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Music / Barrett

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Is it obvious, may I say, oh baby, that it is found on another plane?.

Barrett is the second and final studio album by Syd Barrett, released by Harvest Records in 1970.

In comparison to The Madcap Laughs which suffered from Troubled Production, recording and production went along relatively smoothly for this album. In fact it could be considered an aversion of the Outsider Music genre that Syd Barrett and Madcap are routinely labelled. Former Pink Floyd band-mate David Gilmour produces and plays bass, organ, guitar and on "Dominoes", drums; Richard Wright also contributes by playing the piano, harmonium and organ on this album. Still, sessions didn't go without trouble. At the same time, Pink Floyd was recording Atom Heart Mother, and as such was the main priority for Gilmour and Wright at the time. Barrett was caught on various occasions spying on his former band as they were recording that album. Famously, Barrett was unable or unwilling to play a song the same way more than once, as drummer Jerry Shirley said: "He would never play the same tune twice. Sometimes Syd couldn't play anything that made sense; other times what he'd play was absolute magic".

Upon release, Barrett received generally positive reviews, but the album failed to chart. Still, as with The Madcap Laughs, this album has gained a large cult following. It was also the last studio album Barrett completed. He did a live BBC session in February 1971, a brief stint with a band called Stars with John "Twink" Alder and Jack Monck in 1972 and abortive recording sessions in 1974, then retired from music for the rest of his life.


Side One

  1. "Baby Lemonade" (4:10)
  2. "Love Song" (3:03)
  3. "Dominoes" (4:08)
  4. "It Is Obvious" (2:59)
  5. "Rats" (3:00)
  6. "Maisie" (2:51)

Side One

  1. "Gigolo Aunt" (5:46)
  2. "Waving My Arms In The Air" (2:09)
  3. "I Never Lied To You" (1:50)
  4. "Wined And Dined" (2:58)
  5. "Wolfpack" (3:41)
  6. "Effervescing Elephant" (1:52)

Bonus Tracks (1993 Reissue):

  1. "Baby Lemonade (Take 1)" (3:46)
  2. "Waving My Arms In The Air (Take 1)" (2:13)
  3. "I Never Lied To You (Take 1)" (1:48)
  4. "Love Song (Take 1)" (2:32)
  5. "Dominoes (Take 1)" (0:40)
  6. "Dominoes (Take 2)" (2:36)
  7. "Is It Obvious (Take 2)" (3:51)

Gigolo Tropes:

  • Alliterative Title: "Effervescing Elephant".
  • Animal Motifs: The album cover shows a group of insects. Animals also appear in his song lyrics a lot.
    • "Dominoes" talks of a lark ("Overheard a lark today")
    • "Maisie" mentions a bull ("Bad luck, bride of a bull")
    • "It Is Obvious" mentions sparrows ("mark the blanket where the sparrows play")
    • "Wolfpack" name-drops wolves and "Efferverscing Elephant" mentions, apart from the elephant, a tiger, zebra, mongoose, "dirty" hippopotamus and a stupid water bison.
    • "Rats":
      Got it hit down, spot knock inside a spider
      (...)Rats rats lay down flat/ We don't need you we act like that
It's been so hard to bear with you not there.
  • Creepy Monotone: "Maisie" is sang with a slowed down deep voice, which has a creepy effect.
  • Cut Short: "Maisie" ends rather abrupt, with Barrett even whistling in amazement. "Gigolo Aunt" also ends with Barrett making an attempt to start again.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "Waving My Arms In The Air"
    It's been so hard to bear with you not there
    But though I think of you, the things you do
    When I'm with you, to be with you
    To be alone... can only think: "Why I am here? What's meant to be?"
  • Downer Ending: "Effervescing Elephant", where an elephant is eaten by a tiger.
  • Epic Rocking: At 5:46, "Gigolo Aunt".
  • Foreseeing My Death: "Effervescing Elephant". The elephant in this song predicts he will die in June because of a roaming tiger. While the jungle animals flee the tiger assures them he will not hurt one of them, but prefers something that is less scant to chew on, namely the elephant, who is then eaten by him.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "I Never Lied to You" and "Effervescing Elephant" are both under two minutes, and "Waving My Arms in the Air" isn't much longer.
  • New Sound Album: Lacking most of the psychedelia, the roughness and Troubled Production of The Madcap Laughs.
  • Nostalgia Filter: "Wined And Dined"
    Wined and dined, oh, it seemed just like a dream!
    Girl was so kind
    Kind of love I'd never seen
    Only last summer, it's not so long ago
    Just last summer, now musk winds blow...
  • One-Word Title: The album itself, plus the songs "Dominoes", "Rats", "Maisie" and "Wolfpack".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Wined And Dined" was inspired by the relationship between Barrett and his girlfriend Gayla Pinion, a model from Cambridge.
  • The Reveal: "Love Song":
    I said: OK baby, tell me what you'll be
    and I'll lay my head down and see what I see.
    By the time she was back
    by her open eyes
    I knew that I was in for a big surprise.
  • Self-Titled Album: Just his last name.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Effervescing Elephant" is a pastiche of Hilaire Belloc's "Cautionary Tales For Children", particularly the verse form.
    • The tuba in the opening credits quotes from "The Elephant" from Camille St. Saëns' "Carnival Of The Animals".
    • An alt rock band from New York State, Gigolo Aunts, are Titled After the Song.
  • Silly Love Songs: Among others, "Love Song".
    I knew a girl and I like her still
    She said she knew she would trust me
    And I her will
  • Stock Sound Effects: "Effervescing Elephant" starts off and ends with the sound of croaking frogs and an elephant trumpeting in the background.