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Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs CD (album) cover


Syd Barrett


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3.60 | 234 ratings

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3 stars It's Syd's first album after his departure from Pink Floyd. Recorded in 1968 and 1969 and released early January 1970. Same year followed his second solo album simply called Barrett. This is a collection of really nice sing and songwriter songs. Not so psychedelic as most of his work with Floyd, but it is still clear that Syd was very unorthodox. The album backbone was Syd own recording with only him and a acoustic guitar and when arriving to the studio he insisted that the other musicians recorded over his very often faulty demo recordings. Therefore a lot of mistakes and out of key vocals can be heard on this record, but on the other hand it also creates a feel of being there at the moment it all happened and with Syd's childlike honesty it makes this album very unique and psychedelic in it's own way. Therefore most of the final tracks that made the album were completed with very few takes.

The album feature some cool guest musicians like Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge and Robert Wyatt from Soft Machine, Jerry Shirley from Humble Pie and Gilmour and Waters which also helped produce the album. You can also clearly hear the influence this album had on artists like David Bowie and I would guess also Lou Reed (at least there is this kinda New York feel over some of the songs on the album) and many others of course. Relatively often I meet people or hear about musicians being really into Syd's solo stuff and it kinda suprises me because I always thought that this was nothing but earcrap to most people, but it seems like the magic Syd created and the myth behind really makes these solo efforts interresting in many other ways than just the musical aspect of them.

So what do this album mean to me. It's a nice getaway from a lot of the other music I listen to and it puts me in a really melancholic, but still happy state of mind. The album has it's rocking tunes, but mostly the feel of it is very relaxed. The honesty of this album is also very pleasing like the track If It's In You where Syd has to start over again because he sings so much out of tune (just to sing out of tune again, but keeping the take anyway). Just the fact that they does not cut it out tells one something about Syd's state of mind, but also what this album is all about which is just the joy of playing, but most important the simple but great songwriting. In my book tracks like Terrapin, No Good Trying, Love You, No Man's Land, Here I Go, Golden Hair reminds me of Syd's glorious days with Floyd and they are all really well written and has this before mentioned magic feel that I think Syd's music carries. To this day Gilmour still play Terrapin, Dark Globe and Dominoes (from Barrett) so I guess that Gilmour also still feel the magic and genius behind Syd and I was very pleased when I heard him play some of those tunes live (and also Arnold Layne). So if you are a fan of early Floyd and particular Syd this album plus Barrett and the 1988 compilation Opel is a must have.

So yeah... Shine On!

Devnoy | 3/5 |


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