Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd

Meticulously remastered in state-of-the-art 24-bit sound, the two-disc Echoes comes close to achieving the impossible task of encapsulating the essence of perhaps the most ambitious and enduringly suc

Meticulously remastered in state-of-the-art 24-bit sound, the two-disc Echoes comes close to achieving the impossible task of encapsulating the essence of perhaps the most ambitious and enduringly successful of all album-oriented rock bands. Intimate fans may take issue with the track listing (and the odd, non-chronological sequencing), but for the newcomer or those who want a portable anthology, Echoes will serve well. The set features such initial psychedelic pop landmarks as "Astronomy Donime" and "Emily Plays," which spotlight the band's original creative catalyst—the legendarily unhinged Syd Barrett. The collection also finds room for such early epics as "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," even as it includes later classics like the pungent "Sheep." And, of course, there are multiple highlights from the evergreen totems Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall. More controversially, there are several tracks here from the slick post-Roger Waters incarnation of Pink Floyd; of these, only the poetic "High Hopes" stands up to the vintage material. The one rarity is the grandiose "When Tigers Break Free," originally only on The Wall film soundtrack. Yet another chart smash for an ongoing catalog champion, Echoes debuts this issue at No. 2 on The Billboard 200.—BB