“The Madcap Laughs” by Syd Barrett - album review

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TJR says

Syd’s first solo LP was fairly more gentle than his Pink Floyd material, often willing to be exposed barely with his lyrics and acoustic guitar only. Perhaps echoing his haphazard life, the LP was a stop-start affair, with sessions spread over year and a half, and producers various coming and going. Reading about Syd and the illness of his mind, it’s a small wonder that he emerged with a finished LP at all (never mind a second one later in the same year!). It’s nice to read that old pals David Gilmour and Roger Waters were keen to help out and, by all accounts, their intervention helped very much to finalise the work. The album starts with great promise; the woozy prettiness of “Terrapin” knocks me out – 5 lazy minutes oblivious to all and sundry, the sky above you crystal and blue. Somewhat improbably, “No Good Trying” raises the bar immediately, as a fuller-group kick-in, with Robert Wyatt (drums) and Hugh Hopper (bass) working minor miracles to glide gracefully over Syd’s lava-lamp tempos. Alas, the album doesn’t maintain these dizzy heights, and slowly slides backwards until we’re left with nowt but inconsequential demo-grade fare at the end of side 2. Erratic is the buzz-word which follows Syd around for plenty good reason…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [05:04] 9.3.png Syd Barrett - Terrapin (Roger Keith Barrett) Alternative Folk
A2 [03:26] 9.9.png Syd Barrett - No Good Trying (Roger Keith Barrett) Psychedelia
A3 [02:30] 7.7.png Syd Barrett - Love You (Roger Keith Barrett) Pop
A4 [03:03] 6.6.png Syd Barrett - No Man’s Land (Roger Keith Barrett) Psychedelia
A5 [02:02] 6.6.png Syd Barrett - Dark Globe (Roger Keith Barrett) Lo-Fi
A6 [03:11] 6.3.png Syd Barrett - Here I Go (Roger Keith Barrett) Lo-Fi
B1 [03:47] 6.0.png Syd Barrett - Octopus (Roger Keith Barrett) Alternative Folk
B2 [01:59] 6.0.png Syd Barrett - Golden Hair (Roger Keith Barrett, James Joyce) Alternative Folk
B3 [02:50] 5.8.png Syd Barrett - Long Gone (Roger Keith Barrett) Alternative Folk
B4 [01:55] 5.5.png Syd Barrett - She Took A Long Cold Look (Roger Keith Barrett) Lo-Fi
B5 [02:17] 5.0.png Syd Barrett - Feel (Roger Keith Barrett) Songwriter
B6 [02:26] 4.3.png Syd Barrett - If It’s In You (Roger Keith Barrett) Lo-Fi
B7 [03:10] 5.1.png Syd Barrett - Late Night (Roger Keith Barrett) Psychedelia

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