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Pink Floyd - Works CD (album) cover

WORKS

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.19 | 141 ratings

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TCat
Prog Reviewer
2 stars It seems that people have been confused about this collection, wondering why such a strange assortment of Pink Floyd songs would be put together on one album. I hope to be able to shed a little light on the reasoning behind this collection, not to change anyone's opinion of it, just to show why this odd assortment of songs from PF's discography would be culled together this way.

It does seem strange that anyone would pick out these tracks because they are so different from one another. The first thing you need to remember is this was not intended to be a greatest hits collection. It was an attempt for PF's old record label in America, Capitol records, to bring attention to PF's back catalogue, and to have an album that would compete with what was then their newest release, 'The Final Cut'. They even added some rare tracks to make the collection more attractive to collectors. The collection has a wide assortment of PF's styles through the years, from psychedelia space rock to 'Dark Side of the Moon'. They purposefully refrained from adding any easily obtainable songs because they wanted to offer something that would entice people to get their older albums. The best way to help you determine if this is worth looking for is doing a track by track analysis. So here we go:

We start off with 'One of These Days' which is a mostly instrumental track from the album 'Meddle'. The version on this collection was a new remix. For the most part, there isn't anything really different that I can detect on this version.

Next comes 'Arnold Layne', an early single featuring Syd Barrett on vocals. This song was not available on any regular studio album, but it did appear on a few greatest hits collections that were somewhat hard to find. It was recorded in Duophonic stereo and sounds crisper than the original. Other than that, there is no difference from the original.

'Fearless' is also from the album 'Meddle' and is one of my favorite PF tracks. It is mostly acoustic, but turns psychedelic towards the end when there is a rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' as sung by an audience at a soccer game. The only difference from the original is this version crossfades into'

''Brain Damage' originally from 'Dark Side of the Moon'. This is an alternate version of the original song which was unique to this collection. There are some things that are mixed more to the front that were not as noticeable on the original, and those really familiar with this track will notice things they probably didn't hear before. The spoken word passages are also at a louder volume so they stand out more. It is strange, however, to hear it crossfaded from 'Fearless' because stylistically, these are completely different songs.

'Eclipse' follows, just like it did on 'DSotM', but this version is also an alternate version. The same things apply to this one as they did to 'Brain Damage'. The ending spoken word passage at the end is easier to hear along with the beating heart.

Next we come to 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' This one is taken from 'Saucerful of Secrets' and is included to introduce new listeners to the older sounds of PF. I can hear no difference between this and the original.

'See Emily Play' is another song taken from a single which was never included on a regular album, but only on rare collections. Syd Barrett also provides vocals on this one. This was quite a draw for this collection when it was released. This is also recorded in Duophonic stereo. This track crossfades into'

'Several Species of Small Furry Animals'' which is taken from 'Ummagumma'. This is a strange track, which I really like, which consists of wordless vocals that have been processed to sound exactly like the title. Mike Patton fans would appreciate this track. I do notice some better mixing on this track, but not much is different.

'Free Four' is from the 'Obscured By Clouds' soundtrack which could have been out of print when this collection was released. I don't detect anything different from the original on this one.

'Embryo' is the final track. Prior to this collection, it was only available on a very rare various artist collection. It is an outtake from the 'Ummagumma' sessions, and was put on the collection to attract the collectors. Currently, it is available on several different collections that have better track listings than this collection.

So, there it is. The collection was put together to give what was the new album at the time, competition, to introduce people to the back catalogue so that consumers would purchase more PF albums under the Capitol label, and to provide a few tracks that were unique to this collection. Nowdays, it's more of a curiosity than anything and there are much better collections where you can get those tracks that were rare back then. I give this a low rating, because it is mostly made obsolete by other collections and because these tracks are so much better when they are heard on their original albums alongside other tracks that were not so shockingly different. The low rating, however, has nothing to do with the quality of Pink Floyd's music, to me, I find treasures in all of their albums. But I would rather hear them the way they were intended, they just feel more in place on their original albums. Only completionists and collectors need to get this one, unless you find it cheap somewhere.

TCat | 2/5 |

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