Customer Reviews


67 Reviews
5 star:
 (40)
4 star:
 (17)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Extra Tracks Along a Madcap Path
Kicked out of Pink Floyd because of unstable mind, Syd Barrett dissapeared from the music scene for a couple of years. Several years later he returned, stripping down his sound, turning from experimental psychedelia to a sort of acid folk. He went into the studio to record, helped by former bandmates and very patient friends.
The Madcap Laughs is the result. The...
Published on April 10 2004 by Matt Poole

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars El comienzo del fin para Syd
La corta carrera solista de Syd siempre va a sufrir la peligrosa comparación con lo hecho por su también breve paso por Pink Floyd. Lo cual es justo en cierto modo ya que Piper es en su mayoría creación de Syd, pero al mismo tiempo demuestra un hecho claro, el que por mucha genialidad individual que demuestre un integrante, Piper es un disco...
Published on Dec 17 2003 by jaimeurrutia


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars Extra Tracks Along a Madcap Path, April 10 2004
By 
Matt Poole (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
Kicked out of Pink Floyd because of unstable mind, Syd Barrett dissapeared from the music scene for a couple of years. Several years later he returned, stripping down his sound, turning from experimental psychedelia to a sort of acid folk. He went into the studio to record, helped by former bandmates and very patient friends.
The Madcap Laughs is the result. The first (and best) of Syd's two proper studio albums.
There's not a bad track on it. There's "Terrapin" with it's hypnotic drift. There's "Love You" with its poppy melody, chirpy piano and verbal diorrhea lyrics. There's emotional moments like "Dark Globe" and "Late Night", which Syd would never have tried on Piper at the Gates of Dawn. There's guitar fuzz on "No Man's Land". "There's No Good Trying", a loud piece of psychedelia with great drum work, "Here I Go" is Syd's reaction to being kicked out of the Floyd, "Golden Hair" is poetry in motion (literally), "Long Gone" could have sat well on a Pink Floyd album, with its wailing choruses and organ. Even the out of tune "If It's In You" is loveable. It's so bad it's good. You can hear what he's trying to do and how he's doing his best. It shows how difficult it was to record Syd, given his delicate mental state.
This isn't your average pop, rock or folk music. This is a journey. A journey inside a broken mind. Syd Barrett is still whimsical, he's still kind, he's still humourous. He's just a little hurt and a little confused here. Creatively, he's as good as he was on "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", if not better.
I recommend this album to Pink Floyd fans, and those looking to try something out of the ordinary. If you are a music fan who likes every note played perfect, every word on key, an even tempo and polished production, you'd better leave this record alone. It's ragged, but such a wonderful ragged. Even though Syd isn't quite all there, he does the best he can, with humour and with honesty. Good on him!
(The import release is worth it for the bonus tracks. The take of Octopus, an acoustic version, is pretty strong as far as Syd goes. The alternate "It's No Good Trying" is a lot more delicate and jangly that the fuzzy official version. Without all the drums and overdubs, you can hear the chords pretty clearly, which is good for all those musicians out there wanting to know what makes Syd tick. The two takes of "Love You" show just how very different Syd played the same song each time, and just how much of his madness was actually rehearsed. "She Took a Long Cold Look at Me" has a few false starts tacked on the front, and shows Syd struggling to keep level headed. The album ends with a ethereal four track take of "Golden Hair" that features fragile harmonies from Syd. It's better than the takes on Opel by a long shot. Hardcore fans will appreciate these tracks the most.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Syd Bobs to the Surface for a Little While, Feb. 15 2004
By 
Mark D Burgh "Music, Writing, Art, Film, Hist... (Fort Smith, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
The legend is that Syd was tossed out of Pink Floyd because his epic consumption of LSD has rendered him unable to perform in any comprehensible manner. This is mostly true, unfortunately for Pink Floyd and for us fans. The lightness and humor of Syd's work was lost when he was left Pink Floyd.
This album, put together with some of Pink Floyd and some of the members of Soft Machine, is weird, wonderful, and at times, heartbreaking. Syd's songs are, as in his hey day with Pink Floyd, child-like, but the wonder has turned to confusion in many of the songs. The first song "Terrapin" is a case in point. A simple Blues progression becomes a dirge of strummed electric guitars and Syd's words, a sort of mimimalist psychedelic masterpiece with the refain "oh, baby, my hair's on end about you." The emptiness surrounding this song is frightening.
