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Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd Relics album cover
3.60 | 428 ratings | 57 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Arnold Layne (2:56)
2. Interstellar Overdrive (9:43)
3. See Emily Play (2:53)
4. Remember a Day (4:29)
5. Paintbox (3:33)
6. Julia Dream (2:37)
7. Careful with That Axe, Eugene (5:45)
8. Cirrus Minor (5:18)
9. The Nile Song (3:25)
10. Biding My Time (5:18)
11. Bike (3:21)

Total Time 49:18

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

LP Starline SRS5071 (1971)
CD Capitol/EMI Records 35603 (1996)
CD EMI 679174 (2001)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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PINK FLOYD Relics ratings distribution

(428 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PINK FLOYD Relics reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Like all compilations , this is of limited interest and whatever interest are the non-album singles Arnold and Emily but this is not very prog . The real gem here is the studio version of Careful Eugene, but if you own UmmaGumma, the live version will do. So this is pointless as Emily and Arnold could have been bonus tracks on Pipers without disrupting it at all.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Just a collection of antiques and curious"

This album was originally released in LP format on the EMI's budget label "Starline", and cost about a third of the price of a full priced album. It is interesting to note that in an act of overt opportunism by the record company the CD version is now full priced.

"Relics" was released between "Meddle" and "Dark side of the moon" at a time when Pink Floyd were rapidly gaining popularity. Many of those who bought "Relics" after the release of DSOTM would no doubt have done so expecting to hear accessible music in a similar vein. Those who knew the history of the music of Pink Floyd however, were aware that DSOTM was the latest in a series of albums which saw the band metamorphose from the original Syd Barrett led experimental underground band into a premier league prog rock band.

The title reflects the fact that these were already old tracks when the album was released in 1971. New fans would therefore have been surprised and possibly disappointed with this album. For those more familiar with the original Pink Floyd, "Relics" is something of a goldmine of rare and not so rare pieces, offering a good cross section of their early work.

Tracks such as the at times psychedelic, and at times apparently very disorganised "Interstellar overdrive", and the trippy "Careful with that Axe Eugene" display the experimental psych rock side of the band.

"See Emily play" and "Arnold Layne" are simple pop songs which, while sounding very dated today, must have caused a few ears to prick up at the time, especially in respect of the latter's lyrics. Among the numerous others, there's a slice of thumping heavy rock in "The Nile song", a quite beautiful soft track called "Julia Dream" and an amusing finale in "Bike", with its chaotic ending.

As long as you bear in mind that this is not the work of the 1971 Pink Floyd, this album is a great collection of selections from their early years.

Review by daveconn
3 stars "Relics" unearths some artifacts from the not-too-distant '60s, including such indelible moments of spaced-out psychedelia as "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene." You don't have to be high to enjoy this collection, but you might have to be to drop forty bucks for the Japanese remaster. Believe it or not, "Relics" was originally a cheap way to sample the band's early music. Not so nowadays; "Relics"'ll cost you as much as "Piper At The Gates of Dawn" or "Saucerful of Secrets", which are frankly better investments. The selection is excellent, combining album cuts with singles like "Arnold Layne" and "Paintbox" that had yet to appear on an album. While "Relics" might get you off the hook from buying the soundtrack to More ("Cirrus Minor" and "The Nile Song" are two of the best tracks on there), it's suffered the fate of most premature compilations, which pull the trigger too early or become obsolete in the wake of more comprehensive packages. Had someone elected to expand "Relics" to take advantage of CD technology, then you might have a treasure worth saving. Instead, this has been preserved as if it were some sacred icon. If you haven't heard PINK FLOYD's earliest music, you really should. "Relics" is one way to do that, but I'm not convinced that it's the best way. Note that, over the years, "Relics" has featured a few different covers including a black-and-white drawing by NICK MASON.
Review by frenchie
4 stars Relics is a favourite amongst Pink Floyd fans, especially the lovers of Syd and the early years. I personally prefer the 1967-1971 era but 1973-1979 was probably more enhanced musically, which i love just as much but i would rather put on piper than dark side most of the time. Still, this is a must for any pink floyd fan and should be in everyones collection. If you prefer the later years to the early years then you will love relics because it plays like a best of the early years cd. If you do prefer the early years, then this record sums that era up pretty well and is enjoyable to listen to. This may be a bit short for a singles collection but the floyd were never a singles band and it is an effective record delivering rarities that weren't released until this album. A must have for Floyd Fans. I think the release of Echoes in 2001 may have devalued Relics a bit but before that this was a classic compilation.

The familiar songs on Relics, "Interstellar Overdrive", "Bike", "Remember a Day", "Cirrus Minor" and "The Nile Song" have been well chosen and well placed on this album as representations of how good the first three records were, pleasing any floyd fan. But the real wonder of this record are of course the not so well known tracks, and luckily these aren't dinky songs that were cut from the other albums, they are full on floyd at their best and brilliant rarities.

