Shine On You Crazy Diamond (1975 – - Pink Floyd-All About the Song…

A man who has become a symbol of an entire musical era...

The Story of the Song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" / "Shine Crazy Diamond" (1975) - Pink Floyd

I have never seen such a spectacular appearance of Abbey Road either before or after. Thursday, June 5, 1975 Members of Pink Floyd make the final recording of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" - in the near future, the legendary composition that will forever become their hallmark. Suddenly the door opens and an obese man with a shaved head and almost no eyebrows (apparently also shaved) enters the studio. Who is it? - No one really knew ... Or rather - did not recognize.

The meaning of the composition

Rick Wright thought he was a friend of Waters's, and Gilmour mistook the stranger for a classic EMI staff member. However, the drama was much deeper ... And it consisted in the fact that the stranger was the very person to whom "Keep on shining, you crazy diamond" is dedicated.

"Oh my god, it's Sid!" exclaimed Gilmour!

Syd Barrett is that crazy diamond, the founder of Pinks, who left music and, in fact, went crazy ... The reason for his insanity is nervous strain, plus excessive use of LSD. Together with the group, Barrett managed to record only one album - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967).

Album cover of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)

Syd Barrett

…But back to the Abbey Road studio. Taking a shaved man for a technician, and only then recognizing their founder in him, the members of Pink Floyd could not hold back their tears ... Barrett made a particularly strong impression on Waters, who went out to smoke without a word.

How Syd Barrett has changed over the years...
How Syd Barrett has changed over the years...

He spoke incoherently, behaved inappropriately... When Barrett was put on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", something remotely resembling longing with an admixture of resentment appeared on his face... But he did not express true emotions. Actually, like commenting on the track. When the members suggested playing the song again, he briefly replied:

"Why? We all just heard it. And to be honest, it's already outdated ... "

Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios, January 1975
Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios, January 1975

Pretty soon he will leave the studio, and no one else in the band he founded will ever see him again.

Everyone present was, to put it mildly, shocked. The sight of a long-lost comrade, their former comrade-in-arms and a kind of idol made a terrifying impression ... Unfortunately, this was no longer the Syd Barrett whom everyone knew, remembered and loved. They have just seen a heavy and at the same time “empty” person with great mental trauma.

“... When we were recording our first album, he was an elegant, slightly shabby, but burning with inner fire man of art!” Gilmour once shared his memories.

As for the song, "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" first added to the band's set list during a summer tour of France (1974). In the future, it was planned to put the composition on one side of the record, like "Atom Heart Mother" or "Echoes". However, then it was nevertheless divided into several parts, placed at the beginning and end of the album.

Release and achievements

The track was released in the fall of 1975, and immediately won the first lines of the Top charts on both sides of the ocean!

Syd Barrett
Syd Barrett

“I think this song is great because it fully reflects the essence of Sid and our feelings for him…” Gilmour said in the film The Story of Wish You Were Here (2012).

However, Waters, in his characteristic manner, gave conflicting testimony to this effect:

“This song is not about Sid. Rather, Barrett is just a vivid symbol of all those extremes with which everyone sooner or later comes to grips with when the right person is not around ... "

However, ten years later, the leader of the group will say:

“This song is my tribute to Sid, my sincere admiration for his talent, and also an expression of my sadness at the loss of a close friend…”

Icon of his era Syd Barrett
Icon of his era Syd Barrett

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