In a BBC TV documentary screened on December 12, 2007, the band explained how this song came about. Syd Barrett had been the band's original songwriter, but by this time his well documented descent into mental illness had made him impossible to work with. Barrett's songs like "See Emily Play
" were largely short, snappy and commercial as well as psychedelic, obscure or having some novelty value. Gilmour and Waters were under pressure from their record company to continue in the same vein, but they couldn't write singles, and this attempt to imitate Barrett's inimitable style was "one notable failure when Syd left the band." After it flopped, the Floyd largely abandoned singles and concentrated on longer tracks, producing a number of fine concept albums.