How do you possibly go about chronicling a career that has spanned nearly 50 years, through numerous incarnations, an ever evolving sound and resulted in album/CD sales in excess of 250 million copies and hundreds of millions of dollars in concert ticket sales by what is arguably one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands ever?
That is the Herculean task that was undertaken by music journalist Hugh Fielder in Pink Floyd: Behind the Wall. Along the way Fielder approaches things from a variety of perspectives including that of a music journalist, a historian and notably a fan. It is that loving fan’s perspective that serves Fielder so well when he delves in the pressing questions that have been left unanswered for many when it comes to the band’s parting ways with founder Syd Barrett and the internal machinations and infighting that lead to the band’s seemingly final dissolution. He does a nice job of recapping Barrett’s post Floyd life and eventual death in 2006.
Even those who are casual or non- fans of Pink Floyd would have to be intrigued what went into the making of the band’s hallmark alum, Dark Side of The Moon, a decades long fixture on the Billboard Album chart, that still racks up sales of over 250,000 copies annually. Fielder delves neatly into the nuts and bolts of the making of the album and that impact that it had on the band.
Pink Floyd is one of the most visually accomplished live acts in the live setting, so it would be nearly impossible to tell their story effectively without a wide range of images and Pink Floyd: Behind the Wall delivers a stunning array of over 250 images and illustrations. Along the way Fielder dissects the band’s recordings and recaps their efforts with a complete discography.While the task may have seems insurmountable at the start, Fielder has done yeoman’s work in putting an epic dent with an effort that scores points on all fronts. Well done.