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SYD BARRETT

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Syd Barrett biography
SYD BARRETT is very famous in the world of prog for helping found space/psychadelia prog giants, PINK FLOYD, and adding his unique vocals and lyrics to their classic debut album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn". SYD BARRETT started to develop an unstable mental state and was unable to perform properly on stage or contribute much to the band any more. SYD BARRETT had to leave PINK FLOYD after contributing only one song to PINK FLOYD's second album, "A Saucerful of Secrets". This track, "Jugband Blues" was placed as the last track and served as a nice farewell and good luck song. The albums in this profile show what Syd did after his departure from PINK FLOYD.

His solo career was to be as short as his time in PINK FLOYD, as he only produced 2 real studio albums. The best of these is "The Madcap Laughs". Syd managed to write some memorable solo tracks that were quite remeniscent of his work on "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn".

SYD BARRETT's solo career is arguably the best solo career of any PINK FLOYD member. Fans of early PINK FLOYD should enjoy SYD BARRETT a lot. I would also recommend his work to lovers of 70s Psychadelia/Space rock as well as collectors who enjoy any PINK FLOYD solo efforts.


Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
SYD BARRETT is not only an important figure in the history of progressive rock but he also founded one of the first ever progressive rock albums and progressive rock bands. His solo work should be included on the archives as it displays similar progressive qualities that helped to make PINK FLOYD part of prog rock history. Rick Wright and David Gilmour also appear on some of his works and it seems right the other PINK FLOYD solo careers can be listed then so should SYD BARRETT's.

Syd Barrett official website

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Madcap LaughsMadcap Laughs
Capitol 2013
Audio CD$5.86
$9.26 (used)
An Introduction to Syd BarrettAn Introduction to Syd Barrett
Remastered
EMI 2010
Audio CD$13.48
$9.25 (used)
BarrettBarrett
101 DISTRIBUTION 2013
Audio CD$6.98
$9.86 (used)
The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn't You Miss Me?The Best of Syd Barrett: Wouldn't You Miss Me?
Parlophone 2001
Audio CD$8.54
$5.38 (used)
OpelOpel
Capitol 2013
Audio CD$6.71
$7.22 (used)
Syd Barrett - Under ReviewSyd Barrett - Under Review
Chrome Dreams 2006
DVD$6.95
$3.28 (used)
OctopusOctopus
Box set
EMI
Vinyl$19.52
$16.28 (used)
The Peel SessionThe Peel Session
Dutch East 1991
Audio CD$169.99
$19.80 (used)
Crazy DiamondCrazy Diamond
Box set · Import · Limited Edition
Emd Int'l 1993
Audio CD$68.95
$15.98 (used)
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SYD BARRETT shows & tickets


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SYD BARRETT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SYD BARRETT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.63 | 135 ratings
The Madcap Laughs
1970
3.24 | 96 ratings
Barrett
1970

SYD BARRETT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.20 | 12 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1987
2.25 | 9 ratings
The Radio One Sessions
2004

SYD BARRETT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

1.26 | 10 ratings
Syd Barrett's First Trip*
2001
3.47 | 12 ratings
The Syd Barrett Story
2004
2.67 | 3 ratings
Under Review
2006

SYD BARRETT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.89 | 7 ratings
Syd Barrett
1974
2.48 | 33 ratings
Opel
1989
2.12 | 5 ratings
Octopus
1992
4.17 | 11 ratings
Crazy Diamond
1994
3.97 | 15 ratings
Wouldn't You Miss Me?
2001
2.32 | 6 ratings
The Madcap Laughs / Barrett
2003
3.50 | 2 ratings
Maximum Syd Barrett
2006
4.02 | 12 ratings
An Introduction To Syd Barrett
2010

SYD BARRETT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 4 ratings
Octopus
1969
3.00 | 4 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1987

SYD BARRETT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Madcap Laughs by BARRETT, SYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 135 ratings

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The Madcap Laughs
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by The Truth
Collaborator Post and Math Rock Team

4 stars I have to agree with fellow reviewer Chris H. when he says that this is one of rock music's most simple triumphs, it truly is a great record by a very fragile individual and that fragility is laced throughout the psychedelic folk of The Madcap Laughs.

