4 January 2020
SYD BARRETT was the co-founder, the first leading conductor and the innovative and creative force of PINK FLOYD when the band formed in 1965. After recording 4 singles and Floyd‘s classic debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn things went really wrong with Barrett‘s mental health due to excessive drug abuse and severe psychic
issues. His demeanour became a multi-faceted problem. He was fired in April 1968.
After seeking medical help Barrett returned to make music again as a solo artist. His debut LP ‘THE MADCAP LAUGHS‘ was released on 4 January 1970, 50 years ago today, with the assistance of several producers and fellow Pink Floyd members David Gilmour and Roger Waters, and also guest musicians such as Willie Wilson from Gilmour‘s old band Jokers Wild and Robert Wyatt of Soft Machine..
Every time I listen to this album I can’t but think of early Scott Walker, early Ray Davies and early David Bowie, all working on their own sound, on their own voice and on their own artistic path which began for all of them with folk-inspired songs characterized by their recognizable and ingenious musical Englishness. Despite good reviews, the album, an unpolished diamond in my book, wasn’t a bestseller. It peaked at #40 in the UK.
AllMusic wrote: “Wisely, The Madcap Laughs doesn’t even try to sound like a consistent record. Half the album was recorded by Barrett’s former bandmates Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour, and the other half by Harvest Records head Malcolm Jones. Surprisingly, Jones’ tracks are song for song much stronger than the more-lauded Floyd entries… ‘The Madcap Laughs’ is a surprisingly effective record that holds up better than its “ooh, look at that scary crazy person” reputation suggests.” Full review here. Score 4.5/5
Here’s sticky and peppy track ‘Octopus‘ that was released as the only single…
Album in full…
SYD BARRETT: Biography