of the rest of the album stays on that sorrowful human scale; all four of its songs are at least tangentially about Pink Floyd's founder, Syd Barrett, who left the band in 1968 due to mental illness, possibly exacerbated by too much LSD. More overtly, two of them ("Have a Cigar" and "Welcome to the Machine") are complaints about the commercialization of the music industry, always a bit hard to swallow from millionaire rock stars. But since Barrett actually didn't survive his encounter with show business, both songs have a haunted quality that suits their industrial throb.
On one of the last days of mixing the record, the band had a surprise visitor in the studio: a wild-eyed overweight gentleman in a trench coat, shorn of hair and eyebrows. It was Barrett himself. As he listened to "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and the band members blinked back tears at what their "miner for truth and delusion" had become, he showed no signs of recognition that the song was about him and his departure from our world.
(RS 927, July 24, 2003)