When Pink Floyd Ended Their Time with Syd Barrett

'A Saucerful of Secrets'
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Pink Floyd

On June 27, 1968 in the U.S. and June 29, 1968 in the U.K., Pink Floyd released their sophomore album, an LP arguably best remembered as the band’s final album with original frontman Syd Barrett.

Recorded predominantly at EMI’s London studios – the lone exception being “Jugband Blues,” which was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios in London - A Saucerful of Secrets was a decidedly tumultuous album to record, owing to the deteriorating mental health of the aforementioned Mr. Barrett.

Despite the creative success of the band’s debut LP, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, our man Syd had been struggling not only with a newfound enjoyment of psychedelic drugs but also with mental illness. The end result was considerable instability, which is far from the most helpful asset within the lineup of an up-and-coming band.

Indeed, the only way to keep Pink Floyd up and running in a significant fashion was to bring in a fifth member: David Gilmour, a friend of Barrett’s who - per manager Peter Jenner - was intended to “cover for [Syd’s] eccentricities.” It soon became obvious that, due to the degree of said eccentricities, this plan was unworkable, resulting in a revised plan which would ostensibly have involved Barrett simply writing for the band. Given the material he was penning at the time, however, including the rejected single “Vegetable Man,” this plan of action wasn’t much better.

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In the end, A Saucerful of Secrets only included a single Barrett composition: the aforementioned “Jugband Blues,” which closes out the LP and, perhaps intentionally, Barrett’s career with the band.

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Mind you, it wasn’t the last time Syd found his way into the studio when the band was recording: he made a brief appearance during the Wish You Were Here sessions, while the band recorded "Shine On You Crazy Diamond."

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