Since his recent death Syd Barrett's name keeps popping quite a bit on the internet. This has spurred me on to listening to some early Pink Floyd when Barrett was still part of the group.
Although, I do like Barrett's early Floyd - my favorite Pink Floyd is after Barrett was ousted from the group around 1968-69. He did only one complete album with the group "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" and a few songs on the second "A Saucerful Of Secrets". He was asked to leave before Pink Floyd became a huge entity in the landscape of popular music.
Lately, I've been playing the Syd Barrett penned song "Arnold Layne". This is a great late sixties British tune which sounds great alongside early Kinks and Rolling Stones. Other Pink Floyd songs written by Barrett which I've been listening to are "Matilda Mother", "See Emily Play" and "Apples And Oranges".
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There isn't really much comparison between Syd's writings and the style Pink Floyd eventually became famous for. Syd's stuff was pretty light and poppish compared with say The Wall or Dark Side. It is interesting that both those incredibly structured works were at least partly inspired by his personal struggles though.
Although their styles of music were entirely different I find it fascinating that you mention Syd Barrett on a Karen Carpenter site as it seems to me that they both paid a price for not being well suited to the pressures and stress of stardom. Syd's way of dealing with it was to eventually pack things in and walk away from it whereas Karen (being a perfectionist) tried so hard it ate her up from the inside.
Seems to me the list of casualties is as diverse as it is tragic...