Barrett at this point was an absolute wreck to work with and David Gilmour and Roger Waters had what is said to be a real heck of a time trying to get Syd to create something they could work with. In a way, that's the true genius behind it, only Syd really knew what he was trying to do. The seemingly simple folk songs Barrett creates here that at times have a psych edge never fail to captivate me and also have an emotional effect on me. The Madcap Laughs is as the title suggests, a madman in a fit of laughter, but what is madness? Genius in disguise?

Simply put, many prog fans will have a hard time with this because it's a pretty raw recording but there are some of the best songs ever written on this album. Barrett was the human symbol of an artist and true fans of music can see the imprint the man left on his band members and other artists to come.

Aloof and enjoyable, serious and yet not so serious, The Madcap Laughs is a great album.

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 An Introduction To Syd Barrett by BARRETT, SYD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
4.02 | 12 ratings

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An Introduction To Syd Barrett
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As of this writing Syd Barrett now has four times more compilations of his work than actual studio albums: not a bad ratio for a burned-out acid casualty who released only a pair of solo LPs over four decades ago.

This one is a winner, however, and not just for new fans wanting what the title promises: a one-stop primer to the brief, troubled career of PINK FLOYD's original crazy diamond. The songs here have all been re-mastered (and in many cases entirely remixed) by none other than David Gilmour...that's right, the same guitarist who took Syd's place in his own group and then went on to international superstardom is ironically now the caretaker of Syd Barrett's legacy.

Thankfully so, I might add. Geriatric chestnuts like "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" have never sounded better, and other tunes are greatly enhanced by the sympathetic remixes. The whimsical early Floyd nursery school daydream "Matilda Mother" is the most radically different, using an alternate take with unfamiliar lyrics and an extended instrumental coda.

I still question the inclusion of the ragged false start to "If It's In You": the song by itself reveals more than enough of Barrett's disintegrating psyche without the voyeuristic look at his struggling attempts to find the right key. And the absence, once again, of the still unreleased but widely bootlegged Barrett classics "Vegetable Man" and "Scream Thy Last Scream" is a disappointment: both are essential to any understanding of Syd Barrett's fragile genius, for reasons beyond even the obvious implications of the song titles by themselves.

Instead we get relative rarities like "Apples and Oranges" and the stinging Folk Rock parody of "Bob Dylan Blues", neither one completely unknown, but welcome additions to this set. And buyers of the CD (or borrowers, like me) will be allowed to download the bonus track "Rhamadan": a rambling twenty-minute (!) jam from one of Syd's more desperate studio sessions.

As a cultural artifact it's a fascinating (but failed) attempt at instant composition. But as a piece of music it doesn't add up to anything more than a rather pathetic group improvisation by players obviously unskilled in the art of extemporaneous music making (notice how little Barrett himself actually contributes to the track). I suppose it deserves to be heard for historical (if not quite for aesthetic) perspective. And for armchair Barrett archeologists in particular the experience will be like striking a rich vein of glowing pyrite.

If nothing else the extra track is a generous afterthought to an already well-rounded compilation, maybe the best of the many Syd Barrett collections on the market. Until the next one, at least...

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 The Madcap Laughs by BARRETT, SYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 135 ratings

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The Madcap Laughs
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars I remember getting this album ages ago when I was young and in my "discovering Pink Floyd" phase. Man, I had a crush on 'Iggy The Eskimo', the girl seen in the background on the back cover. It certainly wouldn't be the only time Pink Floyd members would prove their fondness for female derrieres, but I find the photo session that came out for The Madcap Laughs the most memorable and coolest with some serious sweet cheeks displayed while Syd remained in the foreground looking oblivious and a bit lost in general. Even a fine rump couldn't save this man.

The music itself has aged surprisingly well, and today plays like some proto-alt-folk rock with psychedelic touches that indie rock fans and side-burned hipsters could even appreciate. It certainly feels a bit more contemporary than his former band's stuff from that time (Atom Heart Mother & such), and I personally just dig it more than what Floyd were doing during the same period. The songs have lots of acoustic guitar playing, and have lyrics that focus much if not more on love and personal feelings than, say, brooding interpretations of insanity. It's often whimsical and unpretentious as well. Of course, there's also some wacked out lyrics tossed about, such as the howling "Octopus" or how the sweet opener "Terrapin" starts off cute but gets odder in the verse department as the song moves along.

The playing is skillful enough for the material, with some interesting bits aided by The Soft Machine dudes such as on "No Good Trying", which plays like an acid drenched rock tune on the verge of chaos. "Dark Globe" should be mentioned for Syd's strained and almost manic delivery, particularly near the song's end. Yeah, Roger Waters had to have taken that cue for his "The Wall" persona. "Late Night" is a gorgeous closing track, atmospheric and sorrowful with some nice slide guitar.

