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Pink Floyd - A Nice Pair CD (album) cover

A NICE PAIR

Pink Floyd

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Cluster One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Following the massive success of "Dark Side of the Moon", record companies scrambled to capitalize on the popularity of the Floyd. Their answer was to (re-)release the band's two earliest studio albums: "Piper" and "Saucerful" in a trendy repackaged double album format late in 1973/early 1974.

The 2-LP set sold very well, but kids and 'new' Floyd fans must have been pretty confused when they first listened to this 'new' Floydian purchase. "This doesn't sound like Pink Floyd at all!!?!" ;-P Haha charade you are kiddies...

The US Capitol record version of the release features the live "Ummagumma" version of 'Astronomy Domine' instead of the original studio version, and clocks in at a cool 8 minutes 29 seconds. As it is essentially the first song on the album, how I wish I could have seen the looks of the multitude of 'Money' fans listening to this album for the first time!

Only ever released on vinyl, this compilation still pops up occasionally in second-hand stores, and is unique to collectors for its Hypgnosis gatefold artwork. There was early controversy over the original album cover, as it features 'a nice pair' of female breasts. Also, one of the (many) photos in the collage featured a sign advertisement for a dentist by the name of 'Dr. Phang'. Due to strict British advertisement laws (on health care?...or dentistry?), that particular photo was eventually dropped for subsequent editions.

3/5 stars for its uniqueness.

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Send comments to Cluster One (BETA) | Report this review (#46055)
Posted Friday, September 09, 2005 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars If you already own the first two albums of PF, and it is highly probable for even those who are not devotees, this collection is totally unnecessary addition to your collection. Unless, of course if you are a PF completist and want to have this double LP with interesting cover art and photos.

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#46397)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
frenchie
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Hmm I don't know what's wrong with the naysayers. This package contains 2 incredible albums. The only thing you are really missing is some of the original artwork. But there is still some good artwork here, including sports teams, boobies and giant forks!!! "A Nice Pair" is also a collectors item (I think it was only ever released on vinyl and never put onto cd).

For those that don't know (though if you really don't know what I am about to say then you are not worthy to be a progger), "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" (Vinyl 1) is the classic debut album from when the band was fronted by crazy singer/songwriter Syd Barrett. This album contains many classic tracks, standouts being "Astronomy Domine", "Bike" and "Interstellar Overdrive".

"A Saucerful of Secrets" (Vinyl 2) is the follow up album that introduces Dave Gilmour to the band. This one is more experimental and leans into a proggier, more post-syd sounding version of Pink Floyd, with longer, spacier pieces instead of strange psychadelic little ditties. This album includes classics such as "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun", "Jugband Blues" and the title track.

Buying this compilation will resort in you owning to quality albums that I would both rank as amazing, landmark Floyd albums (see my individual reviews for each album for more in depth reviews). I say, if you see "A Nice Pair" on sale anywhere these days then it is well worth emptying your pockets on this album, it won't let you down.

If you already own the first two albums then this collection isn't necessary, but for Floyd fans it is a very nice addition, for those without these albums then it is essential. 18 amazing tracks in one package!

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Send comments to frenchie (BETA) | Report this review (#46449)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I received this double LP on a loan basis from a friend somewhere in 1974. I was not familiar with the Floyd earliest releases but I knew already a few songs from them thanks to the wonderful live sides of "Ummagumma".

My deception at that time was quite high when I litened to this re-release, and I returned this work quite rapidly to my friend.

About thirty years later, I re-enter the whole Floyd catalogue and I must say that although they are not masterpieces, their first two efforts are interesting.

From the poppy "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" (although it holds true psyche jewel anthems like "Astronomy" and "Interstellar") to the most achieved "A Saucerfull Of Secrets" (with the incredible twelve minute title track which will definitely influence Floyd later work like "Echoes").

This double album has effectively a nice pair on the cover sleeve and groups their first two albums as such. No editing, no bonus (in 1974, this was not yet popular).

It is the sole Pink Floyd effort so far to have never been re-released onto the CD format.

I have rated each album three stars. So : same music, same rating : three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#108248)
Posted Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A GREAT Pair!

Honestly there is no need to do a giant review because it supposse that you know the content of this pair very well, i was just reading some Pink Floyd┤s reviews, then i found this entry and wanted to share a few words with you.

This compillation was released in 1973 and consist in Pink Floyd┤s first 2 studio albums, the albums where Syd Barrett was a member and the loony head of the band, well actually as we know he was a full member only in "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn", when in "A Saucerful of Secrets" he had only a minor participation but it┤s clearly noticeable his touch in both albums, you can say that this was the Pink Floyd┤s psychedelic era at it┤s best, or as some of you may think, just a waste of time and talent making rdicolous noises and senseless songs (i say this because i┤ve seen a couple of guys speaking like this).

