Pink Floyd: Album By Album, by Martin Popoff: Books

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Martin Popoff’s Time and a Word: The Yes Story by Martin Popoff is my favorite book about a rock band. The 2016 book takes a chronological approach in telling the history of the world’s greatest progressive rock band. Popoff also gains insights to the band from its members and those closely in Yes’ orbit.

So, I was excited at the prospect of his new book Pink Floyd: Album by Album. While Popoff does not follow the format of Time and a Word this time around, he does offer some notable insights into the well-researched and often-written-about history of Pink Floyd.

Popoff dissects every project over 240 total pages, completing Pink Floyd: Album by Album with 300 vivid color photos, many of which were recently uncovered or rarely if ever seen. Each release benefits from Popoff’s attention to detail. The standard stuff you expect is here, like a complete listing of players, writers and instruments on each track. Lesser known facts can be found in the comprehensive production information and “issue variance notes,” which could spur eBay searches for the fanatic to fill out their Pink Floyd collection.

Martin Popoff also gains a lot of mileage with the interviews. Progressive rock gods Steve Hackett and Jordon Rudess each touch on the impact of several Pink Floyd albums on their own work, and they also discuss some parallels between Floyd and their respective bands. Among the 15 interviews of non-band members, the combination of journalist, producers and players sheds new light on a very well-known narrative.

In the end, Pink Floyd: Album by Album brings us full circle to The Endless River and beyond to David Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock and Roger Waters’ Is This the Life We Really Want. Along the way, Martin Popoff manages to make something familiar new again. That’s quite an accomplishment in itself.

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