Top positive review
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Syd's magnus opus for the Floyd
on 24 July 2004
A neat little book that avoids the "whatever happened to Syd" syndrome and concentrates on the music. It is written by someone who was not old enough to catch up on early Floyd recordings till the 1970s when the Floyd were well on their way to world stardom, but "Piper" has clearly had a lasting effect on the author.
The book is excellent in that based on many interviews with contemporaries it conveys what "swinging London" was actually like around the time the group started and the group's immediate ascendancy in local popularity based on some specific gigs esp. the UFO residency, to getting a prize recording contract with EMI (helped by a publicity quote from Paul McCartney). When they got into the studio it was largely Syd's show with valuable input from the recording production team in helping them realise their ambitions. The book is also not afraid to covers some hard facts of life on the general quality of musicianship in the group in the early days and that outside the London cognoscenti they did suffer when playing outside London in those early days.
Excellent read on what was Syd's sole (albeit very memorable) recording production for the Floyd before exiting so dramatically. This book also serves to underline that the best items in this eclectic series are those where the writer while fixated on a specific recording is especially able to both communicate their excitement and enthusiasm as to why the recording means so much to them.