"Arnold Layne" is Pink Floyds very first single, not really hinting any sort of prog rock sound but its good to hear, even if the sound quality isn't brilliant. It's a good introduction to Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett and Relics. A well chosen first track. "See Emily Play" is an incredible single, nothing fancy in the lyrics or sounds yet somehow it's a real wonder and an important song by the Floyd. I think it was a very good idea to include these songs on Echoes in 2001.

"Paintbox" is an incredible jam, showing off more psychadelia with the strange vocals. The Bassline on here is killer, hats off to Roger. "Julia Dream" is a brilliant song, showing off their better lyrics and sound, its very gloomy but the vocals here are incredible. It sounds like a leftover from A Saucerful of Secrets and clearly hints at how Pink Floyd have evolved record by record.

The studio version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" is good, but not so good. It is nice to finally hear a studio version but it sounds so weak compared to the live version on Ummagumma, in which Roger puts a full blown effort into his scream and the band jamming is twice as mind blowing, making this version seem a little pathetic. Roger and Nick are half as good as they were on the live version, i found this slightly dissapointing. It's also half the length which turned me off.

"Biding My Time" is a very bluesy song sounding like it was done in the "More" sessions. The lyrics are good and it gives Richard and Dave their chance to shine. There's a lovely little blues jam in the middle, again this doesn't sound very proggy but it sounds very Pink Floyd. The trumpet section is mind blowing, as well as the guitar solo.

Overall Relics has managed to be a must have compilation from the floyd ever since it was released. I think the remastered version is more for completionists even though the songs that aren't on other album are a must have. I think during the whole of the 70's this album was much more memorable than it is now as it was the only vinyl that came close to a best of and was a must have for the fans, but after the 70's came more compilations, even though Echoes was the only good one (Works and A Collection of Great Dance Songs were pathetic cash in's), i think these compilations have decreased the amazing value of Relics and the remastered version just seems like a rehash of what used to be a classic. Still you need this.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A fine kind of encapsulates in short all the most appealing tracks from 67- 70. The songs have been well chosen. I am not a fan of 'best of 'albums but the Relics package delivers with jewels like ' Julia dream', ' See Emily Play', ' Paintbox' and the incredible ' Cirrus Minor' from the More soundtrack. The only compilation by Pink Floyd worth having.
Review by FloydWright
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.

Review by Cluster One
4 stars Very early FLOYD music at its best! If only FLOYD's other compilations were as good as "Relics". It is a fan favourite and includes a number of songs from their discography that are simply not available anywhere else.

'Biding My Time', 'Julia Dream', 'Paintbox' and the only studio version of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' are the reasons one should acquire this record. The first two songs mentioned are average Waters compositions but not at all poor. 'Paintbox' however is an excellent Rick Wright piece that fans of the early FLOYD will enjoy, as it is very similar sounding to 'Remember a Day' (another Wright composition, and arguably his best, also on "Relics").

The real gem found on "Relics" is the only official studio release of the all-time FLOYD classic 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene'. (A live version of this song can be found on the "Ummagumma" live album)

These rare songs, added to a number of Syd Barrett tunes and a great choice of the immediate post-Barrett era songs (the surreal Cirrus Minor', the spacey 'Remember A Day', and the proto-metal 'The Nile Song') make this one of the best FLOYD compilations available. Recommended, 4/5 stars.

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars In the evolution of Pink Floyd this compilation album was always a kind of missing link, bridging the gap between the psychedelic pop band of the swinging '60s and the symphonic space-prog pioneers of the 1970s.

At first glance it looks like an arbitrary grab bag of rare B-sides and familiar early album cuts, delivering exactly what the subtitle promises: "a bizarre collection of antiques and curios". But look closely at the track selection and you'll see a definite pattern at work, charting the progress of a band suddenly cut off from its primary source of inspiration and beating the air for a new identity.

In short, it's a valuable portrait of Pink Floyd in transition, from the untethered genius of Syd Barrett to the craftsmanship of Roger way of keyboard player Richard Wright, who briefly flexed his compositional muscles with a couple of the post- Barrett acid-bubblegum pop songs included here.

The differences between the two groups is immediately obvious from the pair of improvs framing the collection: Syd's "Interstellar Overdrive", from "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" LP, and the studio version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", a 45 rpm B-side circa "Saucerful of Secrets" (or thereabouts). The energetic jamming of "Overdrive" makes a startling contrast to the tightly controlled, artless raga of "Eugene", but the latter would resurface in a definitive live rendition on Disc One of "Ummagumma" (an album that performs a similar function to "Relics", and might even be considered a useful companion volume to it).

All the songs here are presented in more or less chronological order, ranging from the group's first single (1967's "Arnold Layne") to the 1969 "More" soundtrack sessions. The notable exception to the sequence is "Bike", originally the closing track on "The Piper" LP and filling the same role here, as it later would for the more recent two-disc "Echoes" retrospective, and for a similar reason, I would guess.

The song is quintessential Syd Barrett: playful, clever, and more than a little scary in its deeper autobiographical implications. But in the context of Pink Floyd's long, successful career it's also a painful reminder of the pure, brain-wave intuition and creativity lost to the band along with its founding member, and will always make a fitting eulogy to any true Floyd tribute.

I didn't originally think "Relics" deserved more than a respectable 3-star rating, but a closer listen convinced me otherwise. In no way should it be considered a substitute for the complete set of early Pink Floyd albums, but fans of their later music who normally wouldn't venture this deep into their back catalogue might appreciate it as a convenient, one-stop-shopping overview of the group's formative years.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This compilation was an important one during 70's, as there are some of the essential singles from Syd Barrett era here, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play". Nowadays one can surely find these from a legion of different compilations, so this record cannot be claimed to be very essential anymore, but it still gives a nice selection of bands more psych oriented songs, "Interstellar Overdrive", "Julia Dream" and "Careful with That Axe Eugene". You also get the best songs from the "More" soundtrack album here in my opinion; athmospherical "Cirrus Minor" and the aggressive "The Nile Song". The record is also packed up in a fancy sleeve with an imaginative airship, maybe symbolizing the band's guys architect studies being used to build these innovative songs. The songs I mentioned also make a quite depressive bunch of tracks, and this album should work as a good soundtrack for wintertime melancholy.
Review by Eclipse
3 stars I would rather see at the stores the "Early Singles" instead of this one. Half of "Relics" contains amazing FLOYD songs that aren't available anywhere else, like "Paintbox", another great composition by Rick; "Julia Dream", an underrated song which is very mystic and moving and has some UFO-like sounds at the ending; "See Emily Play", one of Syd's best compositions and the again underrated studio version of "Careful with that axe, Eugene", which, in my opinion, is simply amazing. "Arnold Layne" may sound a bit outdated but it still is a nice song.

On the other hand, this compilation's other half fails big time because it contains "Biding my time", a bad Waters' song, with some very annoying trumpet sounds at the middle that give me headaches and various songs already present on former albums. It's always important to point out that PINK FLOYD is an album band, so "best of's" containing songs of other albums surely don't work for them. I don't see the point of adding "Bike" and "Nile Song", for example. "Nile Song" already sounds alien in its original album, and even more in this one. "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Bike" should be in Piper and nowhere else, and "Cirrus Minor" is good but again it is better enjoyed in its home, the album More.

If this were the "Early Singles" (without "Scarecrow", of course) i'd give this 4 stars. But since this contains some of the early singles' best tracks not containing unique gems from it like "Candy and a Currant Bun" though, this compilation deserves its three stars, which is more than enough for it.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the better and more substantive early FLOYD compilations, having several excellent non-LP singles from their 1960s psychedelic period. In retrospect it may seem worthless and redundant since the CD era brings many comprehensive and remastered anthologies of their earlier work, but judging it from the context of its release, highly recommended!
Review by horza
2 stars The orinal LP sleeve of this album looked liked a pencil sketch of some weird contraption and now has a more sophisticated cover.Don't be fooled though.This album may be a required purchase of Floyd completionists,but its not the genuine article.It was basement bin material even at the time of sale.Okay,Interstellar Overdrive and Careful with that axe Eugene ARE interesting,but Arnold Layne and Bike sound like Spinal Tap in their guise as the Thamesmen.Not all artifacts from bygone eras are worth digging up.Spend your cash elsewhere and learn from this reviewers mistake.
Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A compilation, a good one indeed, with material from previous albums and singles - some stuff were amongst the earliest FLOYD's works dating back to 1966.

Another point is the possibility to hear (and enjoy) the acting of both band guitarrists: Barrett and Gilmour - and the album should be even better if the tracks were disposed chronologically.

However, this is not a collection of greatest hits or well-known songs although they appear too; this album contains some obscure and exquisite songs and it accordingly fills some blanks band's history. Musically speaking there are some weak moments but they are not capable to spoil the work entirely.

Best tracks: 'Arnold Layne', a typical proto-psychedelic rock of the 60s very agreeable to hear; 'See Emily play', very pleasant, with touches of psychedelia and a close resemblance with some contemporary HOLLIES' tunes; 'Careful with that axe, Eugene', intriguing and mindful; 'The Nile song', a kind of dirty rock that I appreciate much - the atmosphere is the same of Beatles' 'Helter skelter' or some Stones or Who songs in the same vein; 'Bike' is strange but listenable (although the final is weird).

