig In The Sky is also different than disc 1, pretty much Richard with a choir and violin, sounds more like a church service, very interesting.
The packaging is very nice, each album gets its individual artwork complete with OBI and everything fits nicely inside the box, even the Another Wall set. Empress Valley has released two versions of this set, both limited editions, the one I have is not numbered but the promo edition is a numbered edition which also has a colored hologram cover, a poster, a numbered insert and different cover for the bonus disc. If I was to nitpick this set, it’s the lack of information included with this release. The Another Wall release had a detailed breakdown which made it easier to not only know where the sources came from but understand some of the additions made to the set. It seems like Empress Valley is beginning to push the boundaries with the use of official material to build releases, assembling material to provide a more focused view that many times the official releases won’t. This release certainly is one with somewhat blurred lines.