An Introduction to Syd

Here’s something that David has been involved in, following the expected renewed interest in the genius of Syd Barrett since his sad passing in July 2006: an album of 12 of Syd’s songs, including six from Pink Floyd, entitled An Introduction to Syd Barrett.

It’s the first time that any Pink Floyd tracks have been compiled alongside Syd’s own. The Pink Floyd numbers are ‘Arnold Layne’, ‘See Emily Play’, ‘Apples and Oranges’ (in stereo), ‘Matilda Mother’ (remixed), ‘Chapter 24’ and ‘Bike’.

David has been involved in remixing some tracks at Astoria, along with Damon Iddins and Andy Jackson (‘Matilda Mother’, ‘Here I Go’, ‘Octopus’, ‘She Took a Long Cold Look’, ‘Octopus’), and has added bass guitar to ‘Here I Go’, as there was none originally.

Andy Jackson has remastered the others from the original analogue masters.

Of greatest interest to those who need no introduction to Syd, though, is the previously-unreleased 20-minute instrumental, ‘Rhamadan’. This is to be offered as an extra track for download, should you purchase either the CD or iTunes version of the album in its entirety.

The CD will be presented in a smart Digipak sleeve, designed by Storm Thorgerson, with the lyrics included in a 20-page booklet. It is due for release on and around Monday 4 October, depending on where in the world you find yourself, and should now gradually begin to appear on assorted sites available for pre-order.

Track listing as follows:

01. Arnold Layne
02. See Emily Play
03. Apples and Oranges (Stereo)
04. Matilda Mother (2010 Mix)
05. Chapter 24
06. Bike
07. Terrapin
08. Love You
09. Dark Globe
10. Here I Go (2010 Mix)
11. Octopus (2010 Mix)
12. She Took a Long Cool Look (2010 Mix)
13. If It’s In You
14. Baby Lemonade
15. Dominoes (2010 Mix)
16. Gigolo Aunt
17. Effervescing Elephant
18. Bob Dylan Blues

Well spotted, if you did spot it: ‘She Took a Long Cold Look’ is now called ‘She Took a Long Cool Look’.

A good mix of material representing the best possible introduction to Syd’s music for the uninitiated, do you think? And how about that ‘Rhamadan’ rarity finally getting an official release?

Have a good weekend, all. Check back on Sunday, if you can.

58 comments

  1. Pingback: Topsy.com
  2. Sean

    This looks like a great compilation, and nice to see David Gilmour has been involved in the remixing/remastering. Thanks for the heads-up.

    What does Rhamadan sound like? (Electric? Acoustic?) When does it come from? (Floyd days? Post-Floyd?)

    Thanks for any more clues you can offer!

  3. Davie110

    Very cool, I’m looking forward to this already!

    What’s happening on Sunday FEd?!?!?! 😮

    Hope you have a good weekend too! 🙂

  4. Paul

    But why not all songs on this album were remixed again and why not publish a previously unreleased songs?

  5. Keith Jordan

    I am looking forward to hearing the remixed tracks and Rhamadan in excellent quality. A nice album just in time for an early Christmas present! 😉

  6. Davie110

    They’re showing all the footage! 5pm Monday!!! THAT’S why we’ve to come back! Awesome! 😀

  7. angelsmum

    Wow, that is going to be so cool!! Definitely one for the collection.

    I have been lurking here for a few weeks now, thought I would pop my head up to post this link – an interview with Guy Pratt which screened last night here in NZ. I thought some of you might like to see it – here. 🙂

    • Stephanie

      Thanks for the video, angelsmum.

      That´s one thing I like here in the blog – to have connections all over the world.

    • ash

      That interview with Guy was smashing, thank you for posting the link.

      Very interested to realise that this is a very recent interview.

      Guy, if you are reading this, you have to let us know if you are taking your new show out in Britain please. You spoke of your early days with the Floyd and Run Like Hell, I have never forgotten seeing you perform Run Like Hell. You were so animated, so enjoying it, standing on tip toe to hit the notes, so enthusiastic. I loved watching you.

