Sunday, 14 June 2015

Syd Barrett - Barrett (2nd Album UK 1970)

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Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Barrett is the second and final studio album of new material released by former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett. Recording began at Abbey Road Studios on 26 February 1970, and lasted for 15 sessions until 21 July. The album was produced by Pink Floyd's guitarist David Gilmour, who also contributed on bass guitar, and features contributions from fellow Pink Floyd member Richard Wright on keyboard and previous Madcap contributor Jerry Shirley on drums.

Barrett was released in November 1970 on Harvest in the United Kingdom and Capitol in the United States, but failed to chart in both markets; it was re-released in 1974 as part of Syd Barrett. No singles were issued from the album.

From mid to late 1967, Syd Barrett's erratic behaviour became more apparent, and at one performance of the band's first US tour, Barrett slowly detuned his guitar. The audience seemed to enjoy such antics, unaware of the rest of the band's consternation. Interviewed on Pat Boone's show during this tour, Barrett's reply to Boone's questions was a "blank and totally mute stare". Initial sales and reaction of Barrett's first solo album, The Madcap Laughs, were deemed sufficient by EMI to sanction a second solo album. 

On 24 February 1970, a month after releasing Madcap, Barrett appeared on John Peel's Top Gear radio show, where he performed only one song from the newly released album ("Terrapin"), three that would later be recorded for Barrett ("Gigolo Aunt", "Baby Lemonade" and "Effervescing Elephant") and a one-off ("Two of a Kind", possibly written by Richard Wright). The session producers had no verbal contact with Barrett, having only communication to him via Gilmour. For the radio session, Gilmour and Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley accompanied Barrett on bass and bongos, respectively. The version of "Gigolo Aunt" recorded for the radio session (and later released on 1988's The Peel Session) was unfinished, as Barrett had sung the opening verse three times. Barrett played slide guitar on the radio version of "Baby Lemonade", with Gilmour on organ.

Two days later, he began working on his second album in Abbey Road Studios, with Gilmour as producer, and a trio of musicians: Richard Wright, Shirley and Gilmour himself. The main aim for the Barrett sessions was to give Barrett the structure and focus many felt was missing during the long and unwieldy sessions for The Madcap Laughs. Thus, the sessions were more efficiently run and the album was finished in considerably less time than The Madcap Laughs (six months, compared to Madcap's one year). 

On 6 June 1970, Barrett gave his one and only official solo performance, at the Olympia in Kensington, backed once more by Gilmour and Shirley. At the end of "Octopus", the fourth number of the set, Barrett baffled the audience and his backing musicians by abruptly taking off his guitar and walking off stage.

The first session was on 26 February, three of the first songs—fully recorded—attempted during the session were "Baby Lemonade", "Maisie" and "Gigolo Aunt". However, Gilmour thought they were losing the "Barrett-ness". After "Baby Lemonade" was attempted, 2 takes of "Maisie" were recorded before Barrett went into 15 takes of "Gigolo Aunt". The next day, two-track demos of "Wolfpack", "Waving My Arms in the Air", "Living Alone" and "Bob Dylan Blues", were recorded. The former two made it to the album; the latter two didn't. On the recording sheet, it lists Gilmour as having taken home a copy of the latter two, Gilmour later returned and took the master tapes too. Gilmour has since said "Those sessions were done so quickly. 

We were rushing to gigs every day and had to fit recording sessions in between. I probably took it away to have a listen and simply forgot to take it back. It wasn't intended to be a final mix. Syd knocked it off, I took a tape home." Despite some minor work made to "Gigolo Aunt", Barrett wouldn't return to Abbey Road Studios until 1 April, due to Pink Floyd working on their 1970 album, Atom Heart Mother. On various occasions, Barrett would "spy" on the band as they recorded the album. Again, Barrett recorded some work to a song, "Wolfpack," on the 3rd, before the sessions were postponed until 5 June, this time due to Gilmour and Wright going on tour in the US with Pink Floyd.

