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Pink Floyd - Arnold Layne CD (album) cover

ARNOLD LAYNE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.81 | 78 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Had a strange...hobby

Oh boy, this is where it all began. Even before Piper, the Floyd's first splash was this amazing single called "Arnold Layne" with its B-side of "Candy and a Current Bun." The sessions took place in late January 1967, well before Piper started and it featured Joe Boyd in the producers chair as Norman Smith was not yet on board. In fact this single predated the EMI deal and there was no guarantee of its release. Peter Jenner has fond memories of the copious amounts of Cannabis that he and Syd enjoyed during the recording of the single, and one can hear the strangeness permeating every second of this infectious recording.

This true story is a bit of Floyd history, the character being a Cambridge eccentric who used to swipe the girl's undergarments off the clothes lines of Syd and Roger's families, among others no doubt. The lyrics, mild by today's standards, were enough to get the track banned by Radio London. They were also forced to change the title of the B-Side from its original "Let's Roll Another One" to the more innocent official title.

Arnold is perfect 1967 psychedelic pop as interesting and well crafted as what the Beatles were doing at the time. The Floyd had a darker edge than the Fabs however, emanating from the more ominous tone, the aggressiveness of the guitar, and the distinct oddness to Barrett's voice. It was somehow both innocent and dangerous, expressing Barrett's balancing act between childhood, adolescence, and the realms he was heading into. Rick Wright has a trippy Farfisa organ solo in the middle but these early originals were Syd and all Syd. This was the first in a blast of innovative genius which would soon end for Barrett but the Floyd of 1967 were true pop luminaries of swinging London.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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