      Everyone, check out Guy’s performance on PULSE. 😀

      ash

    • snow

      Good fun.

      Hey Guy, thanks for suggesting to David it would be a good idea come downunder in 2006, it’s good to hear that you tried.

      I hope you gave the interviewer a copy of your book.

      angelsmum, my thanks as well for that link.

    • angelsmum

      Thanks for the response, all!

      Oh my gosh I would be the happiest girl in the world if David performed in NZ, seriously.

  8. KenF

    Check back on Sunday, if you can

    I’m intrigued FEd, what’s occurring?

    Looking forward to the forthcoming release of “An Introduction to Syd Barrett” especially the 2010 remix tracks (if Damon’s reworking of David’s Island Loops are anything to go by).

    Can we expect a sneak preview, I wonder… 😉

  9. Michèle

    I’ve to admit that I never really got into Syd Barrett that much (even if I recognise he was a fascinating character) and I’m not – at all – a ‘compilation lover’, so, if I said “Wow, that’s great news!”, I would be lying.

    Aren’t there already several Syd Barrett compilations? ‘Opel’, ‘Octopus, The Best Of Syd Barrett’, ‘The Best Of Syd Barrett, Wouldn’t You Miss Me?’ + ‘PF The Early Singles’…

    One more… Why? Well, I think I know the answer…

    Next year, ‘An Introduction to Richard Wright’?…

    Of course, I’m curious, I never heard of this unreleased 20-minute instrumental ‘Rhamadan’, and would like to listen to it, but it’s always the same thing, in order to listen to some ‘previously-unreleased song’, you have to buy an entire album of songs that have already been released many times. That’s what I hate in the ‘compilation concept’.

    Sorry if it’s not the comment you were expecting or hoping for. :!

    Bon, OK, to sound more positive, the new compilation contains many songs that I like … 😉

    And yes, I know, no one forces me to buy it.

  10. Alessandra

    A good choice of songs. Maybe I’d have included also “Golden Hair”, but the track listing is nice, anyway.

    It will be interesting to listen to “Rhamadan”.

    If what I read is correct, it should be a long drums improvisation, but I’m not sure about it. So many legends has been given out about Syd and his music, that it’s hard to understand if something we read is true or invented.

    I’ll probably buy the CD when it will be released, not only for the music, but also for the cover by Storm Thorgerson.

    Just curious: do you know why “cold” has been changed to “cool”?

    • NewYorkDan

      Yeah, I’d have included “Interstellar Overdrive.” Syd wrote the main riff.

  11. alexander kok

    David, I’m a big fan of you.

    Please David, come to Peru, you have lots of fans here!!!!!

    Cheers!

  12. movement

    I have mixed feelings on this. I am quite excited to hear the new remixes – that alone will get me to buy the CD. Also it would be nice to have Bob Dylan Blues in a physical format – I bought it as a digital download last time around.

    As to the track listing, it is okay, but I think Opel is his most important solo track. To me it is a significant oversight if they are truly targeting the uninitiated. Chapter 24? I think the song is an important one for the album, but not Syd’s legacy. Why not Jugband Blues instead?

    I’m actually not particularly interested in hearing Rhamadan. From published reports, it is just a bunch of aimless noise. However, there is plenty I do want to hear. What is the reluctance to release the outtakes from the Saucerful of Secrets sessions? If the band is committed to releasing a deluxe edition of ASOS like was done for Piper then fine. But will they? There is also the demo that he did in 1966 with Lucy Leave and King Bee.

    I don’t see how keeping this stuff in the vaults helps anyone. Sure the tape-trading community has covered much of this but I would much rather that they focus on their efforts on doing what they can with tapes of live performances that probably ought not be released “officially”.

    • Fran

      Good point!