On the session of 5 June, Barrett managed to record an unknown number of two-track demos for three songs: "Rats", "Winded and Dined", and "Birdie Hop". The "Rats" demo recorded here, became the basis for the album master, and would later be overdubbed by musicians, despite the changing tempos.

Two days later, on the 7th, Barrett recorded "Milky Way", "Millionaire", before being rounded off with overdubs for "Rats". "Millionaire" was originally titled "She Was a Millionaire", was originally recorded by Pink Floyd. Barrett recorded two attempts at a backing track before abandoning it, and adding vocals. Yet another break in recording occurred, until 14 July, where Barrett recorded several takes of "Effervescing Elephant", while numerous overdubs were added to Barrett's "Wined and Dined" demo by Gilmour. 

Three takes of "Dominoes" ensued, with an unknown number of takes of "Love Song", "Dolly Rocker" and "Let's Spilt" were recorded."Love Song" and "Dolly Rocker" were both overdubbed, the former being overdubbed from 17 to 21 July, but overdubs for the latter were wiped. On 21 July, Barrett worked on another Untitled track (later to be titled as "Word Song"), recording only one take, before recording 5 takes of the last new song to be recorded for Barrett: "It Is Obvious". Barrett worked on remakes of two tracks: "Maisie", and "Waving My Arms in the Air" (the latter now seguing into a new track, "I Never Lied to You").

We really had basically three alternatives at that point, working with Syd. One, we could actually work with him in the studio, playing along as he put down his tracks – which was almost impossible, though we succeeded on 'Gigolo Aunt'. The second was laying down some kind of track before and then having him play over it. The third was him putting his basic ideas down with just guitar and vocals and then we'd try and make something out of it.

— David Gilmour, 
Shirley said of Barrett's playing: "He would never play the same tune twice. Sometimes Syd couldn't play anything that made sense; other times what he'd play was absolute magic." Barrett's direction to the other musicians were limited to pronouncements like "Perhaps we could make the middle darker and maybe the end a bit middle afternoonish. At the moment it's too windy and icy".

01. "Baby Lemonade" Take 1, recorded 26 February 1970  4:10
02. "Love Song" Take 1, recorded 17 July 1970, overdubs added 17 July  3:03
03. "Dominoes" Take 3, recorded 14 July 1970  4:08
04. "It Is Obvious" Take 1, recorded 17 July 1970, overdubs added 20 July  2:59
05. "Rats" Demo, recorded 7 May 1970, overdubs added 5 June  3:00
06. "Maisie" Take 2, recorded 26 February 1970  2:51
07. "Gigolo Aunt" Take 15, recorded 27 February 1970, overdubs added 2 April  5:46
08. "Waving My Arms in the Air" Take 1, recorded 27 February 1970, overdubs and new vocal track 2 April  2:09
09. "I Never Lied to You" Take 1, recorded 27 February 1970, overdubs and new vocal track 2 April  1:50
10. "Wined and Dined" Take 10, recorded 14 July 1970  2:58
11. "Wolfpack" Take 2, recorded 3 April 1970  3:41
12. "Effervescing Elephant" Take 9, recorded 14 July 1970  1:52

Bonus Tracks:
13. "Baby Lemonade" Take 1, recorded 26 February 1970. Guitar and double-track vocals only. 03:46
14. "Waving My Arms in the Air" Take 1, recorded 26 February 1970. Guitar and vocals only  02:13
15. "I Never Lied to You" Take 1, recorded 27 February 1970. Guitar and vocals only  01:48
16. "Love Song" Take 1, recorded 14 July 1970  02:32
17. "Dominoes" Take 1, recorded 14 July 1970  00:40
18. "Dominoes" Take 2, recorded 14 July 1970  02:36
19. "It Is Obvious" Take 2, recorded 17 July 1970.Electric guitar and vocal  03:51
20. "Bob Dylan Blues" (1965) Previously unreleased  03:14
21. "Dominoes" (2010 Mix)

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1 comment:

Siddhartha said...

This is awesome!