Writer: Syd Barrett
Producer: Joe Boyd
Recorded: February 1967 at Sound Techniques in London, England
Released: Spring 1967
|Players:||Roger Waters–bass, vocals
Richard Wright–keyboards, vocals
|Album:||Relics (Harvest, 1971)|
Pink Floyd‘s first single, the psychedelic pop song “Arnold Layne” reached Number 20 in the U.K., though it never charted in the U.S.
The song deals with a clothes-stealing transvestite and is based on a true story–the theft of some underwear from female lodgers at homes of guitarist Syd Barrett and singer-bassist Roger Waters.
The normally liberal British pirate station Radio London banned the song, while the normally staid BBC played it. The group, however, was ambivalent about having a hit single, as its aspirations were to make more adventurous music.
Pink Floyd made a promotional film for “Arnold Layne” that Waters showed during the intermissions of his 1987 concert tour.
“Arnold Layne” never appeared on a proper Pink Floyd album, but it is available on collections such as Relics, Works, the boxed set Shine On, and the new Echoes.