This music is utter chaos, but it works for me. Recorded in 1970, however, this mid-60's flower-child feeling, sounds archaic, and you must be willing to forgo any sense of time to enjoy this music - sort of like being on the drugs that rendered Syd into basket case.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Madcap Journey, Jan. 8 2004
By 
Matt Poole (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
Welcome to Syd Barrett's fractured little world. Kicked out of Pink Floyd because of unstable mind, he dissapeared from the music scene for a couple of years. Then he returned, stripping down his sound, turning from experimental psychedelia to a sort of acid folk and went into the studio, helped by his former bandmates and the Soft Machine.
The Madcap Laughs is the result. The first (and best) of Syd's two whole studio albums.
There's not a bad track on it. There's "Terrapin" with it's hypnotic drift. There's "Love You" with its poppy melody, chirpy piano and verbal diorrhea lyrics. There's emotional moments like "Dark Globe" and "Late Night", which Syd would never have tried on Piper at the Gates of Dawn. There's guitar fuzz on "No Man's Land". "There's No Good Trying", a loud piece of psychedelia with great drum work, "Here I Go" is Syd's reaction to being kicked out of the Floyd, "Golden Hair" is poetry in motion (literally), "Long Gone" could have sat well on a Pink Floyd album, with its wailing choruses and organ. Even the out of tune "If It's In You" is loveable. It's so bad it's good. You can hear what he's trying to do and how he's doing his best. It shows how difficult it was to record Syd, given his delicate mental state.
This is a journey. A journey inside the mind of a broken mind. Syd Barrett is still whimsical, he's still kind, he's still humourous. He's just a little hurt and a little confused here. Creatively, he's as good as he was on "Piper at the Gates of Dawn", if not better.
I recommend this album to Pink Floyd fans, and those looking to try something out of the ordinary. If you are a music fan who likes every note played perfect, every word on key, an even tempo and polished production, you'd better leave this record alone. It's ragged. Deliciously ragged!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars El comienzo del fin para Syd, Dec 17 2003
By 
"jaimeurrutia" (MIAMI, FLORIDA United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
La corta carrera solista de Syd siempre va a sufrir la peligrosa comparación con lo hecho por su también breve paso por Pink Floyd. Lo cual es justo en cierto modo ya que Piper es en su mayoría creación de Syd, pero al mismo tiempo demuestra un hecho claro, el que por mucha genialidad individual que demuestre un integrante, Piper es un disco Pink Floyd. Más allá de todas las dificultades que se presentaron para grabar este disco, hay que decir que el potencial creativo y las ideas de Syd ya no eran las mismas que en 1967, por ello los fans de Piper no necesariamente tendrán a Madcap en el mismo pedestal. De partida el sonido aquí es muy sombrío, casi no hay participación de guitarras eléctricas y cuando la hay en No Good Trying y No Man's Land, los resulatados no impresionan. En vez de eso, Syd prefiere el minimalismo y se conforma con cancioncillas pop que pudieron ser hechas tres años atrás, como Love You o Here I Go, agradables pero no más que eso. La sicodelia aparece tenuemente en Golden Hair, Long Gone y Terrapin, los dos primeros oníricos y reposados, el último un hipnótico tema de 5 minutos en el que Syd repite la misma estructura logrando un buen efecto, mientras Octopus, la mejor canción, muestra a un inspirado Barrett, lo que no es de extrañar considerando que se editó en single antes del álbum. En los temas restantes Syd solamente se acompaña con la guitarra acústica, experimento no del todo exitoso para una perturbada mente que lo que menos necesitaba entonces era cantar extraños y desaliñados temas folk, en búsqueda de sus tormentosos fantasmas interiores.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Disintigration On Vinyl, Dec 11 2003
By 
Matthew Comegys (Ueda, Nagano, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
Ok, so it's more like disintigration on CD these days. Syd Barrett's first solo album is the work of a man completely falling apart. As the founder of Pink Floyd, Barrett ingested enough LSD to drive a medium sized country mad, and by 1968 and 1969 (when this album was recorded) his mental state was very schizophrenic. Even with these problematic mental disorders (or maybe becasue of), Barrett managed to create a classic.
