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 the lead vocalist, guitarist, and principal songwriter during the band's psychedelic years, providing major musical and stylistic direction in their early work. In addition, he is credited with naming the band. Barrett left the group in April 1968 and was briefly hospitalized amid speculation of mental illness exacerbated by drug use.
Barrett was musically active for fewer than ten years, when 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 death in 2006. 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 legacy with many musicians, from David Bowie to Brian Eno to Jimmy Page. In his post-musician life, Barrett continued with painting and dedicated himself to gardening, never to return to the public eye. A number of biographies have been written since the 1980s, and Pink Floyd wrote and recorded several tributes to him after he left, 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