BILL KOPP – Reinventing Pink Floyd – From Syd Barrett to the Dark Side of the Moon
Kopp’s research and analysis of those early years is exhaustive but not exhausting, which is to say that every Floyd composition that came into existence, the various gigs and tours that took place, the recording studios in London that were utilized, the different soundtracks and musical experiments that were undertaken, the creative highs and lows, and even the bootlegs that started surfacing, are all dissected, discussed, and put into context here. The beautiful thing about "Reinventing Pink Floyd" is that none of that stuff ever becomes tiring or uninteresting to read about, even for a more casual admirer of the outfit such as yours truly. That is entirely down to the enthusiasm that courses through it, which is what I loved the most about this stellar piece of work. You can tell that Kopp genuinely loves the Floyd catalogue and is utterly moved and inspired by it, which is what shines through on each and every page of this book and makes it so exciting to read. There is something about the way in which Kopp approaches and talks about the Pink Floyd debut offering ("The Piper at the Gates of Dawn") that is quite magical, almost as if he manages to evoke the bittersweet memories of childhood that permeates the music and lyrics of that record by means of the written word. That is in and of itself quite unique and one could argue that the greatest strength of "Reinventing Pink Floyd" is Kopp’s ability to put the atmosphere and different moods of the various Floyd releases between 1967 and 1973 into words. Simply put, he actually manages to sum up what it feels like to listen to those particular Floyd recordings, which is testament to just how brilliant an author he truly is.
"Reinventing Pink Floyd" oozes passion and comes across as both cohesive and coherent. All the devout fans of (prog) rock music out there ought to immerse themselves in this marvelous piece of literature; it is perfect for one of those grey and rainy days where you just want to curl up in your favorite armchair with a cup of strong coffee and a captivating book. Kopp’s narrative is entertaining and absorbing, but it also places the first six years of the band’s existence in a wider cultural and historical perspective, which lends further weight to the importance of the (early) Floyd catalogue while also helping us understand why the ensemble continues to inspire so many fans and listeners all over the world even after all these years.