The Making of "The Madcap Laughs"

E.M.I., "the greatest recording organization in the world", had 
the most comprehensive and sophisticated studios in London at the
time, having been responsible for a massive proportion of 
British-made pop hits (and classics) of the last thirty years.  I
have referred elsewhere to the impressive technical back-up that 
Abbey Road studios offer to artists recording there and the Fort-
Knox like tape library facilities are as impressive.  Tapes and 
sessions were filed and cross indexed, originally on 'Artists 
cards', today on microfilm.  Below is a listing of Pink Floyd 
masters originally held at Abbey Road or at various other 
locations in and around London.  I stress 'originally' because 
many of the 4 and 8 track masters have probably been disposed of 
once acceptable mono and stereo mixes had been completed.  As
most of the recordings listed below were made before I joined
E.M.I. I cannot specify with any degree of accuracy which tapes
are the ones released and which are alternate, unissued takes.  I
have given as many guidelines as possible to allow the reader to
judge for himself which are the released versions, and comparison
with the gig sheets will probably be helpful.  
In 1967 the EMI studios were 4 track.  For the uninitiated, 
that means that artists were able to record four instruments or 
groups of instruments completely independently, either together 
or at separate times, and to combine them in whatever sound 
balance was desirable at a later date.  Any track, or group of 
tracks, could be re-recorded while leaving the others intact.  A 
backing track could be recorded, say on two tracks, while the 
remaining two could be reserved for several attempts later for 
lead vocal and, say, guitar solo.  Today, 24 and 32 tracks are 
more common, although 'Sgt Pepper' was done on 4!!  
If more than 4 tracks were required, then once four had been
filled they could be mixed together onto a second machine, either
onto one track leaving three empty ones, or in stereo, allowing 
two more tracks to be completed.  This was known as a "four to 
four" or 4 - 4, and the Beatles certainly used this for 'Sgt 
Pepper'.  It was possible to do this a couple of times without 
any significant loss of tape quality, and it follows that in this
process several 4 track masters would accumulate.  The reader 
should not assume, therefore, that when a title appears several 
times on 4 track tapes that there are several different versions 
of the same song.  A later tape is most likely a continuation of 
the same recording, representing later overdubs onto the same original take.  
I would like to amplify the point made earlier that the 
majority of 4 track masters will, by now, have been disposed 
of.  Multi-track masters on inch wide tape are extremely bulky to
store, and very costly at that.  Once a stereo mix was done, a 
period of time was waited and the four track tapes were erased.  
In some cases, such as the Beatles, they were retained, and maybe
some later Floyd tapes were kept also, but it is unlikely.  4 
track tapes were originally kept for future quad releases, but in
view of the demise of that medium it is unlikely any still exist. 
Please do not write to EMI asking them to issue titles you see 
here.  They almost certainly no longer exist, and what the Floyd 
rejected then would still today meet with the same rejection!  
EMI did not work on a 'matrix' or 'master' number system in 
the studios.  Matrix numbers, as the term implies, were used at 
the factory level to identify stampers for issued records.  And 
in view of the huge amounts of approved-for-release 'masters', 
they were identified, not individually, but by the composite reel
on which they appeared.  Anyone wishing to locate, say, 'Shaking 
All Over' by Johnny Kidd would locate the tape reel under 'K' 
and, when the reel was in their hand, it would be easy to locate 
the title desired.  In this manner EMI kept the numbering system 
to a quarter of what it otherwise could have been.  If more than 
one take was retained on this master reel then the approved 
master was identified.  
On every recording session the tape operator (as opposed to 
the balance engineer who was his 'superior') would note down, not
only on the tape box but also on a 'Recording Sheet' details of 
each title recorded, which takes were false starts, which takes 
were completed, which takes were approved and which, eventually, 
was the agreed 'master'.  It is these sheets which, as producer 
for Syd, I kept and have used for the section relating to 'The Madcap Laughs'.  
Before each session commenced there would be an ample 
quantity of recording tape, each with a sticker identifying what
was, for the moment, blank tape, with a number.  This 'reel
number' was eventually used to identify the tape in the library,
and generally those were used in numerical sequence. 
Occasionally, of course, they would be used a little out of
sequence, and it is therefore important that the reader does not
assume that any tape with a lower number than another was
necessarily recorded first, although in most cases that was true. 
For example: tape numbers 63934 and 63951 both relate to the
session dated 11.4.67.  
4 and 8 track tapes are shown generally as 4T and 8T.  
