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Embryo: A Pink Floyd Chronology 1966-1971: A Pink Floyd Chronology, 1966-71 Paperback – 4 Mar 2000
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A must for any serious Floyd fan, this book traces in diary format the history of the band's early to mid period work, from January 1965 through to December 1971 and the beginnings of their breakthrough work, Dark Side Of The Moon. It's got everything, including all the solo meanderings of Syd Barrett.
Engaging narrative oozes from every page - The Massed Gadgets Of Auximenes, Games For May, The Man And The Journey, fully comprehensive descriptions of all the live recordings available to collectors, timings and on stage banter, rare concert ads and photos. The detail should sate the palate of even the most demanding of trainspotters, though dry or boring this certainly is not!
The authors have painstakingly tracked down long lost reviews, recordings and appearances on television and film, and have collated them in a clear and concise form, whilst offering their own detailed reviews and commentary. Correcting mistakes and discussing misunderstandings previously made in other biographies, the book also represents a fully equipped and up to date research resource which is made easily accessible by a detailed index and chapter by chapter endnotes.
Who could ask for more (apart from some decent official live CD releases to adequately reflect this most aesthetically and intellectually satisfying period of the Floyd`s creativity)? Dream on, Lapelle, dream on...
However, I am afraid to say that my dad does not share the opinions of those who endorse this tome. To use his own phrases the book is "very poor", "amateur", "could have done better myself" and "you wasted your money, lad". The copy in question now resides in our local charity shop, where it is still gathering dust.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Some info is wrong of course. I'm not so sure Nick was the one working on a video history of the band, let alone putting together the video history of the band's at Knebworth
For its time (2000) a lot of the information was new. In the Beechwoods noone had ever heard of at that point. Now you can hear an audio of it sourcing from a 1969 Nick Mason interview.
This could do with an update - I don't know anyone who listens to tapes anymore! The writers try to make it an engaging read, but pages upon pages of transcription of intros to songs from off of live tapes can wear on one
Nice to have Syd's Butterfly mentioned. (No one has heard it still.) Again - check out Random Precision for descriptions of Rhamadan, Millionaire (aka as She Was a Millionaire) & extensive research of the tapes still at EMI. (That book can probably do with an update as well.)
The book comes with an index (thank goodness!) and pix of the Pink Floyd sound (aka Leonard's Lodgers) at Mike Leonard's house.
All in all, well worth the read, unreadable in parts (talking about tape quality, and reel to reel recorders, and distortion).
The odd review is hilarious (one December 1967 review notes of how the Floyd were so bad that the opening band had to come back. Wonder if Syd was still bothering to play live at that point.)
But Echoes (Mindspring Publishing) will have all the live listings along with color pictures of tickets and what not, so Embryo won't fill that role
Also, a lot of footage has come to light in recent years - the See Emily Play performance from 1967 on Top of the Pops, the Jugband Blues promo, the 24 hour technicolor dream (Man alive) footage, the Nightcrawler footage, though no Games for May it seems
Also, I'm not sure Gilmour "took away" the tape with Living Alone. In Mojo Collections he stated he didn't have it - maybe EMI tossed it? I guess he had a copy of Bob Dylan Blues on tape somewhere?
So a good read, but don't buy it as now its not really essential!
This book is really geared towards the people that collect live Floyd recordings, as it gives times and setlists for known recordings. In this regard, it is the best Floyd book I've seen. However, this really should be a companion piece to the monster "Pink Floyd: In The Flesh" by Glenn Povey and Ian Russell. The latter cannot be beat for having the most complete listings of setlists for Floyd, but it offers no commentary on these performances, nor does it give the reader any indication if recordings of a given show exist or length of tracks or recordings. Embryo does, but it does not usually give setlists for shows with no known recordings. As a result, you need both books to have a complete picture. That said, both books are slightly old and missing newly surfaced information. Though I think "In The Flesh" is being given an overhaul, I don't think there are any plans to update Embryo.