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Opel

Syd Barrett solo album. Barrett recordings from the EMI archives, released: October 17, 1988.

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Opel
Recorded April 11, 1969 (Take 9)
Produced by Malcolm Jones

Clowns And Jugglers (Octopus)
Initial session July 20, 1968
Produced by Peter Jenner
Overdubs recorded May 3, 1969
Produced by Malcolm Jones
Mike Ratledge - organ
Hugh Hopper - bass
Robert Wyatt - drums

Rats
Original two-track demo-version
Recorded June 5, 1970
Produced by David Gilmour
This version, with overdubs, used on 'Barrett'

Golden Hair
Recorded June 12, 1969 (Take 6)
Produced by David Gilmour
Take 11 was used on 'The Madcap Laughs'

Dolly Rocker
Recorded July 14, 1970, during 'Barrett' sessions
This take was the only one made.
Produced by David Gilmour

Word Song
Recorded July 17, 1970, during 'Barrett' sessions
This take was the only one made.
Produced by David Gilmour

Wined And Dined
Original two-track demo version
Recorded June 5th, 1970
Produced by David Gilmour

Swan Lee (Silas Lang)
Initial session May 28, 1968 (Take 5)
Overdubs added June 8, 1968
Final session April 25, 1969
Produced by Peter Jenner

Birdie Hop
Original two-track demo version
Recorded June 5, 1970
Produced by David Gilmour

Let's Split
Recorded July 14, 1970, during 'Barrett' sessions
This take was the only one made.
Produced by David Gilmour

Lanky, part 1
Recorded May 14, 1968
First and only take.
Produced by Peter Jenner
Note: Lanky (part two) runs for over seven minutes
and consists of two drum tracks only.

Wouldn't You Miss Me (Dark Globe)
Recorded July 26, 1969 (Take 1)
Produced by Roger Waters and David Gilmour

Milky Way
Recorded June 7, 1970 (Take 5)
Produced by David Gilmour

Golden Hair (instrumental)
Recorded May 14, 1968 (Take 1)
Produced by Peter Jenner

Bonus tracks on CD-version from 'CRAZY DIAMOND':
Gigolo Aunt (Take 9)
It Is Obvious (Take 3)
It Is Obvious (Take 5)
Clowns And Jugglers (Take 1)
Late Night (Take 2)
Effervescing Elephant (Take 2)

6.30


3.25








3.10





1.44





3.00




3.23




3.05




3.11





2.27




2.35




5.40







2.57



3.27



1.47

All tracks were recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Design and project supervision: Phil Smee
Mixed by Gareth Cousins
Sleeve note by Brian Hogg

OPEL is a collection of previously un-released Barrett recordings.Most of the songs were recorded during sessions for 'The Madcap Laughs' and 'Barrett'. Most recordings are 'unfinished'.


SYD BARRETT: OPEL
(Sleeve note)

Roger Keith 'Syd' Barrett left Pink Floyd early in 1968. Now, some twenty years later, his brief time with the group froms only a fraction of their history, but its legacy remains incalculable. Barrett wrote, sang and played guitar on almost everything recorded during those first outings - 'Arnold Layne', 'See Emily Play' and 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn' l.p., but the commercial failure of his dazzling 'Apples and Oranges', coupled with an increasing unpredictability, undermined his eminant position. Several compromises would quickly flounder - the addition of a fifth member, Dave Gilmour; a suggestion that Syd should not perform, but merely write for and record with the group, and the inevitable parting followed.

Several months later Barrett returned to Abbey Road with his co-manager Peter Jenner, who acted as producer on a handful of new tracks. Somewhat exploratory, they included some which would be re-recorded later ('Late night', 'Golden Hair') and others which were then abandoned. Both 'Swan Lee' and 'Lanky Pt 1' date from this first session, the former is a wonderful 'Hiawatha-esque' tale which could well have accompanied the Floyd of 'Corporal Clegg', while 'Lanky' suggests the fragile instrumental improvisation of the previous year. Sadly, the recording charts give no clues to the other musicians involved, sadder still was the fact that the tempting 'Lanky Pt 2' consisted of percussive backing tracks.

Little was then heard of Barrett for almost a year, but in March 1969, he contacted EMI again. His request for studio time was passed on to Malcolm Jones, then setting up the Harvest subsidiary. Almost by accident, Jones bacame the producer of the next batch of recordings which formed the basis for Barrett's solo debut, 'The Madcap Laughs'.

Six of the final album's tracks were recorded between April and May, the rest came from three sessions cut in June and July, but with Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters replacing jones. Both provided their share of out-takes, and it's from these that 'Clowns and Jugglers', 'Opel' and the various 'Golden Hair's' date. The version of 'Opel' included here is one of nine which were attempted, but this determination would not result in an official release; until now. The song is a gem, one of Barrett's finest, and it's elongated, closing refrain is positively haunting. 'Clowns and Jugglers' meanwhile would resurface on 'The Madcap Laughs' under a new title, 'Octopus', but this earlier take features Syd's first vocal and guitar which was later overdubbed by the Soft Machine - mike Ratledge, Hugh Hopper and Robert Wyatt, something they also did on two tracks which did appear on 'Madcap,' 'No Good Trying' and 'Love You'. Barrett's irregular timing made the task somewhat difficult, but there's no denying the exciting edge the combination gave.