Concluding: that work isn't a masterpiece but in fact it's an excellent addition to any prog collection. Total: 4 stars.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars This is a comprehensive compilation for those progheads who are not familiar with early Pink Floyd (67-70) and wanted to explore that era. From the Syd Barrett period we can enjoy the splendid progressive psychedelic pop songs Arnold Layne and See Emily Play. Pink Floyd was charting the single in those days, unfortunately Syd Barrett started to behave himself more and more erratic, eventually he had to leave Pink Floyd. My most precious Syd Barrett song is the long and compelling Interstellar Overdrive, it delivers the unique guitarwork from Syd Barrett: simple and based upon a wide range of guitarplayers but he sounded so innovative, in my opinion he never got the credits for that because we are too much focussed on speed and technical ability. The final part of this song belongs to the most captivating and compelling moments in progrock history, what a splendid guitar riff and how emotional! The beautiful track Julia features the Mellotron, I have never heard Pink Floyd using this ubiquitous instrument after this song?! Other interesting tracks are Careful With That Axe Eugene (one of the best compositions that Pink Floyd created shortly after Syd's departure) and Bike, a perfect example of Syd his both exceptional as weird lyrical abilities. THIS IS PROGROCK HISTORY!

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When "See Emily Play" was recorded, I remember how David Gilmour was first introduced to Pink Floyd guys by Syd Barrett. "We will have a session, please come over!" said Syd to David Gilmour when he was at the time still with his band Jokers Wild. David came to the session and found out that the band was about recording "See Emily Play" and what surprised David was that Syd seemed like knowing him at all. It's probably LSD dominated Syd's mind at the time. That's history . And now everyone knows that later, when Syd was out of control, Nick Mason - right after the gig where David attended - offered David a job to replace Syd on guitar. "Why not?" Dave said. Couple of days he joined the band, he left the band and finally begged the band to recruit him again.

Musically this release presents compilation of Pink Floyd's early work with Syd Barret as leader of the band. There must be a lot of psychedelic sounds here and characterized by rough edge guitar work, ponering drums / percussion and keyboard / sounds effects work. "Arnold Lane" has become Pink Floyd's legendary track followed with "Interstellar Overdrive" which represents the culmination of the boys' ideas to push their musical limits. There are avant-garde elements you might find in the track as demonstrated by guitar and keyboards / sound effects. "Careful with That Axe" is my favorite. As I knew rock music in the seventies and at the time I only listened to the kind like Deep Purple, Grand Funk, Led Zeppelin, etc. - the opening organ sound of this track seems similar with the intro of Deep Purple's "Fools" of "Fireball" album. Coincidence? Dunno really. Did Pink Floyd influence Jon Lord of Deep Purple? Probably. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Relics is a look back to the early days of Pink Floyd: the days of Syd Barrett, of psychedelia, and of catchy pop songs co-habiting with drawn-out lysergic experiments. It charts, quite visibly and more or less sequentially, the group's progress from humble beginnings as Barrett's backing band, through years of innovative studio experimentation as Barrett was replaced by Gilmour, to a point of technical proficiency yet languishing in a despond of creative destitution.

Albums like Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother are much revered by Prog fans and the group's following was rapidly expanding, yet they had produced no hit singles since Syd Barrett left in early 1968. I assume EMI were simply intending to fill this perceived commercial gap in the wait for the next studio album [Meddle], but unwittingly produced both a neat summation of Pink Floyd's early career as well as providing us with some 'rarities' as no less than 6 of the 11 tracks had not been previously released on LP.

Arnold Layne, a story of an infamous Knicker Snatcher, was Pink Floyd's first single. A typical piece of Barrett whimsy, this mono presentation is the original Joe Boyd single release. Interstellar Overdrive is the 'Piper' version in stereo, a lengthy slice of instrumental space-rock experimentation which would become a staple concert piece for several years. See Emily Play was the band's second single from 1967, another Barrett slice of psych popsiness probably inspired by one of the 'in-crowd'. Remember A Day is the version from Saucerful Of Secrets, a song by Richard Wright about the happiness of childhood. Notable for Norman Smith [their producer] playing drums instead of Nick Mason, it also credits both Gilmour and Barrett playing guitar.

Perky yet slightly derivative, Paintbox is about the music industry, another Wright song from '67, originally B-side to third single Apples And Oranges. Julia Dream is Floyd's first post-Syd single, recorded in February 68 shortly after Gilmour had joined, it is more spacey than psych as emphasised by Wright's stately Mellotron. About uncertainty and paranoia, it was of course written by Roger Waters in a similar laid-back vein as Grantchester Meadows. Careful With That Axe Eugene is the second space-rock experimental jam, presented here as a previously unreleased shortened studio version.

The next two songs are taken from the More soundtrack album. Cirrus Minor, a metaphor for a drug experience, is another Waters' stroll through the countryside somewhere near Grantchester Meadows, devoid of drums but with lots of Wright's Hammond and massed chorus of gulls. Appropriately about a beautiful siren luring her man to his doom, The Nile Song is a Proto-Heavy-Metal thrash courtesy of some very aggressive guitar work by Gilmour.

The lolloping Biding My Time features a long coda with some lovely liquid guitar from Gilmour, and Richard Wright playing some decent multi-tracked trombone. Though not previously released, this song formed The Afternoon section of The Man, a song-suite often played in concert but never officially released on record. Finally, the album returns to the genius of Barrett and the brilliant Bike, written for his then girlfriend with some superb rhyming couplets and inspired silliness. This is psychedelia at its best, but also a portent of things to come with chiming clocks and scary effects pre-dating Dark Side Of The Moon by 5 years.

