Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) was an English musician, composer, singer, songwriter and painter, best remembered as a founder member of the band Pink Floyd. He was lead vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter during the band's psychedelic years, providing major musical and stylistic direction in their early work. He is credited with naming the band. Barrett left the group in April 1968 and was briefly hospitalised amid speculation of mental illness exacerbated by drug use.
Barrett was musically active for fewer than ten years. He recorded four singles with Pink Floyd, the debut album (and contributed to the second one), plus several unreleased songs. In 1969, Barrett initiated his solo career when he released the single, "Octopus", taken from his first solo album, The Madcap Laughs (1970). The album was recorded over the course of one year (1968–1969) with five different producers (Peter Jenner, Malcolm Jones, David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Barrett himself). Nearly two months after Madcap was released, Barrett began working on his second and final album, Barrett (produced by Gilmour and featuring contributions from Richard Wright), which was released in late 1970. He then went into self-imposed seclusion lasting until his 2006 death. In 1988, an album of unreleased tracks and outtakes, Opel, was released by EMI with Barrett's approval.
Barrett's innovative guitar work and exploration of experimental techniques, such as using dissonance, distortion and feedback, had an enormous impact on many musicians, from David Bowie to Brian Eno to Jimmy Page. In his post-music life, Barrett continued with painting and dedicated himself to gardening. Biographies began appearing in the 1980s. Pink Floyd wrote and recorded several tributes to him, most notably the 1975 album Wish You Were Here, which included "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", a memorial to Barrett.Continue reading at Wikipedia... Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license