Friday, February 25, 2005
My Head Kissed the Ground
I don't like Pink Floyd. There, I said it. Sacred cows, 'n all that. Maybe I just never got it, holding on to the belief that you often only need 4 tracks and 3 minutes to say what you need to say. Maybe they just needed an editor and few less overdubs to really impress me. Whatever. There is one album by the Floyd that I am quite keen on; Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Terrible title notwithstanding, it's the Syd album. And I'm fond of Syd.
Most everyone breathing knows the story. Syd Barrett, budding cracked genius, cracks for real on a sea of lsd. Band removes the lad and goes on to fame and infamy, while Syd is left to face his demons. Sort of.
Tracking Syd's solo stuff is often an exercise in muddled reissues and lazy notekeeping. But gems abound, and I'd say The Madcap Laughs is a stone classic. Pastoral psychedelic without the pomp and circumstance. It's the slightest, and quietest, of records. Fragile and strummed, with the barest of bones backing, Syd lays the groundwork, the template, for future oddballs like Robyn Hitchcock. Lovely in its disintegration. Eerie in its descent into madness. I'm not sure if Skip Spence and Nick Drake were listening, or if it were the other way around. How to melt in hushed tones.
From The Madcap Laughs today, two tunes to kickstart yr morning tea or coffee. One, "Dark Globe", has been covered extensively. It's one of the saddest songs I've ever heard.
Syd Barrett: Love You (mp3)
Syd Barrett: Dark Globe (mp3)
Syd's still alive, and would probably appreciate a few shillings. If you are so inclined, please consider buying from your local independent.