In the Beechwoods

All discussion related to Roger Keith (Syd) Barrett.
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professor frogmorton
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In the Beechwoods

Post by professor frogmorton » Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:44 am

Does anyone know of plans to release the backing track officially? I'm not sure if it's common knowledge or not, but the Pink Floyd backing track of "In the Beechwoods", available in poor quality on HYGIY is the same song as the Barrett outtake "Milky Way". And for tracks that were recorded two and a half years apart, they sync up remarkably well. I believe the vocal and acoustic track from 1970 is a little slower, but just slightly. A well skilled producer could make them work together if provided with a good audio version of the Pink Floyd outtake, and even better with a "Milky way" vocal version( minus the acoustic guitar). How about an idea for a contest along the lines of the Arnold Layne contest, but with a purpose of finishing a track that could be completed fairly easily with todays computer technology. Similar to what the Beatles did with Lennon's "Free as a Bird". Though the "In the Beechwoods/Milky Way" track likely would have been finished with the vocal track and some minor embellishments. It could be that no more embellishments were intended. I'm sure there would be many eager audiophiles who would love to take a stab at it. I for one would. "Milky Way/In the Beechwoods" is such a great song and it sounds as though the backing track is quite impressive, with good organ work and a tight bouncy feel to the song's verses. A completed track would be a treat for early Pink Floyd fans and certainly a fine homage to the late Barrett.

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Post by mrlimbo » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:04 am

Now this sounds a great idea , im sure we got enough clever peeps here to take this on , hope this develops into something :wink:

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Post by Tenniru » Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:31 pm

Woah, now that I think of it, you're right.

In fact, give me an hour and I'll have synchronized the Opel take of Milky Way with the best-available-quality Beechwoods instrumental off of What Syd Wants to create... well, we'll see. I've already got Audacity open.


EDIT: More like five minutes. It gets out of sync a lot; to make it work correctly would involve a lot of changing Syd's speed, adding pauses on the Milky Way track, and the like that I think someone with more experience than me should do. However, this does show how similar the two are; in fact, it's pretty certain that Beechwoods is definitely Milky Way.

http://download.yousendit.com/150CE0F036AA03A8

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Post by professor frogmorton » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:23 am

I'm glad to see your enthusiasm Tenniru and hope others may also see the possibilities. Yes, it's fairly obvious that they are the same song, once you recognize it. I also have been fooling around with it in Sound Forge and think it could work well. Due to the poor quality of the In the Beechwoods track that I have, it seems to work best when mixing a poor quality Milky Way track( more reverb and compressed).
It sounds like you have done a good job quickly on it, so imagine if someone spent a lot of time with good versions of each track. Yes, it would need a lot of tweaking, but the verses in both fit very well. It's mostly as you say, the three notes at the end of each Milky Way verse are missing and on the Beechwoods track, the pause lasts a bit longer.
If the Milky way version has less prominent guitar it would be much better. A vocal only track fits rather seamlessly I would think. There are a few spots where the tempo speeds or slows, as in the first verse at the very beginning of Milky Way, but that could be tweaked easily. There is a free download for Amazing Slow Downer. It's a program that allows you to change tempo and or pitch independent of each other. I would love to get a copy of your Beechwoods track, the quality is much better than mine. Thanks for responding.

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Post by professor frogmorton » Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:47 am

Maybe Pink Floyd and EMI would go for a thing similar to what Beck has been doing. That is, letting fans mix tracks. Like wikipedia or something, where a lot of people could spend more time on something than one person might be able or inclined to. The actual studio tracks, if made available, could produce a very fine version of what I think is great Pink Floyd tune.

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Post by lovescene4 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:15 am

I don't wish to be disagreeable... but they're really not the same tune, not even close. Each has multiple parts which don't appear in the other, and there's not a full section identical between them.

A few chords of "Milky Way" are similar in their arrangement to "In The Beechwoods," but in each case the rest of the song is quite different... in my opinion, of course.
Last edited by lovescene4 on Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Tenniru » Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:43 am

Well, even if Milky Way and Beechwoods are not the same thing, it'd certainly make for a fascinating mash-up.

