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Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of "Pink Floyd" Paperback – 25 Oct 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (25 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845133668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845133665
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Mark Blake brings Floydology into the 21st Century with this handsomely produced volume...’

(The Sunday Telegraph)

‘A detailed, orderly, first-rate read...’

(Q)

‘Thorough and well-researched... Lots of new material...’

(Observer)

'The most complete and extensive work on the history of Pink Floyd yet' - Book of the Year

(Record Collector)

'This is, in short, an easy and enthralling read...what really makes Blake's book one of the finest on Floyd there is, is the minutiae of the detail it offers...tasty morsels for Pink Floyd fans to feed on.’

(Classic Rock)

‘A superb, incredibly detailed, and essential look at the band’s history - an indispensable addition to your bookshelves.’

(Brain Damage - Pink Floyd news)

'No fan will feel short-changed by the welter of detail.'

(Independent)

'The definitive account of one of Britain's best-loved bands.'

(Choice)

  • 'Dutiful and thorough... paints a picture of a generation, helps us in some way towards understanding the decline and enigma of Syd Barrett, and gives us a picture of a band which, although trapped by their own devices into becoming the most lumbering of rock behemoths, at least were one of the few of their vintage who carried on giving a s***. We also get a portrait of one of rock’s great Difficult Characters (Waters) - as well as one of its most decent and generous (Gilmour). And a kid of happy ending.’


(Nicholas Lezard Guardian)

‘Such is Blake’s achievement in leaving no band affiliate’s tale untold the author virtually redefines the term ‘definitive biography.’

(Mojo)

'Blake’s account, newly updated, may well be definitive.... It’s a fascinating tale of destructive egos.’

(Sun)

‘A biography rich in anecdotal detail’

(Classic Rock)

About the Author

MARK BLAKE has been writing about popular music and culture since 1989. A former Assistant Editor of Q magazine and regular contributor to Mojo, he is also the author of Is This The Real Life: The Untold Story Of Queen, Stone Me: The Wit & Wisdom Of Keith Richards and the editor of Dylan: Visions, Portraits & Back Pages. More info at www.markrblake.com


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Some acts, such as the Beatles, Dylan and the Floyd, have had so many books written about them that it is hard to come up with anything new. This book succeeds in describing two aspects of the Pink Floyd story to a level of detail I haven't found elsewhere:
-The size and diversity of the Cambridge scene; there were many other creative people, e.g. Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis, and the friendships lasted a long time; the Floyd have a long history of supporting old mates on hard times. Syd Barrett was of course the classic instance of this. Blake makes the point that many of the people involved had missing fathers, e.g. Waters and later Barrett, and implies that they may have thus lacked role models and conventional direction; he argues that Barrett was not the only one from the Cambridge scene whose talent failed to fulfil all its promise.
-The power struggles of the post-Barrett group, with Waters and Gilmour as the strong antagonists, Mason as the diplomat, and Wright as the nice guy who would rather avoid all this aggro. This makes one wonder how the group politics would have evolved if Barrett had stayed in the band (like many "what ifs", fascinating but frustrating).
Chronologically, the book was published soon after Barrett's death, so the penultimate event is the "hell freezes over" reunion at Live8. Blake justifiably spends a long time on this, and (bearing in mind that Wright was to die not long after Barrett) Blake's view could be summed up in another well-known song lyric: "It's too late when we die to admit we don't see eye to eye".
Perhaps not the perfect Floyd biography, but probably the best to date, complementing Julian Palacios' excellent Barrett biography "Lost in the Woods". Blake is an ideal biographer, on the one hand being a devotee of his subjects (his website tells us that the first concert he saw was the Floyd performing The Wall in 1980) but on the other able to exercise analytical detachment.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read a fair few Floyd books now including Nick Masons and i have to say this is by far and away the best and most comprehensive. It starts right back at the begining in the mid 60's right through to 2007, covering literally everything. It also covers their solo ventures during and after Floyd and also gives great info on how all the albums faired in the US and the UK (Solo's included). He must have been working on this book for years. I was very impressed that he mentioned Dave Gilmour turned up on Parkinsons show in 1999 as a session guitarist for Paul McCartney who was having a full show dedicated to him. Dave Gilmour was never mentioned on the show and i only noticed myself that he was there playing. Very impressive research. I learn't a lot about the band and its members that i never knew and will have to read it again as its hard to remember everything. Its a great story and also quite sad (Syd's decline). Roger Waters comes out of it the worst, looks like he gave Gilmour a very hard time and the rest of the band also. His ego and tempermant being his main problem. And considering the abuse he has taken, Dave Gilmour comes out of it with dignity in tact.

If your a Floyd fanantic or a casual music listener with a passing interest in the band, its a must buy.
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Format: Paperback
Ultimately, I found this book depressing.

Written chronologically with a 'flash forward' at the start of each section, it tells the tale known by most Floyd fans: the pre-pro bands and teenage rebellion in Cambridge; drugs; cool 60s London; and trips to Europe and India by some band members and hangers-on. The one album of the Syd Barrett Floyd featuring his whimsical, eclectic talent, followed by Floyd 2 with Gilmour; a band who spent the next three years aimlessly thrashing around, producing dodgy albums, whilst trying to keep Barrett alive and sane, although as a drug victim Syd was by then both mentally ill and incapable. Meddle (and Echoes especially) eventually summarised Floyd 2's early output in a convincing manner, and while the band were toying with Dark Side they slipped off to produce the 'solid' Obscured by Clouds in a couple of weeks - a feat they were unable to achieve (or couldn't be arsed to achieve) with their main Floyd output to that date. Then Dark Side and Wish You Were Here, the high point, followed by Water's increasing domination leading to less and less musical content and more and more lyrical angst about Waters' father's death, his childhood, and Syd . Gilmour was seemingly culpable in not being bothered, despite his talent, to write anything to complement Waters' vision during the late 70's and early 80's. By the time of The Wall & The Final Cut, Wright had been sacked and the other members of the band could barely manage to be in the same room with each other.
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Format: Hardcover
Having enjoyed Nick Mason's insider's view of the Floyd, I found this book to be the perfect companion volume. Blake doesn't suffer from Mason's need to ameliorate the bad feeling and massage the egos of the people with whom he grew up. This means Blake can take a more objective assessment of what happened with Syd Barrett, and just exactly what went on during the recording of "The Wall" to kick off such bad vibes between Roger Waters and the rest of the band. Where Nick Mason, diplomatically following Gilmour's lead, chose to 'forget' details, Blake interviews not just the band members, but others who were involved on the management, production and session aspects. Nobody comes out smelling of roses, and it's clear that there was often more than two sides to many of the conflicts, and more players than those who were officially in the band.

An excellent book for anyone interested in the Floyd story.
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