      I think more money would be made by putting out previously unreleased material and targeting people who are already fans instead of making it easy for new fans to find Syd’s songs. I’m sure they could find all these songs if they wanted to bad enough.

      Jugband Blues should be on there. That’s my favourite of all.

  13. NewYorkDan

    This is the way to memorialize Syd. These are his all time best songs from throughout his too-short career. As his solo albums are 40 years-old now, there are bound to be many who have not heard the music.

    I think it’s great that this collection will be out there: both for people like me who have loved this music for years, and for those who are discovering it for the first time.

  14. Bella G.

    How fantastic of David to do this ~ thank you, thank you!

    As in bygone days, we can look forward to an exciting season full of wonderful things Floydian. The Wall. And now “Introduction to Syd Barrett” (for anyone who still needs an introduction) and nobody could do it better than David.

    In her inimitable way, Patti Smith once said she always gave up on suicide because she didn’t want to miss the next Rolling Stones album (that really dates the quote as it brings it way back to the days when the Stones were still… oh well). Less dramatically, one can relate to how she felt: don’t give in to the blues, you might let the next Gilmour oeuvre pass you by and that would be the real pits.

    The cover looks fabulous. Storm Thorgerson does it again. All the lovely sides of Syd are there. I can’t wait to spend hours, days, weeks, hopefully a couple of decades, playing with it all.

    C’est magnifique! xoxoxo

  15. Heather

    Hi Fed,

    Thank you so much for putting the taster of the Hoping Foundation on, it was great to be able to see it.

  16. Jeremy

    Nice cover, good selection of songs, so definitely another one to add to the collection. Look forward to hearing how some familiar songs have been enhanced.

    Hopefully some of today’s kids will purchase (or download – not the same is it?).

  17. Tolga Saygı

    Pink Floyd must make another version for Turkey too as do to Ayatollah.

    Turks are pressuring Kurds and try to slave us with Turkish education and army systems, we don’t agree and are never OK with this.

    I think “Hey Turks, Leave The Kurds Alone” is OK because they write it with their Nazi ideology.

    I know nobody cares that because Kurds are another brick in the wall of people’s money doors at Mesopotamia, but thanks then.

  18. Piero

    Hello FEd,

    how are you? Thank you for the preview, there’s a lot of emotion in there, especially on stage. I’ll be waiting for Monday to see the full performance… it’s wonderful.

    Last night my ex girlfriend called me to tell me that when I visited her during the summer 2008 David was in the same place where I was, just a mile from his house to hers. I won’t say the name of the town to respect his privacy, it would have been fantastic if I had met David there, it’s one of the finest and most breathtaking Italian places.

    I will buy this album, I think that it will be released at the end of that week in Italy…

    Have a nice weekend everybody, I have to go to work now!

    Piero

  19. happydog

    I will be getting this even though I have an inordinate amount of Syd stuff, both legitimate and bootleg. I would love to hear the new mixes.

    I do wish, though, that “Scream Thy Last Scream” and “Vegetable Man” were being included on this. I don’t know why these have never been included on any legitimate release, and I think that both Floyd and Barrett fans would have been even more anxious for this had it included those two songs. They are long overdue for release, and I believe they are more worthy of release than “Rhamadan.”

  20. ash

    Roll on October. 😀 (Not really wishing summer away, but you know what I mean.)

    Storm’s artwork looks great.

    ash

  21. Luca

    Volevo dire Ci sono diversi Italiani su questo Blog! A forza di scrivere in inglese mi sono sbagliato con l’ìitaliano. :))

  22. Justin

    8|

    there are so many unreleased things in the vaults that syd fans are clamoring for. why? why?

    scream, veggie man, john latham, millionaire, living alone… the list goes on and on and on…

    instead, i now have like 7 versions of octopus. bummer.

  23. Mick The Merciless

    Please, please, please David, could we Sydmaniax get to hear Syd’s lost song “Living Alone” (from the same reel as “Dylan Blues”) at some point?

