Pink Floyd: Album by Album is my hard cover, full colour coffee table
book in which I have two to four Floyd experts per studio album go off about
all things Floyd, namely Roger, Dave, Syd, The Wall, prog, psych,
production, album covers, power struggles, guitar solos, effects, lyrics,
Roger vs. no Roger, US vs. UK issues, the war and the public school system. In
a word... issues!
Names you might know who flex their Floyd in here include Dennis Dunaway,
Steve Hackett, Jordan Rudess and Steve Rothery. Gorgeous book, same very cool
10” x 7 3/4” dimension as my recent Zeppelin, Clash and AC/DC books, gorgeous
hard cover, tons of rare pictures through, of the band, of memorabilia.
As my introduction to the book states...
Reflecting on my listening experiences with Pink Floyd over the decades, my
first instinct was to assume that most of them have been very deep and
contemplative, that it was usually a dreamy immersion befitting the gravitas
of the band’s famed Immersion box sets, that they were deep psych sessions on
Roger’s couch, a little hypnosis thrown in for good measure, after which my
personality would be refracted in a new direction, likely toward the sullen,
fatalistic and cynical.
But then the memories began flooding back, educations by cousins and older
brothers of friends as to the seriousness (and stoner sacrament) of the
Dark Side of the Moon and Animals, that band trip to Boise,
Idaho on which The Wall was played (not blasted for once in one of
these stories, but at quite low volume) at the back of the bus, all us music
heads (all guys), mumbling along, seeing who could recite the next effect,
discussing the storyline, ticking off band teacher Mr. White who saw
revolution on wheels in “We don’t need no education.”
Later there were the university years ruminations over The Final Cut,
in conjunction with loving the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and its more
modest neo-prog adjunct movement. Later still it was A Momentary Lapse of
Reason during the “stay classy Vancouver” ‘80s and first job out of MBA school
with Xerox (Dave’s in a suit, I’m in a suit). This was followed by Floyd in
hi-fidelity from those way back seats at the McLaughlin Planetarium next to
the Royal Ontario Museum once I’d uprooted and moved to Toronto.
Finally, a more sophisticated level of communal closer to the business end of
Floyd was achieved when I began transitioning into the rock ‘n’ roll biz
through an upstart heavy metal magazine with my buddy Tim Henderson, where me
an’ the writer buds would ponder a 1994 with a new Pink Floyd studio album in
it, and where classic rock and metal and prog fit in a music industry where
grunge, techno, industrial and various other forms of alternative rock were
killing the careers of our heroes.
So, gosh darn it, despite the tendency to think one is alone and intense with
one’s Floyd, whatever it was, be it the massiveness of them or the
discussion-provoking concepts or on many levels and at many times, the sound
effects and spoken bits, Pink Floyd had improbably turned out to be a meeting
place of minds yearning for extra protein with their lunch, willing to take
those long runs, relishing a good read of the lyric sheet, happy that the
party got quiet.
And in that light, Pink Floyd: Album by Album became another one of
those communal Pink Floyd experiences, specifically all of this interviewing,
which had the soothing effect of demonstrating many things, most important
being the shared solitary contemplation of Floyd that I had figured (but had
never really had confirmed in direct conversation) millions of people share
around the world.
But it was also deeply satisfying to witness what different fans emphasized
when I asked them about Floyd, which, granted, is further differentiated by
everybody talking about different records across a vastly evolving catalogue.
I heard excitement (mostly couched in reverence) across the board, touching
down on guitar work, keyboards, album covers, concepts, Roger as a relentless
creator, defenses of Nick’s drumming and most regularly, Roger’s dense and
intense lyrics, while a few folks made it personal, or rather wanted to make
sure their personal connection with the band got told.
As a result, I emerged out the other end of this experience nicely re-educated
on Floyd, reminded, renewed in whatever level of mastery of the catalogue I
thought I had (especially pre-Dark Side), as well as placated and
calmed with the understanding that Floyd could be enjoyed both alone and with
a crowd, that the shared humanity of it all would be enough to take away any
level of reclusive discomfort I might have had. Really, I couldn’t have asked
for a better crowd with which to share this particular compact but loud ‘n’
lively Floyd listening session, and I thank them one and all for making this
book vigorous and on a personal level, making my relationship with Floyd that
And so without further musings—because there’s plenty to come, from myself and
our illustrious cast—I hope this deep tissue massage of Pink Floyd’s fifteen
studio albums does for you what it did for me, beginning with a dusting off of
your collection in whatever format and formats it presides, for an enriched
listen for the myriad facets you always knew were there, but perhaps had not
reflected o’er—like myself with some of these records—in a long, long time.
This book is completely sold out!
Email me at email@example.com
with any further questions, and see www.martinpopoff.com for descriptions,
cover art and ordering info for my other available 30 or so books.