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Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd Works album cover
2.24 | 165 ratings | 22 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1983

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. One Of These Days (5:50)
2. Arnold Layne (2:52)
3. Fearless (6:03)
4. Brain Damage (3:50)
5. Eclipse (1:45)
6. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun (5:23)
7. See Emily Play (2:54)
8. Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict (4:47)
9. Free Four (4:07)
10. Embryo (4:39)

Total Time: 42:10

Releases information

LP Capitol - USA CDP 7 46478 2

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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PINK FLOYD Works ratings distribution

(165 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(13%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (26%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

PINK FLOYD Works reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frenchie
2 stars This is Pink Floyd's third official compliation and it stinks. This album does the job of summing up Pink Floyds whole career but it's far too short and chooses most of the weaker songs. Its good to see some of "Ummagumma" and "Obscured by Clouds" songs on here but Echoes is a much better compilation and is well worth the money. "Works" is quite hard to find but when you do see it on sale it is always twice as expensive as Echoes.

Songs on compilations are meant to be placed in a well sounding order so that the album flows well. "Works" fails at this because it seems like not much thought has gone into the tracks on the album or where they are positioned as this album sounds terrible. Good songs, bad compilation. Again i highly recomend that you buy the proper studio albums if you want these songs and avoid this album completely unless you are seeking to buy all of the floyds album releases.

"Works" only just betters the previous compilation, 1981's "A Collection of Great Dance Songs", because it provides one previously unreleased track, "Embryo", which is good to see but it is hardly worth buying this album just for that track so download it or find it somewhere else. One thing thats missing from all pink floyd compilations is a song from "Atom Heart Mother", which is a shame but i understand the band dislike that album, but why?

To some up, dont buy this unless its one of the only albums you need to complete the collection or you see it second hand at a car boot sale or something. For a good compilation album, seek "Relics" or "Echoes" as they are definetly worth getting.

Review by The Prognaut
3 stars A compilation album is the best way to relax from a hard working tour, to forget about back breaking studio hours or just to let time fly by while the band comes up with something new. There's a warning that goes hand in hand with this sort of recordings: beware of relying on them just to compensate the lack of imagination and creativity within the band. I'm aware that sometimes the band decides to put together a series of songs into just one album to celebrate decades of togetherness with some sort of hits collection or the typical "remixes", but "Works" is a selective album because it contains artistic, era determinant, pieces.

Parts from "Dark Side of The Moon", "Meddle" and "Ummagumma" complement this 10 songs album. Of course I will say this is a good album, not only because the songs remind me of those great PINK FLOYD albums, but for the effort put in here to make all the suites follow a conceptual line to meddle them up together as if we were listening to a 40 minutes piece. This is a collectible for PINK FLOYD fans only.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Unfortunately another compilation from a band that technically, aside from monetary gain have no rhyme or reason in publishing another compilation. There is no reason whatsoever in acquiring this undesirable album. Sure the songs are good but totally out of context with the original albums. The selection is odd as well.
Review by Cluster One
2 stars "Works" is another contractual sub-par compilation release from the FLOYD. In defence of the band, I believe I read that they had absolutely nothing to do with song selection and the decision to release this in the first place. It was completely the decision of their (new? old?) record company to try and capitalize on FLOYD's already massive popularity.

As for the songs offered here, all are available elsewhere (on much better albums I might add) and only one is of any note: 'The Embryo'. A short, somewhat uninspired studio version of a tune that was played often live by the FLOYD in the early 70's, but as a much different version. Live, 'Embryo' spanned 10+ minutes and was wonderfully adventurous and psychadelic. The unique studio version offered here was simply a gimmick to get completists/collectors to purchase this unneccessary work.

Still, the songs on this compilation are generally good, if not obscure. Better off buying ANY other FLOYD album before this one, if at all. 2/5 stars.