    Mr Gilmour seemingly has the only tape of it (EMI lost theirs) – a damn shame, IMHO, that it’s been passed over for this compilation.

    Free download from this blog, perhaps? Pretty, pretty please????!

  24. Talbot

    This version of Octopus might become your favorite. Finally the clarity and attention these recordings deserve. It would be nice to hear all Syd’s album recordings having the same treatment.

    Gilmour and the Orb, wow.

  25. Tilen Hrovatic

    Wow! This is just great!!! 😀 I really adore and admire the music of Syd and I can’t wait to buy this album. 🙂

    Great post!

  26. D.Q.

    Fantastic news!!! I’m going to buy three copies, at least, just in case the CD format goes extinct in the next few years.

    So now we know why Mr. Gilmour had all those Syd Barrett tracks on his computer.

    As much as I love hearing all the old stuff, there have to be unfinished fragments of things no one has ever heard.

    I pray to heaven that David finishes some of them. Like Mick did with several unfinished songs from Exile on Main Street–new lyrics, etc. Some new old stuff would make me weep with joy.

    Particularly if David finished Syd’s, “She Was a Millionaire…”

  27. Judy

    Any new compilation, especially with an unreleased track of Syd’s is truly a treat and I’m looking forward to it. Nice Christmas present for me. 😀

  28. James Mickelson

    Mr. Barrett holds a special place in my heart and I’ll certainly look forward to this wonderful release of his music. I want to thank you Mr. Gilmour for being such good people.

    During my first visit to the City of Cambridge for the City Wakes festival, I placed a blank canvas along with paints at each of the events organized on behalf of Mr. Barrett. I insisted that following the ‘Musical Production,’ that each person whom had the honor to play his music at the festival paint something, anything, even if only a line.

    This resulted with more than 80 people participating on what was a completely unpredictable painting. I did this because the entire event was based around his musical career, which was very short. Following that Mr. Barrett took up painting which he dearly loved. The experiment was very fun, and 7 paintings were produced over the course of the festival.

    Sending sunshine blessings and grateful daydreams to you all from California! 8)

  29. Jay Buckley

    i will buy this cd but i really wish dave, roger and nick would get together and sort through all the syd era tapes and release a compilation of all the early demos (there is more than lucy leave and king bee) through to the vegetable man, scream and in the beechwoods sessions. that’s what the fans really want.

    it would not only offer a bigger insight into that period of the band but be a great tribute to syd and rick.

  30. Patricia

    Well, I’m already puzzled with the picture chosen for this compilation… is this some sort of “Through the Looking Glass and What Syd Found There?” or “Syd in Wonderland”? 8)

    I would love to hear from David if “Country Song” (Red Queen Theme) is a tribute paid to Syd. 😉

  31. Elisabetta Corsi - Italy N.E.

    Dear F.Ed.

    great news! Are you in the position to inform whether we could pre-order it directly also through this site? There is no doubt that David is managing classy works in these last periods. I suppose this remixing can be considered a right tribute not only of Syd Barrett but also of Richard Wright, to whom I dedicate a special thought today.

    With so much affection,

    bye/ciao
    Elisabetta

  32. jethrotull

    As much a fan as I am of Pink Floyd, I can’t get too excited about yet another Barrett compilation. I’ve read the “genius musical experts” who’ve proclaimed him a prodigy, but whimsical tunes filled with colorful adjectives and animals just don’t compare to the songs on… well, ANY of the Floyd albums that followed.

    Color me underwhelmed.

    • Madcat

      Why bother to comment if you don’t like Syd? Adjectives and animals? Apparently you’ve never listened to Syd’s songs or you wouldn’t make such an idiotic statement.

  33. Paul

    Another compilation? There should be some kind of law that you can`t put out a compilation unless you have released at least 6 studio albums. Same goes for live albums.

    Dave Gilmour is king of ‘one studio album then a live album’ release schedule. It happened with the last 4 Floyd albums and his last solo album.

