Arnold Layne


Arnold Layne

Infobox Single
Name = Arnold Layne


Artist = Pink Floyd
from Album = The Early Singles
B-side = "Candy and a Currant Bun"
Released = March 11, 1967 (UK)
April 24, 1967 (US)
Recorded = January 29, 1967
Sound Techniques Studios, London
February 27, 1967
EMI Studios, London
Genre = Psychedelic rock
Length = 2:52
Writer = Syd Barrett
Label = Columbia (EMI) (UK)
Tower/Capitol (US)
Producer = Joe Boyd
This single = "Arnold Layne"
(1967)
Next single = "See Emily Play"
(1967)
"Arnold Layne" was the first single released by British Psychedelic rock group Pink Floyd, shortly after landing a recording contract with EMI. The song was written by Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's co-founder and original front man. Although not included on the band's debut album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" (though it is included on the bonus disc of the CD version), many consider "Arnold Layne" to be one of the finest psychedelic pop songs of its time. Fact|date=October 2007

The song

The song's title character is a transvestite whose primary pastime is stealing women's clothes and undergarments from washing lines. According to Roger Waters, "Arnold Layne" was actually based on a real person, and that this person routinely stole underwear from the mothers of Barrett and Waters during their childhood days in Cambridge.

However, despite finding a place in the Top 20, the song's unusual transvestism theme attracted the ire of Radio London, which deemed the song too far-removed from "normal" society for its listeners before eventually banning it from radio airplay altogether. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6177634.stm Gilmour to release Barrett single] ]

Producer Norman Smith wanted the band to re-record the Joe Boyd-produced song after they had signed up with EMI. While Waters and keyboardist Richard Wright were willing to do this, Barrett, on the other hand, was entirely satisfied with the existing studio cut, and argued against recording another version. Attempts were made to re-record the song at the insistence of EMI (who at the time only wanted to use in-house producers) but, perhaps to Barrett's indifference to doing so, the re-recordings never got very far and the Boyd-produced session was used.

Boyd mentioned in several interviews over the years that "Arnold Layne" regularly ran for 10 to 15 minutes in concert (with extended instrumental passages), but the band knew that it had to be shortened for use as a single.

A black and white promotional film of "Arnold Layne" was made the same year, and featured members of Pink Floyd dressing up a mannequin before showing it around a beach. Recently, an alternative promotional film was unearthed, which featured the young Floyd goofing around in a forest and in front of a church. It is also the only known footage of Syd Barrett lip synching to the song.

The band Blur used the song to inspire their own, called "Ernold Same", or so it seems.

Arnold Layne (live 2006)

David Gilmour, during his solo tour promoting "On an Island", unexpectedly added the song to the setlist near the end of the American tour on the April 17, 2006 show at the Oakland Paramount Theatre. Pink Floyd had a habit of unexpectedly reviving songs when playing at Oakland; in 1977 they played "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" and in 1994 they abruptly revived "One Slip". This incarnation of the song was sung by Richard Wright and remained in the setlist until May 31.

On 26 December 2006, two live recordings of the song, from David Gilmour's May 2006 "On an Island" shows at the Royal Albert Hall were released as a live single, which peaked at #19 on the UK Singles chart. One version had guest vocals by David Bowie. Both versions are featured on Gilmour's DVD, "Remember That Night" (Bowie's version on disc 1 and Richard Wright's version as a bonus on disc 2).

Track listing

#"Arnold Layne" (with David Bowie) 3:30
#"Arnold Layne" (with Richard Wright) 3:23
#"Dark Globe" 2:23

Personnel

*Syd Barrett - Guitar and Vocals
*Roger Waters - Bass
*Richard Wright - Organ and Backing vocals
*Nick Mason - Drums and Percussion

References


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