Syd Barrett | Artist

Syd Barrett | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Gender_Male, Genre_Psych, Origin_UK, Type_Artist

Roger Keith Barrett aka Syd was an English artist, singer, songwriter and musician born 1946 in Cambridge. Barrett was a founding member of Pink Floyd in 1965 along with Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright. Barrett was the lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter in Floyd's early years, and was central to the creation of their first masterpiece album Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), as well as the singles Arnold Layne and See Emily Play, which are part of the foundation of UK psychedelic music. Born into a comfortable middle-class family, Syd was the fourth of five children, and his father Arthur was a prominent pathologist. Syd bought his first electric guitar at age 15 and built his own amplifier. At one point at Morley Memorial Junior School, Barrett was taught by the mother of future Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, and later he attended Cambridgeshire High School for Boys with Waters. Later, while a student at the art department of the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, Barrett met David Gilmour. In 1965, Barrett joined Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright and guitarist Bob Klose, who were then called the Tea Set. When they found themselves playing a gig with a Dutch band called Tee Set, Barrett came up with the Pink Floyd Sound, later shortened to Pink Floyd. Syd was replaced by David Gilmour during the recording of the second Floyd album, due to his mental health deterioration triggered by the excessive use of LSD. Whereas Barrett had been the primary songwriter on 'Piper', on A Saucerful of Secrets (1968) each member contributed songwriting and lead vocals. Gilmour appeared on all but two songs, while Barrett contributed to three. Syd recorded two solo albums; The Madcap Laughs (1970) is a quirky masterpiece of psychedelia, and Barrett (1970), which is also good but not as coherent a work. There have also been many fine compilations including The Best of Syd Barrett - Wouldn't You Miss Me? (2001), and An Introduction to Syd Barrett (2010). Barrett was known for his whimsical style of psychedelia, English-accented singing, and stream of consciousness writing style. As a guitarist, he was influential for his free-form playing and for employing effects such as dissonance, distortion, echo and feedback. Originally trained as a painter, Barrett was musically active for less than ten years. In 1972, he left the music industry, retired from public life and strictly guarded his privacy until his death. He continued painting and dedicated himself to gardening. Pink Floyd recorded several tributes and homages to him, including the 1975 song suite "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" and the 1979 rock opera The Wall. In 1988, EMI released an album of unreleased tracks and outtakes, Opel, with Barrett's approval. In 1996, Barrett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pink Floyd. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2006.

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Featured Albums: Syd Barrett

Related Artists: Pink Floyd

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