There are a few songs that don't match up to the best tracks here, but as a whole it's a fascinating document of a musician and former star losing his marbles. It could be considered as exploitive concerning the album title, imagery and a few of the takes used for the album (the disastrous but hilarious "If It's In You"), but I'm sure Syd was still quite in on the whole thing and wasn't ready to give up recording music yet. It wouldn't be too much longer though for him to withdraw completely, leaving behind strange ditties like the ones on The Madcap Laughs that are playful, weird, fun, and yet more than a little sad.

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 Opel by BARRETT, SYD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1989
2.48 | 33 ratings

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Opel
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Had this been an EP containing only those songs not released in different versions on Syd's other studio albums, I'd have probably given this one an extra star; as it is, it's needlessly rounded out with alternate takes of material from The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, and unless you are an absolutely devoted fan of Syd's solo material there's really little need to have so many alternate takes of songs you already own - especially considering that these versions don't really reveal any hidden beauty or previously untapped magic to the material. (It gets even more silly when you consider the CD versions of this album and Syd's solo albums include *even more* alternate takes as bonus tracks.) Hardcore collectors only, I'm afraid.

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 Barrett by BARRETT, SYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.24 | 96 ratings

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Barrett
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is the point where it became clear that the Syd Barrett solo experiment just wasn't expendable. With backing musicians far more predominant this time around - with the result that Syd's guitar playing is buried in the mix a lot of the time and, at points, entirely absent from the album (or replaced with Dave Gilmour's 12-string work, as on Baby Lemonade) - the album is essentially Gilmour, Wright and friends trying to make commercial songs out of Syd's lyrics and guitar lines.

The man himself on is on only middling form here. His guitar work, where it is audible, consists of uninspired noodling far from the inventive heights he achieved on The Madcap Laughs and with Pink Floyd. Lyrically speaking, when he's on form he's as much of a poet as he was on Madcap, but on some tracks like Rats or Gigolo Aunt it's clear he's just doing some word association to get through the track. Only on a few songs, like Waving My Arms In the Air, I Never Lied to You, and the closing Effervescing Elephant, does Syd's personality shine through the obscuring barrier erected by the session musicians and his own personal issues to produce something worthy of the album's predecessor. It's a pleasant enough listen, more than worth sitting through for those few gems and for the occasional moment in other songs, but Barrett is clearly heading downhill fast at this point. Like The Madcap Laughs, it's an uncomfortable listen, but Madcap was uncomfortable because it was an eloquent and penetrating look at isolation, whereas this time the discomfort is embarrassment on Syd's behalf.

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 The Madcap Laughs by BARRETT, SYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 135 ratings

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The Madcap Laughs
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Produced from torturous sessions - with much help from fellow Floydians Roger Waters and David Gilmour, as well as the Soft Machine guesting on a couple of tracks - Syd Barrett's first solo album conceals within its fairytale lyrics a harrowing insight into mental illness. In the themes of isolation, alienation, and separation pervading songs like Dark Globe or Late Night, Barrett acknowledges - if obliquely - the stresses and torments that had overtaken his musical career, and in doing so offers an insight into that strange and troubled place his mental state had brought him to.

Whether Barrett was schizophrenic, deeply depressed, or simply stressed out and confused from a drug-filled and frenetic lifestyle will be a matter of speculation for as long as his career is remembered; what cannot be denied, though, is the genuine feeling communicated in these simple, stripped-down, beautiful songs. It is tremendously difficult to understand, for those who have not experienced issues similar to Syd's, exactly how mental illness feels from the inside, and it's often extremely difficult for sufferers to express it. There are those who would consider this album exploitative of Syd's condition, but I think on balance it would have done Syd a far worse disservice to silence him by discouraging the production of the album. If it sometimes makes for uncomfortable listening, it's because it opens our eyes to ideas and issues which we all too often prefer not to acknowledge. I think it's Syd's finest musical statement.

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 Barrett by BARRETT, SYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.24 | 96 ratings

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Barrett
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by Usandthem

5 stars Syd Barrett was a genius! The first Pink Floyd bandmate have revolutionned rock music introducing instrumental improvisation ("Interstellar Overdrive"), psychedelic originality to pop songs ("See Emily Plays") and creating a style mixing blues, jazz, folk, theatrical music and rock'n roll (The whole "Piper at the gates of Dawn"): he is a pioneer of prog!

