Recently published in hardback by Carlton, Treasures of Pink Floyd tells the band's history with words, pictures and removable facsimile memorabilia. The book recounts every decade of the band's existence and every album they recorded. It contains profiles of all five members and
discusses the significant influence they had on music and culture across the world. As the publishers put it, the book "captures the amazing, surreal and fascinating world of Pink Floyd". The rise in popularity of books such as this - including reproduction materials to enhance the story within - has been most notable in the world of film, with Star Wars and Alien being given similar treatment, so it is good to see music getting more attention in this realm.
One of three new Treasures books that Carlton have just published (the other two look at AC/DC and Bob Dylan), it is authored by Glenn Povey. Glenn, as many of you will be aware, was the creator of Brain Damage magazine, the forerunner to this website. He's also author of essential
books such as In The Flesh and Echoes, so we were eager to see how The Treasures of Pink Floyd measures up to these. Read on for our thoughts on the book...
Obviously one's first impressions tend to come with the cover. The book is housed in a stiff slip sleeve, but this does feel a little bit around the wrong way - the book details are on the face I'd traditionally expect on the rear, but never mind. The cover itself is eye-catching and I do like the glossy detailing which is very much akin to the Immersion box sets.
The cover of the book itself (save for the spine) is devoid of any mention, or pictures of, Pink Floyd - instead, they used some oil slide light projection imagery evoking the early days of the band. Incidentally there is an alternate edition of the book, with a completely different cover (the "wrapped in pink sheet" picture).
Treasures isn't the meatiest of books - with 63 pages the level of detail is not a patch on Glenn's truly essential Echoes but then this book (Treasures) is not necessarily aimed squarely at the more trainspotter fan after every fact they can get hold of. As such, this is more of a companion piece, expanding on some of the more visual content that Echoes has alongside the concert listings and other detail. It's also an ideal book for the Floyd novice, hungry for more information on the band and its music.
Despite the small page count, Glenn makes excellent use of the space afforded partly through using small, close text, and a succinct but easy to follow style, which relates a detailed narrative on the band's history.
This narrative is served by sections on protagonists such as Syd Barrett and David Gilmour, periods such as the Early Days, and the 1970s, interspersed by track-by-track analyses of each album. Whilst this may be of use to the notice as a means of finding out more about an undiscovered album, Glenn does manage to enliven these sections with interesting detail about many of the tracks, evidence of the many years he has spent investigating the band and following up on rumours or fragments of information.
Glenn has managed to unearth some wonderful pictures which haven't been published before, and are shown here in print alongside some more familiar shots. Included are alternate shots from various photo sessions, such as the Sausalito, California hotel fire escape sequence shot by Baron Wolman.
The main thing that sets this book apart, though, are the five large pockets interspersed between the pages. Not content with the memorabilia illustrated amongst the text, Glenn has had a large number of rare paper items reproduced and included in these pockets. These range from concert posters, flyers, tickets and even EMI invites, through to a 1967 event programme, backstage pass stickers, and a beer mat! The picture to the right - click to enlarge - gives a flavour of some of the items.
So, the book gives a good grounding in all the albums, and tracks. It doesn't go into much biographical detail, but that aspect is well catered for elsewhere. More than anything, it is a celebration of the visual side of Pink Floyd - a band for whom the visual aspect has always been a vital element of their being. Treasures is the sort of book that is ideal fodder when relaxing, having a browse through the Floyd's history with the sort of memorabilia which, if original, would cost many thousands to have accumulated in this volume.
Should you wish to add this book to your Floydian bookshelf, it can be ordered through these direct links: Amazon UK, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon France, Amazon Germany, Amazon Espana and Amazon Italy. (Our thanks to Martin Kilbride for the picture of the book and some of its contents above).