If you came to know Pink Floyd during their 1970s heyday (think The Wall) you may not be aware of Barrett’s influence on the band – he left Floyd in 1968 – but his early songwriting and over-the-top stage presence helped put Pink Floyd on the psychedelic musical map.
Syd Barrett’s musical legacy includes his incredibly wistful work on songs like Lucifer Sam, Astronomy Domine, and the enigmatic See Emily Play – all of which have been covered by numerous bands in the decades since their release.
Record credits include Pink Floyd’s first two albums – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and Saucerful of Secrets – and the two albums Barrett released during his short-lived solo career – The Madcap Laughs, and Barrett. A compilation of rare singles and b-sides was released in 1988. It was titled Opel.
Though he’d already left Pink Floyd by the time I was even born, Syd Barrett became a huge influence on my early musical interests, and I’m very sorry to hear he’s gone… lucky for us, he left behind a short, but truly magical repertoire of recordings.