Collections like Relics are no longer the essential buys they once were. For today's turned-online generation of Prog lovers, a quick splash around the Wild Wacky Wilderness will find many ex-obscurities and solve most old puzzles, one way or another. All of these songs are now legally available in other packages, but in 1971 this was a little gem, especially at a bargain-bin price. It is clearly not a 'Best Of', more like a retrospective look back at the group's past at a time when they were about to change gear and head for the moon.

Though essentially a simple and cheap collection of old material packaged for the masses, Relics became an integral and much loved part of the Pink Floyd discography and is still to be recommended today on CD. The sound is a little dodgy in a couple of places, but otherwise it has transferred well. My only gripe about the CD is the cover - sadly, gone is Nick Mason's wonderful doodle, to be replaced by photos of an impressive model of it.

Hugely recommended for anyone who is looking for an idiosyncratic resumé of Pink Floyd's early career.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Their record company was so nicely surprised by the commercial success of "Atom Heart Mother" (Nr. 1 in the UK), that they decided to release a compilation of their earlier work. At least this one erases the ignominy of "The Best Of Pink Floyd" released a year before. The cover for the UK version was a drawing from Nick.

The full title of the project was : "Relics, A Bizarre Collection of Antiques and Curios". And that's exactly what we get.

Let's start with the well known Antique : "Arnold Layne" their first single, "Interstellar" an incredible psyche trip available on "Piper", "See Emily Play" another single and "Bike" from "Piper" as well (rather dull actually).

Some of not so Antique (at that time) : "Cirrus Minor" which is one of the very good tracks form "More" as well as "The Nile Song" (one of their hardest song ever).

Then some Curios. Too many curios, actually.

"Remember A Day" : this song was already written (by Rick) at the time of the "Piper" sessions but finally released on A"SOS". "Paintbox" : B-side for "Apples & Oranges" (this should say sufficient, no) ? "Julia Dream" : fourth Floyd single. It is the first song featuring David on guitar and vocals. Believe me, he will do much, much better later on. "Binding My Time" : unreleased Waters composition. It should have remained so. He is even playing trumpet in this track ! Awful.

Finallywith "Careful With That Axe..." we get THE great track from this compilation. Released as b-side for "Point Me At The Sky". The track was first recorded for some BBC sessions (June 1968). It was first called "Murderistic Woman" then "Keep Smiling People" and for some very short time "Beset By The Creatures Of The Deep". Finally, it will turned into the "Careful..." as we know. This is IMO one of the best song of the early Floyd (before "Meddle").

Since this effort is not called "Best Of", we can hardly complain that jewels like "Astronomy Domine", "ASOS", "Set The Control..." are not present. This album will peak at number 32 in the UK and will be almost unnoticed in the US.

I can not really recommend it. For completionist (even if I rate it two stars).

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I am not a fan of compilations of previously released material. First, I believe musicians deserve to have their material heard in the context of the full original album. Second, I believe they are often another scam for the record companies to make money, especially when they extort the fans by including that one "unreleased" treasure that make the fans spend $17 for material they already own.

That said, there are just enough items of interest in this collection to warrant minor consideration. Arnold Layne, Emily, Paintbox, Julia, Careful Eugene, and Biding are tracks that you may not have in your Floyd collection. The first two mentioned are especially wonderful Syd numbers that you really should have if you like Piper. The others are historically though not particularly musically noteworthy. Let's face it, the post-Syd Floyd took a while to find its legs.

It is also lame that EMI chose to replace the fine old white cover with the cheesy photograph on the 1995 remastered edition. Leave artwork alone!!

If you are a latter day Floyd fan with no pre-Dark Side experience looking to sample, don't buy this now. Just buy Piper, Atom Heart, and Meddle which represent the highlights of the pre-Dark Side material. If still interested you can go back and get the other stuff.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars Relics was a compilation of material Pink Floyd produced between 1967-1969, mainly consisting of material off their Piper at the Gates of Dawn, A Saucerful of Secrets and More soundtrack albums, plus a few songs that were released as singles (A and B sides) or unreleased material. As I think the subtitle on some releases of this compilation says, its basically a collection of antiques and curios. I don't know exactly why this was released other than maybe to take advantage of the band's steadily growing popularity (even in the States by 1971). Certainly it could have been a better selection as they had produced much more interesting stuff during that time period. Nonetheless, it is a halfway decent album and an enjoyable listen.

I would probably recommend this album to the casual listener that just wants a touch of early Pink Floyd to see if you like it before diving into their first three albums. If you have all three of them, this album probably isn't worth your time. If you are a completionist or collector, yes, you probably should get it. Three stars. Good, but non-essential.

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Oldie and goldie. The best PINK FLOYD compilation ever - but that is saying more about my taste and musical preferences than the music itself. In a way, everything is very floydian here - from the atmosphere to the cover - and the music is that good old trippy Floyd stuff, squeezed the best from the first two albums that are very good anyway. No throwaway material. And a track or two of previously unreleased material from the same period, everything but below par.

