Syd Barrett The Madcap Laughs on 180g LP
One of the most influential musicians in British pop history, Syd Barrett was as appreciated as much for his iconoclastic approach to the electric guitar as for his adventurous and imaginative songwriting. A co-founder of Pink Floyd, he was also quintessentially English, penning idiosyncratic and unique songs, and, along with Ray Davies, was directly responsible for a whole generation of musicians feeling that it was acceptable to develop their own indigenous brand of rock music.
Pink Floyd signed to EMI Records in 1967, releasing the singles "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play," both written by Syd, and the album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, again mostly composed by Syd and considered to be one of the greatest British psychedelic albums. However, as the band began to attract a large fanbase, it became clear that Syd's fluid approach to writing, performing and recording – spontaneous, one take only, nothing repeated – was increasingly at odds with the expectations of a musical scene that was still very conservative, especially outside London.
Possibly exacerbated by Syd's frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs, his behavior became more erratic, to the point that the band decided to add a second guitarist for live performances. They hoped to call on Syd's compositional abilities for studio work, similar to Brian Wilson's role in the Beach Boys, while David Gilmour would bolster the band in live shows. The experiment didn't really work and, in January 1968, after a handful of shows as a 5-piece, the band elected not to pick Syd up on the way to a Southampton University show.
Syd and Floyd officially parted company in March 1968, with the band's management Blackhill Enterprises deciding to stick with Syd as a solo artist. EMI's new Harvest label committed to a Barrett solo project, and over the course of a year Syd recorded his debut The Madcap Laughs. Started briefly with Blackhill's Peter Jenner, recording commenced in April 1969 with EMI's Malcolm Jones, later involving David Gilmour and Roger Waters, who completed the album in October for release in January 1970. The Madcap Laughs was well received and sold reasonably, so EMI elected to record a follow-up straight away.
Syd Barrett The Madcap Laughs Track Listing:
2. No Good Trying
3. Love You
4. No Man's Land
5. Dark Globe
6. Here I Go
8. Golden Hair
9. Long Gone
10. She Took A Long Cold Look
12. If It's In You
13. Late Night