Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd
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Arnold Layne
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Song Name: Arnold Layne

Artist: Pink Floyd

Album: Arnold Layne (Single), Relics, Masters Of Rock, Works, Shine On, The Early Singles, 1967 Singles Sampler, Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd

Run Time: 2:57

Year: 1967

Track Number:

Sung By: Syd Barrett

Written By: Syd Barrett


  • The song's title character is a transvestite whose primary pastime is stealing women's clothes and undergarments from washing lines. Some believe that "Arnold Layne" was actually based on a real person, and that he routinely stole underwear from the mothers of Barrett and bassist Roger Waters during their childhood days in Cambridge.
  • 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 queer and far-removed from "normal" society for its listeners before eventually banning it from radio airplay altogether.
  • 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.
  • 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 alternate 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.
  • On December the 26th 2006, a live version of the song which was performed at the Royal Albert Hall by David Gilmour and his solo band during the On An Island tour, was released almost 40 years after its inception.

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