Although it doesn’t quite have the mega-selling juice of the Beatles’ 1 collection from last year, the new Pink Floyd retrospective Echoes is doing quite well for itself. The album will debut at Number Two in next week’s Billboard, with premiere-week sales of more than 214,000 copies, trailing Britney Spears but topping Michael Jackson.
The album’s 26 songs run from the group’s recording debut in 1967 through its latest album, 1994’s The Division Bell, meaning it features material from the brief period Syd Barrett led the band as well as songs recorded after his departure in 1968, when bassist Roger Waters and guitarist David Gilmour took over.
Drummer Nick Mason said that in listening to Echoes he still feels it’s the same band, even if different members were forging its direction. “Lyrically they’re quite different, because Syd’s writing is different to Roger’s, but musically, I think, there’s a style, there’s a sound and a way of assembling the sound that’s continued through, and I think particularly in terms of overlaying sound and then this sort of introduction of special effects. That fact that ‘See Emily Play,’ for instance, has that bridge which is sort of a double-time, speeded-up tape thing, that was a forerunner of all sorts of ideas and sound effects and strange noises that have been used consistently ever since,” he says.
The members of Pink Floyd-including keyboardist Richard Wright-are currently working on their own projects, with no plans to reunite in the wake of Echoes’ success.