leejohnson's current selection is:
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (radio edit)
by Pink Floyd
by Pink Floyd
Perhaps not for the 'Pink Floyd' purist, this selection, as I've chosen (ostensibly for 'time-and-attention-span' reasons) the radio edit, which may or may not be the official shortened version, but hey. Anything which purports to celebrate the life and contributions of the misunderstood and vulnerable Syd Barrett is okay by me. His sometimes off-kilter compositions and arrangements defined their early era, and held back some of the pretentiousness and grandiosity which overtook the band in later years (could you really have seen Syd as being involved at all in a project like "Brick", for instance?). I'll leave you with an assessment of the whole thing from "Songfacts", which tends to be rather too brutal to Syd (look out for the Q-marks I've inserted where I think it's contentious) :
This is a tribute to Syd Barrett, an original member of 'Pink Floyd' - notice the title, [S]hine On [Y]ou Crazy [D]iamond. He was their lead guitarist and wrote most of their early hits, but he gradually went nuts [?] and was kicked out [?] of the band in 1968, three years after the group started. Drugs played a big role in his mental illness. During the final mixing sessions of this song in June of 1975, Barrett wandered into the studios, ready to help out. He was fat, bald, and as crazy as they remembered, but they let him stay for a while. Barrett wanted to rejoin the group, but they learned in 1967 and 1968 that having an insane [?] member was not good for a band. Before he was kicked out, Barrett would get on stage and either refuse to play or play the same note over and over.
According to the 'Pink Floyd' autobiography "A Saucerful of Secrets" by Nicholas Schaffner, when Barrett came into the control room, the remaining members of 'Pink Floyd' were listening to the finished recording of the album ["Wish You Were Here"]. This was the eve before 'Pink Floyd' were going on a US tour. David Gilmour didn't recognize him at first - they hadn't seen him in years. Syd was fat, bald, had shaved eyebrows and was wearing a white trenchcoat with white shoes. When someone tried to break the ice by asking Syd how he had put on so much weight, he maniacally replied, "I've got a very large fridge in the kitchen, and I've been eating a lot of pork chops!" That was the last time any of the 'Pink Floyd' members have seen him [?].
"Songfacts" is usually very good, but that narrative really seems to denigrate Syd, and I'm expecting a lot of you to agree that he was much more respected by his peers in the group than by some of the more judgemental commentators outside of it. The whole thing was just a sad, sad situation which couldn't be fixed to the satisfaction of all parties.
"Wish You Were Here" was a No. 1 chart hit in the UK Albums listings in October 1975, staying in the Top 40 there for 43 weeks. In the US the result was almost identical, except that it remained in the Billboard Hot 200 Albums for 46 weeks. For the complete story on the grand album track concept, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shine_On_You_Crazy_Diamond
1975 - Harvest - United Kingdom - This is a shortened version of conceptual tracks originally released on the album "Wish You Were Here".
Posted: About 20 hours ago