Have You Got It Yet?
March 1, 2008 12:31 PM   Subscribe

Syd Barrett, the iconic, ephemeral, sadly recently-deceased founder and original frontman of Pink Floyd, recorded several singles and an LP (plus at least one song on their second LP) with the band before his genius was amputated by mental illness and they became an arena rock dinosaur. He also recorded two solo albums, the making of which was almost as interesting as the gentle, crystalline, almost fractal-like music contained on them. However, as Barrett aficionados have long known, the solo sessions produced many more recordings than were eventually released. Now, though, all known Barrett material that wasn't commercially released has been assembled in a fan-made collection: Have You Got It Yet?, version 2.0 of which has just been released to the world. More download links inside.

The collection was compiled by the Laughing Madcaps Yahoo group. If you join, you can alternatively ask a member to send you the collection via mail rather than downloading it.

Basically, volumes 1, 2 and 3 cover his time with the Floyd (including their ultra-rare first recording, King Bee b/w Lucy Leave, and several versions of his equally rare last recordings with them, Vegetable Man and Scream Your Last Scream), volume 4 is never-before-heard outtakes from his solo recording sessions (none of which were released on Opel, bonus tracks for the rerelease of Madcap, etc.), and the rest of the volumes contain various interviews and other odds and ends. Version 2.0 consists of better quality versions of the tracks on volumes 1&2 of version 1. The whole collection is a large download, and if you're not interested in all of it I would recommend grabbing version 2.0, then using a BitTorrent client such as Azureus which allows you to select individual files and grabbing just volumes 3 and 4 from version 1.

Complete track listing and download link for volumes 1-10 of version 1

And, just as a bonus:
Legendary interview with Rolling Stone, 1971
Trouser Press article, 1978 - probably the best article ever written about Syd
posted by DecemberBoy (38 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
This is my first-ever post, so be gentle. None of the download links contain any commercially released material, so you won't be doing anything illegal. The only past posts on Syd I could find are a notice about his death and an article on an auction of his possessions. I'm a huge fan of the man (despite pretty much hating almost all post-Obscured By Clouds Floyd material), and if you're into him even half as much as I am, I highly recommend checking this out.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:34 PM on March 1, 2008

Excellent. It is posts like this that remind me of what MeFi used to be much more about (or at least more consistently about than in recent times), in the qualitative sense.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 12:43 PM on March 1, 2008

Argh! I just noticed one of my links for volumes 1-10 was edited out. You can find the torrent if you go to a certain bay frequented by privateers and search for "barrett have you got it yet". There are also volumes 11-19, but these are video documentaries, etc.
posted by DecemberBoy at 12:44 PM on March 1, 2008

This is my first-ever post, so be gentle ... (despite pretty much hating almost all post-Obscured By Clouds Floyd material)

I guess you haven't LURKED MOAR enough to know that if you don't like Dark Side of the Moon you're not allowed to post FPPs. Even jonmc liked Pink Floyd, I just looked it up.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:22 PM on March 1, 2008

Holy crap! I have the original HYGIY, and would love to hear version 2.0. Thankyouthankyouthankyou! Between this and the Velvet Underground post from earlier today, I can hardly keep up with the awesomeness.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:27 PM on March 1, 2008

What, no YouTube link in the FPP? This will end well.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:33 PM on March 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

I guess you haven't LURKED MOAR enough to know that if you don't like Dark Side of the Moon you're not allowed to post FPPs.

It's okay, I guess. I don't really hate that particular record per se, it's just played out and stale due to being overplayed to death on FM radio. If I'd heard it when it came out I might have liked it more. The Wall, however, is the most self-indulgent pile of wank EVAR, in my opinion, to say nothing of The Final Cut. The only Floyd album I own is Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:59 PM on March 1, 2008

Piper and Saucerful are my two favorite PF albums, followed by Atom Heart Mother, Relics and Meddle. (And I liked most of their 70's wankery except Final Cut; Animals is a heckuva album).

