On March 10th, 1967 made their mark in musical history when they released their first single Arnold Layne. The avant-garde song, written by Syd Barrett and recorded at Chelsea’s Sound Techniques studio, fused together psychedelic rock and trippy sound effects with a hint of pop.
Arnold Layne tells the story of the title character, a transvestite who would steal women’s clothes, who Barrett says was based on a real person. Seen as “controversial” at the time, Pink Floyd faced difficulty gaining airplay with the track. But Barrett wasn’t concerned with mainstream popularity. “If more people like them dislike us, more people like the underground lot are going to dig us,” Barrett once said. “So we hope they’ll cancel each other out.”
When the single was released exactly 55 years ago from today, it was backed by the tune Candy and a Currant Bun and credited as “The Pink Floyd” on the initial pressings, but the “The” was quickly dropped.
Pink Floyd clearly made a great choice for their first single which foreshadowed to the world the mind-blowing music that was to come from one of the greatest bands in history.
Watch Pink Floyd’s official music video for Arnold Layne here: