Syd Barrett Songs Ranked

Roger Keith “Syd” Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) was an English singer, songwriter, and musician who co-founded the rock band Pink Floyd in 1965. Barrett named the group and was their original frontman and primary songwriter, becoming known for his English-accented singing, literary influences, free-form writing style, and whimsical take on psychedelia.  As a guitarist, he experimented with free-form playing and elements such as dissonance, distortion, echo, feedback, and other studio effects, proving influential to many musicians. In 1972, Barrett 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. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2006. Here are all of Syd Barrett albums ranked.

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18. Love You (The Madcap Laughs, 1970)

“Less interesting as I remember it. I’m still singing along to it though. “Love You” might have been something worthwhile, but instead it sounds exactly what you’d expect – a nutter, spewing out nonsense. If it was even possible.”

17. Long Gone (The Madcap Laughs, 1970)

“This was one of my favorite songs on the album back then. It’s still my favorite. It’s got nice vocals. Either someone else is taking high harmony with Barrett during the chorus or it’s just his voice doubled over, I can’t tell.”

16. Effervescing Elephant (Barrett, 1970)

“The word ‘effervescing’ means bubbly, foamy, which I always associated with beverages like champagne. This songs opens with the sounds of the jungle at night. Then a tuba sounds a few notes to introduce the elephant. The elephant is the bubbly gossip of the jungle. He intentionally creates a general panic among all the little ‘inferior’ animals by telling them that a tiger is on the loose and will probably eat them”

15. Dark Globe (The Madcap Laughs, 1970)

“This song is fucking raw emotion. You can hear it in Barrett’s voice.  I’m glad they kept it just acoustic guitar and voice, anything else would’ve ruined it.”

See more: Syd Barrett Albums Ranked

14. No Good Trying (The Madcap Laughs, 1970)

“It sounds pretty messy and it’s almost boring. The song just kinda flies over my head.”

13. Rats (Barrett, 1970)

“This is musically a nothing song – Barrett hammers at an E chord, although the overdubbed instruments add a confusing set of fills as Barrett hurls apparent nonsense (Held tomorrow’s rain and test / Love an empty sun and guess / pimples dangerous and blessed “) with all the conviction of a man possessed, before descending into a spiral of unconnected words. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to go mad – it’s here.”

12. Maisie (Barrett, 1970)

“I can’t quite get with the blues of ‘maisie’ or the just too mental ‘wolfpack’ but ‘barrett’ is a totally worthwhile addition to his scant recorded legacy.”

11. Octopus (The Best of Syd Barrett, 1992)

“Oh I do love Syd Barrett’s music man. I thought Pink Floyd was so creative during there entire hey day but especially the brief time they had Barrett in there career.  The sounds here were so weird and trippy it sounds a little like Death of a Clown another under appreciated 60’s song. Why dont they play this track on the radio more. It is awesome.”

10. Baby Lemonade (Barrett, 1970)

“My breath was quite literally taken away. I found myself sitting there, mouth hanging open, occasionally remembering to take a gasp of air. Each time a song drew to its end, I realised that the songs were the air, and I was clutching at notes as straws to breathe without them”

9. She Took a Long Cold Look (The Madcap Laughs, 1970)

“I thought it was “cold” instead of “cool”. Anyways, this song doesn’t do anything for me. It’s very meh.”

8. Gigolo Aunt (Barrett, 1970)

“The shadow of PINK FLOYD still hangs over 50% of the group being present here, especially on the most openly progressive tracks like this “Gigolo Aunt”, a road trip that ends in the marshes of a wobbly but tasty solo.”

7. Milky Way (Opel, 1988)

“Speaking as someone who had some of these songs on bootlegs prior to Opel’s release, having them in crystal clear sound was a gift and a revelation.  The only real weak link on the album is Lanky, and even that’s not that bad.”

6. Terrapin (The Madcap Laughs, 1970)

“Holy shit I do not remember this song being this long. It’s a pretty great opener for the album though.”

See more; Pink Floyd Albums Ranked

5. Wined and Dined (Barrett, 1970)

“Time, another common thread of these songs. The clouds are gathering, a light breeze blows on the little elegiac nursery rhyme to be listened to during a “Wined And Dined” fishing trip. BARRETT, beneath his haggard air, cleaner, almost smooth, is however not so peaceful or so detached that he wants to show it.”

4. Love Song (Barrett, 1970)

“What is fascinating in Syd BARRETT’s solo productions is the artisanal aspect that emerges from these fragments of songs, so many extracts from the free spirit of the author / composer / performer.”

3. Dominoes (Barrett, 1970)

“The Pink Floyd vibe is all around this LP, not so much because of Syd’s affect on his former group, but more vice-versa, check out the organ solo at the end of “Dominoes,” there’s no doubt that that is Richard Wright and that Syd likely was not instructing him how to play it.”

2. Late Night (The Madcap Laughs, 1970)

“Late Night”, nice closer. Good rocking song, again it has a certain emotion over it, and a certain sad feeling. Syd does some of his famous slide guitars on this track. Like I said, great closer.”

1. Golden Hair (The Madcap Laughs, 1970)

“One of the better songs on this album. Barrett did not write this song though. It’s a poem by James Joyce.”