Barrett's post-Floyd stuff, though, mostly strikes me as saddening. There are a few gems (Effervescing Elephant, Octopus, a couple others), but the bulk of it seems flat, lifeless, the meanderings of someone who's treading water and about to go under while his friends helplessly watch. I was glad that he lived the rest of his life tending garden, listening to jazz, and avoiding the public. Not that he wasn't making art, but that the whole "cult of Barrett" wasn't touching him.

(Great first FPP, thanks. I'm gonna try and download those tracks, since they seem to be mostly PF stuff anyway.)


posted by not_on_display at 2:11 PM on March 1, 2008

The Wall, however, is the most self-indulgent pile of wank EVAR, in my opinion, to say nothing of The Final Cut.

The difference being that The Wall was a really well-written, well-produced pile of wank by a still-functioning and very good band, where as Final Cut was an unchecked Roger Waters with special guests His Ostensible Bandmates As Session Artists. But to each his own; it was more a preview of Roger's solo career than anything, and I've heard folks make precisely the opposite argument before as well.

Syd Floyd isn't Waters/Gilmour Floyd, no question, but the hate-on that some folks have for whichever end they don't favor has for a long time now struck me as embarrassingly Nintendo vs. Sega in tone.
posted by cortex at 2:14 PM on March 1, 2008

If you like Pink Floyd, check out Porcupine Tree. They've been around forever, but I only found out about them last year. I really, really enjoy "The Sky Moves Sideways"... it's very reminiscent of Floyd. Their more modern stuff sounds a lot different, but Sky is very Floydish.
posted by Malor at 2:16 PM on March 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Nice post.

There's a band in Lawrence, KS that plays bluegrass versions of Syd Barrett songs: The Gnomes.
posted by cog_nate at 2:18 PM on March 1, 2008

This is a great post period, DecemberBoy, but for a first one you really hit it out of the park. I just love Syd Barret. I also like post-Syd Pink Floyd, which is kind of like trying to be a Yankees and a Mets fan, at least in some circles. Or maybe a Jewish Baptist? I always appreciated how much the fellows loved Syd and never sought to downplay his influence over their music and lives.

In any event, I'm looking forward to downloading the tracks. Thanks very, very much for this.
posted by melissa may at 2:42 PM on March 1, 2008

Nice post, I was just thinking about the great Syd track "Wined and Dined" the other day.
posted by porn in the woods at 2:50 PM on March 1, 2008

The difference being that The Wall was a really well-written, well-produced pile of wank by a still-functioning and very good band, where as Final Cut was an unchecked Roger Waters with special guests His Ostensible Bandmates As Session Artists.

I don't know if you could call Wall-era Floyd still functioning. As Waters tells it (which should probably be taken with a grain of salt), he had at least the basic concept and some song outlines for both The Wall and The Final Cut and told the others that they'd do one as a Floyd album and the other as his first solo record, and he didn't much care which. The Wall was also pretty much Waters and some studio musicians who just happened to be Pink Floyd, although less so than The Final Cut. Rick Wright wasn't even a member anymore during the recording of The Wall and was working on salary, so he was literally just a studio musician.

Also, the story behind the name "Have You Got It Yet?": during Syd's final days with the Floyd, he showed up with a "new song", and when teaching it to the other lads he just played a bunch of random, meandering riffs, never repeating the same phrase twice, and repeatedly yelled "HAVE YOU GOT IT YET?", to which Roger would yell back "NO!". That was pretty much when they decided they couldn't go on with him, although they tried to keep him on as a non-touring songwriter for about a month or so until even that didn't work out. Here is a rare and rather poigniant photo of the 5 member band, with Syd literally pushed to the background.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:53 PM on March 1, 2008

I love Jugband Blues, which I believe was Syd Barrets last (or one of his lasts) songs with Pink Floyd. It's lyrics are absolutely eerie, in that regard:

It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here
And I'm most obliged to you for making it clear
That I'm not here.
And I never knew the moon could be so big
And I never knew the moon could be so blue
And I'm grateful that you threw away my old shoes
And brought me here instead dressed in red
And I'm wondering who could be writing this song.

