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Pink Floyd - Relics CD (album) cover

RELICS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.56 | 339 ratings

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Progfan97402
4 stars Back in my late teens (this would be around 1991) I was starting to explore pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd, as my father never owned anything pre-Dark Side. I already knew "One of These Days" from the totally unessential A Collection of Great Dance Songs, a compilation my father owned.

A Collection of Great Dance Songs gets a beating and rightfully so. Only six songs for a band with such an extensive catalog (even as of 1981 when that was released) hardly does the band justice. But there's an earlier compilation that gets much more respect that's Relics. This includes album cuts, non-album singles, and even one never-before released song (that is "Biding My Time"). Much of it from the Syd Barrett-era, as well as a couple of post-Syd-era tracks (like "Cirrus Minor", "The Nile Song", "Biding My Time" and "Careful With that Axe, Eugene"). "Interstellar Overdrive" from Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a prime example of proto-space rock, that many early '70s Krautrock bands like Amon Duul II and Ash Ra Tempel took and ran off with it and took it its logical conclusion. "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" are their first singles, predating Piper, and were actually major UK hits (it's easy to forget Pink Floyd were actually successful right from the start in the UK, and it was only with The Dark Side of the Moon that they finally made it big in the States). Two songs from "More", "Cirrus Minor" and "The Nile Song" are included, the latter Pink Floyd almost attempting heavy metal (as it was in 1969, but Led Zeppelin was still heavier than them even then). "Cirrus Minor" is a nice space song, with Richard Wright giving some spacy organ. It's no doubt groups like Eloy (particularly albums like Inside and Floating) and Nektar (particularly Journey to the Centre of the Eye) were obviously influenced by such songs as "Cirrus Minor", "Interstellar OVerdrive", and "Astronomy Domine" (this one not included on Relics). I really wished they left Syd's "Bike" off, I have never cared for that song, I would have felt that song should have been replaced with the much superior "Astronomy Domine". For a short time from 1968 until 1970, Mellotron could be heard on some Pink Floyd recordings, and "Julia Dream" is one of them, featuring tron flute. Although Relics was released in 1971, nothing later than 1969 ("More"-era) is featured here, I guess Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother found the band moving too far from the styles explored on this compilation, as Relics is a rather accessible collection of their earliest material (and Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother aren't exactly easy listens).

I bought this on cassette in 1991, this one featured the cover depicting a strange mask with tongue sticking out (as this was the American pressing, after all). It was a great way for me to been introduced to early Pink Floyd, as I didn't realize (given how lousy cassettes were often at giving information, especially cassettes released before about 1983) a good portion of these songs only appeared as singles and "Biding My Time" appeared nowhere else. Certainly newer Pink Floyd compilations and box sets probably leave this in the dust, it was a great way for me to get acquainted with their early material and it's not a perfect comp, after all, it includes the rather lame "Bike", but it's four star worthy.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |

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