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Pink Floyd The Early Singles album cover
3.68 | 133 ratings | 9 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Arnold Layne (2:55)
2. Candy and a Currant Bun (2:46)
3. See Emily Play (2:54)
4. Scarecrow (2:09)
5. Apples and Oranges (3:05)
6. Paintbox (3:47)
7. It Would Be So Nice (3:47)
8. Julia Dream (2:37)
9. Point Me at the Sky (3:35)
10. Careful with That Axe, Eugene (5:45)

Total Time 33:23

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Released November 24, 1992
Recorded 1967 - 1968
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 33:23
Label EMI (UK) Columbia (U.S.)
Producer Norman Smith and Joe Boyd

Thanks to mogorva for the addition
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PINK FLOYD The Early Singles ratings distribution

(133 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PINK FLOYD The Early Singles reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Flucktrot
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.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Warthur
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.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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!

Review by 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.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
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.

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nš 546

"The Early Singles" is a compilation of Pink Floyd and was released in 1992. It features the band's first three singles, the Syd Barrett's singles, which were written mostly by their band leader, Sid Barrett and the two first post-Syd singles.

"Arnold Layne" was the first Pink Floyd's single and was released on 11 March 1967, "See Emily Play" was the second Pink Floyd's single and was released on 16 June 1967, "Apples And Oranges" was the third Pink Floyd's single and was released on 18 November 1967, "It Would Be So Nice" was the fourth Pink Floyd's single and was released in 12 April 1968 and "Point Me At The Sky" was the fifth Pink Floyd's single and was released in 17 December 1968.

"The Early Singles" has ten tracks. The first track "Arnold Layne" was the A side of the first Pink Floyd's single. It was a non-album's song. It was written by Syd Barrett and was released on "Relics". This is a song featured on numerous others Pink Floyd's compilations. It hasn't any sort of prog rock sound but it's nice to hear. It's a good introduction to the music of Pink Floyd in Barrett's era. The second track "Candy And A Currant Bun" was the B side of the debut Pink Floyd's single "Arnold Layne". It was also a non-album's song. It was also written by Sid Barrett and it's also a song featured on numerous others Pink Floyd's compilations. This is a good song with some controversial letters, a classic song of their earlier psychedelic phase. The third track "See Emily Play" was the A side of the second Pink Floyd's single. It was also released as a non-album's song. Still, the song appeared on the American edition of "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". It was also another song written by Sid Barrett. It also appears on "Relics" and on many other Pink Floyd's compilations. This is a song with an uplifting tune. I really love that psychedelic vibe. The fourth track "Scarecrow" was the B side of their second single "See Emily Play". "The Scarecrow" was also released on the original edition of Pink Floyd's debut "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". This was also written by Sid Barrett. It also appears on many other Pink Floyd's compilations. It's a short song with an interesting and strange sound. It's a psychedelic song with a kind of a medieval sound with nice keyboards and interesting percussion. The fifth track "Apples And Oranges" was the A side of the third single of Pink Floyd. It's another non-album's song. It was also written by Syd Barrett. It's his final song written for Pink Floyd. It was also released on other Pink Floyd's compilations. It's meandering. Barrett's guitar playing is great with an interesting metallic tone. The sixth track "Paint Box" was the B side of their third single. It's another non-album's song. This is a song written by Richard Wright. It was also released on "Relics" despite be included on many other Pink Floyd's compilations. It's a quality piece of pop-psychedelic music. It points more towards to the spacier direction the band would take without Barrett. The seventh track "It Would Be So Nice" was the A side of the fourth single of Pink Floyd. It's one more non- album's song. It was a song written by Richard Wright and it was also released on other Pink Floyd's compilations. It's a decent psychedelic song with some different sections. Some parts are cool. Overall it's a decent song. The eighth track "Julia Dream" was the B side of their single "It Would Be So Nice". It's another non-album's song. It was written by Roger Waters and it also appears on "Relics". It also appears on numerous other Pink Floyd's compilations. It's a psychedelic folk song that oddly reminds me of The Moody Blues. It's pretty decent. The ninth track "Point Me At The Sky" was the A side of their fifth single. It's another non-album's song. It was a song with collaboration between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. It was also included on other Pink Floyd's compilations. It's a good psychedelic song that alternates between quiet and loud sections. The loud sections are actually pretty good. The tenth track "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" was the B side of their single "Point Me At The Sky". It's another non-album's song. It's an instrumental written by all band's members. It also appears on "Relics". It's an early classic of Pink Floyd, a great instrumental, very dynamic. Each musician contributes very well, from Water's bass riff, Wright's great organ playing, Gilmour's textural guitar and Mason's drumming, controlling the dynamic well.

Conclusion: "The Early Singles" is a compilation album of Pink Floyd that provides in an only single album, the first five Pink Floyd's singles that were released in UK. This wasn't absolutely true for the U.S. market. In the U.S. market, the third single of Pink Floyd was "Flaming" with "The Gnome" as the B side and the fourth single was "Let There Be More Light" with "Remember A Day" as the B side. So, "The Early Singles" has many common points with "1967: The First Three Singles" and is also very similar to many other Pink Floyd's compilations like "The Best Of Pink Floyd" and "Masters Of Rock Vol. 1". About the tracks on "The Early Singles", all are great with the exception of "Apples And Oranges" which is, in my humble opinion, a very disjointed song that shows unfortunately, but perfectly well, the state of dementia of Syd Barrett's mind. So, we may say that "The Early Singles" is a good and important compilation for all hard Pink Floyd's fans that can have all the first five singles on a chronological order and all only on a single album.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

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 Goodwi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1341178) | Posted by aglasshouse | Tuesday, January 6, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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 o ... (read more)

Report this review (#699144) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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