I don't care if the sun don't shine
And I don't care if nothing is mine
And I don't care if I'm nervous with you
I'll do my loving in the winter.

posted by Corduroy at 2:58 PM on March 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Count me in as somebody who loves pre-DSOTM Floyd, occasionally listens to pre-Wall-post-DSOTM Floyd, and never listens to The Wall or anything after. I think that the Wall was a decent album, but is undeserving of its cult status. I still like DSOTM, and still listen to it occasionally. However, their real gems were recorded before DSOTM, and their best material from that period is only available on concert bootleg (and the Ummagumma live album).

Here is a list of recordings that everyone should have :

09/13/67 (with Syd Barrett)
11/13/67 (with Syd Barrett)
09/17/69 (The Man and the Journey, AKA Amsterdam 69)
10/25/69 (with Frank Zappa) (AKA Let's Be Frank)
02/11/70 (Project Birmingham, AKA Violence in Birmingham)
04/29/70 (Interstellar Encore)
09/26/70 (Electric Factory)
11/21/70 (Smokin' Blues)
11/20/71 (From a Time So Strange)
03/12/72 (The Great Gig on the Moon)
11/15/72 (Echoes of the Past)
05/09/77 (Firemans' Oakland Master, AKA Oakland 77, AKA Plays the Animals)
07/06/77 (Azimuth Coordinator II)
A Tree Full of Secrets (compilation of early singles, rarities, and unreleased material)
Have You Got It Yet (Syd Barrett rarities compilation)

Listen to those shows, and what you will hear is a *band*. And by that I mean four guys who really know how to work together to create mind-blowing music.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:03 PM on March 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've listened to a ton of Floyd bootlegs from that period, and they're amazing. They play Embryo in a live show, and the sound just fades into what sounds like three loops, out of time with each other, just of breathing. The large crowd you heard going wild a few minutes before is now completely silent...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:12 PM on March 1, 2008

lupus_yonderboy - you'd like the 11/20/71 show. It has a 30-minute-long Embryo, which is twice as long as the second-longest Embryo in Floyd history. Nobody really knows why, but that night they decided they would experiment. It's theorized that the keyboard rig broke down, and so they had to improvise while it was fixed. People say this because there is almost no audible keyboard. However, what you do hear is one of the singularly most blistering guitar solos that Gilmour ever played. Seriously. You haven't heard Floyd until you've heard this show.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:19 PM on March 1, 2008

Excellent post! Thanks DecemberBoy.
posted by dhammond at 3:28 PM on March 1, 2008

I like Meddle and Animals.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:31 PM on March 1, 2008

just wanna second the Porcupine Tree recommendation. Even though the Floyd influence is obvious I mostly just want to promote a great band :-)
posted by sineater at 4:14 PM on March 1, 2008

Great post, many thanks.

A while back Barrett's "estate" (a motley collection of achingly beautiful hand-built junk, mostly) was auctioned off. Here's the auction house page.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:34 PM on March 1, 2008 [2 favorites]

I just saw Tom Stoppard's "Rock and Roll," and for the first time am curious about this fellow Syd Barrett. The play is amazing, and SB plays a wonderful and strange role in it. If any of you fans make it out to NYC try to get tickets- I think you'll be moved in the best way by the play and the way it relies of SB and his music.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 5:39 PM on March 1, 2008

This makes me happy. Now playing is vol.1 track 5, the CBC interview. Maybe it's just the weird state of mind I've been put into by hearing a recording of Interstellar Overdrive that was new to me, but I think this revolutionary idea of having someone operating the lights, making changes to the lighting, while the band is playing, yeah, I think that might just catch on in the future.
posted by sfenders at 5:55 PM on March 1, 2008

Shit- I wanted to point out this previous post (and sorry if it's been already mentioned and I missed it), but the video is gone.
posted by obloquy at 6:06 PM on March 1, 2008

Another to say this is a fantastif debut, DecemberBoy. And I am another of those who likes all Pink Floyd (Syd Barret's and post) up to The Wall. Those are definitely two different bands, but I don't think liking one should mean you have to hate the other.

Thx for posting it.
posted by micayetoca at 6:25 PM on March 1, 2008

O Syd. Lovin' Pink Floyd's 'Piper at the Gates of Dawn'.

