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Home arrow Reviews arrow Books arrow The Dark Side Of The Moon - Official 50th Anniversary Book
The Dark Side Of The Moon - Official 50th Anniversary Book Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 28 March 2023

Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon - Official 50th Anniversary BookBack in October, we told you about the official hardback book that was published on March 24th 2023 as part of the 50th anniversary of the release of The Dark Side Of The Moon by Pink Floyd.

With the Floydian bookshelves now beginning to groan with the number of books easily into triple figures - and that's not including lyric or musical tablature publications - a lot of familiar ground has been covered in a number of them. It therefore takes something different, something new, for books to stand out in a crowded field. So, we come to the Official 50th Anniversary Book, which is quite rightly already proving extremely popular amongst Pink Floyd fans who have been fortunate enough to already see it.

The book is being sold separately as well as being included in the 50th anniversary The Dark Side Of The Moon Deluxe Box Set. There is no difference between the box set and separate edition, other than the latter includes a dust jacket which features the iconic prism as per the record cover. With the box set carefully holding the book inside, a dust cover is not needed. There is a third option if you are interested - the Brain Damage exclusive signed book and print offer through RockArchive which is limited to just 100 copies and selling well. The book and print are signed by photographer Jill Furmanovsky.

Curated by Furmanovsky, with art direction by Aubrey 'Po' Powell, this LP-sized, 160-page book - with 143 illustrations - showcases some incredible, rare and previously unseen photographs, and was created with the involvement of the band members.

In case you need reminding, or haven't already seen the contents, the book includes:

  • Rare and previously unseen backstage and onstage photography of the band during The Dark Side Of The Moon tours of 1972–1975 in the UK, Japan, North America and Europe
  • 129 candid photographs by Jill Furmanovsky, Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell and Peter Christopherson document the soundchecks, the shows and the after shows
  • A review of the October 1972 Wembley gig, originally published in Melody Maker, provides insight into one of the Floyd's celebrated performances
  • A complete listing of the tour dates
  • A special section that reveals the visual conception of the iconic album artwork, with photos of the original album roughs and final artwork by Hipgnosis

The phrase "rare and previously unseen" is sometimes bandied about as a way to include things that weren't considered good enough before, but are unearthed to help pad out something. This is absolutely not the case with this book. Over many decades, we've seen thousands and thousands of Pink Floyd pictures, from grainy and blurred audience snaps, to official captures of the band in action on and off stage. Seeing a "new" picture is always a surprise and thrill, and yet this book offers loads of them.

First of all, it's worth pointing out that this is not a book that holds much text. There's the contemporary review of the band live, the tour date listing, and at the back, photo captions and credits, as well as a couple of adverts/posters, but the rest of it is totally focused on the images.

These images are presented in the best possible way. On heavy paper stock, each image is crisp, clear and extremely well printed. We suspect that most of you will have seen at least a handful of the images within, which are all black and white, with the exception of the album cover evolution section which is in full colour. We know that none of you will have seen all the images within, as a number of them have been revealed in public for the first time.

Whilst decent live shots of the band over the years are a little scarce (curiously there's not that many, which is odd for such a visual band) it's strange to argue that the numerous atmospheric live pictures AREN'T necessarily the best part of the book. For my money, it's the rehearsal/soundcheck/setting up shots which I think are the real joy to see, along with the backstage and travelling shots. These reveal the reality for most bands on tour, particularly in those earlier days. Now, you'd often find band members on their mobile phones, but such diversions weren't on offer back in the 1970s, of course - leading to things like backgammon and squash, as the book shows.

This really is a treasure trove of Pink Floyd images from the early 1970s, most of which won't be found elsewhere. It proves a very diverting trip down memory lane, to simpler times, and a real insight into a world that very few people would have had access to. Couple that with the exemplary presentation, and you have a wonderful publication fitting for the occasion.

ORDERING INFO:
We think this is a great book, and ideal companion to the 50th anniversary celebrations; orders are now possible through a number of retailers. Remember, if you have ordered or bought the Deluxe Box Set, the book is included in there, so you don't need to order the book separately. Ordering any item after entering Amazon through our links helps with BD's ongoing running costs, and we really appreciate it: Amazon UK, Amazon.com, Amazon Canada, Amazon France, Amazon Germany, Amazon Spain and Amazon Italy. You can also order through WHSmith.co.uk and Waterstones.com. Also, while stocks last (there's just 100 up for grabs), there's the Brain Damage exclusive signed book and print offer through RockArchive.

 
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