- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish
- Subtitles Color: White
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: Not Rated
- Run Time: 85 Mins.
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
- Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: June 26, 2012
- List Price: $19.98
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
Pink Floyd’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here was the impossible follow up to the band’s classic break through album Dark Side of the Moon. Lesser bands might have folded under the pressure, and, truth be told, “The Floyd” nearly did, with squabbling over how to move forward, writer’s block, and troubles with the music industry at large. It was a twist of fate that showed them the way forward – four notes on the guitar happened upon by David Gilmour, the very ones that open “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”, and Roger Waters’ subsequent idea to split the song into two halves to bookend the album that allowed them to arrive at what we now know as the classic follow up.
The Story of Wish You Were Here is a song by song telling of how the album came together by the band members themselves, by longtime sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson, and guest vocalist on “Have a Cigar” Roy Harper. Throughout the documentary, the band and their collaborators discuss the album’s themes of isolation, disenchantment with the music business, and, most importantly, the inspiration of former member Syd Barrett whom, as most Floyd fans know, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” was about. The documentary touches on Barrett’s now well-known surprise visit to Abbey Road Studios during the recording sessions and, in a rare treat for fans, recording engineer Brian Humphries plays back the original vocal tracks for “Have a Cigar” laid down by David Gilmour and Roger Waters.
This 1080i/60 AVC encodement is adequate for the material at hand, providing relatively clean and sharp imagery during the various scans of archival black and white photographs and a natural appearance during the older film and video sequences. The newer, HD video interview segments naturally offer some of the best looking footage, but it does show a bit of video noise in darker areas of the screen.
One shouldn’t expect much from the audio in a documentary, even if it is about a seminal rock album like Wish You Were Here. While both the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) and LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit) mixes are fine options, there isn’t much to distinguish the two. The 5.1 mix does provide a “bigger” sound when the music is brought up in the mix as it has a bit of ambience added to the surrounds and a boost of LFE, but that’s it. Dialogue is clean for both and the musical snippets sound equally enjoyable in both mixes.
- Bonus Footage (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:25:43)
The Definitive Word
In Pink Floyd’s catalogue, Wish You Were Here definitely rivals Dark Side of the Moon (and The Wall, for that matter) for top honors among fans. With the band now in full-on retrospective mode, releasing “Immersion Box Sets” and, finally, on slightly more friendly grounds with one another, it’s a good time for this documentary to make it to Blu-ray for fans.
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