Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Pink Floyd - See Emily Play - Various Songs (1967)

Pink Floyd is another great musical act that has a messed up discography, especially for its early years. Admittedly, the 2016 box set "The Early Years" did a great job of getting nearly all the vital early material officially released. However, it did a fairly poor job in terms of presenting the songs in a logical and most listenable order. It often seemed their main concern was cramming each CD about as full of music as they could.

That's admirable that they wanted to release so much stuff. But over the years I've come to believe that 30 to 50 minutes is a good album length. It lets the artist set a mood and make a statement (sometimes) without overstaying its welcome. When CDs became big in the 1980s, artists were freed from the maximum length vinyl could handle of about 50 minutes, and often filled up nearly all they could of the maximum 74 minute CD length. This led to a lot of bloat, with songs often going on for a minute or two longer than they should have, and other problems. Happily, in recent years, many musical artists have been going back to the earlier album lengths.

Pink Floyd's non-album tracks are better heard with that old album restriction, and with more thoughtful track selection and order. I'm planning on posting a series of albums that will do just that. I assume that anyone interested in downloading this already has "The Early Years." If you don't, go get it first!

First up is arranging Pink Floyd's early singles and related stray tracks. My challenge was to organize the 1967 material into how it might have appeared if it came out on an album in 1967 or 1968. The "problem" was "Nick's Boogie," an 11 minute instrumental. I stuck that on the end of what would be side A of the album, and then followed it up with some short poppy numbers, so one doesn't get too much instrumental weirdness all at once.

In 1965, Pink Floyd recorded a few songs that went unreleased at the time. In my opinion, some of them are underdeveloped and/or generic, and not worth repeated listens, unless you're a die-hard fan. But I liked three songs enough to include them. One song, "Butterfly," sounds exactly like a good 1967 Syd Barrett song. "Walk with Me Sydney" is the first known Roger Waters original with vocals shared between Barrett, Waters, and a girlfriend of one of the band members, while "I'm a King Bee" is a blues cover.

UPDATE: On October 29, 2021, I updated the mp3 download file. I added the songs "Walk with My Sydney" and "I'm a King Bee" from 1965. I also added "Experiment (Sunshine)" and "Reaction in G." Additionally, I rearranged the song order some to be more chronologically correct. I also removed the bonus tracks and replaced them with an alternate version of "Interstellar Overdrive."

01 Butterfly (Pink Floyd)
02 Walk with Me Sydney (Pink Floyd with Juliette Gale)
03 I'm a King Bee (Pink Floyd)
04 Arnold Layne (Pink Floyd)
05 Candy and a Currant Bun (Pink Floyd)
06 Nick's Boogie [Instrumental] (Pink Floyd)
07 See Emily Play (Pink Floyd)
08 Apples and Oranges (Pink Floyd)
09 Paintbox (Pink Floyd)
10 Vegetable Man (Pink Floyd)
11 Experiment [Sunshine] [Instrumental] (Pink Floyd)
12 In the Beechwoods [Instrumental] (Pink Floyd)
13 Scream Thy Last Scream (Pink Floyd)
14 Reaction in G [Instrumental] [Live] (Pink Floyd)

Interstellar Overdrive [Instrumental] (Pink Floyd)

For the cover art, I wanted to use whatever the cover for the "See Emily Play' single was. But that turned out to be surprisingly boring for a psychedelic band, especially because it was in stark black and white. So I inverted it and added some color.


  1. I like the feel created here. With the bonus tracks inserted after Arnold Layne it's evocative of a darker reflection of an alternative Piper At The Gates of Dawn. It's one foot in whimsical mystery and the other in mystical madness. A bridge between Syd's later darker adult inner journeys and his earlier carefree outer child like playfulness. Sugar n spice. Very nice!

  2. I love your compilations. Thank you.

  3. I have a soft spot for the earliest recordings from 1965. They come off like a 50's revival band, but they're still catchy to me.

  4. Okay, Mystic, you were asking on another post if I could use Spleeter to add in vocals to the Pink Floyd live in Stockholm tracks. I just gave it the ol' college try with "See Emily Play." Here's what I came up with:

    I think it's interesting, and the vocals seem to be in tune with the music, but the timing may be a little off here and there. It's a rough draft, I didn't attempt to really fine tune. But Pink Floyd fans are known to be really detail oriented audiophile types. Perhaps I could create the raw material in Spleeter and someone else could try syncing up the Stockholm songs perfectly?

    Anyway, what do you think?

    1. Oh, also, check out the very end of the track, after the music is over. I was able to reveal what Syd Barrett said after the song just by boosting the volume in that section quite a lot.

    2. Nice effort! Btw, this premise has been attempted and discussed at length over at Yeeshkul. I am a fan of this and hope we can get more stuff like this as it’s an interesting idea.

    3. Can you point me to where this is being discussed? I'm not familiar with that at all. And if someone else has already done it, then there's no need for me to give it a try, right?


    5. Thanks for the link. I just checked it out, and unfortunately the links to audio seem to have died out. I don't like joining forums, but if you're over there, can you point people to this version here? Maybe different people working on this sort of thing could join forces.

    6. Sure. I will share your effort with them, since it's great!

      Also, these link was still live over there:

    7. I see you made a post over there, thanks. I just checked out the versions of See Emily Play that SydMorrison67 did. I gotta say he got the timing down better than I did. I just tried a quick rough cut as proof of concept without getting really precise.

      But I see he said he was going to give a similar treatment to the other songs from Stockholm, and then no comment from him for the past few months. What happened?!

  5. Hi Paul. I hope you are as impressed with this, as I am! A really fantastic work in progress. It really works in a wonderfully organic way. I hope you continue with this project as I really value your 'ear' for audio, especially when it comes to balancing disparate elements. I'm looking forward to all your efforts. Floyd fans are notoriously picky audio-ists, I'm thinking of the guy who edited Syd's last studio tracks into full songs, it's all very creative and show's a remarkable love and respect for the music. Thanks for this, looking forward to a full album!

    1. Thanks, but SydMorrison67 did a better job than I did. Did you hear his version? (See the link above in Charles Fontaine's post.) His version is on the beat and mine isn't quite. I could probably get it there if I keep tinkering, but it's a pain in the butt and I don't see the need if someone else nailed it already.

      The question is, where did SydMorrison67 go?! If anyone is a member of that forum, can they try contacting him? I'd love to see him do the rest of the Stockholm show, as he said he was going to do.

    2. I just posted and asked SydMorrison67 if there had been any progress. Will keep you up to date on the answer.

    3. Thanks a lot. If he doesn't see that, maybe you could try PMing him too? Hopefully he'll be able to finish this Stockholm concert off. If not, I can give it a shot. But someone needs to do it. It's an almost unheard of situation where there's great instrumental sound, but no vocals.

    4. I'm worried this discussion is dying out, so here's an edit I just made of Matilda Mother (combining BBC vocals with Stockholm instrumental) to hopefully help keep things going. What do you think of the timing and such?

      I see SydMorrision67 still hasn't emerged at that forum. Could someone who is a member there please try to PM him?

    5. By the way, since no one else seems to want to do it, I've added vocals to the rest of the songs from the concert. It sounds pretty good, I think. I plan on posting it here in a few days, after I get some feedback from a couple of people.