So actually this is a kind of re-issue, basically this double-album was released just in order to collect their early years in one CD without being a The Best of, or something like that in fact if you want to collect some of the very early years, then just buy "Relics" and listen what Barrett offers to you.

I like very much both albums, personally i prefer A Saucerful than Piper, but both have their great moments, psych/pop/rockish songs which are very well composed and that may blow your mind away. I prefer having both in separate CD┤s, as studio albums i mean, but it is nice to have this, i would grade each album with 3.5 and 4 stars , but this time i will grade this nice pair with 3 stars, good but non-essential, i would rather recommend buying each album separately, but if you find this, do not hesitate.

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#112817)
Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Another one of those obnoxious releases of previously released material, whose only reason for existing is a marketing decision. Do not buy these kinds of products because they only encourage record companies to do more of them.

Buy the two albums separately to be presented with the music and artwork in the manner the band intended you to have them at the time of their release.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#124147)
Posted Thursday, May 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This compilation consists of Pink Floyds two first albums, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets, put together as a double-LP. It was released shortly after "Dark Side of the Moon" to ride on that albums success.

Since I haven't heard Piper... nor Saucerful... before, this is essentially a review of three albums.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn This the only Barret-era album in principle. It starts with his composition (Most songs are written by him.) "Astronomy Domine. Like most of the songs of the album it's rather Psychedelic Rock than Prog Rock but still quite good/charming. Providing a bit strangeness on the first side is "Pow R Toc H", another highlight. The jam-like (But as I understands it really a compsition.) "Interstellar Overdrive" kicks of the second side and is probably the closest to Prog this album reaches. An ambul of the Psychedelic era and well-fitted for a proto-Prog classification.

A Saucerful of Secrets then... It starts with "Let there be more Light", a fitting name for a first track and musically some progression compared to Piper... Other more Space Rocking titles (And highlights.) incudes "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" and the title track, the albums answer to "Interstellar..." and an even longer composition-sounding-like-a-jam. The album represents a step towards Pink Floyds Space Rock of later albums. Better that it's predecessor but not much compared to what they achieved at the time this compilation was released.

I don't know if these two albums had became hard-to-finds during the halfdecade between the original releases and this compilation but I don't really see a necessity for a re-release otherwise. Compilations can be interesting as historical documents when for example record labels compile their 25 years old output but releases sush as this are less meaningful. It's a nice gatefold cover though, with many pictures of the band among other things. I especially like the picture of a Prog fans room where you can spot albums sush as Pink Floyds own Dark Side of the Moon and Renaissances Ashes Are Burning.

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Send comments to Frasse (BETA) | Report this review (#127805)
Posted Saturday, July 07, 2007 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After the success of The Dark Side of the Moon, record executives apparently popped out from behind their big fat desks with dollar signs (or British pounds if you like) shining from their eyes. And thus came A Nice Pair, a repackaged 2-LP release of Pink Floyd's first two albums, essentially with the same tracks. Apparently it sold quite well as Pink Floyd now had many new fans and this release must have met their demands. Although I could imagine newcomers to the group listening to this and wondering if they bought the wrong album as there was quite a large difference between the 1967-1968 and 1973 sound of Pink Floyd.

This was never released on CD (as far as I know), so it really isn't worth seeking out since their first two albums are quite readily available. This would have been a recommended purchase back in the vinyl record days as it was cheaper than buying the two first LPs separately. Today it is only for record collectors, mainly for the interesting photographs that are all over its covers. You can probably find it really cheap in a used record store. Two stars.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#133207)
Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A nice pair is a nice pair indeed. To tell you the truth, I'm not a big fan Pink Floyd from the seventies; they're good band, but "something's missing" for me. However, I love the first period of band's creativity, and indeed "Piper At The Gates Of Down" and "A Saucerful Of Secrets" are a logical pair, couple, unit, no matter if Syd was a brainchild of one and not of the other.

Having that said, this is a great piece of music and beautiful presentation of what Floyds had to say about the whole British psychedelia movement. It's perhaps a bit redundant issue ("Relics" compilation is great too) but it's far from obsolete. It's recommended for newbies, not the Pink Floyd newbies but the newbies of psychedelic music. A whole new, distorted world to discover.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#142804)
Posted Monday, October 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars This is one of those albums that popped into my collection after visiting a second hand vinyl shop and i was pleasantly surprised. First the packaging is excellent featuring a beautiful gatefold sleeve with lots of weird quirky pictures to make you wonder what its all about.

