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Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs CD (album) cover


Syd Barrett


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3.67 | 183 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Fishing dreams into an endless river.

The endless river is at the end of High Hopes. The last Pink Floyd's song closes the circle but Syd was already in the river catching dreams and putting them into songs until his mind decided to follow the stream so he became a dream, too.

The slow tempo of Terrapin and the dreaming lyrics send the listener to this magic and disconnected world. It's clear that the original recording was done just by Syd on acoustic guitar and the rest was added during the production. Gilmour's background is not invasive and the song works fine. I have to say that this simple version is still better than the cover done by Gilmour in his last tours.

"No Good Trying" has a Beatlesque theme, but the short chaotic interlude in the middle sounds like the old good psychedelic times. Mike Rattledge seems Wright and the sound reminds clearly to The Piper.

"Love You" has still tracks of the original genius. The alliterations and the rhymes in the lyrics are typical of the best Barrett.

"No Man's Land" start beat-bluesy, but then turns into the soundscapes of Interstellar Overdrive on which Syd says something that I can't catch.And all in 3 minutes only!

"Dark Globe" is not chaotic. The chaos seems to be in Syd's mind here. Voice and acoustic guitar for a 2 minutes song on which I think I hear a passage that makes me think to what Waters did after.

"Here I Go" is probably a reminder of Syd's old passion for American Blues coming from the 50s, even though it's very British at the same time.

Now, there's a reason for my nickname. I don't remember if this song or Gentle Giant were more influential on it. However this is one of my favourite songs in this album. Surely the one easiest to remember. "Octopus" I mean.

"Golden Hair" is probably the most Floydian song. It could have been included on The Piper or on Saucerful of Secrets.

"Long Gone" has a good arrangement, probably thanks to Gilmour. It contains a choir, It's likely Syd overdubbed, but now who knows?

"She Took a Long Cold Look" is still containing pieces of genius, but it's the song I like less here. It's another vocals-guitar solo by Syd.

On "Feel" it's still possible to find a structure, but it's like the producers were looking for materials to fill the album. It was a good decision leaving "If It's in You" as it was, with the Syd's vocal error and the song's restart after Syd's apologies, but the genius is almost gone now.

"Late Night" was probably chosen as closure in advance as the quality of the song and the arrangements are back in line with the best tracks. Gilmour here sounds like he did later on Zabriskie Point.

There is full of regret for what hasn't been, and it's the same feeling that Gilmour instilled into High Hopes. He still plays Terrapin and Arnold Layne.

This album is a great document about Syd and early Pink Floyd, too. For this reason, even if not a masterpiece it's a must for every progger so I rate it 4 stars.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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