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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare wonder in the face of destruction
One of rock's most famous recluse's, the first of Syd's solo album contains some of his most fluent, and also incoherent work. Painstakingly put together this documents an amazing revolutionary artist in free-fall. Yes, "Piper..." may always be superior, but it will never have the emotional depth and intrigue this offers the listener. Ranging from the fuzzy "No good...
Published on 4 July 2001 by wobbob

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars 2014 release
This 2014 release basicaly seems that it has been copied from a cd to vinyl.It also has a lot of crackling and pops,which were heard on it's 1st listening.So, it's like having a dull sounding cd with minor scratches on it.
Published 2 months ago by Not as we know it


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare wonder in the face of destruction, 4 July 2001
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
One of rock's most famous recluse's, the first of Syd's solo album contains some of his most fluent, and also incoherent work. Painstakingly put together this documents an amazing revolutionary artist in free-fall. Yes, "Piper..." may always be superior, but it will never have the emotional depth and intrigue this offers the listener. Ranging from the fuzzy "No good trying", to the frightening mental pain of "Dark Globe" ("Wouldn't you miss me?!?" he roars, titling his won best of 32 years later) and the sweet borrowed poem of "Golden hair". The range of moods and emotions, the way you can feel the difficulty Syd was going through this heartfelt work is amazing. This album is wonderful, and anyone considering investigating him should defiantly start here, not at that evil commercialised best of and see what this incredible songwriter managed to produce under the worst of circumstances. Miraculous.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A way-out record from a way-out genius, 7 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Madcap Laughs [VINYL] (Vinyl)
The opening track of the album 'Terrapin' sets the scene for what any listener unfamaliar with the work of Barrett is about to encounter. It is a bare skeleton of a song, with just a single acoustic guitar playing at a snails pace, and Syd singing a simple love lyric with all the soul he can muster. A beautiful yet strange song, it is one of my favourite tracks on the album. If the track doesn't draw you into Syd's world, it is probable that this record won't be for you.
The rest of the tracks on the record are made up of up-tempo songs such as 'Love You', 'Here I Go', and the superb 'Octopus, yet also has its share of undescribably painful songs which feel as if they came directly from the nervous breakdown from hell. 'Dark Globe' is one such track, yet even it sounds together when compared to 'If it's in You' and 'Feel'. Although these tracks have false starts, and would not be to everybody's liking, I have a lot of affection for both, particular 'If It's In You'. While some of the record may be deemed as "way out", there is no doubting the fact that the album contains several classic tracts, by whatever standards you use to judge it by. No Man's Land, 'Long Gone' and the gentle beauty of the closing track 'Late Night' are all superb, not to mention Golden Hair, where Syd imaginatively puts music to a James Joyce poem with great results. I
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is testament to the poetic genius of Syd Barrett, 1 Jan 2002
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
This album is just Syd, his guitar and some simple accompaniment. Everything is focussed on the lyrics and Syd's voice. Don't expect it to sound like ' The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' as his voice has lost it's happy quality. At times though, especially on the slow and beautiful love songs 'Terrapin' and 'Late Night', the sound is sweet toned and together.
The 13 tracks and 6 retakes are lifted out of the ordinary by Syd's wonderfully poetic lyrics and that emotional quality his voice has. In my opinion his lyrics have never been bettered. There are dark tracks, the prophetic 'Dark Globe', 'Feel' and the unbearably sad 'If it's in you' that reflect his growing unease and despair. But it's not all sadness, the extraordinary 'Octopus' is a stream of consciousness as image after image flows and shines from his brilliant mind. The funny 'Love You' and the wryly amusing 'Here I Go' help to lift the spirit.
Of course the songs are imbued with what was happening to Syd at the time. He recorded this album already suffering from a terrible break down. For the past decades, this album has been an eloquent testimony to what has been lost; a rare poet, a composer of music and a free spirit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crumbling beauty..., 17 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
The Madcap Laughs contains some of my favourite of Syd's songs, there are memorable tunes a-plenty, some songs are bare bones fragile voice and guitar performances, some are bolstered with creativity by a band (though it is unclear if Syd played any artistic role in these augmentations). If I had to pick a favourite song it would be Octopus, but there are many classic Syd performances on here, mostly congregating up front, before the album starts to unravel before our eyes. These later songs in particular possess a disarming, heartbraking honesty. He's communicating from over the horizon, but it's a horizon too close for comfort, inside the head.

