Arnold Layne

B-side “Candy and a Currant Bun”
Released 10 March 1967
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 29 January 1967 – 27 February 1967
Studio Sound Techniques Studios and EMI Studios, London
Psychedelic rock psychedelic pop

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: “Both my mother and Syd’s mother had students as lodgers because there was a girls’ college up the road so there were constantly great lines of bras and knickers on our washing lines and ‘Arnold’ or whoever he was, had bits off our washing lines.”

In January, Pink Floyd went to Sound Techniques studio in Chelsea (they had been there previously, to record two songs for Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London). Here, the band recorded “Arnold Layne” and a few other songs: “Matilda Mother”, “Chapter 24”, “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Let’s Roll Another One” (which was renamed to “Candy and a Currant Bun”, at the lead of Waters). Nick Mason on the choice of “Arnold Layne”: “We knew we wanted to be rock’n’roll stars and we wanted to make singles, so it seemed the most suitable song to condense into 3 minutes without losing too much”. The band had tried to re-record “Arnold Layne” after signing up with EMI, but the Joe Boyd version from January was released instead.[6] The song would be Boyd’s last production for Pink Floyd.

Boyd mentioned in several interviews over the years that “Arnold Layne” regularly ran for ten to fifteen minutes in concert (with extended instrumental passages), but the band knew that it had to be shortened for use as a single.[citation needed] He has also said it was a complex recording involving some tricky editing, recalling that the middle instrumental section with Richard Wright’s organ solo was recorded as an edit piece and spliced into the song for the final mix.

Both “Arnold Layne” and “Candy and a Currant Bun” were mixed into mono for the single. Neither have ever been given a stereo mix, although the four-track master tapes still exist in the EMI tape archive.

Track listing

All tracks written by Syd Barrett.

“Arnold Layne” – 2:57
“Candy and a Currant Bun” – 2:38


Syd Barrett – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Richard Wright – Farfisa organ, backing vocals
Roger Waters – bass guitar
Nick Mason – drums

David Gilmour version

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 17 April 2006 show at the Oakland Paramount Theatre. This incarnation of the song was sung by Richard Wright and remained in the setlist until 31 May.

On 26 December 2006, two live recordings of the song, from Gilmour’s On an Island shows at the Royal Albert Hall were released as a live single, which peaked at No. 19 on the UK singles chart.[19] One version had guest vocals by David Bowie. Both versions are featured on Gilmour’s DVD/BD, Remember That Night (Bowie’s version on disc one and Wright’s version as a bonus on disc two).

Track listing
All tracks written by Syd Barrett.

“Arnold Layne” (with David Bowie) – 3:30
“Arnold Layne” (with Richard Wright) – 3:23
“Dark Globe” – 2:23


David Gilmour – Fender Telecaster electric guitar, backing vocals (tracks 1-2), acoustic guitar, lead vocals (track 3)
Richard Wright – organ (tracks 1-2), lead vocals (track 2), backing vocals (track 1)
Jon Carin – keyboards, backing vocals (tracks 1-2)
Phil Manzanera – guitar, backing vocals (tracks 1-2)
Steve DiStanislao – drums (tracks 1-2)
Guy Pratt – bass guitar, backing vocals (tracks 1-2)