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 much richer.

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!

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