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Pink Floyd - The Early Singles CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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2 stars This nice tidbit came along with the Shine On boxset, and as such, it is certainly in the collectors/fans only category. Aside from a few songs which I would consider good, the sleeve is also well done, with three panels of pictures from the band, collage-style. It's important for me to see pictures of the guys--or maybe boys at this time--back then, in their hippie regalia and floppy hairdos--to really put the music in perspective. This wasn't Pink Floyd and their symphonic music, but more The Pink Floyd and the scene they represented.

How about the music? Well, it's definitely raw, some of it intentional and some a by-product of maturity, or lack thereof, in composition. Of course, Arnold Layne and See Emily Play were catchy and early Floyd staples, and you also get Careful with the Axe, Eugene, with a nice Waters scream and some acid jazz noodling. I also like the balance between Barrett and Wright pieces, as many of the tracks seem like true team efforts, such as the simple harmonies in Scarecrow.

Relics might be a better sampling of early Floyd singles, but this is also largely well done.

Report this review (#285722)
Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars I didn't realize that this was ever a separate release, although I got mine as a promo from the Sony rep back when the "Shine On" box came out. This collection is from the early Pink Floyd albums, as the title should tell you. The songs are proto prog, in a similar (but better) vein than bands like Tomorrow, Giles Giles & Fripp and the like.

These are the early singles and B-sides, a few of which I'm not familiar with from anywhere else. So just for that the album is worthwhile. You get some small glimpses of the sound the Floyd would ride to stardom. And the sound is quite good.

Report this review (#303659)
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars A bit of a shame that this one never came out except as a little bonus in the Shine On boxed set - a bit of hunting is required to track it down, as a consequence. (I have fond memories of stumbling across a copy in a second-hand CD shop.) This album tells the other half of the early Floyd story, bringing together the singles and their B-sides - all bar "Scarecrow" non-album tracks - that came out during the Piper At the Gates of Dawn/Saucerful of Secrets era. The first six tracks come from the Barrett era, whilst the last four came out once Barrett had left the band and David Gilmour was firmly established in place.

The early Barrett singles are wonderful, joyous little nuggets that highlight Syd's pop genius. The B-sides are whimsical fluff - Candy and a Current Bun is dumb, but infectiously cheerful, whilst Scarecrow was one of Syd's early fairytale songs - whereas the A-sides (Arnold Layne and See Emily Play) are both powerful slices of guitar-driven early psych which could have happily replaced some of the lesser songs on the album to my mind.

The third and final Syd single is another matter; the jangling, disjointed Apples and Oranges is the least demented of the three songs Syd submitted for consideration as the third single - the other two being the infamous Vegetable Man and Scream Thy Last Scream - and whilst it's interesting enough there's a frenetic edge to it which betrays Syd's oncoming breakdown. Paintbox, Richard Wright's B-side, is actually quite impressive when you consider that it was his first (published) songwriting contribution to the band, to the point where I think it's even better than his contributions to A Saucerful of Secrets - it reminds me, in fact, of some of the similarly light and airy material on Atom Heart Mother.

Wright would also pen the A-side of the first post-Syd single, in fact - It Would Be So Nice, a song that takes early psych whimsy in the vein of the Kinks to a point where it almost looks like self-parody; the song simply doesn't go anywhere and sounded cliched even in the context of the time. One wonders whether it was rush-written and recorded to get some Pink Floyd out there in the wake of Syd's departure, just to establish that the band was still a going concern. Waters' Julia Dream, the B-side, is simply dull, being a somewhat repetitive acoustic guitar ballad with spooky effects played over it.

Conversely, the next single shows a marked improvement; Point Me At the Sky is a Waters/Gilmour collaboration with an intriguing SF concept and suitably dramatic chorus, whilst Careful With That Axe Eugene is a group composition which would become a live staple (as documented on Ummagumma).

Hardly essential, The Early Singles remains worth seeking out for Floyd fans who are keen on the group's early work.

Report this review (#450663)
Posted Saturday, May 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Early Floyd!

