Hear never-before-released 1966 Pink Floyd recording of Interstellar Overdrive

In honor of the upcoming Record Store Day on April 22, we’ve been promised a “previously unheard / unreleased recording from (Pink Floyd) in 1966.” More details came out with the official press release a few days ago:

“The mono single will be a one-sided 12″ 180-gram black vinyl and will play at 33 1/3 RPM. The single will come with a fold-out poster and an A6 postcard featuring a classic image of the band taken when they were recording their debut single, ‘Arnold Layne’. Written and performed by Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ is an unheard recording from 1966, running at close to 15 minutes long. The original recording was done at the Thomson studio in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire on November 31, 1966, before the band were signed to EMI.”

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Astute fans believed they’ve tracked down the actual audio, which “was utilised by film-maker, and Cambridge contemporary, Anthony Stern for his fifteen minute ‘day-in-the-life-of’ documentary San Francisco” (source):

Damn, it’s good. And it’s fun to picture Syd Barrett​ rocking out with his mates.

TheFutureHeart.com has an amazing run-down of the sleuthing that went into uncovering this track:

So there we have it: the ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ out next month was recorded November 31, 1966 at the Thomson studio in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

Obviously it wasn’t though: there are only 30 days in November. What then is the correct recording date?

Referring to Glenn Povey’s Echoes: The Complete History Of Pink Floyd – which includes a day-by-day, encyclopedic log of every known Floyd concert, recording session, rehearsal, radio show, photo shoot, etc – there’s of course no entry for November 31, 1966. There is however an entry for October 31, 1966 (excerpt right) claiming the band recorded that day at…. you guessed it, Thomson Studio in Hemel Hempstead. Is it just coincidence? Possibly. But considering (A) it’s the only mention of that studio in the entire book, along with (B) the date in the press release is obviously wrong and (C) the similarity in the two stated dates, it seems most likely at some point there was a typo (or otherwise confusion) between 31/10/66 and 31/11/66.

What’s more, Povey’s entry for that session – matched by accounts in Julian Palacios’ Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd: Dark Globe and several other sources – says a version of ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ recorded at the Thomson session “was utilised by film-maker, and Cambridge contemporary, Anthony Stern for his fifteen minute ‘day-in-the-life-of’ documentary San Francisco.”

Read more here. The indie-retail exclusive release will include a poster and postcard and be limited to 4000.

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