    Another best of from Syd who only actually did 2 studio albums is crazy.

  34. D.Q.

    I’ve been listening to Syd Barrett’s new greatest hits CD nonstop for about three days, and just want to say that Executive Producer David G. did a FABULOUS job on it!!!! I mean, just great. The sound is fantastic (I love the stereo Apples and Oranges). I LOVE the bass David added to “Here I Go.” It’s perfect and sounds like it was recorded back then–and it was definitely needed. I think the packaging is brilliant. Storm did an unbelievably nice job. Seeing the lyrics is thrilling. There were a bunch of words/phrases I could never make out, but to be able to read them is FANTASTIC. They are better than I knew. The whole thing is first rate!!! (Though I wish Astronomy Domine and Golden Hair were on it, but those are micro-quibbles.)

    Man, this collection is great!!! It’s love and light and ecstasy. I’ve bought two copies, might buy a third (leave two unopened) and have e-mailed all my friends that they need to get it.

    Now if only David would finish Syd’s “She Was a Millionaire…” and stick it on Dave’s next solo album as the last (coda) song. 🙂

  35. Jim Manning Jr.

    I hold a lot of Syd’s music very close to my heart. Unbelievably personal stuff for me… and yes I love it!! So this is a very welcome release especially with the 2010 remixes. SOUNDS GREAT!!

    Thanks David… you touched my heart once again.

    Peace from Philadelphia.

  36. snow

    I picked this up on vinyl the other day. Congratulation to David for a good mix. I’m not really a Syd fan but there are some cool cruising songs for when I’m out in my 66 Holden.

    P.S. Who was playing the tuba at the beginning of Bob Dylan Blues?

  37. Blu Water

    This was a great CD. I loved the remixed tracks and Rhamadan. My daughter was so happy when I got this as a present for her, yet I listen to it more.

  38. Madcat

    Why even bother posting to tell us you’re not a Syd fan? This is obviously for those of us who love Syd and those who are unfamiliar. Go listen to the Wall or the Final Cut or something…

    That being said, there are a lot better solo Syd songs than some of the ones on here. Why is No Man’s Land ever on any of these Syd comps? Opel? Swan Lee? Wolf Pack? Good to see the singles, but what about Candy and a Currant Bun? Lucifer Sam? These are like his best songs!!!

  39. Ben Culture

    I adore Syd’s best work, but I’m not generally a fan of raiding the vaults, or “scraping the barrel”, as it might be called. I felt none of the bonus cuts on the “Crazy Diamond” box set (with the exception of an instrumental mix of “Late Night”, one of the BEST Syd Barrett songs nobody talks about) really struck me as great works of art. I think outtakes, alternate versions of songs that did get released, are generally inferior, that’s why they weren’t chosen, most of the time.

    Just today, I encountered an article on a web site called SongFacts, about “Dark Globe” which claimed, “Generally”, the version on Opel (“Wouldn’t You Miss Me”) “is considered far superior” to the Madcap Laughs version. Of course, this was the article author’s OWN opinion — presented on a site called “SongFacts”. I registered with them just to call bullshit on that, in the comments. That’s not a fact, and personally, I thought the Opel version was just a sad outtake by a man losing his motivation to be a songwriter.

    Having said all that, this looks like maybe the only worthwhile Syd Barrett compilation album. Alternate mixes and bass added to “Here I Go?” That’s more like it — actually working for our money this time, eh? Between this, and the Floyd’s own “Experience Edition” re-releases, it looks like the boys finally realized that merely remastering the same old studio albums can only work a finite number of times. If you really want us to re-buy material we already own, you’ll have to offer us something new along with it, as well.

  40. Jules Manson

    In my opinion Syd Barrett was very overrated. He does not come close to being compared to the great David Gilmour. In fact, I think Syd Barrett’s early departure from Pink Floyd was the best thing that could have happened to them. I believe Pink Floyd can owe its success largely to the talent of David Gilmour.