Album:The Madcap Laughs
Syd Barrett was a founding member of Pink Floyd. After leaving in 1968, he attempted a solo career that ultimately failed after two albums. Octopus was the only single from his 1970 album The Madcap Laughs. Barrett became a cult figure but he wasn't very productive. He was born Jan. 6, 1946 in Cambridge, England. He got into music as a teen and was schoolmates with Roger Waters. He met David Gilmour at Cambridge Technical Institute in 1962. Barrett started the band that would become Pink Floyd in 1964. Barrett was lead singer and wrote most of the songs on their 1967 debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. But Barrett had been on LSD for several years and he became very erratic and unreliable. He was fired from Pink Floyd in Apr. 1968. He started recording a solo album but he was difficult to work with. David Gilmour tried to help Barrett and produced and played on several songs including Octopus. Most of the album was Barrett playing all the instruments with some overdubs by Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper and Mike Ratledge of Soft Machine. It was hard to get Barrett to work on the album. The Madcap Laughs was released in Jan. 1970. Octopus was the only single. Today it's considered a masterpiece and Barrett became a cult figure. Capitol has released the Madcap Laughs on CD with bonus tracks. His second album Barrett was equally tortuous. Again Gilmour produced the album. Barrett went on hiatus after that and in 1978 moved back to Cambridge to live in his mother's house. Attempts to get Barrett to return to music were unsuccessful. He lived off his Pink Floyd songwriting royalties. He died on July 7, 2006 at age 60. Some thought Barrett suffered from mental illness but he was never treated for that. It's more likely that his use of LSD affected him adversely. Either way, Syd Barrett was a talented guy who didn't live up to his potential. Here's a video for Octopus by Syd Barrett.