Without this a tape can be assumed to be stereo, or rarely, in 
the Pink Floyd's case, mono.  
Generally speaking, the dates noted are the dates of the 
actual session.  Finished tapes were left for collection by the 
library staff who generally did this each day.  EMI was 
reluctant, with so much valuable material lying around and so 
many unknown visitors, to leave masters in studio racks.  When 
the tape arrived at the library it was logged with the date with 
a cross check against the session details.  As there was also a 
session sheet it can be relied on as accurate for 99.9% of the 
time.  Sometimes a tape, completed at, say, 2 in the morning 
after the library was locked up for the night, would be left in 
the studio, especially if it was required for further work on the
next day.  But even then, the library would enter into their 
files the date on either the tape box itself or on the recording 
sheet.  One exception, for example, is 'Corporal Clegg'.  The 4 
track master was filed on 7/2/68 whereas the stereo mix from that
tape was dated earlier, on 31/1/68 and 1/2/68.  
Finally, I must emphasize that this is only a listing of 
tapes filed, and not of sessions.  As the two coincide it may be 
assumed that for the greater part it is a session listing also.  
HOWEVER - when work was done on an existing tape, no new tape 
would be resultant and therefore the tape library would not list 
it.  I am, 'though, fairly sure that most Floyd sessions resulted
in at least one new tape being recorded and therefore logged into
the library.  With the exception of the odd overdub onto an 
existing 4 track master I feel fairly sure that all that was 
handed into the library did, indeed, represent a Pink Floyd studio session.  
     Thanks, Abbey Road, you're the B E S T !!! 

Several early Pink Floyd masters were made, not at EMI, but at 
Sound Techniques Studios in Chelsea.  Arnold Layne / Candy and A 
Currant Bun were certainly recorded there, and Rick Wright, in 
'Beat Instrumental' of September 1967 stated that 'See Emily 
Play' was also made there.  It also seems that all recordings up 
to the middle of March may have been made outside Abbey Road.  
21-22/2/67 	Matildas Mother                  	63417-4T     (note 1)
23/2/67    	Matildas Mother                  	63409        	(note 2)
27/2/67    	Candy And A Currant Bun                       	(note 3) 
           	Arnold Layne (2 takes)           	7XCA 27877   (note 4) 
           	Chapter 24                       		63428-4T 
           	Interstellar Overdrive           	63429-4T  
1/3/67     	Chapter 24                       		63424 
           	Interstellar Overdrive
15/3/67    	Chapter 24                       		63667-4T 
           	Interstellar Overdrive (short version)  
16/3/67    	Interstellar Overdrive (short version 63669-4T             
20/3/67    	Take Up Thy Stethoscope         	63673-4T              
	The Gnome
20/3/67   	Take Up Thy Stethoscope         	63676-4T             
        	The Scarecrow
	Power Toc H  
21/3/67    	Power Toc H                      	67678-4T  
22/3/67    	Interstellar Overdrive           	63672  
29/3/67    	The Gnome                        	63692             
           	Power Toc H
	The Scarecrow            
	Take Up Thy Stethoscope and walk  
11/4/67    	Astronomy Domine                	63934-4T  
11/4/67    	Astronomy Domine                	63935-4T  
11/4/67    	Percy the Ratcatcher             	63951-4T  
17/4/67    	Astronomy Domine                 	63952  
18/4/67    	Astronomy Domine                 	63953  
18/4/67    	She Was a Millionaire            	63954-4T 
           	Lucifer Sam (originally called Percy the Ratcatcher)  
Note (1) Titles here are as they appear in the original files, 
not as they became on release.  
Note (2) Tape numbers with no 4T suffix are stereo or mono mix downs.  
Note (3) Not issued.  There is no tape number in the files. 
Without definite information it is impossible to state 
categorically which of the above tapes are different takes of the
same title or simply continued progress on the same basic 
recording.  I have refrained from guessing!  
