Now that this vinyl is in hand ( in black, green, blue & smoked brown wax fans! ) we can start to take apart the contents & see what we have thats new. With regards to the contents these are from far superior tapes than the internet compiled release / torrent "Have You Got It Yet" as they are direct from the shared studio tapes of Malcolm & Peter Jenner.
As most of the tracks were originally featured in my "Psychedelic Freak Out" review - here - then I've only written about the takes that are unique to this selection.
Syd Barrett "The Malcolm Jones & Peter Jenner Tapes"
Aurora Australis AA 120111-2 - 2011.
Side one or "A" is a 5 track tape compiled my Malcolm Jones at Abbey Rd studio, St. Johns Wood, London in August of 1987 for possible inclusion on the 'Opel' album of Barrett outtakes & miscellaneous
Wouldn't You Miss Me
The song that would also come to be known as "Dark Globe" made it's first appearance on the Barrett album 'The Madcap Laughs' & would also title Syd's "Greatest hits" comp in 2001.
The track famously skips around and about in tempo - a challenge that wouldn't make his fellow musicians warm to him but he was mainly in the mood to wind his band mates up before his rejection from Pink Floyd
Swan Lee ( Silas Lang )
The initial warm up or persecutor to "Swan Lee", "Silas Lang" was another of those tracks that wound up his fellow musicians in the studio - Syd having drafted in a saxophonist & banjo player from his group of hippyish friends. Lighter in touch than most of the rest of his output the track was attempted multiple times with & without various overdubs & other instruments.
Scream Thy Last Scream
The two famously unreleased tracks from "Saucerful Of Secrets."
She Took A Long Cold Look At Me
Very possibly another veiled jab at this former band members after Syd's unturfing from the group or maybe just more psychedelia based randomness. The famous notation that Syd had with him to sing from can be clearly heard
In The Beechwoods [ Backing Track ]
Described as "Some thing that we did after (See) "Emily" (Play)" by Nick Mason on the Beachwood tapes this Motown-ish stomper still hold a lot of the variable chords & melted rhythms that pinpointed the Floyd's direction. It's rather glorious if not cyclical but would have sounded fantastic played out live.
Side Two or "B" is a compilation made by Jones for his own personal use & would be played for fans of Syd & the Floyd who had ventured to Jones' house to speak to him about his tenure producing the band. Most of these tracks are snippets & pieces like a work in progress both pre-over dubs & after the fact mixes
( Possibly ) Take Two
"Love You" was a jolly little skiffle gadabout that threw in more "Soon - Moon - June" lyrics than most musicians manage in a career. Reminiscent of walks by the sea side in the brisk summer air or Buddy Holly meets Cleethorpes. Take one is played very quickly, Take two is played a lot slower although Syd almost keeps pace with his lyrics throughout both versions. Malcolm Jones seems to remember that take 3 was a break down ( Which is possibly why it isn't included on this tape ) & take 4 would be the take used for the finished product.
( Remake of ) Take One
Stepping down to a lonely pace of mind. Another of Syd's eerily haunting & prothetic songs. played fully acoustically
Lanky - Part Two
A tribal beat led instrumental that makes no real moves. It features none of Syd's drastic changes in tempo or weirded out lyrics.
Clowns & Jugglers - ( 1 )
An early version of "Octopus". Here under pinned by a deathless & angry guitarline. Towards the end Syd plays a disconcertingly out of tune guitar riff. It seems to feature an amalgamation of various different pieces but that could possibly be the way it was played ..
( Possibly ) Take 11
A very brief version of the 'Madcap .. ' track without double tracking.
Clowns & Jugglers - ( 2 )
As With the first take but the feed back guitar is taken away to feature a wigged out keyboard part that squeltches
Syd begins this with "That's two verses, sorry.. I'll do it again" before whipping in to this acoustic track. Someone whoops as the song reaches the end of it's intro.
Swan Lee - ( 1 )
An instrumental version of this track accompanied by shuffling drum sounds
Swan Lee - ( 2 )
Now with added lyrics once the band had decided that the form of the song was complete.
Possibly an improvised groove. Syd adds various licks underneath a
Two very rough versions of this unreleased track taken from the "Beachwoods" tape. The fidelity is anything but Hi & they have appeared on various bootlegs since but they are included to round out our listening experience. The second version bearing no resemblance to the first but being more of an allsorts jam session featuring clattering, wild drumming by Nick & stretches of shapeless guitar playing.
Side 3 or "C" is from a copy of Peter Jenner's personal reel ( now lost ) compiling sessions from the initial sessions for "The Madcap Laughs" & "Barrett" & adding a couple of unreleased Pink Floyd tracks for good measure.
The same take as "Opal" but with spoken count in.
Wouldn't You Miss Me
A double tracked version. Syd deliberately misses the initial vocal track to give off a disjointed feeling & just sings the tune his own way.
As on side 2 but without the spoken count in to the track. This was to be the 'best' take selected from these sessions but to Malcolm's mind this wasn't even the best take that *could have been*
Untitled ( Words )
A simple song that treks along with it's only (!) lyrics being various words that Barrett had pulled out from his dictionary that obviously reflects Syd's love of words. It features only one chord throughout the verses & between these is made up of various chord progressions.
Beginning with a take announcement a twee little song about a small bird. This is the unvarnished version of the track that saw inclusion on "Opal" & we hear a Barrett alone in the studio unfettered by the odd echos that were drafted in afterwards.
Silas Lang ( Swan Lee )
( Take One With Overdubs )
Another take of Syd's semi - autobiographical tirade. Indeed it was Jenner who said "He had to go and record and, because a song was needed, he just wrote a description of what he was wearing at the time..." It's an unnoted take from the vaults.
Side 4 or "D" is a collection of tracks ( From EMI Job Number 56802 that was recorded on Monday 12th August 1974 ) for the aborted 3rd album that should have followed "The Madcap Laughs" & "Barrett" plus a couple of additional tracks that were found on the tapes.
Scream Thy Last Scream
From the first generation dub of a tape that was compiled by Peter Jenner.
If You Go #1
Ballad ( Unfinished )
Chooka-Chooka Chug Chug
If You Go #2
"John Lee Hooker"
Tracks 2 - 11 are essentially wordless guitar strums by Barrett in the blues forms that he had played in his formative years. None of these are fully fleshed out or formed ideas but give a portent idea to where Syd's head was at the time. They vary between a fast jammed blues with extra guitar accompaniment to more spacy, sparse guitar led tracks. The jam titled "John lee Hooker" is no misnomer having the same kind of styles as the blues guitarist himself.
Including the engineer's ( Peter Jenner ? ) announcement "Silas Land - this is RM1 from 4 Track. RM1" A mono mix of the track from Side three. For all of those of you that like to spot the differences ..