The compilation might seems a bit obsolete nowadays, but I don't know for any better. If you are into British psychedelia - like I am - this is an enjoyable listen but it's unnecessary, because you already have the studio albums. But if you are just about to discover the beautiful new worlds - this might be a good starting place for you.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars See Pink Floyd Play.

A collection of their early singles along with some other unreleased tracks, Relics is one of the better Pink Floyd compilations out there. Especially worthy for the people who love Barrett era Floyd freakout tracks, this is one that has caught many ears over its time of being released. Certainly not the most essential Floyd disc by any means, this is still one worth owning for many of the tracks that are difficult of find outside this record. It's still slightly annoying that other tracks that are readily available exist on here, because it would have benefited the disc to be entirely composed of non-album material.

Still hosting a number of the best early (and overlooked) Floyd tracks from some of their studio albums such as the aways fun Interstellar Overdrive, the wonderful Remember A Day, Bike and the two best tracks from More, The Nile Song and Cirrus Minor. But if you already have these tracks in your collection you won't be hearing anything new in these songs.

Among the unreleased stuff (on cd albums anyways) there's a bunch of gems. See Emily Play is a fun, Beatle-esque track that shows the band before their first album, as does Arnold Layne, the latter of which grows fairly tiring after a few listens. A little bit later in the cd Julia Dream is a spaced out track that would've sounded great on A Saucerful of Secrets and paired with Paintbox they make for a great six minutes. Biding My Time is another good lost track, but the most attractive track has yet to be mentioned.

While the other tracks would soon justify the purchase, the biggest buying point for this reviewer was the studio version of Careful With That Ax, Eugine. Unfortunately, this track is actually the most tedious part of the cd! Shorter than it's live counterpart and lacking the energy that the Ummagumma version possesses, this track was better left alone than recorded.

This is a good one for fans of early Floyd fans, but for the rest of the world it's just another compilation. Also good if you want to hear the best of the early Floyd stuff without actually going out and buying it. However, if you don't like Floyd very much (or at all) then give this one a miss. 3 stars - good, but not essential. A worthy compilation disc.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars In 1976 one cousin let to one of my brothers an L.P. version of this compilation. But curiously, that L.P. copy had a manufacturing error because in Side One it really had the songs from Side One of the "The Dark Side of the Moon" album (but with the label showing the titles of Side One of "Relics") and in Side Two it had the correct songs from the Side Two of "Relics". So, it wasn`t until 1982 when I listened for the first time to "The Dark Side of the Moon" that I realized that the LP copy that I heard from "Relics" was badly manufactured! It was until this year that I finally bought this album in the CD format, so for me this is the first time that I listen to this album as it was originally released.

Now with the recent death of Richard Wright, and after listening to "Relics" and other Pink Floyd`s albums from the seventies, I think that Roger Waters was wrong about Wright`s skills as a composer and as a keyboard player when his ego fired Wright from Pink Floyd. Wright`s contributions for the band were underrated by Waters when he took control of the band to record the overrated "The Wall" album, an album that I don`t like very much. Also, for the first time I had the chance to listen to Syd Barrett`s songs as I have never listened in full to "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" album. So I consider this album a a very good compilation of songs from their early years (1967-69) before they became more famous.

I can see that Pink Floyd with Barrett was in sound a combination of Psychedelia and Pop, and also it was an experimental band. He was a good guitarist and a good singer, and his songs are psychedelic but also accessible. It is a shame that his mental health changed in a brief time. After he had to leave the band, Waters and Wright had to compose more songs to keep the band alive. Wright`s "Remember a Day" and "Paintbox" are very good too, really showing to me Wright`s contributions to the sound of the band. Waters`songs are also very good, and they show to me that he was a better composer during those years than in "The Wall", and that his leadership qualities were then in better control to keep the band really functioning as a band for several years. It was until he lost control of his leadership qualities that he became impossible to work with and his songs became of less quality in "The Wall", in my opinion. "Julia Dream", one of his songs, is one of my favourites, with a very good use of the mellotron by Wright. I also can say this about "Cirrus Minor", with Wright again playing very good keyboards. "The Nile Song", another song composed by Waters is also very good, played without keyboards, in a heavy way. "Biding my Time" was a previously unreleased song composed by Waters, also good.

In conclusion, it is a very good compilation, in my opinion.

Review by friso
4 stars This compilation is a must have for Pink Floyd fans who don't want to listen to Pipers and Sourcefull but do want some PF music of the early times. This release could also be of interest to the specific psychadelic rock fan that wants all the material there is. This compilation consists of some classics and is has some singles/songs that weren't released on other albums. Arnold Layne, Paintbox and See Emely Play are great examples of proto prog/psychpop of the time. The best songs from minor album More are also handy here, for the More album isn't considered must have by most people. For the vinyl recordcollecter this is also a nice goody because of the nice art on the front and the back of the album that set the asmosphere before you even listen to the music. Seems like a nice reason of four stars!
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Relics" is a compilation album by UK psychadelic/progressive rock act Pink Floyd. The compilation was released through Starline Records (subsidiary label to EMI) in May 1971. The label decided that a release from Pink Floyd was needed in mid-1971 to close the gap between the releases of Pink Floyd´s fifth and sixth full-length studio albums "Atom Heart Mother" (October 1970) and "Meddle" (October 1971), while the band worked in the studio on the material for the latter.

