Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Japanese Version Re-issued with Bonus Tracks.
Listen to Samples
Japanese Version Re-issued with Bonus Tracks.
Interesting odd and ends collection of Syd Barrett's work.
Joseph P. Ulibas | Sacramento, CA, USA | 06/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Opel is a collection of unreleased recordings from Syd Barrett, they're either demos, alternate versions or unfinished tracks. Syd was one strange dude and very unperdictable. He would wander into the studio and start playing and would quit without warning. While he was in the studio, the backing members of Soft Machine would hang around and try to play along. But Syd would change chords or notes so often that it became virtually impossible to keep up with him. A collection of Syd Barrett's material was released a few years ago and it uses tracks from all three albums, a definitive collection of music world's most eccentric individual.
Recommended for psychedelic music fans."
Great because he's mad
Stendhal Johnny | 09/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's sad to me to read some of these reviews that long for "what could have been" with Syd Barrett. The man was little off and that's what made his music, his singing and his lyrics so great and original. If he'd been like the other glam-pop acts of the seventies, he would've just written shallow overproduced radio cotton candy crap that melts in your brain as soon you hear it and sticks, not because it's sincere, but just because it's intentionally catchy, and ultimately without much heart and soul. That is one thing that Barrett had in spades without really seeming to try, yet very evidently paying for it. Listen to the end of the title track "I'm trying to find you," repeated over and over and tell me you don't feel his sincerity and anguish. I've listened to a lot of music in my days, and I don't hear that kind of heart anywhere. Barrett pours out his soul and it makes you want to cry for him, for yourself for the whole bloody doomed race of man. He remains one of the most original singer-songwriter, artist, musician, mystery, tragedy whatever you want to call him and he's always a consideration in my mind. Opel is a great collection of rough tracks - the best way to hear any musician - with great gems like Clowns and Jugglers (aka Octopus); Rats; Wouldn't You Miss Me (a thorazine-laden version of Dark Globe); and Milky Way. Also on this collection are just plain weird songs like Dolly Rocker, Word Song and Birdie Hop. "Birdie hop, he do, he hop along." That always makes me bust out laughing. You're only as mad as you don't realize. Maybe Barrett wasn't so crazy after all. Maybe he just had real artistic integrity."
Wild inconsistency obscures a few lovely gems
Adam Rickards | Las Vegas, NV United States | 10/31/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The collection "Opel" was released in the late 1980s and consists mostly of outtakes from Barrett's two solo albums as well as a few alternate takes. Most of the tracks had not even seen the light of day for years before their release, and the fact that Syd had this many songs left is really quite surprising considering that he only recorded two albums during his solo career. First off, I am a huge Syd Barrett fan (see my reviews of his other albums for proof of this), but I feel that this outtakes collection is extremely inconsistent. Many of these songs weren't finished at the time of recording, and it shows as Syd fumbles through a few of them. "Opel," despite being the long-lost cult classic, is a great song in theory, but it just goes on for way too long while Syd fumbles around aimlessly with the chord progression. Some of the lyrics are very chilling and evocative, but overall this isn't his best work. "Clowns and Jugglers" (aka "Octopus"), presented in a slightly faster electric version here (again featuring the Soft Machine on backup) is just plain painful to listen to. The overdub-less version of "Rats" is interesting, but still doesn't represent Syd at his best. "Let's Split" starts off really well, but falls apart somewhere in the middle, "Birdie Hop" is embarrassing, while "Word Song" just doesn't do it for me.Most of the songs that I just mentioned are the only real "rocky" spots on the album that warrant skipping, everything else should be smooth listening from here on. "Swan Lee" is another one of Syd's "storytelling" songs (see "Here I Go" form "The Madcap Laughs"), and is very interesting because Syd relates the story of the title charcter, who is a Native American warrior. Among all of the references to "wigwams" and "canoes," it is interesting to point out that some of the guitar work here is very reminiscent of the Ventures with its echo-laden surf-rock twang. A curious listen indeed. Syd makes a complete left-turn on the instrumental piece "Lanky (Part 1)." Rather than use an acoustic guitar and a simple strum like he tends to do sometimes, here he picks up his electric again and actually attempts to play it in a lead guitar jam fashion not heard since the Pink Floyd days. In fact, "Lanky" is highly reminiscent of two of the Floyd's best Barrett-era jams: "Stoned Alone" (aka "Reaction in G") and the now classic "Interstellar Overdrive" from the "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" album. The closing track, an instrumental take on "Golden Hair" is a bit inessential but a fascinating listen nontheless.Here are the real gems that make owning this collection worth it. "Golden Hair," although not too different from the version used on "Madcap" (save for the lack of keyboard and cymbal embellishments) still sounds great. The demo version of "Wined and Dined" here features Syd unaccompanied, and works really well. "Wouldn't You Miss Me" (aka "Dark Globe") is by far the best version of this song ever, and outdoes the "Madcap" version by a long shot; this track alone is well worth getting this album for. Outside of the alternate versions that I just mentioned, two previously unreleased tracks stand out here as being two of the best that Syd ever did: "Dolly Rocker" and "Milky Way." "Dolly Rocker" in particular is an absolutely beautiful song, one that's definitely worth singing to your girlfriend (she'll instantly love it). When Syd stops to turn the page, and then goes into the "Oceans may travel" section, it beautifully affecting, and truly makes me want to cry, it's just that beautiful. A must listen. "Milky Way" is one of Syd's best kept secrets; unlike some of the material here, this is Syd at his absolute best! Great chord progression, great rhythmic guitar playing from Barrett, and above all, a joy to listen to. One of Syd's best songs, hands down.As I've said, this affair is extremely hit and miss in the truest sense, and should only be approached AFTER you have already bought Syd's two proper solo albums. The handful of really great tracks ("Dolly Rocker," "Milky Way," and "Wouldn't You Miss Me" in particular) make up for any lackings elsewhere, and show proof that even at this stage, Syd could occasionally pull it all together and create a song that is just pure magic. Even casual listeners would be smitten with songs like "Milky Way," but as an album I can only recommend this to the diehards who have everything else Syd ever did. Approach "Opel" with caution, but don't pass it by, either."