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The Story of Wish You Were Here (2012) Blu-ray Review


The Film

A fantastic documentary on the making of Pink Floyd’s 1975 album Wish You Were Here. It helps that this is my favourite album of all time, but besides that detail, I really loved this. A lot is packed into the hour long running time, input from David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Nick Mason, with the first two actually playing pieces from the album throughout. The sound engineer on the album goes back to Abbey Road Studios for the first time in 30 years to go through the original recordings too, which is a real treat.

It’s a great look into the band’s struggles to top their worldwide smash hit The Dark Side of the Moon and how the theme of absence became a part of their new album’s theme. I love how much detail is put into who was interviewed, from seeing the man who appears on fire on the album’s iconic artwork, to hearing from the late Storm Thorgerson, the man behind such inspired imagery, and his very messy office. Even down to a backing singer or a woman who took some pictures of the band during a recording session, going back through her original archive of those shots.

My only complaint is that there wasn’t much from Richard Wright, who passed away in 2008, but the 2001 archival interview that was used featured his thoughts on Syd Barrett, and not much in the way of making the album. I’ve seen the full interview that was used and he discusses his thoughts on Wish You Were Here so I wish that had been used also. Otherwise, a very well made documentary, highly recommended.


The Blu-ray

The picture quality is very good on this release, some of the archival pictures look fantastic in high definition, which is usually the case if high resolution stills are used in these kinds of documentaries. The interview footage is mostly very crisp and pleasing too. The new footage shot in Abbey Road wasn’t lit well enough so there’s a fair amount of banding (or at least a similar problem in the black areas, I’m no expert) in those segments, but due to the nature of the film, it didn’t bother me too much. The audio was fine, once again, I’m no audiophile but it all sounded great to me, with many uses of the Pink Floyd music as you’d expect.


Special Features

There’s only one bonus feature here: Bonus Footage – featuring 25 minutes of just that, extra excerpts of the interviews with Roger Waters, David Gilmour and Nick Mason. There’s some good stuff in there and you can see why they may have been left out but at the same time, I would’ve preferred a longer main feature. Still glad they actually included it though. The menu is very professional and classy, with an easy to navigate interface. To be a stickler for details, given the celebratory nature of the Wish You Were Here album, I would’ve liked to see a lot more put on to the special features. There’s the screen films for example, that were shown live on stage during the original performances of the album back in the 70s. Or how about the full performance of the title track from 2005’s Live 8, which was used and referenced frequently in the main feature? I suppose licensing plays a part, at least in that instance. However, seen as Pink Floyd never chose to have their live shows filmed throughout their most prolific period, including Wish You Were Here’s release, it’s not a surprise there’s nothing extra special to showcase. The big 2011 Immersion set offers the screen films anyway, but it still would’ve been nice to include them. I do always appreciate getting to see interview offcuts though, and these are very good. There’s also a little more of Waters and Gilmour playing some of the songs when asked, but don’t expect full performances, just snippets.



A great Blu-ray release (the cover art, disc artwork and even inside inlay artwork are all very good) with a small but nicely put together credits booklet, a fantastic main feature and some decent bonus material. For a casual Pink Floyd/music fan, worth a look. For a big Pink Floyd fan, an essential, must own release.





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