Following Barrett's dismissal from Pink Floyd in early 1968, the band's managers followed Barrett, assuming that the band could not survive without their creative light (oops). While time has obviously proved them wrong, they soon set Barrett to work with producer Malcomb Jones and the trippy combo The Soft Machine to create a pop album. Barrett's performances soon proved to be erratic and strange, and it was soon apparent that the music was not going to set the teen scene on fire. The sessions were shelved (although temporarily as many tracks are included on the album) and "Octopus" was unleashed as a single. It unsurprisingly did not go far.
Cut forward a few months and former bandmate Roger Waters and Syd's own replacement David Gilmore wheel Barrett back into the studio for some more fun and games. These sessions were acoustically based, and allowed Barrett to do pretty much whatever he wanted to do, even if it was endlessly strange.
The final album is a somewhat daunting listen, but quite phenomenal if you can get your mind into Syd's world, where things like rhythm are rather amorphous. "No Good Trying," "No Man's Land," "Octopus," and "Late Night" are strange but amazing masterpieces of psychedelic rock. On the first two especially, the backing musicians sound like they're furiously trying to keep up with Syd (no good trying?) and the music is always on the verge of flying apart at the seams in a wonderful and interesting sort of way. "Terrapin," "Dark Globe," and "Golden Hair" are the more acoustic classics.
Now I'm guilty of a bit of blasphemous resequencing in regards to my own copy of "The Madcap Laughs." I've taken out "Feel" and "If It's In You," which I think qualify as acoustic shambles, and replace them with "Opel" and "Silas Lang." These are outtakes from the Malcomb Jones sessions that I think are amazing (especially "Opel") and bewilderingly left off the album. They can be found on the otherwise hit or miss odds-and-sods complation "Opel."
Although more expensive, I heartily recommend the EMI reissue of this disc. The remastering is far superior to Capitol's disc, and the alternate takes are illuminating. Barrett never played a song the same way twice; that was likely part of his madness. Better yet, get all of Barrett's remastered studio legacy in the "Shine On Crazy Diamond" box set (which may be a bit difficult as I think it's out of print).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Disintigration On Vinyl, Dec 4 2003
By 
Matthew Comegys (Ueda, Nagano, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
Ok, so it's more like disintigration on CD these days. Syd Barrett's first solo album is the work of a man completely falling apart. As the founder of Pink Floyd, Barrett ingested enough LSD to drive a medium sized country mad, and by 1968 and 1969 (when this album was recorded) his mental state was very schizophrenic. Even with these problematic mental disorders (or maybe becasue of), Barrett managed to create a classic.
Following Barrett's dismissal from Pink Floyd in early 1968, the band's managers followed Barrett, assuming that the band could not survive without their creative light (oops). While time has obviously proved them wrong, they soon set Barrett to work with producer Malcomb Jones and the trippy combo The Soft Machine to create a pop album. Barrett's performances soon proved to be erratic and strange, and it was soon apparent that the music was not going to set the teen scene on fire. The sessions were shelved (although temporarily as many tracks are included on the album) and "Octopus" was unleashed as a single. It unsurprisingly did not go far.
Cut forward a few months and former bandmate Roger Waters and Syd's own replacement David Gilmore wheel Barrett back into the studio for some more fun and games. These sessions were acoustically based, and allowed Barrett to do pretty much whatever he wanted to do, even if it was endlessly strange.
The final album is a somewhat daunting listen, but quite phenomenal if you can get your mind into Syd's world, where things like rhythm are rather amorphous. "No Good Trying," "No Man's Land," "Octopus," and "Late Night" are strange but amazing masterpieces of psychedelic rock. On the first two especially, the backing musicians sound like they're furiously trying to keep up with Syd (no good trying?) and the music is always on the verge of flying apart at the seams in a wonderful and interesting sort of way. "Terrapin," "Dark Globe," and "Golden Hair" are the more acoustic classics.
Now I'm guilty of a bit of blasphemous resequencing in regards to my own copy of "The Madcap Laughs." I've taken out "Feel" and "If It's In You," which I think qualify as acoustic shambles, and replace them with "Opel" and "Silas Lang." These are outtakes from the Malcomb Jones sessions that I think are amazing (especially "Opel") and bewilderingly left off the album. They can be found on the otherwise hit or miss odds-and-sods complation "Opel."