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Only for people who have a limited money budget and wants to explore a bit of new and old Pink Floyd at the same time. Otherwise, I would rather recommend you getting a studio album of theirs since it's a much better choice than this odd compilation. I have to agree with fellow reviewer Cluster One on that this was obviously an attempt for the record company to cash in at PF's popularity, and for a tease add the unreleased "Embyro" track here. Nice try, but it didn't bite on me.
Review by Eclipse
1 stars This compilation is very weird...Many songs from here aren't worthy of being put in a "best of", and adding "Embryo" seemed to be a strategy to not make this one an entirely useless album. It costs around the same as an ordinary FLOYD album, so go buy the rest of their studio stuff before even thinking on getting this one. All i can say is that this is pure waste of money, and since i don't have a tree that makes cash born at the side of my house, i'll just avoid buying this even though i am a FLOYD fan.
Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After seeing some reviews of this album, i only think in one thing: This is only a compilation album, this is NOT a "The best of" album. I dont really know why they decided the tracklist here, is strange, because it has a mix of Barrett`s songs, with some Meddle and DarkSide tracks, and also a B-Side?, this is Embryo.

Maybe this compillation could be strange and weird, but that doesnt make it a bad compillation, if we are expecting a "The Best of ", also we expect tracks like Shine On, or Comfortably Numb, or Time, this is not the case, and i think despite the other reviews that this is a good album, because we can sit or lie and listen to it with pleasure, it is not boring, and i find something interesting. For example the first song is a 1971 track " One of These Day", an instrumental song to open this album. we know the beauty of the track, but the fact is that next to it is "Arnold Lane", an old track written by Syd and reminiscent to early Pink Floyd stuff, athis randomless talking about chronologic songs make this album interesting, after Arnold Lane we come back to "Meddle" an we can enjoy "Fearless", that particular and great song which finishes with "You`ll never walk alone", a hymn of a football team. Immediately the last two songs from DSOTM, and then returning to 1969 with "Set the Controls..", maybe that kind of changes could be bad for you, but i like it. The 8th track is a very weird and experimental song from "Ummagumma studio album", "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict", what a weird title for a song, and yes, we can listen to some animal sound and strange complishment, this is the best example to know that this is not a The Best of album, the next couple of songs are ealy songs too, "Free Four", which sounds a bit like The beatles, and it is maybe my less favorit track, and finishing the album "Embryo", as i said above this is something like a B - Side, i think this was a great addition to this compilation album. So after all , i like it, of course it is not a masterpiece of progressive rock, the most of the songs have some simplicity, but are good, for that reasons i think this album is a 3 star album. Give it a chance, why not?

Review by Chris H
2 stars This was one of the few compilations that I just never understood what its purpose on the planet was. This is just a bunch of producers getting together and trying to make to the most random CD they can think of. I mean, just look at the track listing! You have Syd Barrett songs running into Roger Waters pieces, and the whole album is just a chronological mess. On the subject of the songs, some of the inclusions are just pointless. "Several Species..." is the worst song off of "Ummagumma" and one of their worst ever, and "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" have been bootlegged onto so many different compilations that everybody is starting to get sick of them being under the name Pink Floyd at every single source. The previously un-released "Embryo" is the only thing of value on this compilation, and that still isnt worth the 20 dollars.

1983 was a time in Pink Floyd history when the band was on a post-Wall high and they didn't need anything bringing them down. Unfortunately this compilation did just the trick. You can't say that this is an absolutely horrible compilation, its just that it came at a terrible time and wasn't completely mind-blowing to say the least. The songs are all out of order and it was terrible song selection. 1.5 stars rounded up.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Another contravertial Floyd compilation; We got already the infamous "Best Of Pink Floyd" or "Masters Of Rock - Volume I", the averagely appreciated "A Collection Of Great Dance Songs" (which I don't think it was so bad, actually). The only one so far that more or less was not submitted to heavy critics was "Relics" (although I have never been found of this one.

With "Works", the highest levels of insanity are reached again.

Two great tracks : "One Of These Days" and "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun" Three good old Floyd's ones : "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play" and "Embryo" Two average ones : "Brain Damage"and "Eclipse"

Finally, three crappy ones : "Fearless" from "Meddle", "Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict" from the "wonderful" Ummagumma studio album and "Free Four" the weakest track from OBC.

Even if I try, I really can't grab their strategy for this one. But who does ?

Two stars.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
2 stars I'm not sure what the reason behind the Works compilation was. Most likely it was another attempt to milk the public for money as this was released a couple months after The Final Cut. However, The Final Cut did not fare as well as The Wall or prior albums, so I guess the results for the sales of Works were not what Capitol Records had imagined. Like their last compilation, A Collection of Great Dance Songs, this is another weird selection of material. The only thing of note for Pink Floyd fans was the track Embryo, which was an outtake from the Ummagumma album. It had only previously appeared on a Harvest Records compilation called "Picnic - A Breath of Fresh Air." Later the song became a concert staple in a much longer extended version. Too bad they didn't put a recording of that on Works instead of the studio version, as it really isn't anything special.