Syd's story is trapped nowadays in a romanticized mythology, we love him because he was extraordinary, talented, buoyant, charming, beautiful, clever, whimsical, young, and also, because of his disintigration. Like it or not, the combination of beauty and tragedy is alluring, and goes some way to explaining the popular attraction to him. He might be a genius, that is incidental, we need him to have been a genius to make the picture perfect so we declare him one, just as all those fallen soldiers of whichever war on whichever "our" side was were saintly heroes. So we proclaim his music the work of genius. His story also acts as an evocation of how precarious a tightrope walk through life can be, particularly when his delivery wavers, as on Feel. Think also of Nick Drake and others who have left too soon. The throngs of musicians inspired by Syd are likely enchanted by the beautiful tragic mythology as much as by the music, for the two are inextricable. Through our hazy gaze the truth evolves and blurs, and we like what we see.

Clearly Syd was held in very high esteem by the people around him, and this album seems to be also a testiment to their faith in him, that he could work magic even in the adverse conditions that were coroding him. Saying that, I am concerned that the original album, which showcases not just Syd's brilliance but his disintigration, should not have been released in this state, that perhaps some cynicism crept in or the people who should have been looking out for him were sleeping. The fact that the reissue was plumped-out with further fractured bonus cuts indicates to me that his demise is simply entertainment, and hey folks, here's some more of it for your listening pleasure. Members of the Pink Floyd crowd were shepherding the process of creating Syd's solo albums, so I wonder why reissues of Dark Side Of The Moon et all haven't been similarly augmented with false starts and confusion, duff demo's or whatever might be dredged up from the bottom of the pond...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By the way, which one's Pink?, 11 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
One of the most beautiful albums ever recorded. All the songs are very simple and melancholy. What is apparent is that between the writing of "Piper" and this album Syd certainly did change. he now appears more incoherrent in his writing ability. All the songs seem somehow unfinished, but somehow special nonetheless. If listened to with friends the album will seem embarrasing. However, if you listen to it alone, in context, it is shudderingly sad and beautiful. A genius in artistic freefall which will become apparent if you listen to Syd's next album "Barret".
Basically, if you loved "Piper" and are fascinated with the myth surrounding Syd then this album is essential listening. If you don't normally "listen" to music, as many people don't, then do not purchase this album. You won't enjoy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh baby, my hair's on end about you..., 19 Sep 2012
By 
Rooksby (United KIngdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
The Madcap Laughs is a fragmentary, but frequently beautiful, album:

"And I borrowed the page
from a leopard's cage
& I prowled in the evening sun's glaze,
her head lifted high to the light in the sky,
the opening dawn on her face..."

If you discovered Pink Floyd via The Dark Side of the Moon on The Wall there's a distinct possibility you may not like Syd Barrett's solo recordings - after all, he left the band half a decade before TDSOFM was released. On the other hand, you may like it very, very much & find you have no inclination to listen to Gilmour & Waters' dismal (in my humble opinion) "conceptual" posturing ever again. That's what happened to me anyway. So it goes.

x
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Wholesome Record, 1 Dec 2008
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
Syd Barrett left Pink Floyd in 1968; his final contribution to Pink Floyd was the last song on "A Saucerful of Secrets", the very apt Jugband Blues. From here he left to focus on a solo career, whether he left of his own accord or was pushed we can leave for another day, but it took a further two years for Barrett's first solo outing to be released.

