- Audio CD (16 April 2001)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: EMI
- ASIN: B00005ABWV
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,183 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Wouldn't You Miss Me CD
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Syd Barrett is probably more talked about than listened to these days, though he remains a seminal influence on British indie psychedelia and countless of wannabe Pipers at the Gates of Dawn. This compilation brings together most of the material from his two official Harvest albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett, plus a few tracks from the outtakes collection Opel. There's little of the acid fuelled guitar abuse that drove Barrett's contribution to Pink Floyd's first album, and whereas Barrett-penned Floyd singles like "See Emily Play" and "Arnold Layne" had been superbly assured slices of Brit psychedelia, here the songs are looser and more exploratory. Barrett (along with Ray Davies and Robert Wyatt) was one of the first singers to give English rock a uniquely un-American voice, and his lyrics here owe much to a literary tradition that takes in Edward Lear, William Blake and Hilaire Belloc. Surrealism, pastoral whimsy and a strain of bedsit melancholia run through many of the songs here, and again a peculiarly English obsession with wordplay (see "Octopus" for details).
Though some of the performances (particularly those drawn from Opel) show evidence of Syd's well documented instability, the songs themselves are sharply honed and transcend their sometimes erratic delivery. "Baby Lemonade" and "Gigolo Aunt" are as catchy as Legionnaire's disease and show that Syd's talent for writing great pop songs hadn't died with the Floyd's "Apples and Oranges", while "Dominoes" is exquisitely melancholic. Completists will want this set for the previously unavailable "Bob Dylan Blues" (appropriate in the year of Bob's 60th birthday and containing the immortal lines; 'I've got the Bob Dylan Blues My hair and my hat's in a mess But I don't give a damn about that'), and for others it's a good place to start. --Peter Marsh
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Top Customer Reviews
syd is (did you guess?)one of my heroes, so why the low rating? Well, this is an odd collection which omits some of his best songs whilst including some weaker ones (swan lee, for example) and i would advise buyers to go for either the double cd of the original two solo albums ("the madcap laughs" and "barrett") or the triple cd which couples the afore mentioned with the out takes album "opel" (there's not much to write home about on opel). BUT this album is doubly annoying because it includes the reputedly excellent and long lost track "bob dylans blues" which has never been released before and which i have never heard. AND THAT MEANS I WILL PROBABLY BUY IT AND I HATE THAT!!!
cleverer people than me might be advised to hang back on that though because there apparently exist a few more lost tracks (not to mention the unreleased floyd tracks) and these are bound to come out on another collection soon.
Listening to his songs is quite sad, considering what happened to him and the state he was in, and, of course, his recent death gives songs such such as 'Dark Globe' an added poignancy. The more coherent tracks, such as 'Octopus' and 'Here I Go' are remniscient of his earlier days, and the sublime 'Dominoes' even allows two of his former bandmates, David Gilmour and Rick Wright, two of his (unsalaried) session musicians, finish the song off on there own.
Syd Barrett may not be to everyone's liking, but he is definitely worth checking out.
However, his best work is what he did with Pink Floyd on their early singles and "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" album. The ideal Syd Barrett tribute would include some of this material, as well as the unreleased gems "Vegetable Man" and "Scream Thy Last Scream". Those two tracks are far more interesting than the only previously unknown track included here.
Still, the music is good but this compilation could have been better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One for the collection especially if you are an avid Pink Floyd fanPublished 19 months ago by Michael Hills
Good CD album due to expectation and ptoper delivery (dAb) +>Published 20 months ago by D.Andre Borgdorff