Just a strange compilation created probably for monetary reasons. For collectors only. Two stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars A mish mash compilation of random Floyd? It Does not Work!

This is not the best of Pink Floyd, it is not the worst of Pink Floyd, actually what the heck is this?

Ah, that's right it is a contractual obligation, it all makes sense now, and as usual a compilation from Pink Floyd is an absolute waste of vinyl and now CD.

You need to get the whole albums to indulge in the Pink Floyd universe and only then can you fully appreciate the incredible power of the band, they were never a singles band, so who came up with the idea of putting together this travesty?

It begins well enough with one of the all time greats 'One Of These Days' from the mesmirising "Meddle".

Then it goes downhill from there from the sublime, 'Arnold Layne', to the ridiculous, 'Fearless'.

Whoever put this compilation together had no idea what they were doing. We get two from the ultimate concept album 'DSOTM' that sound decidedly bizarre out of context, 'Brain Damage' and 'Eclipse', and then it moves straight into one of the best songs from the early years, 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun'. It feels like listening to an MP3 where tracks are randomly played.

It gets into some weird territory when the "Ummagumma" curio is included, the 'Several Species Of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together In A Cave And Grooving With A Pict', of which the best thing about it is the lengthy title.

Lo and behold we have a track unreleased elsewhere at the time, the dull, forgettable 'Embryo'.

'Free Four' is an apalling choice from "Obscured by Clouds", it lacks imagination and the only decent thing about this compilation is you may find it ridiculously cheap gracing a bargain bin.

This is not for collectors, unless you see it on vinyl, because, let's face it, just about everything on vinyl is for collectors, but on CD this comes across as decidedly pretentious and uninspired. What else needs to be said? Nothing at all except avoid this like the plague.

Review by Flucktrot
1 stars Pink Floyd excelled at many things, but compilation albums definitely were not among them. Back when I was a kid and Floyd was my favorite band (before I found prog and added multiple favorite bands among them), anytime I was asked what I wanted for a gift, I always said a different Floyd album.

Works was one of those that I actually did enjoy, partly because it gave me hints of the early Floyd sound without me actually having to listen to the albums (and I still can't really get into most early Floyd). But upon later historical perspective, I realized how ridiculous this album was for 1983. As noted by others, what's the overarching theme? What's the hook? Maybe it's just "early Pink Floyd", but that's what makes the inclusion of Brain Damage/Eclipse (just different enough with the alternate mix) all the more puzzling/irritating.

Every Floyd fan should have Arnold Layne and See Emily Play, so if Works is how you obtain them, then it's worth picking up. Also, my two cents is that I am just not a big fan of either Ummagumma or Saucerful of Secrets, so having Set the Controls and Species is enough for me, although I know some early Floyd devotees may be wincing with this admission.

The rest of the songs are from albums that we all need to possess, and so Works is likely to add little value to most of our collections in that regard. Based on that, I think I'll give Works the "only for completionists" label.

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is probably the weirdest Floyd compilation. This was an attempt by Floyd's former record company to make some money after the success of the movie for The Wall released a year earlier. This is all pre-Columbia stuff(1967-73). It's half 'best of' and half 'odds and sods'. "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" were both on Relics. Here they get a "fake stereo" treatment. The last two songs from DSOTM are here, but presented in their quadraphonic mix.

Included is a previously unreleased song. A demo for "Embryo", a song they played live between 1970-71. This version is shorter and lacks drums. The strangest inclusion is "Several Species..." from Ummagumma. Floyd newbies who bought this must have not seen that song coming. Also included is the single from Obscured By Clouds, "Free Four", and Meddle album track "Fearless". "One Of These Days" and the album version of "Set The Controls..." round out the compilation.

I don't understand why Floyd doesn't release their BBC sessions. If they did, everyone would get to hear a superior version of "Embryo". This is for completists. No compilation has ever done Floyd justice. 2 stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
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.

Review by Modrigue
2 stars What kind of work is this?

