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Pink Floyd - Relics CD (album) cover


Pink Floyd


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.58 | 377 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This CD was my first exposure to some of PINK FLOYD's early singles, and in that, I think it does a pretty good job. What makes this compilation worthwhile, unlike the later Echoes, Works, and A Collection of Great Dance Songs compilations, is the fact that you really do get material on here that if it weren't for this would be difficult to get on CD. 5 of the 11 songs do come from other albums (namely The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, A Saucerful of Secrets, and More), but six of them were, at that point, not found anywhere else on CD. If you're going to pick up a compilation to get them, this is the only one worth shelling out the cash, even at full price, for.

Fans of the SYD BARRETT era will like the album. I do not agree with those who claim this is the only enjoyable FLOYD era at all, but on the other hand, even though it's not my favorite, that won't stop me from enjoying the songs selected here. "Arnold Layne" is really a very witty song that reminds the listener just how clever BARRETT was, before his potential was obscured by drugs, and "See Emily Play" is along the same lines, although not quite as lyrically clever as "Arnold Layne". "Bike" is another example of the witty SYD BARRETT, a song that seems to be about a young "starving artist" with little to give to his love other than his charm. "Interstellar Overdrive", of course, is an excellent BARRETT-era psychedelic freak-out. "Julia Dream" is an early ROGER WATERS lyrical effort with vocals by DAVID GILMOUR, and rather pleasant to listen to. The biggest surprise on here, though, is the bluesy "Biding My Time", with some very nice vocals by ROGER WATERS, and unless a session musician was used, trombone playing by RICHARD WRIGHT, who would play that instrument in concert. WATERS really does do well with the blues vocal style on this and on Meddle's "San Tropez", and in another life might have done well singing for a blues never knows...

Those who enjoy RICHARD WRIGHT's vocals, and the BARRETT/WRIGHT duet will find more than enough material for them. "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play", "Remember a Day", "Paintbox", and "Bike" all feature him singing in some capacity. Two are even songs that he wrote--the first, "Remember a Day", a nostalgic look at childhood, and the second, "Paintbox", the description of a nerve-wracking date that it seems WRIGHT's character doesn't want to remember! Plus, even then, his music was quite distinct and innovative. It's a shame that after GILMOUR came into the band, RICK WRIGHT didn't seem to trust his voice (nor his writing skills, for that matter--had he let them develop over these last 35 years, you never know what he'd be doing now) enough to take the lead or even harmonies as often, so it's a good thing you get to hear him here.

The only thing I don't understand about Relics is the inclusion of the weak studio version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene". The versions on Ummagumma and numerous RoIOs do much more justice to the song than that, as well as a superior (although transposed) studio version entitled "Come in Number 51, Your Time Is Up" on the Zabriskie Point soundtrack. This slot would have been better used on one of the rare early singles like SYD BARRETT's "Candy and a Currant Bun" or RICK WRIGHT's "It Would Be So Nice".

Because of the inclusion of so many BARRETT-era songs, I'm not sure this would be to everybody's taste, hence the slightly lowered rating. Still, even with that in mind, I think that of all of PINK FLOYD's compilation albums, this is the one that really does belong in any FLOYD fan's collection.

FloydWright | 3/5 |


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