The music that emerged though was surprisingly coherent, especially so on The Madcap Laughs. There is a nod to the very British “music hall” style on both “Love You,” and “Here I Go.” The latter has been treated to a new mix, and Gilmour has added a bass guitar to it as well. Any doubts about where Barrett was psychologically are dispelled with the unnerving “If It’s In You.”
His second and final solo excursion, Barrett sounds like a thoroughly collaborative affair with some of the era's finest musicians. In truth, it is a valiant effort by Syd’s friends to salvage Madcap’s leftovers. Gilmour, and members of Soft Machine have fleshed out the slight sketches Barrett left behind to great effect on “Dominoes,” and “Gigolo Aunt.” The wordplay that Barrett was so known for previously is highlighted one last time with “Effervescing Elephant.”
The CD closes with the rare “Bob Dylan Blues” from 1970. The song had been in Gilmour’s private collection up until the compilation Wouldn’t You Miss Me in 2001. It is a worthy tribute/send-up of someone Syd Barrett obviously admired a great deal.
An Introduction To Syd Barrett is exactly what it says it is. By including his early work with Pink Floyd with his later solo material, we get a well-rounded picture of what the man’s music was all about. Barrett will always be a footnote in the story of Pink Floyd, but his departure haunted them throughout their career. Many of the songs on both Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall deal with it. On Wish You Were Here, they were explicit — nearly the entire album was about him.
For the curious, this is an excellent place to start in getting to know the music of Syd Barrett.