"Late Night" occupies a special place in the mythology of Syd Barrett's solo career, being one of two songs (alongside "Swan Lee" that he cut with producer Peter Jenner on May 13 1968, at his first ever lone recording ssession. A second version was then recorded on May 28 and it is this take that was retained for eventual use as the closing track on The Madcap Laughs, Barrett's debut album. The instrumental backing track alone was later dusted off for inclusion within the Opel portion of the Crazy Diamond box set.
"When I woke up today and you weren't there to play...." Over the mournful cries of sketchy electric guitar, with just a hint of percussion deep beneath it, Barrett intones a lyric of gentle loneliness, regret and devotion - "the way you kiss will always be a very special thing to me." As we enter the instrumental break, a band moves in behind him, but the mood of the lyric remains unbroken and, besides, their presence is fleeting enough that, as the song closes, the guitar alone remains, still keening quietly and ultimately unaccompanied, to itself.