After his depature of Pink Floyd and his first very good album, Syd was into a uncomprehensible mental illness. David Gilmour and Rick Wright helped him to record this album. And even if it's been forgotten, it still sounds good.

The album starts with the guitar introduction of "Baby Lemonade". Syd has a great voice, still writes inspired lyrics and still plays a dreamy guitar as shows the guitar solo. It's a kind of poetry which I think would inspire some artists as Robert Wyatt, Caravan and even Genesis.

Then "Love song" is another quiet and sweet song where Syd's vocals seems resigned and Rick Wright brings a great help with his pianos solos.

"Doominoes" seems to be a high stage in Syd poetry: slow rythm, inspired lyrics, troubled vocals, guitar and keyboards solos. It's pure genius and I think it's overrated.

The next song "It's Obvious" sounds more happily with Syd enthousiastic voice.

"Rats" sounds more folky and dynamic with its chorus "That's love Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah!".

"Maisie" is a bluesy tunes with loud vocals which remains Syd drugs consommation.

Then "Gigolo Aunt" is a really good song with Syd who sounds like a child in "See Emily Plays" with good guitars solos and funny concept.

"Waving my arms in the air" sounds like all his nursery ryhms, with a rock'n roll spirit like shows the electic guitar.

Then "I never lied to you" is another very sincere love song which shows that everything that syd do is good.

"Wined and Dined" sounds as good as "Chapter 24" with a quite folk feeling.

Then "Wolfpack" is a very rock experience (which inspired Waters's vocals work I think), with other good guitar solos.

Finally, "Effervesing Elephant" is as says Allmusic "a nursery ryhming" song with a tuba who remains elephant and Syd's cool vocals

Eventually I think i"Barrett" is a colorfull mixture of differents feelings and moods which inspired artists like Robert Wyatt, Caravan, his bandmates (from Gilmour to Waters) but also David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Ian Anderson, Peter Hammill and Paul Mc Cartney.

To be re discovered.

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 Barrett by BARRETT, SYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.24 | 96 ratings

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Barrett
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by octopus-4
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars While his mind was already out of this world, the old mates tried to help Syd by producing his second solo album. Gilmour and Wright try to make it sound "normal", but the playing effort of Syd is really too evanescent so instead of being a document as The Madcap Laughs was, this album sounds "plastic" and fictitious, or it's maybe the impression that we who know the story can have.

On the other hand, there are songs inside. They are still that mixture of childish songs, fairy tales and acid visions of which the eraly Pink Floyd were made. Syd is still able to use the best words to describe a situation, a story, or a vision taking care of how they sound inside the song. The sound of the words is as important as the sound of guitar.

In this album songs like Baby Lemonade, Gigolo Aunt, Dominoes (still played live by Gilmour) and the crazy Effervescing Elephant are still witnesses of Syd's genius.

From a purely musical perspective, Rick Wright makes a great work in making those song sound like Pink Floyd stuff. In particular the short "It's Obvious" was originally a two-chords song that Rick transformed into a Pink Floyd song.

At the end this is a good album on which the genius of Syd is still present, good enough in the arrangements with the only defect of being not "genuine".

4 stars in my heart and 3 in my mind

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 The Madcap Laughs by BARRETT, SYD album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.63 | 135 ratings

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The Madcap Laughs
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by octopus-4
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

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.

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 An Introduction To Syd Barrett by BARRETT, SYD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
4.02 | 12 ratings

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An Introduction To Syd Barrett
Syd Barrett Prog Related

Review by unarmedman

4 stars I can't really describe it, but Syd Barret's music carries with it an aura that seams to lift you up from the ground. This compilation does a good job of sumarizing the carrier of this musical genious. It is a pity that he never recorded in the 80's because I would really like to see what the evolution would have been. I can't even imagine. But as with most of these geniouses they are destined to burn bright but for a short period of time. This is a testimony to musical and lyrical simplicity and at the same time complexity because most of the songs Sys composed had a kind of emotional complexity no one will ever be able to understand. And that is why he is a legend. The remastering and also tweaking that David Gilmour did are not obtrusive, as it would expected from a guy that participated on the original recordings. A good place to star your collection and also a fine addition for completists.

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Thanks to frenchie for the artist addition.

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