Item description for Pink Floyd's the Wall: In the Studio, on Stage and On Screen by Jeff Bench...
All of Pink Floyd's 70s albums are a barometer of Britain's changing moods, as an age of optimism gave way to angst and apprehension. As the group evolved from the Flower Power world of their late-sixties music through the era-defining Dark Side of the Moon to the acerbic, late-seventies attitudes of The Wall, they became arguably the only British rock act to straddle the cultural divide between the swinging 60s and the post-punk 70s. In Pink Floyd's The Wall, Jeff Bench and Daniel O'Brien describe the making of The Wall---both the album and the film---and place it in the context of the changes in music and society which the album reflected. The book contains scores of rare color and black-and-white illustrations, including exclusive shots of the 1980 and 1990 live performances.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 6.61" Height: 0.39" Weight: 0.88 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2004
Publisher Reynolds & Hearn
ISBN 190311182X ISBN13 9781903111826
Reviews - What do customers think about Pink Floyd's the Wall: In the Studio, on Stage and On Screen?
Not Worth Your Time Or Money Jun 27, 2004
Other than the bloated first chapter, a Floyd free history of the album and concept album, there's nothing here you cannot get from Nick Schaffner's "A Saucerful of Secrets." Despite the pedigree of the authors, there is no interpretation, no insight offered here on the album, show or film. Again, get the better and more comprehensive Schaffner for history, and if you want criticism, get Phil Rosen's "Which One's Pink."
Pink Floyd's The Wall - In the Studio, On Stage and On Scree Jun 11, 2004
With 2004 looking like providing the Pink Floyd fan with a full diet of readable material, first served is Jeff Bench's and Daniel O'Brien's book, Pink Floyd's The Wall - In the Studio, On Stage and On Screen. The ambitions set out by the authors was to focus on all aspects of Pink Floyd's masterpiece, 'The Wall. The book has been released as a soft back and is a handy 9" x 7" size with a total of 142 pages. Jeff Bench is a media historian, journalist and magazine editor. He has also taught at several of London's art colleges. Daniel O'Brien's recent books include Cameron Diaz, The Hannibal Files and Spooky Encounters. The book describes the making of 'The Wall - both album and the film - and place it within the context of the changes in music and society which the album reflects.
The book is broken into five sections, the first being the preface: The Wall in context, here the authors offer up a guide to Pink Floyd's history and their ability to straddle such diverse times as 'Swinging London to Punk. "Pink Floyd were there for the whole trip, from Carnaby Street to the Brixton riots." We are also advised that, "Pink Floyd's music is a barometer of Britain's deteriorating mental health in the Seventies, but there music is also a classic illustration of the constantly expanding musical horizons of that decade." Reading the preface you realise that the authors are taking the subject very seriously and it is well thought out.
Next we enter chapter 1: From LP to Concept Album. This chapter takes you on a journey through recorded music. Pink Floyd as a topic, is dropped for the 25 odd pages as we are reminded of the impact both Bob Dylan and The Beatles had on the youth culture. Only on the last page of this chapter are we reintroduced to Pink Floyd, as they come out of underground and achieve commercial success with 'Dark Side of the Moon. The chapter does achieve its goal of explaining, just where the idea of a concept album came from but for me was far too long winded.
With almost relief, chapter 2, boasts a 2 page spread of the band circa 1973, this image re-concentrates the mind and reminds us just why we are reading the book. Chapter 2: Building the Wall. "The Wall was the next step towards what could be considered the third, and last, significant phase in the group's career." We are then taking back in time to the Syd years which are describes sensibly enough as phase 1. Dave Gilmour's entrance in early 1968 is acknowledged as being the start of phase 2 and the chapter takes great strides to get us to the recording of 'The Wall. I thought the writing was very well formulated and it read as pretty much accurate, although relying on the band members statements via interviews has proved over the years, unreliable to say the least. The authors had well researched the recording periods of 'The Wall and as the chapter progressed I found myself intrigued by the message. Some recent books have either sub consciously or by political stance sided with Roger Waters or David Gilmour. This book avoids this pitfall and perhaps Bob Ezrin's wisdom captures the mood, "So, Comfortably Numb, is a true collaboration - it's David's music, Roger's lyric and my orchestral chart."
Chapter 3: The Wall On Screen. Pink Floyd had provided film scores earlier in their career, but Roger felt, 'The Wall could work as a feature film. The first part of this chapter looks at the films Pink Floyd had worked on from, 'Tonight Let's Make Love in London (1967) to the concert (albeit without an audience) 'Live at Pompeii. Depending on how much you've read before, some of the stories surrounding the film may sound repetitive. But, this book is about, 'The Wall and it collates the stories well and pretty accurately. At times I felt some main players could have been approached to update their story but this doesn't happen. The chapter does feel up-to-date with commentary on 'The Wall DVD and the recent. 'Series 1 collection of Wall models. The chapter closes with a reflective Alan Parker quote, " At the heart of it, it's Roger's primal scream. It's Roger's piece and it's Roger's madness." Indeed!
The book closes with the epilogue: The Wall Outside. Here the book looks at events post, 'The Wall, Pink Floyd albums not featuring Roger Waters and Roger's live event The Wall - Berlin '90. Even Roger's recent, 'In the Flesh tours and his invitation for Nick Mason to play at the London concerts in 2002 are highlighted. The book closes with the sentence, "The Wall that once separated Roger Waters from his audiences has, it seems, finally been demolished."
The book proves one thing Roger Waters/Pink Floyd 'The Wall is an endearing piece of recorded art. Still some 25 years after it's release, the work demands attention and finds new fans year on year. This book, didn't set out to understand the phenomenon it simply traces the work back and tells the story. Personally I enjoyed it and its price (only £12.99 R.R.P.) makes it an affordable entry to the album's past. While avoiding taking sides through out, no one can take way the fact that, 'The Wall was Roger's vision nailed into reality by the band Pink Floyd. The fact that this won't be the last book ever written on the album 'The Wall, shows that interest will continue long into the future with each successive generation trying to understand the albums complex issues.