The title of this album may have been Relics II, because it has the same intention of showing those old tracks that share Pink Floyd's first moments and sound. The psychedelic moments, some rockier ones and other calmer ones, but all in all this is intended to know and understand the beginning of a monster, the rise of one of those giant and unforgettable bands that one will never forget.

The importance of a band like Pink Floyd is huge in both scenes, the general rock one, and of course the one that attract us, the progressive rock one. So it is always useful to have arguments that can create a better critic, historical arguments are always useful, that is why I like this compilation, which to be honest does not feature the most memorial Floyd tunes, but that was not the intention.

Songs such as "Arnold Layne," Scarecrow", "Point me at the Sky", "Julia Dream" or "See Emily Play" are featured here, a surprise might be that the legendary "Interstellar Overdrive" was not included, but it does not harm the album. So if you want half an hour of nice early tunes, you can have it with this. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#464666)
Posted Sunday, June 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars I guess it's been a few weeks since I got this magazine that is completely dedicated to PINK FLOYD. It goes through their history and takes a behind the scenes look through each album in a chronological fashion. Well i've been slowly following along listening to each album as I come to it and it's been very enlightning. One question that came up in my mind early on was that it's too bad they didn't release an album with all these B-side songs and other tracks that didn't make it onto their studio albums.Then I remembered the 40th anniversary re-issue of "Pipers At The Gates Of Dawn" and thought that maybe it includes some of these songs as bonus tracks. Well one of the re-issues does and it's the one with the third disc, but it only has five of these songs. Jean-Marie mentioned to me that he has a "Masters Of Rock Vol I" that has a bunch of the early singles. And sure enough it's pretty much everything we have here minus the final track "Careful With That Axe, Eugene". That's when I phoned my local used record shop and bingo ! He had this used cd called "The Early Singles" for 10 dollars. Apparently this disc was part of the "Shine On" box set as well. Mind you this was released originally back in 1992 but that "Master Of Rock Vol I" was released way back in 1974 on vinyl. I consider this a very valuable part of my collection. I love these songs and it's so cool to have them all together like this.

"Arnold Layne" is of course classic early FLOYD. My favourite part is when Wright comes in after 1 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop. "Candy And A Currant Bun" is a catchy mid-paced tune. It does turn experimental after a minute then we get an organ solo from Wright.

"See Emily Play" is such an uplifting tune. I just love that psychedelic vibe. "Scarecrow" is the only song on here from a studio album (the debut) and it's just over 2 minutes long.

"Apples And Oranges" is loud and aggressive but dreamy on the chorus.These first five songs were all written by Syd Barrett.

"Paintbox" is a Wright tune and it's incredible.The vocals, drumming and strummed guitar all impress. Classic. "It Would Be So Nice" is another Wright song and it does have mellotron on it. FLOYD owned a black Mk II mellotron but never toured with it. This one's a toe tapper. I like it !

"Julia Dream" is a Waters track and it stands out because of it's melancholic vibe. Check out the mellotron-flutes too. Great track ! "Point Me At The Sky" is a Waters / Gilmour song and it kicks in before a minute then it calms down as contrasts continue.

"Careful With That Axe, Eugene" is a group effort with all but Barrett involved. An absolutely amazing instrumental, especially Wright with the organ.

I'm a little shocked this isn't rated a lot higher like on other sites but hey i'm just so glad I own it now. Easily 4 stars.

Report this review (#530298)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Never actually owned this CD, but I have heard it before. It's almost the exact same thing as Masters of Rock Vol. 1, except it replaces two of the Piper tracks with the studio version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", and the hard to find "Point Me At the Sky," which is probably the only one of their early singles I'd consider to be substandard, but despite that feeling and even though Relics has "Biding My Time", I'm giving this one the essential rating out of the 3 compilations I'm reviewing today, mainly because it has the best track sequence out of the three with the least amount of songs recurring on regular studio albums, (only one this time), and because I love these songs!
Report this review (#699144)
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is exactly what the title says it is. Early Pink Floyd singles from the psychedelic years, starting off with Syd Barrett led songs (the first 5 tracks) and the rest are from other members. But it doesn't include all of their singles from that same period of time. The reason for this is this particular recording features those singles where the A-sides were not found on albums. In fact, the only song on here that is found on an album is "The Scarecrow" but it was the B-side to "See Emily Play". It makes it very nice and convenient to have most of the non-album singles on one disc.

