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Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd Apples And Oranges album cover
2.80 | 64 ratings | 4 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1967

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Apples And Oranges (3:05)
2. Paintbox (3:47)

Total Time 6:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Syd Barrett / guitar, vocals
- Nick Mason / drums
- Roger Waters / bass, vocals
- Richard Wright / organ, piano

Releases information

Record Company: Columbia Records
Catalog Number: DB 8310
Matrix Information: (side 1 / side 2)
1) 7XCA 30453-2 G 1 KT / 7XCA 30454-1 G 1 KT (both stamped)
Release Date: November 17, 1967

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PINK FLOYD Apples And Oranges ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

PINK FLOYD Apples And Oranges reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Contempt rising

Behind the seemingly happy sounding name of this 3rd single there was contempt brewing, shades of rebellion that can be heard in "Vegetable Man" as well. Recorded in October of 1967, conventional wisdom says Syd had ingested one LSD tab too many and became a "drug casualty" soon to be fired by the band and then Dave to the rescue. My take is that Syd had enjoyed the early camaraderie, the music and friends, and the excitement of making his album. But being a pop star quickly wore on Barrett and the realization that this grind would never stop became unbearable. He didn't like having to repeat himself and he didn't care for the ambitious nature of the others. The solution for Barrett was continued chemical ingestion and "acting out" creatively, that is, intentionally casting forth mediocre performance and writing. He was almost forcing the hand of the others, who he knew wanted a career, and who eventually called his bluff.

"...we put unrelenting pressure on Syd. When he didn't come up with it (another great single) we were thoroughly nasty to him." -Andrew King

"Syd was beginning to feel deeply disappointed with the Floyd." -Anthony Stern

"Couldn't care less." -Syd (asked about Apples & Oranges weak reception)

And it shows. "Apples and Oranges" is one of Barrett's worst tracks. All of the humor, charm, and intuitive psych-pop perfection of the previous two ear-candies was completely gone here. This is stale stuff and you can hear the disdain in Barrett's voice. Watching the video promo performance Rick Wright does his best to keep the train on the tracks with his usual professionalism, but Syd can barely be bothered to sing. They blew it picking this over "Vegetable Man" which is a much more interesting track. Rick's B-side of "Paintbox" was a much better track. Similar to "Remember a Day" Wright had a knack for the typical and clichéd hippie pop song but they are still very enjoyable. Lots of flower-power and great keyboard playing on this one, and Rick's voice is warm and soothing. Barrett contributes the high backing vocals and plays guitar here, though people sometimes think it is Gilmour because Dave did the promo video a few months later. But this track was also recorded in the fall of 1967 with Apples. It has a certain refined touch from Wright's jazzy piano inclinations, and would begin a string of songs for Rick that would endear him to his fans, though not always his band mates. Mason's playing is also notable for its long and relatively wild fills.

"Paintbox" drags the single out of the ratings gutter that "Apples" would be in. 2 ½ stars.

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Apples And Oranges' - Pink Floyd (Single)

The candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long... Or in the case of Syd Barrett, only a couple of years. Although the first two singles 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play' were soaked in psychedelic charm and classic appeal, Syd Barrett's genius was soon to be toppled with the burden of stardom, and before long, he was recoiling and taking the drug use past the point of no return. In this sense, 'Apples And Oranges' is a fairly representative single for the man's mindset at this point in the game; scattered, noisy, and uninspired. Without the same passion for the band he originally had, one can really hear Barrett beginning to slip with this one. Luckily, there is a catchy b-side to listen to on this single. Otherwise, this would be an even greater fall for the early Pink Floyd.

'Apples And Oranges' is a bland piece of psychedelic pop that reaks Barrett's general disinterest towards the music. Even in the performance, his voice sounds dull and strained, and the guitar playing almost sounds as if it is intentionally sloppy. In any case, it is a fairly short track that never really builds up a degree of catchiness to it, and instead, the only real quality to speak of here is in the unlikely b-side 'Paintbox', led by Pink Floyd's keyboardist Richard Wright. In one of the rare cases where he sings, it is shown that he actually has a very nice voice, and it would have been nice to have heard him on more of Floyd's material. 'Paintbox' is a more down to earth and folky track that stays pretty light on the ears. Although not excellent, it is indeed very good and worth a few repeated listens, much unlike the first song here.

Very disappointing single overall. Thankfully, 'Paintbox' is here to save the day somewhat.

Review by patrickq
2 stars "Apples and Oranges" / "Paint Box" was Pink Floyd's last release while singer-guitarist Syd Barrett was with the band (though he did appear on a few tracks on the group's 1968 album A Saucerful of Secrets).

One side of each of Pink Floyd's first three non-album singles is about a girl, and here it's "Apples and Oranges," an opposites-attract ditty in the psychedelic-pop tradition of celebrating the mundane. "Apples and Oranges" borrows some chord changes from the group's "Arnold Layne," but it lacks that song's inventiveness. Barrett nearly sounds bored in places ("she's on time again"), while in others (i.e., "I catch her by the eye, then I stop and have a think?") he sounds like he's aping the Monkees - - although one imagines a nod-and-wink sort of aping. The song is, of course, inane, and it seems that Barrett might've been at the point where he felt the whole business of making these records was inane. Indeed, within a month of this single's release in November 1967, Barrett's replacement, David Gilmour, was hired, and Barrett was out by the end of January.

Accordingly, as it seems, the b-side, "Paint Box" was the first song on a Pink Floyd single not to be written by Barrett; here pianist Richard Wright is the composer and lead vocalist. It's not terrible as a b-side, but it must've been clear that Barrett would be difficult to replace as a writer. Apparently the group originally hoped to retain Barrett as a non-performing songwriter, but his mental health continued to deteriorate. Prior to "Paint Box," the group had released fourteen songs on singles and LPs - - one written by bassist Roger Waters, two instrumentals credited to the whole band, and the remaining eleven written by Barrett. "Paint Box," recorded in a day, is wispy from a compositional standpoint, but in my opinion Wright handles the vocals well, and drummer Nick Mason is able to show off a bit on the tom-toms.

"Apples and Oranges" / "Paint Box" is a pretty pedestrian single, and sadly, not the best send-off for Syd Barrett, who may not have completely understood or accepted his dismissal; he occasionally showed up at the group's shows and recording sessions through 1970, during which time he made two solo records with substantial help from Waters, Gilmour, and Wright. He quit music for good in 1974. Meanwhile, Pink Floyd, decoupled from Barrett's songwriting, but also from his exasperating antics, embarked on its five-year journey to international rock stardom. [2 stars on the 4-star scale for singles - - see review page for scale]

Latest members reviews

5 stars I love those early Floyd oldies. That's right. This is just one of those exceptional cases where I would use the word "love", although I'm allergic to it. Both tracks on here are just downright awesome, and I don't mind it if I am actually alone on this one in the whole universe. 'Apples and ... (read more)

Report this review (#699181) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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