I suppose the only way to really know would be to ask Rog, Rick, or Nick. Is the only information we have about this song from the same Nick interview the only recording of it came from? After all, Milky Way was recorded in mid-1970 and this interview was '69 (and meanwhile Rog and Rick would know more about it anyhow, having worked with Syd through his solo career).

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Post by professor frogmorton » Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:54 am

In the Beechwoods.....lyric "knock on wood of the trees", a line from the song. I assume a reference to the forest, aka beechwoods.

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Post by Tenniru » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:51 am

There's also no certainty that "Milky Way" was the real title of the track. When doing his studio demos, Syd introduced several songs as having no title (or clearly came up with a title on the spot), and nowhere in the Opel version do we hear him name the song (in other Opel tracks from that same session, he either specifies a name or explains how it's untitled).

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Post by lovescene4 » Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:58 am

professor frogmorton wrote:In the Beechwoods.....lyric "knock on wood of the trees", a line from the song. I assume a reference to the forest, aka beechwoods.
That is interesting--who knows, it seems Syd rarely performed a tune the same way twice...

I really enjoy "In the Beechwoods" and "Milky Way" (great lyrics, great song).

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Post by Machina » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:15 pm

imho both track sound dire .

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Post by Chris Moise » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:12 pm

I'm not really hearing any similarities. Milky Way is the correct title. The fact that Syd didn't announce it as such doesn't really mean anything. It's listed as Milky Way on the recoridng sheets and the engineers had to get that title from somewhere. It's also copyrighted as Milkey Way.

There are multiple takes of Beechwoods at Abbey Road. It's possibly that Syd might have sang some vocals off mike on some of the takes..

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Post by professor frogmorton » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:12 pm

Rick Wright says 'In the Beechwoods' was written just after 'See Emily Play'. You know the story often quoted about Syd waking up in the woods after a gig and seeing this girl, etc....which spawned the song "See Emily Play'. This song, "Milky Way/ In the Beechwoods', whatever you would like to call it, is also a reflection on that story and the mystique around it.
Hanging out in the woods at night and looking at the stars.

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Post by arnold crow » Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:30 pm

Nope .. the two songs don't fit at all in my opinion..ok maybe after smoking a big blunt you could find some kind of connection :lol:

but technicaly musicaly speacking i found zero connections. :?:

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Post by professor frogmorton » Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:52 pm

In an effort to illustrate the fluid nature of many Syd Barrett song titles(I am leaving off the numerous title changes of non-Barrett Pink Floyd songs), I have listed some songs with title changes adjusted by Barrett, studio engineers, or fellow musical collaborators.

First titled Snowing and later Matilda Mother
First titled Percy the Ratcatcher and later Lucifer Sam
First titled Silas Lang and later Swan Lee
First titled Games for May and later See Emily Play
First titled In the Beechwoods and later Milky Way
First titled Old Woman with a Casket and later Scream Thy Last Scream
First titled Clowns and Jugglers and later Octopus
First titled Dark Globe and later Wouldn’t You Miss Me
First titled Living Alone and later I Never Lied to You
First titled Mindshot and later It is Obvious ( the written lyrics of this Barrett song in Syd’s own handwriting have the title Mindshot, as can be seen in NeptunePinkFloyd photo archives)

And possibly, the song titled She was a Millionaire was changed by Syd to the title Opel.
The lyric content of Opel doesn’t seem to be much about a girl who was a millionaire, but it has been stated that while recording the instrumental Millionaire in 1970, that Syd Barrett was humming or singing the end section of Opel off mike. Why do this if it’s not the same song?

And hypothetically speaking there could be reason to leave songs that Barrett had recorded with Pink Floyd off of his solo records, ie ‘In the Beechwoods/Milky Way’ and ‘She was a Millionaire/Opel’. There could well have been a conflict of interest for the members of Pink Floyd helping on the two solo records and also for Barrett who may have felt negatively about repeating songs already attempted with the Floyd. That would explain why both Opel and Milky Way, both fine songs, did not appear officially until more recent years.