Monday, July 30, 2012


A new making-of documentary, to coincide with last year's mammoth Floyd reissue campaign.  When the group members said it was time to give up so much control, and let everything out of the bag, well, they were good to their word.  Here all the surviving members and associates talk openly about their fears and fights surrounding the creation of this significant album, with as little ego as possible.  Plus, they let all the footage out, really giving the fans everything they could.  Given the stormy relationship within the band, and the closed nature of Roger Waters especially, this is more than anyone could have hoped for.

The making of this disc is itself a great story.  Pink Floyd were at a crossroads, and a crisis, after the success of Dark Side Of The Moon.  They were disillusioned with fame, success, and especially the music industry.  Plus, they had few songs, and no real drive.  A major show at Wembley Stadium had been savaged in the press, and they knew it was accurate.  Finally though, it started to come together in the studio, as a couple of themes emerged.  Have a Cigar picked up on the anger at the music biz.  Then there was Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Waters' tribute and thoughts about original leader Syd Barrett.  This is where the doc really succeeds, and wows.  The film goes back to tell the story of Syd, the acid casualty, with rare vintage performance footage and photos.  The band members speak lovingly of the man, and explain the heartbreak of what happened:  "Remember when you were young/You shone like the sun/Shine on you crazy diamond."  Make sure to check out the bonus material, to see Gilmour sing and play an amazing solo rendition.

It's a pity the members weren't interviewed together, but they probably spoke more honestly that way.  Also featured are lots of the other important characters at the time, including designer Storm Thorgerson, virtually a fifth member of the group, and singer Roy Harper, on his famous guest vocal on Have A Cigar.  Even the stuntman pictured on fire on the cover was found, to explain how he did the famous photo.  Boy, you could hate this album and still love watching the DVD, they've done such a great job telling its story.

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