Although more expensive, I heartily recommend the EMI reissue of this disc. The remastering is far superior to Capitol's disc, and the alternate takes are illuminating. Barrett never played a song the same way twice; that was likely part of his madness. Better yet, get all of Barrett's remastered studio legacy in the "Shine On Crazy Diamond" box set (which may be a bit difficult as I think it's out of print).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Genius, Nov. 29 2003
By 
kafka (Never NeVeR LAnD) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
This is a great solo album period. After Syd left/was fired from the Floyd in the late 60's most of the public was hungry for a second helping of the top 40 hits he released from the band and also from the their excellent psychedelic hit album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn". Well soon as Syd gathered what was left of his feeble sanity he released this to surprisingly little success and welcome. It was mostly an underground hit, but the Pink Floyd were doing no better with their "soul searching" albums such as "Ummagumma" and "Saucerful of Secrets". To be perfectly blunt, most of Pink Floyd(especially Waters)were intimdated by Syd's creative genius(and they do admit it), fearing that his solo works would far outdo their albums as a band. However, Roger Waters and David Gilmour both produced this record, but to listen to it you would never guess it. The sound is brittle and thin, much in contrast to the Floyd's elegant, symphonic sound they often produced. This works out great for the album though, giving it a more mellow, intimate touch that Syd possessed himself. The songs are mostly just Syd with his guitar occassionaly backed up by the Soft Machine to add a litte meat to the over all sound. "Terrapin" is a great opener, a dreamy, almost lazy sounding song concering relationships of love among sea animals. This cut and "Golden Hair" are both the creap of the crop. The latter is Syd performing a poem written by one of his favorite poets James Joyce. Most cite "Dark Globe" as another great track but I cannot listen to it without sadness. The song is like listening to a man croon out his mental illness to the world. Listening as he breaks apart, losing sanity; I skip it most of the time. Other than that this is a great album, but if your expecting something sounding like the Floyd be warned this is Barrett not Pink Floyd and yes their is a rather big difference. This is the Madcap masterpiece!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars farewell to the world, Oct. 26 2003
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
It's been decades since I first listened to Syd Barrett's "The Mapcap Laughs". During this time I assumed I lost the cassette copy I had taped from a friend's record album over 20 years ago; but to my delight I found it this morning, and gave it a listen.
No, the production for the most part is not to the same level as Pink Floyd releases, but if this is the criterion one is using to judge "The Madcap Laughs, " one is certainly missing the point.
Remember that at this stage of Barrett's career, he had been let go from The Pink Floyd due to a mental breakdown, and was having a rough time of it. Many of the tracks on this album were recorded with drums, bass, and keyboards being added later.
In my opinion, what shines through the sometimes rough production quality, vocal slip ups, and other mistakes of "Madcap" is pure creative genius. The songwriting is top notch, and one can hear from this release how much Barrett's influence shaped early Pink Floyd material. Pink Floyd certainly went on to make good music after Barrett, but to my ears it lacks the sophistication, charm and emotional intensity of the early recordings, when Syd led the band.
The track that really stands out for me on Madcap, is "Golden Hair." It is structurally very simple yet as powerful, haunting and beautiful as anything The Floyd has ever recorded. It seems an effort was made to get this one right. With the help of old band mates including Richard Wright on organ, the listener gets a glimpse of sparkling genius behind the mask of mental illness, and the potential of what might have been had Barrett not suffered his breakdown and inability to cope.
"Madcap Laughs," as well as his other solo release, "Barrett" in this sense, are a deeply tragic farewell to the world. In my view this is the criterion on which "The Madcap Laughs" is to be judged.
This is a definite must have.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Long gone., Oct. 12 2003
By 
Lao Che (Central New York) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
Well, I've been enjoying this album, along with the other two Syd Barrett albums for a few years now. If you like one, you'll like them all. Syd Barrett was NOT a genius, but a very talented songwriter who "lost himself a bit", shall we say?
I try to imagine walking into a pub late one night, and suddenly faced with this guy just playing his spacey music to a pair of drunks, a few empty bottles and a bartender smoking a cigarette. Pure magic. The unique music from a guy who seems to have fallen down the rabbit hole and may still down there for all we know. I remember hearing once he was alive and sort-of well, writing a history of art never meant for public consumption. It would be a strange come-back for sure. However, these albums somehow leave blanks for the listener's imagination to fill in.
