When Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett died on July 7, 2006 at the age of 60, rock music lost one of its most notorious and fascinating enigmas. A founding member of Pink Floyd, Barrett was the primary architect of the Floyd’s first studio album (1967’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) and author of the band’s first three singles: “Arnold Layne,” “See Emily Play” and “Apples and Oranges.” All of these accomplishments reveal Barrett’s unique psychedelic whimsy and stellar musicianship; despite going onto even greater heights, Pink Floyd arguably never sounded the same without his mad humor, wit and bustling energy. Drugs and mental illness took their toll on the once-prolific Barrett, who made a couple appearances on the band’s second studio album and then embarked on a short-lived solo career. He produced two acclaimed solo sets and then all but disappeared from the music business in 1970. Barrett lived out the rest of his days as a reclusive cult hero, gardening and painting in a peaceful, quiet existence. Barrett remained silent to the public at large, though in 1989, a collection of rare and unreleased material arrived to the thrill of his many fans. Now, more than four years after his death, EMI and Harvest celebrate the life of Syd Barrett and the influential music he created with the October 4 UK release of the aptly-titled An Introduction to Syd Barrett.
This collection compiles both Barrett solo and Pink Floyd tracks together for the first time, and one can only hope it will lead to a further archival excavation of the band’s early work. Hit the jump for more on this exciting new release, including the full track listing, pre-order link and discographical information!
Executive producer David Gilmour celebrates his old Floyd bandmate on this set, remixing five classic Barrett tracks (four solo, one with the band) and in what may be a controversial move, adding new bass guitar parts. Renowned Pink Floyd designer Storm Thorgerson’s studio has supplied new artwork for the cover, and all eighteen tracks have been remastered in 2010. One additional track, the previously-unreleased percussion instrumental “Rhamadam,” will be available as a download only with purchase of the CD or on iTunes (whether the album and this track will be available to US downloaders is unclear at this time). This track reportedly clocks in at 20 minutes, hence its availability as a download only.
An Introduction to Syd Barrett can be pre-ordered here via Amazon, though it will be likely be less expensive once Amazon UK has its listing up and running.
An Introduction to Syd Barrett (EMI/Harvest, 2010)
- Arnold Layne (2010 Digital Remaster) – Pink Floyd
- See Emily Play (2010 Digital Remaster) – Pink Floyd
- Apples And Oranges (2010 Digital Remaster) – Pink Floyd
- Matilda Mother (Alternative Version) (2010 Mix) – Pink Floyd
- Chapter 24 (2010 Digital Remaster) – Pink Floyd
- Bike (2010 Digital Remaster) – Pink Floyd
- Terrapin (2010 Digital Remaster)
- Love You (2010 Digital Remaster)
- Dark Globe (2010 Digital Remaster)
- Here I Go (2010 Remix)
- Octopus (2010 Mix)
- She Took A Long Cold Look (2010 Mix)
- If It's In You (2010 Digital Remaster)
- Baby Lemonade (2010 Digital Remaster)
- Dominoes (2010 Mix)
- Gigolo Aunt (2010 Digital Remaster)
- Effervescing Elephant (2010 Digital Remaster)
- Bob Dylan Blues (2010 Digital Remaster)
- Rhamadam (download only)
All tracks performed by Syd Barrett unless otherwise indicated.
Track 1 from Columbia (UK) single DB 8156, 1967
Track 2 from Columbia (UK) single DB 8214, 1967
Track 3 from Columbia (UK) single DB 8310, 1967
Tracks 4-6 from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Columbia SX 6157, 1967
Tracks 7-13 from The Madcap Laughs, Harvest SHVL 765, 1970
Tracks 14-17 from Barrett, Harvest SHSP 4007, 1970
Track 18 from The Best of Syd Barrett : Wouldn’t You Miss Me, EMI/Harvest 7243 5 32320 2 3, 2001
Track 19 previously unreleased