Thursday, September 2, 2010


Continuing my 1970 odyssey with Barrett by Syd Barrett

Syd Barrett's entire career came in two calendar years, 1967 and 1970. Everything Syd did with Pink Floyd (except the one song from Saucerful of Secrets) came out in '67 and both of his solo albums came out in 1970, The Madcap Laughs in January and Barrett in November.

Like most people in the USA (pre-CD era), I picked up both solo albums on the specially priced double album Syd Barrett. that EMI put out after DSOTM became a monster hit. They also reissued the first two Pink Floyd albums on the Nice Pair double album, and I picked them all up because they were double albums for $8.99. I developed a preference for Syd-era Floyd and solo material mostly because I was a frugal record buyer.

Of the two Syd solo albums, I prefer the second one Barrett because it seems a little more focused. The Madcap Laughs sounds like a crazy dude with an acoustic guitar, while Barrett sounds like a crazy dude with guitar and other folks backing him up. Dave Gilmour produced both albums, and changed the focus on the second one to just let Syd do his thing and overdub other things over it rather than trying to record everything live. The results are more listenable and less disturbing tha they were on the first one.

When I started listening to Robyn Hitchcock in the mid 80s, I surmized that he based his entire career on Barrett. Here's Robyn covering "Dominoes" for a Syd Barrett documentary.

No comments: