Check out this image from the gatefold sleeve of the original Syd Barrett The Madcap Laughs LP. Having left Pink Floyd in 1968 after a daily LSD habit had taken its toll, Syd Barrett's first solo album finally appeared two years later with ex-Floyd sidekicks David Gilmour and Richard Wright riding shotgun with him in the studio. The Madcap Laughs is a brilliant but brittle album, with every strum of the electric guitar seeming to take its toll on Barrett's increasingly frayed nerve strings. On songs such as "Love You," his state of mind is well concealed beneath the sort of jolly jangle-pop Blur would later indulge in. On "Dark Globe," however, the strain is palpable: "Please lend a hand ... won't you miss me? Wouldn't you miss me at all?" he pleads, ominously. The best tracks are "Octopus," which possesses all the controlled mania of early Floyd, and "Golden Hair," a still moment of musical rapture whose lyric is taken from a James Joyce poem.
Labels: Syd Barrett The Madcap Laughs