Vegetable Man

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"Vegetable Man"
Song by Pink Floyd
Released Unreleased
Recorded 9–11 October 1967
Genre Psychedelic rock
Writer Syd Barrett
Producer Norman Smith

"Vegetable Man" is an unreleased song by psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd. The song is written by Syd Barrett, it was written around the same time as "Jugband Blues".

Recording and consideration[edit]

The song was recorded from 9–11 October 1967.[1] The first take ends with 15 seconds of laughter from the band,[2] while a different take is a faster-paced jam of the song.[3] The song was an attempt to record a follow-up single to "See Emily Play",[4][2] as well as the beginning of sessions for the album which would eventually become A Saucerful of Secrets. Among the songs considered were "Paint Box", "Scream Thy Last Scream", "Jugband Blues" and "Apples and Oranges". "Vegetable Man" was scheduled for release, as the B-side to "Scream Thy Last Scream", but cancelled and both tracks remain unreleased.[5][6] Eventually, "Apples and Oranges" was chosen for the single release instead, with "Paint Box" as the B-side and "Jugband Blues" appearing on their next album A Saucerful of Secrets. The band played "Vegetable Man" live for a BBC radio broadcast on 20 December 1967,[7] but in R&B style.[8]

Peter Jenner wishes the song was released: "I always thought they should be put out, so I let my copies be heard. I knew that Roger would never let them out, or Dave. They somehow felt they were a bit indecent, like putting out nude pictures of a famous actress: it just wasn't cricket. But I thought they were good songs and great pieces of art. They're disturbing, and not a lot of fun, but they're some of Syd's finest work – though God knows, I wouldn't wish anyone to go through what he's gone through to get to those songs. They're like Van Gogh."[9] Producer Malcolm Jones (who produced Barrett's The Madcap Laughs solo album) had remixed this song and "Scream Thy Last Scream",[10] for inclusion on the Barrett rarities album Opel (1988), however the band blocked its inclusion.[11][12]

Composition[edit]

To date, the song (along with "Scream Thy Last Scream") has not had an official release. Jenner claims Barrett wrote the song describing himself as he sat at Jenner's home,[13][2] "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..."[6][14] Jenner called the track "too dark".[15] Many cite it as a document of Syd's monumental breakdown as a recording artist and as a person.[16] The song was written around the same time as "Jugband Blues" which is directed towards anyone within Barrett's orbit, while "Vegetable Man" is aimed at the music industry and himself.[17][18] Both songs contain the same cynical humour.[17]

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

The Soft Boys covered this song on the 1980 EP Near the Soft Boys,[19] and the track was included on some editions of their Underwater Moonlight album.[20] A cover version by Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain[21] originally featured as the B-side of their debut single "Upside Down"[22] and appears on their 2008 compilation The Power of Negative Thinking: B-Sides & Rarities.[23] Canadian band Kosmos recorded the song for the 2006 tribute album Like Black Holes in the Sky: The Tribute to Syd Barrett.[24] An Italian project (Vegetable-Man-Project) tries to collect and release 1,000 different cover versions of this song.[25] There are currently five CDs (100 versions) and one 10" vinyl record released.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palacios, Julian (1998). Lost in the Woods: Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd. London: Boxtree. p. 194. ISBN 0-7522-2328-3. 
  2. ^ a b c Chapman, Rob (2010). Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head (Paperback ed.). London: Faber. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-571-23855-2. 
  3. ^ Palacios, Julian (2010). Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Rev. ed.). London: Plexus. p. 285. ISBN 0859654311. 
  4. ^ Frame, Pete (1996). MacDonald, Bruno, ed. Pink Floyd - Through the Eyes of... (1 ed.). London: Sidgwick & Jackson. p. 38. ISBN 0-283-06273-8. 
  5. ^ Chapman, Rob (2010). Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head (Paperback ed.). London: Faber. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-571-23855-2. 
  6. ^ a b Jones, Malcolm (2003). "The Making of The Madcap Laughs" (21st Anniversary ed.). Brain Damage. p. 23. 
  7. ^ Unreleased Pink Floyd Material
  8. ^ Palacios, Julian (2010). Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Rev. ed.). London: Plexus. p. 306. ISBN 0859654311. 
  9. ^ Schaffner, Nicholas (2005). Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey (New ed.). London: Helter Skelter. p. 113. ISBN 1-905139-09-8. 
  10. ^ Palacios, Julian (2010). Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Rev. ed.). London: Plexus. p. 419. ISBN 0-85965-431-1. 
  11. ^ Manning, Toby (2006). The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd (1st ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 186. ISBN 1-84353-575-0. 
  12. ^ Schaffner, Nicholas (2005). Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey (New ed.). London: Helter Skelter. p. 134. ISBN 1-905139-09-8. 
  13. ^ Schaffner, Nicholas (2005). Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey (New ed.). London: Helter Skelter. p. 112. ISBN 1-905139-09-8. 
  14. ^ Chapman, Rob (2010). Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head (Paperback ed.). London: Faber. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-571-23855-2. 
  15. ^ Manning, Toby (2006). The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd (1st ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 43. ISBN 1-84353-575-0. 
  16. ^ Chapman, Rob (2010). Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head (Paperback ed.). London: Faber. p. 190. ISBN 978-0-571-23855-2. 
  17. ^ a b Chapman, Rob (2010). Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head (Paperback ed.). London: Faber. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-571-23855-2. 
  18. ^ Schaffner, Nicholas (2005). Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey (New ed.). London: Helter Skelter. p. 112. ISBN 1-905139-09-8. 
  19. ^ "Soft Boys, The - Near The Soft Boys EP (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "Soft Boys, The - Underwater Moonlight (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  21. ^ Palacios, Julian (2010). Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (Rev. ed.). London: Plexus. p. 418. ISBN 0859654311. 
  22. ^ Manning, Toby (2006). The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd (1st ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 287. ISBN 1-84353-575-0. 
  23. ^ Collar, Matt. "The Power of Negative Thinking: B-Sides & Rarities - The Jesus and Mary Chain : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  24. ^ Sullivan, Patrick. "Like Black Holes in the Sky: The Tribute to Syd Barrett - Various Artists : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  25. ^ the vegetable man project | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's
  26. ^ Das Vegetable Man Projekt

External links[edit]