2.5 stars

As its release date and cover art do not suggest, "Works" is a compilation covering PINK FLOYD's 1967-1973 time period, from their psychedelic debuts to Dark Side of The Moon, passing by their experimental / space-rock years. This choice is rather clever: most of the songs were then not part of concept albums, and therefore can be relatively taken apart from their original studio releases. Could be a good idea with representative material such as "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play", "Set The Controls...", "One Of These Days" or even - why not - "Free Four" from the forgotten "Obscured by Clouds"...

...if the other half of the track-list was not randomly picked among the studio albums. Why "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse", with alternate mixes, as DSOTM ambassadors? Why not "Time" or "Money"? Oh sorry, bits of can be heard in this disc... with the heartbeats of "Speak to me"... in "One Of These Days"'s intro... What? They're not even initially in the same album! Who came up with this Frankensteinian idea?

Although "Fearless" is an original choice, I would have personally replaced it with "Fat Old Sun" from "Atom Heart Mother", in order to have the 1970 cow album represented. Even more original is the inclusion of "Several Species..." from "Ummagumma", daring but maybe too experimental for Pink Floyd newcomers and beginners.

The main interest of this release is the track "Embryo", a nice soft, dreamy song recorded in 1968. In the likes of "Julia Dream", this 4 minute track will become a concert favorite in 1970-1971, reaching 10 minutes duration in gigs. Its eerie atmosphere will be an ideal playground for the band to experiment with ambiances and sound effects, resulting later in the elaboration of their epic masterpiece "Echoes". A mandatory listen for every Floyd fan.

"Embryo" is the only convincing argument of "Works"... or was now, as it can be now found in "1967-72 Cre/ation", part of the "Early Years" box set, both in studio and live versions. (Oh) By the way, this double compilation is clearly much more complete and representative of this creative time period than "Works".

As a conclusion, this release is not bad per-se, furthermore songs have not been cut off, contrarily to other best-ofs. Nonetheless, curious choices prevent it from being a good photography of PINK FLOYD's career before their world- wide success.

If you want to discover PINK FLOYD, better go for "Dark Side of the Moon" first...

Latest members reviews

2 stars Released after the devastating sales of The Final Cut, this little compilation is pretty strange. It isn't like many other compilations I've seen, mostly because it has some songs that I wouldn't expect on an official gathering of songs. Probably one of the very few compilations that includes tra ... (read more)

Report this review (#1328506) | Posted by aglasshouse | Wednesday, December 24, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Pink Floyd's Works collection brings together a number of early Floyd tunes showing the range of the band's artistic endeavours up Dark Side Of The Moon (DSOTM) when the band changed record companies. Others have asked the motive for this album, but it's simple; profit. Capital records wanted to ... (read more)

Report this review (#221354) | Posted by DocB | Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This album is almost completely redundant... as are most compilation albums in my opinion. I typically hate compilations, with a few exceptions (One notable exception is Pink Floyd's Relics). I just don't like this album, well for one the artwork is kinda boring. It's some man on a scaffold worki ... (read more)

Report this review (#197420) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Monday, January 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars another PF compilation I'm glad I didn't buy, and is actually worse than "Dance Songs". At least the aforementioned album centered on the high point of thier career (Meddle - The Wall), "Works" comes from and goes nowhere. Hearing the Beatles-esque "Arnold Layne" plastered between the amazi ... (read more)

Report this review (#77852) | Posted by echoes2112 | Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars i give it a 4 star its preety good but the list of songs are abit off (almost as if they randomly picked the songs). almost all the songs are good except for several specis of small furry... & arnold layne . embryo is an ok track but its very short & can be kind of boring. ... (read more)

Report this review (#32160) | Posted by | Tuesday, March 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars This is a big no-no for people buying pinkfloyd albums.i think it is a waste of money and if its free its a waste of energy receiving floyd is my favourite band but this album is not so great!if you want a great pinkfloyd album buy the darkside of the moon.all the songs are great!the only go ... (read more)

Report this review (#32155) | Posted by vinnyd16 | Sunday, January 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Hello there; I felt compelled to write this review in regards to the over-all rating it had received on this website. I recently picked this cd up off 'ebay' and I think it is truly an EXCELLENT compilation. Oh my God, what's the problem with it?? I guess I just don't understand why it has rec ... (read more)

Report this review (#32154) | Posted by | Thursday, November 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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