18/4/67    		Lucifer Sam                      	63955-4T 
           		Cross fades with Interstellar Overdrive 
           		and the Bike Song (Note 1)  
21/5/67    		The Bike Song                    	64402-4T  
23/5/67    		See Emily Play  (Note 2)         	7XCA 30214  
1/6/67     		Lucifer Sam                      	64571              
		The Bike Song
5/6/67     		Chapter 24                       		63956  
7/6/67     		Matilda's Mother                 	64532-4T             
           		Chapter 24
27/6/67    		Flaming                          		65057-4T  
29/6/67    		The Bike Song                    	65094             
		Matilda Mother (correct title used for first time) 
           		Wondering and Dreaming (most likely Matilda Mother) 
		Lucifer Sam  
3/7/67    		The Bike Song                    	63956  
           		(same reel Interstellar Overdrive as 5/6/67)                    
5/7/67     		Astronomy Domine                 	64109             
		Lucifer Sam 
          The original running order for 'Piper At the Gates of 
           Dawn' is partly indicated by the library notation for 
           the assembled album, done on July 13th.  The library 
           card indicated "Side One - Astronomy Domine etc. - 5 
           titles (there were 6) Side Two - Take Up Thy 
           Stethoscope etc - 5 titles."  Interstellar Overdrive, 
           not Take up.. was the eventual opener for side two, 
           and another, unspecified title was added to side one 
           to make up six songs.  The library card places the 
           L.P. matrix numbers against the above tape, although 
           the one that follows (18/7/67) is the correct running 
           order, and therefore the true L.P. master.  
18/7/67    	Interstellar Overdrive, The Gnome, Chapter 24, 
           		The Scarecrow, Bike              		64925  
18/7/67    	Astronomy Domine, Lucifer Sam, Matilda's Mother, Power
           		Toc H, Take Up Thy Stethoscope, Flaming.   	65106 
(Flaming was eventually put as track 4, moving Pow R 
Toc H and Take Up Thy Stethoscope down one slot each). 
Note (1) As the titles do not appear together on the album, it 
can be assumed that these cross fades to join the two were 
abandoned.  It is interesting, though, to have an idea of the 
original sequencing of 'Piper'.  
Note (2) The lack of a 4 track master for this confirms Rick 
Wright's contention that this track, unlike others at this time, 
was made at Sound Techniques on May 21st and delivered to EMI May23rd.  
7/8/67     		Scream Thy Last Scream (Note 1)  		65464-4T 
           		Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun  
24/10/67   		Jugband Blues (see note overleaf for 9/5/68) 
           		Remember A Day (Note 2) (see note overleaf for 9/5/68) 
30/10/67   		Apples and Oranges               		66462-4T 
30/10/67   		Apples and Oranges               		66463-4T
1/11/67    		Apples and Oranges (not master)  		66464 
           		Paintbox                         			7XCA 30454 
           		Apples and Oranges (note 3)      		7XCA 30453  
1/11/67    		Untitled                         			66409-4T  
1/11/67    		Untitled                         			66461-4T 
           		Apples and Oranges  
2/11/67    		Untitled                         			66460-4T  
2/11/67    		Paintbox                         			66563-4T  
15/11/67   		Apples and Oranges               		66771 (stereo)              
18/1/68    		Let There Be More Light          		67242-4T 
           		Rhythm tracks                    		67243-4T  
24-25/1/68  		The Most Boring Song I've Ever Heard Bar Two (later re-titled See Saw)	67378-4T 
31/1/68    		The Most Boring Song I've Ever Heard Bar Two 	67449-4T              
31/1/68    		Corporal Clegg                   		67450-4T  
1/2/68     		Corporal Clegg                   		67451  
7/2/68     		Corporal Clegg                   		67509-4T  
12/2/68    		Corporal Clegg                   		67371-4T 
           		The Boppin' Sound            			
		It Should Be So Nice 
           		Doreen's Dream (re-titled Julia's Dream) 
           		Richard's Rave Up 
           		Doreen's Dream (re-titled Julia's Dream)  
13/2/68    		Doreen's Dream (  "   "     "       "  ) 
           		Corporal Clegg                   		67375-4T  
13/2/68    		The Boppin' Sound                		67374 (4 track to mono)
           		It Should be So Nice                          
          		Doreen Dream (re-titled Julia's Dream)  
15/2/68    		Corporal Clegg                   		67544 (4 track to mono)
           		Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun      
Note (1) The version I have heard of this, to my ears, seems not 
to feature Syd on lead vocal, although he does seem to sing a 
line some way into the song.  
