Spun: Syd Barrett

Pink Floyd co-founder and lunatic Syd Barrett was an integral contributor to the Floyd’s first two albums, but Barrett left in a drug-induced haze to work on solo material. He missed Floyd’s later fame and fortune, his solo career went nowhere and he died in relative obscurity in 2006.

David Gilmour, who replaced Barrett in Floyd, has taken it upon himself to explore the subject as the executive producer of An Introduction to Syd Barrett. On this compilation we get a mixture of six songs of Barrett’s work with Floyd and 12 recordings from his only two solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, both released in 1970. Five of the tracks have been remixed by Gilmour, including Floyd’s “Matilda Mother.” The collection spans a brief four-year period and features Barrett’s whimsical, poppy eccentricities. Songs like “Octopus” and “Baby Lemonade” reveal the marked difference between his musical stylings and those of the post-Barrett Floyd.

What sets this package apart from other Barrett compilations is “Rhamadan,” a previously unreleased 20-minute downloadable bonus track. This rarity is essentially a free form jam that goes nowhere, but does have interesting moments. It’s this piece that will garner the attention of the hard-cores, to whom Syd Barrett needs no introduction.

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