So, these songs are mostly rare. There are some that appear on other collections, but not together like they do here. The sound is dated like one would expect. None of these songs are the symphonic prog that most people recognize as the signature Pink Floyd sound, so don't expect to find that here. What you will find are some very good psychedelic 60s style rock, all with lyrics, except for the experimental "Careful With that Axe, Eugene" which has Roger Waters screaming midway through. It's a nice way to bridge Barrett-era PF with the experimental PF (namely "More" and "Ummagumma" albums). Twenty years ago, I would have told you that I hate this era from PF and would, for the most part, ignore it even over the experimental years. I never really had a problem with those experimental years. Even in the 70's, this early music sounded dated. Now, I am strangely attracted to the music and love it for it's charm and naivety. You can hear where a lot of gothic and modern-psychedelic music got their inspiration. There are some great sounds here and a lot of genre breaking music. It took me a long time to accept this as Pink Floyd, now I find it a very important and integral part of the PF discography.

Anyway, if you have wore out your older PF albums and wish that you could hear more music like this, then I would search out this album. It originally was only available as part of the "Shine On" box set. Now you probably can only find this at used CD stores, however, I had a co-worker a few years ago tell me that her father owned this album on vinyl. I have to wonder about that, but hopefully he didn't give it away before vinyl had its resurgence, because it would be worth a lot now.

So, out of all the early collections, I rank this the highest because it collects all the hard to find, early, non-album singles together on one disc. To me, that ranks it at 4 stars and makes a lot of the other early collections mostly obsolete.

Report this review (#1341083)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is probably the most comprehensive collection of early 60's singles released by Pink Floyd. The biggest attraction of this album is probably to go in more depth of the history and creation of Pink Floyd, at least that's what I thought when I picked it up for an astonishing $1.50 at Goodwill. I found it as an incredibly interesting listen, especially when taking into account the influence most of these singles had on their future years. Two songs I do have to exclude (not just because of my dislike for them) from that pile are 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play'. Sure, I suppose you could say that these Beatles-style trippy ditties influenced Pink Floyd as much as their debut did, but I honestly think just like Piper at the Gates of Dawn these songs were designed to make them travel down a path that they quickly dropped and was less and less hungered by people as time went by. So, without further ado, the songs.

I have many choice picks from this album overall. My biggest pick would probably be the extremely hard to find 'Point Me At The Sky', a three and a half minute hard rock song that wasn't familiar with what Pink Floyd was in the early days or in fact for a few years to come, at least until 'The Nile Song' from More came about to take it's spotlight. It features some beautiful vocals from Gilmour which are especially great seeing as he had a better range back then and could hit the high notes quite easily. Waters sings undeniably well as well, and Gilmours guitar is nice and pumping, especially when it's right after one of the slower parts of the song. Another one of my personal favorites is 'Paint Box', a Wright song that has many ominous tones also unlike the original Floyd. What I mean to say as well is the higher structure of the song to create an awesome sound, not to mention actually understandable lyrics about a man who 'had a little bit too much to drink". Nick Mason performs some great drum fills throughout the song where Wright comes in with vocals. Great song. 'Julia Dream' is a floaty acoustic that doesn't hold much ground against the more recent Floyd, but alot of the appreciation comes from the creativity of said piece. And of course, the outstanding psychedelic symphony of 'Careful With that Axe, Eugene' is perfect, with some wonky parts combined with some great experimentation from the band, who all chipped in to write the song. 'Scarecrow' is a nice rhythmic ditty, but I didn't find it interesting because I had already heard it on the debut. The final choice pick is Wright's 'It Would Be So Nice', a very Beatles- ish song with some choral elements and an overall nice tune.

So in conclusion, this release is essential to anyone who really wants a comprehensive grasp on Pink Floyd as a band. It's perfect for their history, backround, early music development, and just downright great to listen to.

Go give it a listen.

Report this review (#1341178)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2015 | Review Permalink

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