Sunday, January 6, 2008

Syd Barrett

Today would be Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd's birthday.
Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) was an English singer, songwriter, guitarist, and artist. He is most remembered as a founding member of Pink Floyd. He was active as a rock musician for about seven years, before going into a self-imposed seclusion that lasted over thirty years and ended with his death in 2006.

Starting in 1964, the band that would become Pink Floyd underwent various line-up and name changes such as "The Abdabs", "The Screaming Abdabs", "Sigma 6" and "The Meggadeaths". In 1965, Barrett joined them as "The Tea Set", and when they found themselves playing a concert with a band of the same name, Barrett came up with the name "The Pink Floyd Sound" (later "The Pink Floyd"). He devised the name "Pink Floyd" by juxtaposing the first names of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council whom he had read about in a sleeve note by Paul Oliver for a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller LP (Philips BBL-7512): "Curley Weaver and Fred McMullen, Pink Anderson or Floyd Council—these were a few amongst the many blues singers that were to be heard in the rolling hills of the Piedmont, or meandering with the streams through the wooded valleys".

While Pink Floyd began by playing cover versions of American R&B songs (in much the same vein as contemporaries The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Kinks), by 1966 they had carved out their own style of improvised rock and roll, which drew as much from improvised jazz as it did from British pop-rock, such as that championed by The Beatles. In that year, a new rock concert venue, the UFO, opened in London and quickly became a haven for British psychedelic music. Pink Floyd, the house band, was their most popular attraction, and, after making appearances at the rival Roundhouse, became the most popular musical group of the so-called "London Underground" psychedelic music scene.

Singles with Pink Floyd

* 1967: "Arnold Layne" / "Candy and a Currant Bun" (#20 UK)
* 1967: "See Emily Play" / "The Scarecrow" (#6 UK, #134 U.S.)
* 1967: "Apples and Oranges" / "Paint Box" (Rick Wright)

Albums with Pink Floyd

* The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (5 August 1967) #6 UK, #131 U.S.
* A Saucerful of Secrets (29 June 1968) #9 UK
* London 1966/1967 2005

Compilations with Pink Floyd (featuring his work)

* Relics (14 May 1971) #34 UK, #152 U.S.
* A Nice Pair (1974)
* Masters of Rock (1974, Europe) (AKA The Best of the Pink Floyd)
* Works (1983)
* Shine On (1992 box set)
* Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd (5 November 2001) #2 UK, #2 U.S.

Solo albums

* The Madcap Laughs - (3 January 1970) #40 UK[43]
* Barrett - (14 November 1970)

More about him here.

No comments: