Published on March 1st, 2007, is the latest addition to the Floydian bookshelves. "Echoes: The Complete History Of Pink Floyd" by Glenn Povey (pub: Mind Head Publishing) is an essential for your reference section, and putting aside all the facts crammed within the covers, is a beautifully illustrated, absorbing look at the band's collective and individual careers from the very earliest pre-Floyd days of 1962, right up to the first of Roger Waters' 2007 concerts.
"Echoes" is strictly speaking the follow-up to Glenn's "In The Flesh", which has been a well-used reference for many, but over time has become rather out-of-date as more information on the band's early days has come to light, and with recent activity and tours from Roger and David Gilmour.
Glenn has spent much time combing through archives and libraries, uncovering evidence of previously lost shows, concert posters, pictures and tickets. He promises "the most comprehensive account of Pink Floyd in print", combining as it does, all known group and solo concerts, set lists, television and radio appearances, and a full UK and US discography.
But how does it measure up, especially in the heavily populated Floyd book arena?
The first thing that strikes you is how beautifully designed and printed this large format, (and despite the softback covers) heavy book is - especially when you consider that the project was entirely self-financed and self-published by Glenn. Even though Omnibus Press are distributing the book, no major publisher was interested in such a lavish, detailed book without the Floyd doing a tour to coincide! (I guess that counts out books about the Beatles or Hendrix then)
Its 368 pages are full of spot-on information, commentary on the period in question (each chapter covers a consecutive period of time) which includes all the key players giving their views on events, culled from interviews in the press and with the author himself.
Thankfully, Glenn gives a good, balanced view to events, and brings some much-needed dry humour to what could have ended up as dry accounts of the band's story.
Obviously, the core of the information consists of concert dates, venues, and set lists. To some, this will seem rather dull and "trainspottery", but Glenn peps this up with some fantastic illustrations. For many, this will make the book worth its asking price alone.
As to how the many previously unseen tickets, posters, photos and more have been discovered, and in such good quality, is anyone's guess.
For example, the very first picture within the book is the original Joker's Wild business card, imploring interested parties to contact a certain D. J. Gilmour of 109 Grantchester Meadows...
Shortly after this is a set of seventeen shots - the only known pictures - of pre-Floyd band The Tea Set, performing at a private party.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg - the sheer weight of early, pre-Floyd band material is staggering: pictures, posters and flyers for bands such as Those Without, The Newcomers and the aforementioned Joker's Wild. And the rare nature of the illustrations doesn't let up throughout the book.
Glenn covers the first 45 years of activity from the various musicians thoroughly and there really is something for everyone in its pages.
Covering all events up to the October 2006 end of Roger's recent tour, it includes the first seven announced 2007 shows.
However, as with any book of this nature, the author has to stop somewhere - and so Roger's Ca Ira shows in December 2006/January 2007 aren't mentioned (they were announced and tickets sold close to the events themselves) and nor are the majority of the upcoming shows.
A culmination of many years of hard investigative work, and a clear love of the band, this book really deserves a place on your shelves.
To order a copy, for delivery upon release, you can use the following special links: Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, Amazon Germany, or Amazon France. Ordering details for Amazon's US store hopefully will be with us shortly, but all the other Amazon stores will ship the book worldwide. Also, using our Amazon links helps with the running costs of the site and we really appreciate it!