I have 'Scream Thy Last Scream' [oh woman with a casket], it's wonderful. Plus 6 others from The Madcap Laughs. 'Terrapin' — beauties, is sooo similar to The Shins. Shinney like. Also, 'No Good Trying', 'Baby Lemonade' [Peel Sessions]...

While looking for The Who's 'Odorama', it's got that same bent, I found this site, Wolfgang's Vault*, the Who's concert, Fillmore East, 1969 and the track, 'Fortune Teller' — how better it sounds today, by Plant and Alison Krauss. Wow.
* — need to register, throwaway email and fake name works, cool.

They have a Pink Floyd, Fillmore West, 1970 [no Syd, but] concert. Song List: Grantchester Meadows[Kingfisher], Astronomy Domine, Cymbaline, Atom Heart Mother, Embryo, Green In The Colour, Careful With That Axe, Eugene, Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun, A Saucerful Of Secrets, Interstellar Overdrive. O, you'll really enjoy it. Extended version city.

my, my.

What a list of oldies concerts from back in the day.

malor, I'm thinking Pefume Tree from 1995...
posted by alicesshoe at 7:59 PM on March 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

What is wrong with you people? First you go hating on bananas and now it's Pink Floyd.

Well I happen to like Animals AND Wish You Were Here AND Dark Side (mostly) AND The Wall. So screw you guys. I don't listen to them much anymore but only because I've heard them too much.

Never did like The Final Cut though.

Now I'm going to go and listen to Dogs while eating a banana.
posted by Bonzai at 10:20 PM on March 1, 2008

Fantastic! I loved Barrett Floyd the best -- fanciful, inventive, intelligent. I appreciated an above post about his later work being a bit mopey, but I still think the genius shines through. This is totally going to make my Sunday.

posted by Shepherd at 1:13 AM on March 2, 2008

Excellent. It is posts like this that remind me of what MeFi used to be much more about

There's never been a shortage of prog-rock loving hippies posting their grumpy-old-man 'get offa my lawn' snark here in the comments section though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:37 AM on March 2, 2008

Awesome post DecemberBoy , Thanks!!
posted by BillsR100 at 6:46 AM on March 2, 2008

It is a good time to be alive. After forty years the Syd Floyd vs later Floyd arguments seem so quaint and meaningless. And to have such nice versions of these rare tracks now readily available, some I had only heard legend of, some I had on 23rd generation cassettes, is really just wonderful. Oh and the Velvets thing. Ditto.
posted by jetsetsc at 8:36 AM on March 2, 2008

many thanks, decemberBoy! syd is the shit. (and yes, technically he might be dead but he lives on forever for some of us.)
posted by msconduct at 9:47 AM on March 2, 2008

Top notch posterising, there DB. I hadn't seen those two bonus articles before.

For the record, at the age of 14 I probably knew every lyric on every album including the final cut, as me and my best mate would sing them on the long walk to school. I even think I still know the sheep's prayer from Animals. I have to admit, though - like many others here I haven't heard them in a long time, most likely due to overdosing earlier, and when I saw The Pink Floyd Experience do The Wall a couple of years ago with that self-same mate, I turned to him during one of the musical 'interludes' and said, "God, we were into some tedious shit when we were younger."
posted by Sparx at 9:49 AM on March 2, 2008

I'm with Bonzai. I've liked the majority of the songs from the Wall, and everything that came before. Division Bell was a piece of shit, though.
posted by Corduroy at 1:53 PM on March 2, 2008

Seems like HYGIY Version 1 and 2 are unavailable at both links supplied by Decemberboy. Dammit.

Does anyone know anywhere else I can download them from?
posted by robotot at 12:53 AM on March 3, 2008

never mind. its working today.
posted by robotot at 11:48 PM on March 3, 2008

Robotot: I originally had torrent links in the post, but they were edited out because posting links to TPB and the like is a liability for Metafilter, even for noncommercial stuff like this (which I totally understand and agree with). The links for v2.0 are reasonably fast, but the FTP for v1 is S-L-O-W. Torrents can be easily found in the usual places, and I recommend you use that instead for volumes 3-10. They're well-seeded and you can grab everything in a few hours.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:24 AM on March 4, 2008

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