Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

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Overview


Mark Blake draws on his own interviews with band members as well as the group’s friends, road crew, musical contemporaries, former housemates, and university colleagues to produce a riveting history of one of the biggest rock bands of all time. We follow Pink Floyd from the early psychedelic nights at UFO, to the stadium-rock and concept-album zenith of the seventies, to the acrimonious schisms of the late ’80s and ’90s. Along the way there are fascinating new revelations about Syd Barrett’s chaotic life at the ...
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Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd

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Overview


Mark Blake draws on his own interviews with band members as well as the group’s friends, road crew, musical contemporaries, former housemates, and university colleagues to produce a riveting history of one of the biggest rock bands of all time. We follow Pink Floyd from the early psychedelic nights at UFO, to the stadium-rock and concept-album zenith of the seventies, to the acrimonious schisms of the late ’80s and ’90s. Along the way there are fascinating new revelations about Syd Barrett’s chaotic life at the time of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the band’s painstaking and Byzantine recording sessions at Abbey Road, and the fractious negotiations to bring about their fragile, tantalizing reunion in Hyde Park.

Meticulous, exacting, and ambitious as any Pink Floyd album, Comfortably Numb is the definitive account of this most adventurous—and most English—rock band.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

New York Press, 1/20/09
“You really do feel as if you’re being sucked into the drama. That’s a testament to Blake doing his job…It’s a journalistic take on the band, and its reads like a history book. It’s respectful and revealing, but not in a scandalous way.”

Blurt Magazine, 2/09
“Mark Blake has clearly done his share of research…Blake is at his best [when] providing those details that leap off the page while placing Pink Floyd squarely in the context of the times.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306817526
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 11/24/2008
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 411,379
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Mark Blake is the editor of Dylan: Visions, Portraits & Back Pages, and Punk: The Whole Story. He lives in London.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The best Pink Floyd biography that I've read

    I just finished the book today. This is the second Pink Floyd biography I've read (the other being A Saucer Full of Secrets) and this was the better of the two. On the front cover there's a quote from Kirkus that reads "Chances are you probably won't see another Pink Floyd book on the shelves anytime soon because this one gets it right". I would agree but as I said I've only read two of them. The Pros and Cons of the book are as followed:

    Pros:

    1. This book really goes into the history of the band both on and off the stage.

    2. It really delves into the early part of their existence during the UFO years.

    3. The book lists and describes some Floyd songs that have never been released.

    4. It's pretty up to date. The book ends with a Syd tribute concert where Waters performs one of his own songs while the remainder of Floyd (Pre-Wrights death) does a rendition of "Arnold Layne".

    5. It doesn't skimp of the details of Live at Pompeii, which I found interesting.

    6. It's written in a way that appeals to the more visual learner. It's like watching a documentary instead of reading some hack journalists attempt to write about an experience he was too young to remember.

    7. He gets Roger's input which if I remember right the other book lacked.

    8. The book dispels a lot of the myths surrounding Syd.

    Cons:

    1. The book does delve into Syd's past but focuses too much at times on his hanger-on's. At times I felt like "who cares". But that's just me. He could have summed up a lot of it instead of going on and on about these people.

    2. Although the book does get Water's input the book paints him as a real negative character. From what I've read before I'm sure it's true but it wasn't as objective as I thought it might be. At times it was like Dave could do no wrong while Waters was a soulless jerk. Roger was the guiding force behind Floyd's most successful time (Dark Side-The Wall) and Gilmore, Wright, and Mason were just riding on his coattails so why not give him more credit.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Amazing "You are There" history of a Rock and Roll era

    After glancing through the copy licensed to my local library, I knew I had to have my own copy. Pink Floyd remains my favorite Rock and Roll Band. This book tells me who they were and are. What an adventure.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Medicine cat den

    We need a med cat and med cat app. Heartstar

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 17, 2011

    Comfortably Fascinating!

    I really enjoyed this read because it brings back so many good memories. I was three years old when the Beatles played Shea Stadium for the first time and I have vivid memories of the life and times of those trying times.

    The insight of Syd's demise as expressed by the band members, through the author, is disheartening at best. But the trials of the band from it's beginnings is really exciting, in the times of experimentation and the conquest of that experimentation. The rudiments of the lightshows at their beginning tells a great deal of what we had to deal with in those early years of the technological revolution which has all but defined the Pink Floyd.

    Roger and David while at virtually constant odds make the music that inspires a generation and beyond.

    Well written and full of foibles. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    Pink Floyd fans read this book

    Any fan of Pink Floyd should read this book. Excellent behind the scenes detail.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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