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AAA Music | 20 May 2024

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EMI/Harvest Announce ‘An Introduction To Syd Barrett’

| On 20, Aug 2010

On 4 October 2010, EMI/Harvest will release An Introduction To Syd Barrett, a brand new collection that will bring together for the first time the tracks of Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett on one compilation.

David Gilmour, who originally worked on Syd Barrett’s two solo albums, as co-producer of The Madcap Laughs and as producer of Barrett, is the executive producer for the album.  Andy Jackson and Damon Iddins at Astoria Studios have remixed five tracks including ‘Octopus’, ‘She Took A Long Cool Look’, ‘Dominoes’ and ‘Here I Go’, with David Gilmour adding bass guitar to the last track. Pink Floyd’s ‘Matilda Mother’ also receives a fresh 2010 Mix.

Brand new artwork, including a 20-page booklet with brand-new graphics and all lyrics, has been provided by long time Pink Floyd associate Storm Thorgerson and his estimable studio.

Born in Cambridge in 1946, Roger Keith ‘Syd’ Barrett was the primary songwriter, guitarist and original lead vocalist in [the first incarnation of] Pink Floyd. He formed the band in the mid-1960s with drummer Nick Mason, bassist Roger Waters and keyboard-player Richard Wright. With their groundbreaking, semi-improvised sets at the legendary UFO Club in London’s Tottenham Court Road, they became the prime movers of British psychedelia.

Barrett wrote the warped pop vignettes ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’, the group’s two hit singles from 1967, as well as ‘Apples And Oranges’, and the lion’s share of the material – the dreamy ‘Matilda Mother’, ‘Chapter 24’ and the whimsical ‘Bike’ – on their debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Recorded at EMI’s famed Abbey Road Studios while the Beatles were making Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pink Floyd’s first album has proved an enduring classic, referenced by everyone from David Bowie to Spiritualized via The Damned.

Barrett contributed ‘Jugband Blues’ to A Saucerful Of Secrets, the band’s follow-up, but his behaviour became increasingly erratic and he left in April 1968, a few months after the addition to the group of his Cambridge friend David Gilmour on guitar and vocals.

Syd Barrett’s first solo album, The Madcap Laughs, was a long time coming but made the Top 40 on its release in January 1970. Barrett followed in November that year, and contains tracks such as ‘Baby Lemonade’ and ‘Gigolo Aunt’ that provided the names for two cult US groups in the 80s and 90s.

Over the last four decades, Syd Barrett has become the ultimate rock enigma. In 1975, he paid an eerie visit to his former band mates at Abbey Road while they were recording ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’, the centrepiece of the Wish You Were Here album he had inspired. He never entered a studio again. In 2001, he was the subject of a BBC Omnibus documentary.

He died in July 2006 but his legacy lives on in the music of R.E.M., Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope, Spiritualized, Blur and countless other groups. Earlier this year, Faber and Faber published Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head, an exhaustive biography by long-time fan Rob Chapman.

An Introduction To Syd Barrett provides a handy overview of this visionary talent, this madcap genius whose star shone brightly yet burnt out all too quickly.

1. ARNOLD LAYNE Pink Floyd
2. SEE EMILY PLAY Pink Floyd
3. APPLES AND ORANGES (Stereo Version) Pink Floyd
4. MATILDA MOTHER (2010 Mix) Pink Floyd
5. CHAPTER 24 Pink Floyd
6. BIKE Pink Floyd
7. TERRAPIN Syd Barrett
8. LOVE YOU Syd Barrett
9. DARK GLOBE Syd Barrett
10. HERE I GO Syd Barrett (2010 Remix)
11. OCTOPUS Syd Barrett (2010 Mix)
12. SHE TOOK A LONG COOL LOOK Syd Barrett (2010 Mix)
13. IF IT’S IN YOU Syd Barrett
14. BABY LEMONADE Syd Barrett
15. DOMINOES Syd Barrett (2010 Mix)
16. GIGOLO AUNT Syd Barrett
18. BOB DYLAN BLUES Syd Barrett

Produced by (1) Joe Boyd, (2-6) Norman Smith, (7,8,10) Malcolm Jones, (9,12,13) David Gilmour & Roger Waters, (11) Syd Barrett & David Gilmour, (14 – 17) David Gilmour.

An interesting addition to An Introduction To Syd Barrett is the previously-unreleased 20-minute instrumental ‘Rhamadan’. Produced by former manager Peter Jenner, it’s rumoured to include congas by Steve Peregrine Took of Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is to be offered as an extra track with the CD, via a dedicated web page, and the iTunes version of the album. Once again, Andy Jackson & Damon Iddins mixed it in 2010.