You have to feel a little sorry for Pink Floyd fans.
Not too much, obviously. They are more likely than you are to have a final salary pension, a second home, a car that starts on a cold day, a membership to a gym they never visit and all the other trappings of the baby boomer generation, but it’s not as though this is lost on the record companies that sell products to them.
Because those record companies are looking to suck up Floyd fan’s cash almost as relentlessly as FOBTs target betting addicts at your local Ladbrokes.
It could be cripplingly expensive being a Pink Floyd fan if you let it become so – you could easily become addicted to their new vinyl and CD reissues.
A quick Google search will reveal reissues of “Relics” on 180g vinyl, a surround sound reissue of “Animals” not to mention (in the not-too-distant-past) five, six and seven disc “immersion” CD reissues of Wish You Were Here, The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon.
The reissue of the live Pink Floyd LP “Pulse” may have been welcomed by vinyl-loving Pink Floyd fans – original copies of the vinyl box-set released in 1995 have changed hands for an average of £280 in the last year, with the highest price on Discogs being an eye-watering £454.
So we can all agree the reissue is a good thing, meeting demand of vinyl-loving Floyd fans with a spare £88 or so nestling down the back of their Chesterfield sofas.
But what if you like Pink Floyd but don’t have an index-linked pension plan?
What of those Floyd fans who, by some cruel twist of fate, have been denied a BMW 318i and holiday cottage in the West Country?
Don’t worry, because there is a solution. A cheat’s way to join the fun of this latest reissue.
It is surely no exaggeration to say that Pulse, when released in 1995, went down in history as being the CD with the most thrilling, downright exciting CD packaging of all time.
Not only did the double CD package contain a (gasp!) booklet, but also a (swoon!) coaster – presumably for Floyd fans to rest their mugs of cocoa on before putting their CDs in their Marantz (as a minimum) CD players.
But that’s not all. (Impossible! Shut the front door! etc)
Because what really set Pulse apart to make it the most tremendously and utterly ecstatic CD event of all time, was the blinking LED light (or should that be pulsing? Yes. Yes it should) on the side of the slip case it came in.
Okay. Maybe I’m making too much of this. But compare it to most CDs, that most yawnsome of formats, it’s pretty damned exciting.
For six months all was well. Floyd fans thrilled at the swirly writing on the coaster that told them the LED light blinked on and off in time with the average human pulse (amazing!) and enjoyed seeing the light blink in their front room right up until their other half noticed an annoying blinking light in the front room and asking them to turn it off, at which point they realised they couldn’t, because there was no off switch.
After six months of blinking LED lights driving everyone to distraction, possibly at the expense of a few marriages, the battery expired and the thrills of the CD wore off. With no apparent battery compartment, to cut a long story short, there are now an awful lot of Pulse slip cases that – tragically – do not blink.
So if you want to join in the fun of the reissue, but only have £10 or so, instead of buying the reissue why not buy a second hand copy of the original CD, and bring it back to life?
First source the right CD on Discogs / eBay. Has to be an early version with the LED slipcase – not all versions have the LED. They’re not expensive.
Second, you’ll need a pair of pliers, and some patience. Look inside the slipcase and you will see a piece of card at the back that houses the battery compartment.
You will need to pull this out without inflicting too much damage (it is okay to inflict some) on the box.
The whole battery part is glued in place and the LED light then peeps through a hole in the card – see the photos…
It is then a simple matter of replacing the AA battery and pushing the whole thing, with blinking light, back into the case.
And there you have it. All the thrill of a new box set, without seeing your bank manager weep…