I've heard REM do a cover of "Dark Globe" - and if nothing else, it amplifies the uniqueness of Syd Barrett. It was less REM taking a song and making it their own, and more of REM trying to capture the mood of the source material by walking into Syd's territory. I've heard Skip Spence's album OAR several times; in comparison to MADCAP LAUGHS, it's musically richer and grounded in something closer to his peers. But somehow Syd Barrett's music has a charm that the other loonies of rockdem lack: It's kind of childish, it is kind of love-lorn, sort of romantic tipping back into the tragic. The albums capture that delicate balance perfectly - amidst all the imperfection.

"Dark Globe" is the definitive Barrett composition - not necessarily the best. If you need clarity and meaning in music, if you need demographic, if you need a genre and something that is identifiable as this or that - Syd is not for you. This is one of those curious albums that you come across very rarely. Like finding an old record in your grandmother's attic and listening to it constantly - a sonic snapshot of a few random moments that will never be again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful album from Syd, Oct. 6 2003
By 
Adam Rickards (Las Vegas, NV United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: The Madcap Laughs (Audio CD)
When I first listened to Syd Barrett's "The Madcap Laughs," I was amazed by how different it sounded from his work on Pink Floyd's "Piper At the Gates of Dawn." No psychedelic freakouts, no whimsical lyrics about gingerbread men or gnomes, and no production flourishes to speak of. In fact, this album is quite stark with its minimalist production and predominately acoustic atmosphere. Syd seems very much alone here. Based on other reviews I've read, people either love this album or hate it. For those who hate it, I guess I can understand why. "Terrapin," despite being a great song, goes on for way too long without any real variation, Syd's vocals on "Dark Globe" and "If It's in You" are very warbly and even a little grating, and the guy's guitar skills aren't that great. In places he sounds like he is mentally falling apart (which he was). As for my personal opinion of this album, I LOVE it. Everything about this album to me is the epitomy of what makes a record great. Syd may not be able to play guitar like Jimmy Page, or even write coherent lyrics at times, but the atmosphere is so stark and intimate than I cannot help but love this album. Many songs here bring out emotions from me, and no matter what Syd is singing about, I really feel for him all the way through. Many people talk about Nirvana's Unplugged session being especially intimate, and it was, believe me, but "The Madcap Laughs" gives that album a real run for its money in that department. Despite his apparent madness, Syd displays a wide range in both the songwriting and the lyrical department. The verses in "Dark Globe" as well as the cheerfully kooky "Octopus" contain borderline schizophrenic lyrics. Don't bother to try and interpret these, Syd didn't always know what he was getting at, either. "No Good Trying" is a favorite song of mine. This song is one of the few on this album to contain backing tracks by the psychedelic/art-rock band the Soft Machine (who incidentally played with Pink Floyd during their fall 1967 tour with Jimi Hendrix). The lyrics on "Here I Go" are really quite special; in this song Syd tells a story (a rather amusing one I might add) about being in a bad relationship, going over to his girlfriend's house only to be informed by her sister that the girl isn't home. Syd is invited in anyway, and before you know it, he's stepping out with his girlfriend's sister. Amusing and charming. "Golden Hair" borrows its lyrics from a James Joyce poem, which is accompanied by a simple, yet haunting acoustic guitar part. I really like this song and its dark atmosphere; in fact I learned the guitar part (which wasn't too hard) so I could work on a cover version of this song. "Dark Globe" is one of my favorite Barrett songs, but I have to admit that the version found on the outtakes collection "Opel" is far superior to the one here. However, the real highlight of this album is the closing track "Late Night." This is probably one of the best songs Syd ever wrote and it's one of my favorites. Syd really holds it together here, his lyrics convey much imagery, and he sings them in a subdued, yet knowing way. The slide guitar overdubs really add to the quiet, psychedelic feel of this piece, and they also prove that Syd was still capable of the psychedelic slide work that he always used to great effect in his Pink Floyd days.
All in all, this is a must have. I can't imagine my life without this album now. Syd's music really touched and inspired me, and I think that he was not only a great songwriter, but also a beautiful person. This album may sound completely different than "Piper At the Gates of Dawn" on the surface, but no matter what style of music Syd plays (be it freak-out psychedelia or stripped-down acoustic pop-folk) he is still capable of producing the same charm and magic that he always has. Take a chance with this album, and I guarantee you that you will have found a new favorite.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 27 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Madcap Laughs
Madcap Laughs by Syd Barrett (Audio CD - 2008)
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews