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Syd Barrett (Shines On?)

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Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett (Born 6 January 1946) is an English musician,composer, singer, songwriter and painter. His career began in the 1960s with the psychedelic band, Pink Floyd, which he left in 1971 to pursue a solo career.

With Pink Floyd

Early Beginnings and Piper At The Gates of Dawn 1965-1967

Pink Floyd was formed (under various earlier names such as the Tea Set and the The Pink Floyd) in 1965, consisting of Rado Klose on guitar, Roger Waters on Bass, Richard Wright on keyboards, and Syd Barrett on Lead Guitar and Vocals. Klose left the band by the time of its first commercial recordings.

In 1967, Pink Floyd released the singles "Arnold Layne," "See Emily Play" (which reached #6 in the UK singles charts) and their first album, Piper At The Gates of Dawn.

Piper At The Gates of Dawn is regarded as a classic 60's psychedelic album, on par with such album as the Zombie's Odyssey and Oracle.

Transitional Period 1968-1969

Following the release of Piper At The Gates of Dawn, in late 1967 Pink Floyd released a single, long in the making, called Please Leave Us Here (With the erstwhile single candidate Apples And Oranges as a B side). The single featured co-writing credits from both Roger Waters and Rick Wright, who disagreed with Barrett over the arrangement and lyrics. The single ultimately managed to reach #6 on the UK album singles chart, tying "See Emily Play" from earlier that year, in what was considered an incentive for a more "accessible sound" in later recordings.

I'm Most Obliged to You

Following a successful tour with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd released their second album, I'm Most Obliged To You in 1968, their first LP to chart (reaching #4 in the UK and #56 in the US). It was accompanied with the singles "She's A Millionaire" (#2 On The UK singles charts) and "It Would Be So Good" (co-written by Syd Barrett and Keyboardist Richard Wright), which reached #42 on the UK singles charts. The album had more pop appeal, and featured more songs by keyboardist Rick Wright, who composed three songs for the album (Paintbox, See-Saw and Remember a Day). The album was reconstructed throughout its recording as a more upbeat, faster-tempo record, and ended up sounding heavily produced. Only one song by bassist Roger Waters made it to the album (Mr. Clegg), and was shortened and reworked during the sessions. Another song (Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun), was rejected by the band for not being consistent with the commercial approach

I'm Most Obliged To You (1968)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 The Clothes I Wear Barrett Barrett
2 It's No Good Trying Barrett Barrett
3 Remember A Day Wright Wright
4 Mr. Clegg Waters Barrett
5 See Saw Wright Wright, Barrett
6 Paintbox Wright Wright
7 Dream Your Last Dream Barrett Barrett
8 I Won't Let You See Me Cry Barrett Barrett
9 Lean Out Your Window Barrett Barrett

Take A Ride

In 1969 Pink Floyd released their third album, , which was commercially successful and was boosted by a pair of successful singles which managed to popularize Pink Floyd outside of Europe. It was considered a final break from the psychedelia of Piper At The Gates of Dawn. It was accompanied with the single "Where Are You Now?," which briefly touched #1 on the UK singles chart and provided Pink Floyd with their first top 10 single in the United States, reaching #9. The song drew comparisons to the Beatles' "Yesterday" and "Eleanor Rigby." The album reached #2 in the UK and #17 in the US. Following the success of "Where Are You Now?," the record company released "I Know What You Are" from the album as a single, which broke the top ten in the UK and the US.

Take A Ride (1969)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 Baby Lemonade Barrett Barrett
2 I Know What You Are Barrett Barrett
3 Two Of A Kind Wright/Barrett Wright/Barrett
4 Point Me In The Right Direction Waters/Barrett Wright/Barrett
5 Milky Way Barrett Barrett
6 Cymbaline Waters Barrett
7 Waving My Arms In The Air Barrett Barrett
8 Ole' Lanky Barrett Barrett
9 She Gave Me A Look Barrett Barrett
10 Where Are You Now? Barrett Barrett

If

Barrett played a small role on Pink Floyd's inconsistent pastoral 1971 album, If, which was composed primarily by Wright and bassist Roger Waters. Barrett subsequently parted with Pink Floyd in July 1971 to pursue a solo career. It featured a series of heavily reworked songs written by waters earlier in the band's history. The album reached #38 on the UK albums chart and #42 on the US albums chart, before falling quickly. No singles charted, in what amounted for a disaster for the band, amid infighting over the direction of the band and its commercial viability which began with the earlier announcement of Barret's plans to depart the band to pursue a solo career.

If (1971)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 If Waters Waters
2 Fearless Waters Wright
3 Stay Waters Wright
4 Summer 68' Wright Wright
5 Granchester Meadows Waters Waters
6 Careful With What You Ask Waters/Wright Wright
7 Singin' Philly Wright Wright
8 Ibiza Bar Waters Barrett
9 Shouldn't We Be Closer? Waters Barrett
10 San Tropez Waters Waters

Early Solo Career

In 1972, Barrett made his solo debut with Dominoes, a laid back mainstream rock record that reached #27 in the UK album charts (#71 in the US). Three singles from the album saw modest success, with the highest charting of them being the title track, which reached #54 in the US and #26 in the UK singles chart.

Dominoes (1972)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 Dominoes Barrett Barrett
2 Right On Time Barrett Barrett
3 May I See? Barrett Barrett
4 It Is Not Obvious Barrett Barrett
5 Bob Dylan Blues Barrett Barrett
6 Diamond In The Rough Barrett Barrett
7 Where I Go Barrett Barrett
8 Washing the Floorboards Barrett Barrett
9 All Tuned Up Barrett Barrett

In 1973 he released the more successful and faster-paced Syd Barrett, which peaked at #14 in the UK and #21 in the US. The lead single from the album, "Don't Be Slow," reached the top ten on several national charts and peaked at #14 in the US.

Syd Barrett (1973)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 Don't Be Slow Barrett Barrett
2 The Girl's A Rocker Barrett Barrett
3 Goodbye Flower Children Barrett Barrett
4 I've Got It Barrett Barrett
5 Wined And Dined Barrett Barrett
6 Don't Sweat The Hard Stuff Barrett Barrett
7 Earth Rock Barrett Barrett
8 Art for Your Sake Barrett Barrett
9 Dubious Proposition Barrett Barrett

In late 1973 Barrett turned down an offer to rejoin Pink Floyd during sessions for their second album after Barrett's departure, which later was titled Burning Bridges.

Late in 1974, Barret recorded a 50s cover album, entitled When We Were Young. It briefly rose to #87 on the UK album charts, and did not chart in the United States. "Terrapin," A non-album single, however, was modestly successful (although it only reached #73 in the US). The song, which was a faster paced version of a 1969 outtake with Pink Floyd, did not reappear until it was released on Syd Barrett: The Singles Collection in 1997. Though When We Were Young met with poor reviews upon its release, it rose in stature in subsequent years.

Late 1970s and 1980s

In 1979 Barrett released Mirror Disc, his third album of original material. The album, which mixes disco beats with an overall rock aesthetic, steadily rose in the US Billboard 200 chart to #3 and also was Barrett’s highest charting solo album in most of Europe to that point. The second single off the album, "No Standing Still," reached #1 on the Hot 100 in February 1979. Barrett followed the album up with a brief but successful world tour. During a charity concert in London, Barrett was joined by the former members of Pink Floyd, which had been on hiatus since 1976. This would be Barrett’s last appearance with Pink Floyd until 2007. During the tour, Barrett released a rerecorded disco version of “Arnold Layne,” his first single with Pink Floyd. “Arnold Layne” peaked at #11 in August 1979.

Mirror Disc (1979)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 Yeah Yeah, Hey Hey Barrett Barrett
2 No Standing Still Barrett Barrett
3 Howling At The Back Barrett Barrett
4 One For The Dancefloor Barrett Barrett
5 Effervesce Barrett Barrett
6 Discomonotony Barrett Barrett
7 Another Barrett Barrett
8 Phoning It Out Barrett Barrett
9 Play It All Over Again Barrett Barrett

Barrett followed up Mirror Disc with Sound Around in 1982. The album was a commercial success, although it was criticized by music journalists, one review declaring that it "lack[ed] ... a trace of [Barrett’s] previous originality."  Following the release of Sound Around, Barrett was widely compared to Phil Collins of Genesis. “Their sound and appearance increasingly seem to be merging," one journalist noted, as Barrett lost his hair and adapted his songwriting to the 1980s. Sound Around made it to #3 on the Billboard Top 200. The lead singles were "You'll See Me Around" (# 3), "Another Gold Record" (#5), and "Here Comes The Hook" (#24).

Sound Around (1982)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 You'll See Me Around Barrett Barrett
2 I Can Tell Barrett Barrett
3 Secrets Made Barrett Barrett
4 Religious Experience Barrett/Ayers Barrett
5 Another Gold Record Barrett Barrett
6 I'll Always Care Barrett Barrett
7 You Better Hurry Barrett Barrett
8 Here Comes The Hook Barrett Barrett
9 Shine On John Barrett Barrett

Indeed, Barrett’s next album, 1985’s Groove Time, drew frequent comparisons to Phil Collins’ No Jacket Required, released that same year. Groove Time spawned three singles, two of them which reached #1 (Groove Time, Everything You Touch). Face Without a Name reached #10. The album was a smash hit worldwide and sat at the top of charts for several weeks. The music video for "Everything You Touch" won several video of the year awards. Barrett also came under criticism for "Americanizing" his accent during this period, a charge which was derided by Barrett in exchanges with the press. The issue was compounded when Barrett rerecorded "See Emily Play" with what was widely characterized as an American accent. Despite this criticism, "See Emily Play" reached #5 in December 1985.

Groove Time (1985)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 Groove Time Barrett/Thompson/Carin Barrett
2 Everything You Touch Barrett/Downes/Thompson Barrett
3 Problem Child Barrett Barrett
4 At Least (I Love You) Barrett/Melcher Barrett
5 Face Without A Name Barrett/Downes Barrett
6 Move Barrett/Carin/Parsons Barrett
7 Every Night Barrett/Melcher Barrett
8 Switch It On Barrett/Melcher Barrett
9 Met You In A Dream Barrett Barrett

In 1987, Barrett released Chapter 87, which was did not sell as successfully as its predecessor, but became a fan favorite in later years. The album was marketed as a return to "vintage Syd" in the words of his record company, and was seen as reminiscent to the neo-psychedelic band The Dream Academy by many critics, whose debut album Barrett had helped produce. No singles broke the top 25, but a music video for "I Stand Before You" (#31) was rotated heavily on MTV.

Chapter 87 (1987)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 I Stand Before You Barrett/Thompson/Carin Barrett
2 Highway To The Mind Barrett Barrett
3 Magik Guitar Barrett Barrett
4 Mean Old Woman Barrett Barrett
5 Flavor Of The Day Barrett/ Barrett
6 I Know Where I Live Barrett Barrett
7 Cut Out Life Barrett Barrett
8 Learning To Love Barrett/Carin Barrett
9 Running Down The Clock Barrett Barrett

1990s Until The Present

In 1996 Barrett released his last studio album, One Of A Kind, which charted at #63 on the Billboard 200 Chart. The title track made it to #1 on the adult contemporary chart.

One Of A Kind (1996)

# Track Name Writer(s) Lead Vocals
1 One Of A Kind Barrett Barrett
2 Greener On The Other Side Barrett Barrett
3 Wistful Barrett Barrett
4 I Miss The Old You Barrett Barrett
5 Breakfast In Los Angeles Barrett Barrett
6 Echo Barrett Barrett
7 Painter Barrett Barrett
8 Piper Barrett Barrett
9 Papa Barrett Barrett
Following a few appearances to promote the album, Barrett retired to Los Angeles and remained out of the spotlight. Barrett is thought to have spent most of the remainder of the 90s and the early 2000s painting and spending time with his family. In 2007, Barrett reunited with Pink Floyd for the  anniversary of the band's debut album. They had recorded a studio album, Broken China, in 1997, without a tour. Barrett performed the song "Remember A Day" at a tribute show to Richard Wright, who passed away in 2008. In 2012, Barrett hosted an exhibition of his paintings dating back to the 1960s at a gallery in San Jose.

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