cover image Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon

Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon

Bill Kopp. Rowman & Littlefield, $35 (200p) ISBN 978-1-5381-0827-7

Music journalist Kopp debuts with a succinct look at Pink Floyd’s work from 1968 to 1973, focusing on the musical rather than the personal developments that led to the creation of The Dark Side of the Moon. Kopp expertly analyzes how the band developed from the idiosyncratic yet “concise pop songwriting” of its founder Syd Barrett, through a range of “musical excursions” including electronic experiments and film soundtracks, to more conceptual albums such as Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother. By offering detailed evaluations of songs such as “Echoes”— “a glacial and majestic twenty-three-plus minute piece of music that distills all of Pink Floyd’s accumulated musical virtues circa 1971 into a fully realized work”—Kopp shows that nearly “everything the band did would, in one way or another, provide clues to the band’s eventual and wildly successful direction.” He also provides new insights into how Dark Side was crafted into “a unified work” through live performances and studio sessions. Hard-core Floyd fans will delight in Kopp’s sensitivity to the intricacies of the band’s work, while people only familiar with Dark Side will be alerted to the often “overlooked development of Pink Floyd’s music” that led directly to that masterpiece. Kopp’s smart and well-researched history is a welcome addition to the Pink Floyd library. (Feb.)