"The Madcap Laughs", released in 1970 on Harvest, was two years in the making and had production assistance from various people most notably Roger Waters and Dave Gilmore, as well as session musicians of some esteem to perform overdubs on most of the tracks, musicians including Jerry Shirley of Humble Pie on Drums. It's also worth noting that some of these esteemed musicians never actually met Barrett.

The various sessions involved in writing and recording the songs for this release were dogged with Barrett's internal and well documented mental turmoil, but this record was recorded in the end and what a record it is. The album opens with "Terrapin", despite the number of producers involved throughout the album; this opening track echoes the style, which will make Madcap Laughs the album it is.

Every strum is heard, the lyrics are quite mysterious, the vocals are eerie and because the overdubs are done after and away from Barrett's erratic musicianship, the beats and bars are quite unpredictable, which I happen to believe is a good thing. This trend, which I like to think of as classic Barrett recording techniques, continues with "No Good Trying", the marvellous "Octopus", "Golden Hair" and the beautifully composed "She Took a Long Cold Look" and "Dark Globe".

The album does have some upbeat moments, "Love You" and "Here I Go" are probably as close to pop songs Barrett ever got, but thankfully he's still a million miles off the norm.

Along with "Barrett", another album from Syd Barrett released in 1970, The Madcap Laughs remains a beacon of the talents of this great songwriter, a man whose demons would tragically halt his career but thankfully did not result in this record never being released. Yes, some of the vocals are erratic and sometimes off key, yes some of the songs go off on one a bit with the overdubs trying to keep up, and yes this album is far from being polished, but don't let that stop you, the sum of all the parts of this album make for an unbelievably addictive and surprisingly wholesome record.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rise and Fall of Syd Barrett, 18 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
When I first got this album it immediately struck me as something completely different from anything I'd ever heard. One of it's greatest qualities is that when listening through each song you can really feel all the emotions that Syd must have been going through during this time; the triumphant Octopus, the comical lyrics of Here I Go, the hilariously bad take of If It's in You, to one of the most potent cries for help you will ever hear in music in Dark Globe. As previous reviews have mentioned you don't want to put this on as background music at a dinner party, but when listened to in it's entirety, and with hindsight of Syds sad breakdown this album will make you laugh and cry, sad and happy, sometimes all in one song.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Appealing creativity, 15 Sep 2009
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
First listen screams a lack of direction and an element of clutter. Mainly acoustic based, a vast majority could have been cut from the final product to leave a more meaningful offering with lashings of impact.

However, putting aside some of the disorder, there's definitely some jewels to be uncovered. The most impressive tracks include `Octopus', strongly driven by a rich sounding acoustic guitar, a catchy melody, enhanced with twangs of classic `60's style electric guitar. `Late Night' has an appealing creativity with overtones of delicate slide. `Golden Hair' is a truly magical composition that perhaps would not be out of place on Pink Floyd's `Saucerful of Secrets'. `Its No Good Trying' and `No Man's Land' offer more late 60's psychedelic tones. `Feel' is purely acoustic and is a quality listen.

Mostly produced by both David Gilmour and Roger Waters, it certainly has its relevance and place, but it's no `Piper at the Gates of Dawn'.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughing Madcap, 1 Sep 2004
This review is from: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
First solo outing from Pink Floyd's founder member, released in January 1970 is a big departure from the complex, whimsical psychedelia of the Floyd. In fact this is a stripped bare confrontation of Syd and his innermost thoughts, right out there on the edge of creative genius and near insanity.
The songs here are often haunting and in many ways autobiographical, exposing his tormented inner self for all to see. It is obvious that Syd's mental state had deteriorated considerably since his departure from Pink Floyd, but all the songs here show his distinct lyrical style, even if they do sound a little fraught and desperate in places.
It is a very personal album contaning many beautiful songs and in our opinion there is not a bad track on the LP with Syd's adaptation of James Joyce's Golden Hair being one of the best tracks.
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