Waters and Gilmour tried eleven takes before they formed a satisfactory 'Golden Hair'. A short poignant piece, even the outtakes boast a distinct beaty at the persistance (the song was tried at every stage in the recording) finally succeeded.

'Dark Globe' (aka 'Wouldn't You Miss Me') was one of the 'new' songs Barrett brought to the Gilmour/Waters' sessions. Few attempts were required, but while the issued take features Syd on a high register, the one here is lower, more natural and less strained.

'The Madcap Laughs' was released in January 1970, and within a matter of months, work began on a second collection. The resulting album, titled simply 'Barrett' was a less experimental offering, it featured a single production unit, Dave Gilmour and Rick Wright, and a more structured backing group. Syd had prepared several demos in readiness for the sessions, some of which would form the basic vocal and guitar tracks for the finished master, with the instrumental muscle merely overdubbed. 'Rats' and 'Dominoes' were certainly completed in this way, but the former is included here simply because the difference between this and the finished release is so great. 'Wined and Dined' however, is a different take to that on 'Barrett', but rather than complete this collection with alternative versions - however interesting - we've opted instead for unreleased material. 'Word Song', 'Milky Way' and 'Birdie Hop' are each part of the whimsical Barrett of 'Gigolo Aunt' or 'Effervescing Elephant', rarer of course, without the backing those finished tracks boasted, but equally captivating. Two further songs were also uncovered, both of which have, up to now, escaped acknowledgement. Each is somewhat rudimentary, the sound of Syd turning the page can be easily heard, but 'Let's Split' and 'Dollyrocker' remain important finds. The first boasts the complex lines which make accompaniment awkward, while the second claims one of pop's great lyrics - "she's as cute as a squirrel's nut" - and a soaring middle-eight that's truely exceptional. With time, and sympathetic arrangements, any of these could have graced 'Barrett' and time rather than other factors seems to have been the final deciding factor.

'Barrett' was released in November 1970, and is, to date, the last album of new Syd material. This is not a lost third album, but a companion to those two exceptional original releases and collects the best of what is left available. Yes there are some flaws, some missed notes and some fumbling, but there's also an engaging insight into the talent of a most enigmatic figure. There's still more left 'in the can', takes hampered by false starts, or which fall apart quickly, there's the rambling 'Rhamadan', the infamous motorbike noises and somewhere there's the lost 'Bob Dylan's Blues'. Wherever that now resides, it's not at Abbey Road, and neither is its paperwork. Indeed there's no record of any further sessions there after July 1970, and if the stories which surfaced in 1975 are true; of an altruistic benefactor bringing Syd into EMI's studios, of Robin Trower's support (etc etc), then those responsible removed every shred of evidence; tapes, logs, everything. For several reasons, Syd Barrett's talent crumbled quickly, but for that all-too-brief time it was startlingly original.

Brian Hogg, Lizardd Sound Archives, August 1988




OPEL

Syd Barret 1969

Lyrics/Music: Barret

Albums:

Opel
Crazy Diamond
Wouldn't you Miss Me


On a distant shore, miles from land
stands the ebony totem in ebony sand
a dream in a mist of gray...
on a far distant shore...

The pebble that stood alone
and driftwood lies half buried
warm shallow waters sweep shells
so the cockles shine...

A bare winding carcass, stark
shimmers as flies scoop up meat, an empty way...
dry tears...
crisp flax squeaks tall reeds
make a circle of gray in a summer way, around man
stood on ground...

I'm trying
I'm trying to find you!
To find you
I'm living, I'm giving,
To find you, To find you,
I'm living, I'm living,
I'm trying, I'm giving


DOLLY ROCKER

Syd Barret 1969

Lyrics/Music: Barret

Albums:

Opel
Crazy Diamond

(Syd: Dolly Rocker... It's called Dolly Rocker... It's an old make of dress...
Well, months old, you know.. that sort of thing)

I know a sweet girl
she done went out and paid for me
was a sweet girl
after five we went for tea
She seen a Dolly Rocker
She want a girl, she got her
I wanna see her, I know I do
I love you darling, all for you.

You want to meet Pearl?
she's as cute as a squirrel's nut.
She done seen me
said she thought she got the lot.
She's a Dolly Rocker
want to wait 'till I got her
said she knew I know we know I do
said she gotta see me lonely with you.