Note (2) There is no 4 track tape under this title; it is 
possible that it is 'Sunshine' (see 29/6/67), left over from the 
first album.  This tape seems to be the projected, but canceled, 
single, replaced by Apples & Oranges.  Note (3) The issued single  
5/3/68     		It Would Be So Nice                  	67818-4T  
13/3/68    		It Would Be So Nice                  	68025-4T  
21/3/68    		It Would Be So Nice                  	68044-4T 
           		It Would Be So Nice                  	7XCA 32056  
23/3/68    		Julia Dream                          	7XCA 32057  
5/4/68     		Nick's Boogie 1st, 2nd and 3rd Movt. 	68268-4T  
10/4/68    		Nick's Boogie 1st, 2nd movt.         		68241
23/4/68    		Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 
           		Let There Be More Light              		68399 
           		Nick's Boogie 3rd Movt (transferred to tape 68552, below)
22/4/68    		The Most Boring Song etc (See Saw)   	68519  
23/4/68    		Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun  
24/4/68    		Nick's Boogie 1st, 2nd and 3rd movts.	68552 (note 1)  
26/4/68    		Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 
           		See Saw                              		68562 (stereo)  
26/4/68    		Let There Be More Light              		68563 (stereo)  
30/4/68    		Corporal Clegg                       		68569 (stereo) 
           		Nick's Boogie 
	(see note 1; this must have been intended to replace the mix of 24/4/68)  
2/5/68     		Let There Be More Light              		68574 (stereo) 
            	(presumably this stereo mix replaced that of 26/4/68) 
           		Set The Controls  
3/5/68     		See Saw                              		68576  
5/5/68     		In The Beechwoods                    		68409-4T             
           		No Title
		Vegetable Man
		Instrumental                         		68410-4T
           		In The Beechwoods
6/5/68          		Untitled                             		68411-4T  
The above titles seem to have been recorded at Sound Techniques 
(i.e. those recorded on June 5th and 6th.)  
Note (1) This track is noted in the files as having been cut out 
and inserted into the album master.  As Nick Mason wrote none of 
the songs (at least, according to the record itself), it is 
possible that this was excluded from the album or included, under
another title, with credit to another member of the group as the true composer. 
The following session possibly took place outside 
           Abbey Road, probably at Sound Techniques.  My reasons 
           for this assumption are as follows.  The 4 track 
           masters are on 1/2 inch tape, which EMI did not use. 
           Secondly, Jug Band Blues was filed in mono on 
           24/10/67, although there was no previous record in the 
           files of a 4 track tape.  It is likely, therefore, 
           that the mono mix was received at EMI (originally for 
           single release) and that the 4 track followed later on 
           this master reel the following May.  There was 
           similarly no 4 track for 'Remember A Day', although, 
           if this was re-titled from the original title of
           'Sunshine', there was a 4 track.  
	Remember A Day                       		68412-4T 1/2 inch
           	Remember A Day                       		68413 4T 1/2 inch
           	Jug Band Blues           
	Vegetable Man
           	Vegetable Man                        		68414-4T 1/2 inch
           	Remember A Day 
           	Jug Band Blues                       		68415-4T 1/2 inch
           	John Latham                          		68416-4T 1/2 inch 
           	Remember A Day (mono re-mix) 	not used 
           	Jug Band Blues (used for mono L.P.)  	68417 
           	Remember A Day (reject mono mix)     	68418  
           	Remember A Day (mono L.P. mix) 
           	Jug Band Blues (stereo mix) 
           	Remember A Day (stereo L.P. mix)  
15/5/68    	'A Saucerful Of Secrets' assembled mono L.P. from previous mono mixes 
16/5/68    	'A Saucerful Of Secrets' assembled stereo L.P. from previous mixes
Syd Barrett does not appear on many of the above titles, although
his original contributions may have been replaced.  He certainly 
appears on Jug Band Blues and Remember A Day.  He has been 
variously credited with playing on 'Let There Be More Light', 
'Corporal Clegg' (both of which seem unlikely), Set The Controls,
(recorded originally shortly after the release of 'Piper' and 
there is no trace in the files of a later multi-track tape to 
replace the original).  This latter track seems most likely, 
looking at the date of its first recording, to have featured Syd,
although aurally it seems unlikely.  Rick Sanders also states 
that Syd is on See Saw, which is, at least, in the style of Syd's
early Floyd material.  
     Syd officially left the Floyd in early April, 1968, although
relations with the rest of the group had been strained for six 
months or so.  He did not appear on It Would Be So Nice, recorded
in early March, and it is fairly safe to assume he did not record
with them after that.  This would rule out his playing on any 
tracks commenced after that date;  .................the 
difficult tracks are those filed with dates of 5/5/68.  Syd 
certainly sang on Vegetable Man.  As they were probably recorded
at Sound Techniques the date of 5/5/68 may simply refer to the
date when EMI received them, indicating an earlier recording
date. With no more reliable information, the individual listener
must use his own aural judgment!