The music is really some of the best early Floyd. Ok, we know it is really just the early 2 albums put onto one package but its still irrisistible as a rare look at the Floyd in their raw Barrett incarnation.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn offers the classics that every PF fan adores such as Astronomy Domine (surely one of the most incredible mind trips of the psychedelia era) and Lucifer Sam (strange catchy little thing). It gets weirder with Pow R. Toc H. and Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk. But there is none better to show an example of pure pysch-prog bliss than Interstellar Overdrive. This was the beginning of the prog epics with wonderful effects-laden mysteria, unbeatable and brilliant for its innovative construction and original approach. Syd Barrett was never better than this.

If thats not enough we have the second album to savour, A Saucerful of Secrets, featuring terrific tracks such as Let There Be More Light and the quintessential PF track, Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun.

Its all here in one glorious package. Of course if you already have the 2 early albums, you needn't bother with this, though the packaging is great if you can pick it up for a decent price.

Highly recommended though if you dont have these albums already! I give it 3 stars as there is no new material, but its worth grabbing hold of for collectors and the material alone is worth the price.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#181284)
Posted Monday, September 01, 2008 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I had forgotten this edition existed until seeing a recent review and which prompted me to gather it from my LP collection. Essentially their first two albums repackaged in 1974 under A Nice Pair. Most Floyd enthusiasts will be familliar with their early works so not much to say other than A Saucerful Of Secrets and Piper At The Gates Of Dawn make up this double LP release. ASOS has the more psychedlic work whilst Piper has the Barrett influenced psych pop feel to it. The cover is the highlight of this release with some very interesting pictures laid out. For collectors only and of course the music holds up extremely well.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#181920)
Posted Saturday, September 06, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "A Nice Pair" is a compilation album by UK progressive/psychadelic rock act Pink Floyd. The compilation was released through Harvest Records in December 1973. "A Nice Pair" features all tracks from Pink Floyd┤s first two albums "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)" and "A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)". The compilation was released as a result of the huge commercial success of "The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)" earlier that year and was meant to introduce new fans to Pink Floyd┤s early psychadelic period. The original release was a double LP set where the first LP featured "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)" and the second LP featured the full "A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)" album. The US version of "A Nice Pair" differs slightly from the UK version. The most notable difference between the two is that "Astronomy Domine" appears in the live version from "Ummagumma (1969)" on the US version instead of the original version which appears on the UK version.

While some might perceive the release of "A Nice Pair" as a cashing in on the commercial success of "The Dark Side of the Moon (1973)" (and to some extent I agree with such an opinion), it does serve it┤s intented purpose. For me personally this was a way of getting hold of the first two releases by Pink Floyd at a reasonable price and I greatly value my vinyl copy of "A Nice Pair". Add to that the fact that both albums featured on the compilation are great genre defining works of psychadelic rock, and "A Nice Pair" becomes an even more interesting release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#236054)
Posted Monday, August 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars A package re-release of 2 fine Pink FLoyd albums, PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN, and SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS. I have always preferred the 1st to the 2nd. I have a feeling that the early fans who turned on to Pink Floyd through DARK SIDE OF THE MOON were quite surprised at what was on the album. Nothing is bad here about this release unless you already owned the original albums. The music is the same with just a different cover. I have previously given the first album 3 stars and the second 2 stars so I will hedge a bit and up this double release as 3 stars. Has this been released as a CD? Never seen it if it has.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#387499)
Posted Thursday, January 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Pink Floyd - A Nice Pair (1973)

This double lp was released to get new fans of the band to listen to the old psychedelic works of Pink Floyd. The concept is easy; get The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets for the price of one double lp. On most versions the form of the albums are left intact, but there are said to be differences. For me this was the perfect way to find the first Pink Floyd albums on vinyl, mainly Pipers has become a little more different to find. The artwork with it's strange photos of this compilation is also quite nice.

I've already written reviews of the first two Pink Floyd albums, but I'll write a summary here. The first Pink Floyd albums are essential for the development of the psychedelic and space-rock genre. On the first album the psychedelic song-writing of Syd Barrett is the main attraction. His child-like lyrics and out of the box composition is almost unmatched. 'Astronomy Domine' could be seen as the first space-rock track. 'Interstellar Overdrive' is a longer track with psychedelic improvisations and avant-garde moments. Saucerful of Secrets continues with less song- writing of Barrett and more spacey and psychedelic passages.

Conclusion. Buy if you are a starting vinyl collector interested in the early phase of Pink Floyd or if you see yourself as a completionist when it comes to this band. Both albums deserve four stars, but I'll give this release three stars because it's a compilation that has no value to add to the Pink Floyd catalogue.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#457360)
Posted Sunday, June 05, 2011 | Review Permalink

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