Oceans may travel, away too long
senses in the gravel, to see yourself at home
nice to be at home
all I'll ever do forever
all my life, you see, when you got her
all I know, you know, I show you, baby
through your head push to you, baby
is a Dolly Rocker.
She know what she got her
She seen a Dolly Rocker
She seen a Dolly Rocker


WORD SONG

Syd Barret 1969

Lyrics/Music: Barret

Albums:

Opel
Crazy Diamond

(Syd: We're running)

Stained, glaucous, glycerine, gold, goat, clover
gold, local stocks, type, food, wild, national, lake, flag,
valve, gyroscope, sect
heat, helium, lead, bare, state, invention, medieval
refraction, faction, ultra-action,
hunter, interest, bullet, market...

Loads, liquids, neon, heater, jaws, jungle
mains, signal, knives, kitchen
ingot, lovely, mirror, mold
Mycenaean, moat, poppy, rubber,
radar, rags, sugar, teak
silver, poke, tin, beetroot,
carrot, ebony, fruit, copper, silk...

Carpet, distant, pigmy, hid, pack,
timber, pudding, straw
raindrops, spattering, ramps
chameleon, prairie, pods, trigger
museum, scales, square, ultra, out of map, vent
volcano, vain, wreck, tactic
tidal, arches, valley, hand
inflect, impression, loom, last, molten
you gamma, meeting
lighting, signal, island, coral-cold



SWAN LEE (Silas Lang)

Syd Barret 1969

Lyrics/Music: Barret

Albums:

Opel
Crazy Diamond
Wouldn't you Miss Me

Swan Lee got up at the Running Foot pow-wow,
heading from the fire to his waiting canoe.
Chattering Squaw untied the wigwam door,
the chief blew smoke rings two by two!

The land in silence stands...

Swan Lee, his boat by the bank in the darkness,
loosened the rope in the creek is entwined.
A feather from the wing of a wild young eagle,
pointed to the land where his fortune he'd find

The land in silence stands

Swan Lee paddled on from the land of his fathers,
his eyes scanned the undergrowth on either side.
From the shore hung a hot, heavy, creature infested
tropic, Swan Lee had a bow by his side

The land in silence stands

Swan Lee kept time, half on land, half on water,
Grizzly bear and raccoon his fare.
He followed his ears to the great water fall,
Swan Lee knew deep down that his squaw was there!

The land in silence stands....

Suddenly the rush of the mighty great thunder,
confronted Swan Lee as his song he sang,
In the dawn, with his squaw, he was battling homewards
It was all written down by Long Silas Lang.

The land in silence stands...
The land in silence stands...
The land in silence stands.


BIRDIE HOP

Syd Barret 1969

Lyrics/Music: Barret

Albums:

Opel
Crazy Diamond

Birdie Hop - he do, he hop along
a lonely bird upon a window there
he, he, there he blow
a windy snow, he knew the snow,
I know the snow, a hoppy bird

The antelope ride around the parasol
just to see if he's a man
enough to meet you in the sandpit
on a flying kind of sign in a meddlesome way
you know the way - I see the flies
she's a little kite the sort
you think you might like to fly
and like a kite you get to see her
every night, you know the way
she's only paving her way -
hectochrome plane - I see the flies.

Birdie Hop - he do, he hop along
a lonely bird upon a window there
he, he, there he blow
a windy snow, he knew the snow,
I know the snow, a hoppy bird

A camel woke up to a polish dawn
wouldn't look to see his feet had gone
he wouldn't like it
wouldn't have the strength to fight it,
I see the flies
I'm the only bird, a little third,
I lost a quarter
had a yearning to be earning just a dollar a day
in a way you shouldn't like it, hectochrome plane
I see the flies.


LET'S SPLIT

Syd Barret 1970

Lyrics/Music: Barret

Albums:

Opel
Crazy Diamond

Everything about,
about to go out,
me out, you out,
yes and everything is out
about, out...
out, out, out, out, out, out,
Let's split!
I'm telling you this is it!

Everything is down,
and hound, hound, hound
back down, down, down
even everything is down
abound and down,
down, down, down, down, down, down
Let's split!
Tellin' you this is it!

Nobody is right tonight,
night, height, right, tight,
it isn't right
Me out, you out
And everything is out
out, out, out, out, out, out
Let's split!


LANKY, part one

Syd Barret 1969

Lyrics/Music: Barret

Albums:

Opel
Crazy Diamond

'Lanky (part two)' runs for over seven minutes and consists of two drum tracks only.


MILKY WAY

Syd Barret 1969

Lyrics/Music: Barret

Albums:

Opel
Crazy Diamond

What'd you ever say today when you're in the milky way

oh tell me please
if I met you - I told you what to do
seems a while
since I could smile the way you do...

how many times, if I try, if I may,
when you're in the milky way

half of your time -beside me only atmosphere
since I could smile the way you do...

What can anyone mean to you
standing in the milky way

take life easy
Why so empty...?
I told you - I can tell you
what to do - when I hold you
and I tell you "I love you"
I feel that I'm way you do...

Give a grasp of life today
when you're in the milky way
oh, try to please! Knock on wood of the trees
glad you, mold you, mold you and hold you
means five miles
and everyway for you...

Lyrics Copyright: Lupus Music Co. Ltd.


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