Record Collector article on Barret Boxed Set
Taken without permission from Record Collector, April 1993.
Typed by Martin Pitwood (email@example.com).
New Home For Barrett
Syd Barrett, whose short career scaled the heights of
experimental pop as well as the lonesome corridors of
psychedelic isolation, has his work featured on a 3-CD box set
due out on EMI next month.
And no fewer than 23 unreleased recordings, together with a
detailed booklet, are promised on what's already - even by
EMI's standards - being described as a particularly fine
Titled "Crazy Diamond" the set is based on the original Pink
Floyd frontman's two official solo albums, "The Madcap Laughs"
and "Barrett", plus "Opel", the collection of out-takes which
appeared in 1988.
Designer and rock archivist Phil Smee, who is behind the
project, told us: "Our main plan was to find Syd's acoustic
takes, before the other musicians were drafted in to overdub
them. But we stumbled across some fascinating material that
sheds new light on Syd's working methods.
"For example, on 'It Is Obvious', he starts off with a version
which is very different to the one that ended up on 'Barrett'.
The next one finds him growling like Captain Beefheart, and a
third recording finds him singing a totally different tune and
picking out the guitar lines."
Another exciting find is a version of "Clowns and Jugglers",
the working version of "Octopus", where Syd overdubs four
The bonus recordings are spread over the three discs relevant
to each album, and each CD runs for over 60 minutes.
"The colourful packaging and Brian Hogg-penned booklet
virtually re-state just what Barrett was about," maintains
Phil, "and by that I mean there's no out-of-focus doomy
photos. The spirit of '67 pervades the box throughout."
Collectors should also look out for a forthcoming UFO book,
'Pink Floyd: The Syd Barrett Years - A Photographic Diary',
which contains a virtual day-by-day account of Syd's Floyd,
from 1966 to 1968, plus literally 100s of unpublished photos.
And what of the enigma himself? According to a close family
source, he's feeling a lot better, and approves of both "Opel"
and EMI's dedication to his recorded legacy.