Syd Barrett

Rhamadam

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After the Crazy Diamond box set, the radio sessions, and the Magnesium Proverbs bootleg, could there possibly be anything left, from a guy who didn't record all that much to begin with? Well, yes, and most of it's here on this collection of odds and ends from his work both with and without Pink Floyd. There are yet more alternate versions from his 1969 sessions; the otherwise unreleased 1968 percussion instrumental "Rhamadam"; meandering guitar instrumental bits from a fruitless mid-'70s session; lo-fi live Floyd 1967 cuts; an instrumental outtake from Floyd's Piper LP, and a Canadian interview from 1967. The fidelity is pretty variable, the snippets of otherwise unavailable instrumentals really aren't proper songs, and the alternates are not remarkable variations on what you can find on the box set. So it's not an essential purchase, even for many Syd/Floyd fans. We're talking Syd Barrett here, though, an enigma that creates insatiable hunger for material within his cult, and committed fanatics will find it a worthwhile cache of material that's hard to find anywhere else. The unquestioned highlight is a throbbing, almost punky 15-minute version of "Interstellar Overdrive" from the Floyd days. The poppy, innocuous covers of "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and "Don't Ask Me" have no Syd Barrett involvement at all; they're 1965 demos by Joker's Wild, Dave Gilmour's pre-Floyd outfit.

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