"Relics" is a combined early career rarities and best-of compilation album, featuring single A-side and B-side tracks, an unreleased track ("Biding My Time"), and four tracks ("Interstellar Overdrive", "Remember a Day", "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", and "Bike") which had already appeared on one of the first two albums by Pink Floyd ("The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967)" and "A Saucerful of Secrets (1968)"). "Nile Song" and "Cirrus Minor" are featured from the 1969 soundtrack album "More". "Biding My Time" is of course an attraction here, but the A-side single tracks "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", featuring vocals by Syd Barret, are also some of the highlights of the compilation. "Paintbox", which is a B-side to the 1968 single "Apples and Oranges" and "Julia Dream", which is a B-side to the 1968 single "It Would Be So Nice", are also both great additions to the compilation.

So "Relics" is arguably a good representation of both the most melodic and accessible early psychadelic tinged rock songs by the band, but also some of the most trippy experimental sound collages. In that respect "Relics" is as good a place to start your journey with early Pink Floyd as any. So evaluating "Relics" is actually more about what was left off the compilation, because the label left off some pretty essential rarities, which could have made the compilation even more interesting in "Candy and a Currant Bun", which was the B-side to the 1967 "Arnold Layne" single, the A-side track from the 1968 "It Would Be So Nice" single, and the A-side track from the 1968 "Point Me at the Sky" single. If it was a matter of vinyl quality time limits, they could easily have replaced either "Interstellar Overdrive" or "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", with the three missing single tracks, and as a result "Relics" would have been a more complete early rarities compilation. Still a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The band's previous studio album might not have been one of my favorites but it did make somewhat of an impact in the British charts meaning that the label soon followed up the success with this compilation album.

Unlike the 1970 compilation called The Best Of The Pink Floyd that covered the band's psychedelic years with Syd Barret, Relics is quite an odd little collection of songs from the '60s. The album did supply the fans with both of the Syd Barrett-era hit singles, Arnold Layne and See Emily Play, plus B-sides to three other singles. But it also features studio tracks from the debut album, A Saucerful Of Secrets and the soundtrack from the film More.

The biggest surprises for me here were the tracks Julia Dream and The Nile Song. The former is a slow and soft Mellotron-driven performance with beautiful chorus sang by Roger Waters. The latter is a surprisingly heavy tune that can easily be classified as one of the earliest forms of Hard Rock genre! I could have enjoyed the album more if I was spared the complete version of Interstellar Overdrive and the other B-side tracks since they really don't add anything interesting to the already familiar scope of Pink Floyd's early output.

The main issue I have with Relics is that it tries to be both a best of- and rarities compilation without being particularly good at either one of these goals. It's understandable why the fans would have wanted this compilation back in the day but today there's a wide variety of great Pink Floyd odds & sods releases out there making Relics exactly what its title might suggest. Still the glossy album cover and the fact that it was released before the band's golden era is enough to make it a nice piece of Pink Floyd memorabilia for fans of the band.

***** star songs: Remember A Day (4:29) Julia Dream (2:37) Bike (3:21)

**** star songs: Arnold Layne (2:56) See Emily Play (2:53) The Nile Song (3:25)

*** star songs: Interstellar Overdrive (9:43) Paintbox (3:33) Careful With That Axe, Eugene (5:45)

** star songs: Cirrus Minor (5:18) Biding My Time (5:18)

Review by Flucktrot
3 stars One of two Floyd compilations that are worth buying (except of course for completionists, who already have the albums). It successfully takes a time period (early Floyd), and gives a good representation not only of the songs, but also the evolution over time. Of course, few could have seen what the band would deliver 10 years later with The Wall, for better or worse.

The added advantage is that this really gives you much of the best (not all, as Astronomy Domini and other notables are excluded, for example) of what spans a lot of albums (and, to be honest, an excruciating amount of poor to average music...that is, unless you are really into unstructured psychadelia and simplistic singles). For example, with Relics, you have The Nile Song and Cirrus Minor from More. I recommend that you needn't listen to anything else off of that album, it's so poor in places. Thus, Relics becomes a very convenient, and affordable, workaround. It also achieves the purpose of teasing a bit, by only giving a taste for those crave more (and thus go out and buy the albums).

As a side note, I owned the cassette version, which had the same cover as the American LP, with the big-lipped, double-eyed bottle opener head. That cover would seriously freak me would give me nightmares. I would avoid the drawer where I kept this tape just to not see that awful head staring back at me. Perhaps others had a similar reaction, thus hampering US sales. The CD cover, on the other hand, which consists of a fairly neutral Nick Mason-designed gizmo, is much less disturbing.

