There have been a number of books written about Syd Barrett over the years, but perhaps surprisingly his collected lyrics were never published in authorised form during his lifetime. This book seeks to provide a definitive catalogue of his full body of work, with David Gilmour being closely involved in checking the content of each song. Produced in conjunction with the Barrett estate, this is a necessarily short volume, but is produced on top quality paper with some nice rare photographs, and includes a brief preface by former Floyd manager Peter Jenner and a lengthy introduction by the author of the ‘A Very Irregular Head’ biography, Rob Chapman, who has put the book together. All fifty two of Syd’s lyrics, for Pink Floyd and his solo albums, are simply presented in alphabetical order, although a few details on their date and the album they were from would have been a useful addition I feel. (Having said that, anyone buying this book will probably have that information stored away already.) As with all books of this type, some lyrics read well as stand alone pieces while others really miss the musical accompaniment we’ve become used to. Barrett’s lyrics are frequently oblique to say the least, but often show a childlike innocence and naiveté, some being reminiscent of nursery rhymes, others of the nonsense verse of Edward Lear. However, the most interesting pieces are where he seemingly turns his gaze inwards to address his own rapidly deteriorating mental situation in songs such as Jugband Blues and Vegetable Man – and it’s hard to conjure up a more poignant, despairing song than Dark Globe. It’s fitting that these lyrics have at long last been collected together in a formal setting such as this – an essential purchase for fans.
Length of Read:Short
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Early Floyd, Syd’s solo records.
One thing you’ve learned
What exactly is a dream, and what exactly is a joke….