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Syd Barrett

Like a supernova, Roger "Syd" Barrett burned briefly and brightly, leaving an indelible mark upon psychedelic and progressive rock as the founder and original singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist of Pink Floyd. Barrett was responsible for most of their brilliant first album, 1967's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, but left and/or was fired from the band in early 1968 after his erratic behavior had made him too difficult to deal with (he appears on a couple tracks on their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets). Such was his stature within the original lineup that few observers thought the band could survive his departure; in fact, the original group's management decided to keep Syd on and leave the rest of the band to their own devices. Pink Floyd never recaptured the playful humor and mad energy of their work with Barrett.

After a period of hibernation, Barrett re-emerged in 1970 with a pair of albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, which featured considerable support from his former bandmates (especially his replacement, David Gilmour, who produced most of the sessions). Members of Soft Machine also play on these records, which have a ragged, unfinished, and folky feel. Barrett's eccentric humor, sly wordplay, and infectious melodies range from brilliant to chaotic on his solo work. Lacking the taut power of his recordings with the Floyd in 1967, they nevertheless remain fascinating and moving glimpses into a creative psyche gone awry after (it is theorized) too much fame and too many drugs too early. With increasing psychological problems, Barrett withdrew into near-total seclusion after these albums and never released any more material.

Although they attracted little attention upon their release, his albums also attracted a cult audience. Barrett's music and mystique achieved a lasting influence that continues to grow over two decades later. Latter-day new-wave psychedelic acts like Julian Cope, the Television Personalities, and (especially) Robyn Hitchcock acknowledge Barrett's tremendous influence on their work. The Barrett cult became large enough to warrant the release of an entire album of previously unreleased material and outtakes, Opel, in the late '80s, as well as his sessions for the BBC. As for the man himself, after 1973 he remained hidden away at his mother's home in Cambridge, turning away both curious fans and any offers to play music (though he did show up at sessions for Pink Floyd's 1975 album Wish You Were Here, and once the band recognized him, they declined his offer to participate). The occasional photo of Barrett surfaced over the years, revealing him to be a perfectly normal, if grumpy, looking fellow. After battling diabetes for several years, Barrett died peacefully in July 2006 at the age of 60. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Best Of Syd Barrett: Wouldn't You Miss Me

1. Octopus

2. Late Night

3. Terrapin

4. Swan Lee (Silas Lang)

5. Wolfpack

6. Golden Hair

7. Here I Go

8. Long Gone

9. No Good Trying

10. Opel

11. Baby Lemonade

12. Gigolo Aunt

13. Dominoes

14. Wouldn't You Miss Me (Dark Globe)

15. Wined And Dined

16. Effervescing Elephant

17. Waving My Arms In The Air

18. I Never Lied To You

19. Love Song

20. Two Of A Kind

21. Bob Dylan Blues

22. Golden Hair (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Crazy Diamond

Disc 1

1. Terrapin

2. No Good Trying

3. Love You

4. No Man's Land

5. Dark Globe

6. Here I Go

7. Octopus

8. Golden Hair

9. Long Gone

10. She Took A Long Cold Look At Me

11. Feel

12. If It's In You

13. Late Night

14. Octopus (Takes 1 & 2)

15. It's No Good Trying (Take 5)

16. Love You (Take 1)

17. Love You (Take 3)

18. She Took A Long Cold Look At Me (Take 4)

19. Golden Hair (Take 5)

Disc 2

1. Baby Lemonade

2. Love Song

3. Dominoes

4. It Is Obvious

5. Rats

6. Maisie

7. Gigolo Aunt

8. Waving My Arms In The Air

9. I Never Lied To You

10. Wined And Dined

11. Wolfpack

12. Effervescing Elephant

13. Baby Lemonade (Take 1)

14. Waving My Arms In The Air (Take 1)

15. I Never Lied To You (Take 1)

16. Love Song (Take 1)

17. Dominoes (Take 1)

18. Dominoes (Take 2)

19. It Is Obvious (Take 2)

Disc 3

1. Opel

2. Clowns And Jugglers

3. Rats

4. Golden Hair

5. Dolly Rocker

6. Word Song

7. Wined And Dined

8. Swan Lee (Silas Lang)

9. Birdie Hop

10. Let's Split

11. Lanky (Part 1)

12. Wouldn't You Miss Me (Dark Globe)

13. Milky Way

14. Golden Hair

15. Gigolo Aunt (Take 9)

16. It Is Obvious (Take 3)

17. It Is Obvious (Take 5)

18. Clowns And Jugglers (Take 1)

19. Late Night (Take 2)

20. Effervescing Elephant (Take 2)

x

Track List: Opel

1. Opel

3. Rats

4. Golden Hair (Vocal Version)

5. Dolly Rocker

6. Word Song

7. Wined And Dined

8. Swan Lee (Silas Lang)

9. Birdie Hop

10. Let's Split

11. Lanky (Part 1)

12. Wouldn't You Miss Me (Dark Globe)

13. Milky Way

x

Track List: Barrett

1. Baby Lemonade

2. Love Song

3. Dominoes

4. It Is Obvious

5. Rats

6. Maisie

7. Gigolo Aunt

8. Waving My Arms In The Air

9. I Never Lied To You

10. Wined And Dined

11. Wolfpack

12. Effervescing Elephant

13. Baby Lemonade (Take 1)

14. Waving My Arms In The Air (Take 1)

15. I Never Lied To You (Take 1)

16. Love Song (Take 1)

17. Dominoes (Take 1)

18. Dominoes (Take 2)

19. It Is Obvious (Take 2)

x

Track List: The Madcap Laughs

1. Terrapin

2. No Good Trying

3. Love You

4. No Man's Land

5. Dark Globe

6. Here I Go

7. Octopus

8. Golden Hair

9. Long Gone

10. She Took A Long Cold Look

11. Feel

12. If It's In You

13. Late Night

Comments

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yodaman3088, he died at age 60!
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yodaman3088
Too bad this seer of visions and painter and 2nd favorite music artist had to die at such a young age
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As Mr. Maki says, Drugs are bayad, m'kay?
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Amen Stephen! Drugs have ruined a many of great artists. Great genius minds, legends, who have given us some of the best music we all will ever hear. Probably won't hear anymore like them either in our lifetime.
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Sorry drugs destroyed this Genius, how sad.
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I am so sick of people who lionize drug use as if it enhances our capabilities . How many more will it cost.
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You are so right, Jenny Walton.
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lindsayg07
Its easy to look in from the outside and say what is going wrong or what needs to be changed. I can put on anything from pink Floyd and enjoy the musical trip I get sent on. Thanks guys.
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+syd was founder...am a z i n g ! love pink Floyd and single by Gilmore the fish farmer, then i found the original syd barret barret!
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revb17078
As a teenager 55 years ago, I enjoyed Elvis, Mo-town. And then the English Invasion. Pink Floyd remained undetected by me. It has only been lately when I've entered into my sixties that I rediscovered them. I always ask to listen to a Pink Floyd disc when undergoing an MRI. I love Wish You Were Here and Shine On You Crazy Diamond. Does anyone follow any of the tribute bands?
Report as inappropriate
There will never ever be another Pink Floyd not unless you get white Roger Walters back and then it would be mind blowing don't get me wrong David Gilmours doing his job and doing a great job but I always like to walk Walters. stuff
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Syd you were a genius. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise



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rrruuusssttt y y y p p p
Roger you will always live
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Some say with drugs and alcohol its impossible to reach your full potential, Syd proved them wrong.
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Art that's all I have to say art
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You reached for the secret to soon...
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Syd was lightyears away from everyone...a r t student in a band with architecture students...m a g i c a l music...bril l i a n t songwriting. . . r i p syd
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binckley4
Peace. Pot .an Micro dots..
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binckley4
Waters picked up an dropped it..
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binckley4
The real pink .. Roger doesn't have NOTHING! ! ON SID..
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Screw all the critics...lo v e me some Syd.
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stephaniehol l y w o o d b l u e
Syd is underated and original. Way before his time. Genius
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matthewroy43 5
one of a kind. sums it up Syd was a badass
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stephaniehol l y w o o d b l u e
I love Syd now and forever !!
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lblil9
love syd
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s.creed78
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Report as inappropriate
syd was a living legend.he leaves an unparalleled legacy. his story is sadly tragic. but he will forever shine in eternity as a diamond in the musical galaxy of art and pure beauty! long live syd roger barrett, the astral piper!
Report as inappropriate
Syd's music is magical. :)
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Well, Syd is dead now, has been for a few years now. Pandora needs to update the bio. Richard Wright is dead too. Sadly they will never grace us again. Roger turned bitter for a while, but he and David buried the hatchet and have even played together a couple of times since 2010. The music will live for a very long time, but Pink Floyd as an entity is dead. Long live Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson.
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Roger Waters claimed Syd was not an influence on him except early on. I disagree but then I dislike Roger Waters.
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sunshinebry2 0 0 0
Oh by the way this one's Pink!
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Genius writ large.
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Better than David gilmour
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he was a genius
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Happy birthday , Syd :-)
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His songs are awesome even translated into Spanish!
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Andy Kaufman was and will forever be a tool.
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Syd Barrett and Andy Kaufman would have been great friends... I can sense it
Report as inappropriate
naanasalex
@ Queen_Of_The _ N o r m a n s : I know right? Sad, how many celebs and musicians die too young. Mostly from drugs. Stupid, have some common sense people, don't follow these lost stars into the grave too early. R.I.P. Syd, and shine on you crazy diamond.
Report as inappropriate
Syd's career may have been short-lived, but he has a number of great songs. Also, Floyd made most of their money off of songs inspired by Syd.
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Live on you crazy diamond.
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<3 Syd <3
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<3
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jjlax7: I really can't explain why I laughed so hard at your comment. It really shouldn't be so funny... Yet I laugh._.
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Greatest song of all time *_*
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Oh well, insanity makes for good music, for better or worse.
Report as inappropriate
^.^
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Jugband blues ... And I'm wondering who can be writing this song...
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One of the best forgotten songwriters of all time. I'm waiting for glhim to rediscovered by my generation. I'm 18, so think it can be done
Report as inappropriate
mbowley75
I dig the Soft Boys & select Robyn Hitchcock tracks but he's practically aping Syd Barrett much of the time in my opinion. Hitchcock's stuff isn't anywhere near as inspired as even the most middling of Syd's stuff in my estimation at least.
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