Jugband Blues (2:58)

Cover of Echoes - The Best Of Pink Floyd

From Echoes - The Best Of Pink Floyd and 23 other releases

“It is almost a poetic recitation by Barrett, with avantgarde sound effects by the group. The centre passage is almost free form pop, with six members of the Salvation Army on the recording session told to ‘play what you like.’

— Alan Walsh, “HITS ? THE FLOYD COULDN’T CARE LESS” Melody Maker December 9, 1967.

Jugband Blues is a poignant coda to Syd’s tenure as leader of Pink Floyd, the final track on Saucerful Of Secrets, recorded long before work began on the second album in October 1967. When Andrew King heard Syd play it for the first time he was awestruck. An extraordinary hybrid, part jaunty singalong, part melancholic love song, part insane Dadaist freefall, it was, in his view, one of the finest things Syd had ever produced and petitioned for its release as the next single.

It was recorded in two sections at De Lane Lea Studios, the first with the Floyd, the latter just Syd alone with an acoustic guitar. In a moment of sublime clarity he encapsulated the pain of his own deteriorating mental condition in lines like, “I’m most obliged to you for making it clear that I’m not here/And I’m wondering who could be writing this song.” Though each line seems to be a non sequitur, they come together into an impression of Syd’s advancing illness…

The two parts of the song are bridged by a collage which features the Salvation Army Band of North London who recorded their albums at Abbey Road.

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