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Pink Floyd: Between Syd and the Dark Side - documentary DVD / music DVD / concert performance DVD review
PINK FLOYD: BETWEEN SYD AND THE DARK SIDE Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating: 4 stars
Featuring: Pink Floyd
  Distributor: United States of Distribution
DVD release: 10 August 2010   Runtime: 62 min. (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
DVD Features: Aspect ratio 1.33:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English), Short film The Barrett Effect, The Pink Floyd Interactive Challenge, Contributor index, More Floyd - beyond DVD

*Pink Floyd's MEDDLE album*Pink Floyd: Between Syd and the Dark Side is for Pink Floyd fans only, but it is rewarding for those interested. Though on the surface it chronicles the period between the departure of lead guitarist Syd Barrett to the recording of the rock masterpiece Dark Side of the Moon, the primary focus is on the band's somewhat forgotten 1971 recording Meddle.

Much of the information is already well known by followers of the band: how Barrett had a mental breakdown brought on by the pressures of fame and extensive use of hallucinogenic drugs - and how this breakdown fueled the later work of his former band mates, particularly Waters.

However, the focus on Meddle successfully argues that not only is the album underappreciated (particularly the 20-minute rock epic "Echoes," which entirely takes up Side B of the album) but it truly is the bridge between the early psychedelic work of Floyd (which was inventive but not completely inseparable from works of other notable psychedelic bands from the era) to the epic, haunting and otherworldly qualities of the band's classic work in the '70s, (Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall).

The key missing ingredient to the documentary is the lack of any interviews with Pink Floyd members, especially group leader Roger Waters and Barrett's replacement, legendary rock guitarist David Gilmour (the documentary was not officially authorized by the band). What quotes the doc uses from band members are posted as text on the screen.

However, unlike some rather shoddy recent rocks docs I have seen for The Rolling Stones and AC/DC, at least this one uses actual Pink Floyd music on the soundtrack. It also makes extensive use of the cult Pink Floyd concert recorded at the ruins in Pompeii in the early 1970s.

In short, this documentary is primarily for fans, but even non-fans might find it informative. Most importantly, it will make most viewers interested in giving Meddle a listen.
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reviewed by Trent Daniel
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