The Madcap Laughs (album) by Syd Barrett

The Madcap Laughs
The Madcap Laughs by Syd Barrett (1970)
Overall rank: 857th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
78/100 (from 344 votes)
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Award Top albums of 1970 (30th)
Award Top albums of the 1970s (207th)
Award Top 1,000 albums of all time (857th)

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Product Details

Syd Barrett ‎– The Madcap Laughs/Barrett Harvest ‎SABB11314 Jacket VG- Vinyl NM-
Condition: Used
Time left:
2h 12m 17s

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SYD BARRETT The Madcap Laughs HARVEST LP uk gatefold #shvl-765
Condition: Used
Time left:
11h 59m 30s

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Condition: New
Time left:
19h 49s

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Syd Barrett bestography

The Madcap Laughs is ranked as the best album by Syd Barrett.

Syd Barrett album bestography « Higher ranked This album (857th) Lower ranked (1,829th) »
-The Madcap LaughsBarrett

Members who like this album also like: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn by Pink Floyd, The Velvet Underground And Nico by The Velvet Underground And Nico and Revolver by The Beatles.

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The Madcap Laughs ratings

Average Rating: 
78/100 (from 344 votes)
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4 days ago cronadigallina  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 944 ratings67/100
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Related links: top albums of the 1970s, top albums of 1970.

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The Madcap Laughs comments

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From Junomoogmello 05/22/2019 20:53
There are two ways to approach a review of this album:

1- Syd is a genius and there is a far deeper meaning to the songs in this album. It is an intelligent prophetic album which is often misunderstood.

2- Syd was a genius. It is a sad desolate album where Syd is propped up by his Pink Floyd band mates in one last bid to try and help him.

In fact, I think it is both. The album is like an LSD trip and it's phases, perhaps not in order though. Try listening to this and following up with Porcupine Tree Voyage 34!
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From willandthemix 04/19/2018 22:03
Such a cool interesting sound. Unlike anyone else I've heard. So sweet and childish. Vocally, probably influenced Bowie as well.
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From nitomano 05/07/2017 06:11
Won't you miss me?
Wouldn't you miss me at all?
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From Tarkus1980 04/17/2017 01:15
The most important thing to realize going into listening to this album the first couple of times is that Syd Barrett really *was* a talented songwriter, and that even without his total mental breakdown he still would have amassed a pretty decently sized following. There are quite a few melodies and chord sequences here that would have worked just fine in a normal setting, with a lyrical combination of playfulness and self-confession that would make quite an impact on their own. The opening "Terrapin" is a great example of this, as it's a rather gentle acoustic ballad that combines playful (and only somewhat nonsensical) lyrics about being a swimming fish and simple (but still kinda clever to my ears) boy-girl lyrics like, "Well oh baby my hair's on end about you." Simple and poppy, yes, but high quality simple-and-poppy, if you ask me.
But of course, it's not the normal aspects of the album alone that ultimately draw people here, but rather the way in which they provide a context for the train wreck of Syd's mind. "Terrapin," by having such 'regular' appeal, is an extremely deceptive opener, as the evidence for this album's weirdness reputation begins in full force with track two. Witness the dark aggressive (and outright disturbing) cacophony of "No Good Trying", whose most revealing moment is the line about the person Syd is singing to spinning around in a car while lights are flashing all around. Witness the hilariously catchy up-tempo, nonsensical "Love You," where Syd and Co. conjure up a vaguely Kinksy piano number and let it linger in the astral plane just long enough to totally screw it up (meant in a good way). Witness ESPECIALLY when Syd's performance (singing, lyrics, guitar, everything) goes totally off the deep end in "Octopus," all culminating in the ecstatic chanting of, "Please leave us here! Close our eyes to the octopus riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide!!!" And so on.
The easiest way, for me at least, to categorize the rest of the album is to divide it into "lucid" and "less lucid." The less lucid parts sometimes happen within the songs themselves (like the weird mumbling freak-out in the second half of "No Man's Land"), but the most frightening one comes when Roger Waters and David Gilmour (the producers) share an outtake from right before Syd's 'proper' rendition of "If It's In You," where Syd starts into the number and ends up hideously off-key in singing, "Yes I'm thiiiiiiiiiiiNNNNNNNNNNKing" and follows by mumbling only semi-coherently. Poor, poor, Syd.
What makes his collapse even more frightening and sad in my mind, though, is the ways the lucid moments show he was fully aware of it. "Dark Globe" is playful and has somewhat off-key vocals, yes, but those are serious chills down my back when he sings, "Won't you miss me? Wouldn't you miss me at aaaallllllll??" Those chills stay when I hear Syd longing for a girl in "Here I Go," in the mournful "Long Gone," and even when he's slowly singing James Joyce poetry to an elementary melody.
Beyond these, there are some songs that aren't really that super, and that kinda negate my original hopes that, even in the wake of such heavy drug abuse, his songwriting abilities would remain completely unscathed. But really, I don't think that's the point. This is an album that can be extremely enjoyable at points, yes, but it's also very sad, and more than that really has no parallel in music of which I'm aware. It's messy, it's playful, it's sad ... it's Syd. And Syd was great, despite himself. This is why I like this album terribly much, despite that I almost never bring it out. If you don't like it, I can understand, but you must also understand that those of us who do like it get a feel from it that's largely indescribable, and thus you should not condemn us or this album.
PS: Somehow, I left out mention of the album's second best song, the closing "Late Night." It's probably the best example on the album of a semi-coherent love song, one that had a great song at its core but got tweaked more than a bit by being filtered through Syd's mind. It brings a tear to my eye each time I hear it.
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From donsleep94 01/10/2017 16:06
You feel me
away far too empty, oh so alone..
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From TheSmiths82-87 06/14/2016 11:20
The Madcap Laughs is full to the brim with intrigue, whimsy and the occasional glimpse into a troubled mind. Indeed, I can't think of many songs more troubling than Dark Globe, but it is a wonderful track all the same.

This is a great album and better than any of the other members of Pink Floyd have managed to come up with in their solo careers.
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From Schnouttz 10/15/2014 00:47
Very calming and mesmerizing album, makes you forget about all your worries for a brief moment.
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From Martinborras 08/06/2014 20:38
A very sad album
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From patip1 06/12/2014 08:42
Stream of consciousness classic.
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From Antonio-Pedro 02/23/2014 10:06
Amazing album, i could feel the sentimental smell from miles away. It's not a big journey like "The Piper at the gates of Dawn" but it can stop my abstinence, abstinence for pure art, and real feelings from a luminous mind.
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Best Albums of 1970
1. Paranoid by Black Sabbath
2. After The Gold Rush by Neil Young
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
4. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon
5. Led Zeppelin III by Led Zeppelin
6. All Things Must Pass by George Harrison
7. Moondance by Van Morrison
8. Bitches Brew by Miles Davis
9. Fun House by The Stooges
10. Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek & The Dominos
11. Let It Be by The Beatles
12. Loaded by The Velvet Underground
13. Cosmo's Factory by Creedence Clearwater Revival
14. American Beauty by Grateful Dead
15. Déjà Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
16. Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath
17. Tea For The Tillerman by Cat Stevens
18. Deep Purple In Rock by Deep Purple
19. Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd
20. Abraxas by Santana

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