Overall, Relics can be a worthwhile toe-in-the-pool test of early Floyd, which may be helpful in deciding whether to take the chilly and sometimes unpleasant dive into their early discography.

Review by thehallway
3 stars An early compendium of singles, B-sides and lesser-known album tracks, with a fair share between Pink Floyd's three principle songwriters (Barrett, Wright and of course, Waters).

Relics has a nice flow to it despite the chronological gaps between the songs; they must be well chosen. Certainly, the inclusion of 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play' is beneficial as they are unavailable on any normal studio release. The same goes for most of the tracks actually. And although these songs vary in style somewhat, the fit together almost like an album proper, a song cycle indeed!

I enjoy Wright's quirky 'Paintbox', and the studio verison of 'Careful with that Axe, Eugene' is cool to have, even though the Ummugumma take is probably better. But the real gem here is Waters' cool and bluesy 'Biding My Time', which has uncharacteristically clean production, plenty of horns and a killer guitar solo. How this workout didn't end up on Meddle I don't know. Although I haven't heard the More soundtrack yet, I think the two songs from it are probably the weakest on this album, but they may very well be the best the film soundtrack had to offer! In any case, Relics is mostly good and, being a compliation, is naturally devoid of filler-material.

A good purchase if you own the majority of the Floyd's discography and are looking to go further. A bad purchase if you don't like the Barrett-Gimour-crossover era, because that's the focus. Perhaps more work has gone into the album cover than the song selection.....

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I only bought this for "Biding My Time". Apparently a leftover from the Meddle sessions although the band was playing a live version as early as 1969. The song wasn't worth the purchase. Before I got Relics a friend of mine had the Shine On box with the Early Singles CD in it. That was the first place I heard "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play". It had "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" as well but in mono.

Besides the early singles and B-sides, this also has the two best songs from More: "Cirrus Minor" and "The Nile Song". The Piper version of "Interstellar Overdrive" is here. Two good but ignored songs in "Remember A Day" and "Julia Dream". The former is a song written by Wright from A Saucerful Of Secrets; the latter was the B-side to the flop single "It Would Be So Nice". "Julia Dream" is the first song Floyd recorded with Gilmour after Barrett had gone.

Overall, a very all over the place collection. For the longest time this was the easiest way to get "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play" and the studio "Eugene". This compilation I think had three different covers, one by Nick Mason. Not worth getting if you have all the studio albums. For fans and completists only. 2 stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Can this be considered just a compilation? Think to me in the vinyl age, far from UK that was the center of the music in Europe and with no internet. Without any possibility to find obscure sigles released years before and never printed out in my country this album was the first opportunity to listen to the Pink Floyd's songs unreleased on album that I knew existed but have never heard before.

I knew of these songs because the lyrics were printed on a book, the same whose author tried to guess the lyrics by listening to the songs and made some incredible errors, one for all the one that generated an urban legend on St Tropez ("ringing by phone" became "Rita Pavone" a pop artist famous for an omonimous song).

So I had the opportunity to listen to Julia Dream, Biding My Time and Arnold Layne, to have a studio version of Careful With that Axe Eugene and to relisten to some classic songs. Only I wouldn't have included the songs from More as I find them out of context here.

This is a fundamental album for who wants to know the early Floyd and not only for Syd. Juila Dream is one of the first songs written by Waters and the first matching his future style.

One mention goes to the sleeve design. The picture is known for having been drawn by Nick Mason, the last tribute to his architect's career.

4 stars

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Relics!

It is strange I had not reviewed this album before. But well, there is actually not much to say. This is a compilation album released back in 1971, a compilation of some of their most representative songs from the 60s, songs that are loved among die-hard fans who follow the Pink Floyd since their very roots. Here you will have a slice of their psychedelic moments with songs such as "Iinterstellar Overdrive" or the awesome (because I really love it) "Careful with that Axe, Eugene".

Shorter compositions like the opener "Arnold Layne", "Julia Dream", "Paintbox" or "Bike" are also shared here. Songs that may not represent the brightest moments of the band, not even the proggiest moments because someone may argue that some songs here have something to do with prog, but nonetheless those are songs that the early phase of the band, which are good if you want to understand their roots and know them deeper.

If you know their most popular albums such as Dark Side or The Wall, and like them, please don't stay only with them, I invite you to listen and know their earlier tunes (though I firstly recommend you the studio albums), so Relics may work for that. My final grade will be three stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is an interesting compilation. Released when Pink Floyd was getting quite popular in the mainstream, it was a way to get introduced to their earlier material (it was for me - when I got this, I had "Meddle", "Dark Side Of The Moon" and "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn").

Unlike modern collections on corporate major labels, this set was put together by someone who obviously knew Pink Floyd's music and cared about it. It actually shows a nice cross section of what the group's sixties albums were all about.

Plusses: The album reminds us that there was a time when Richard Wright was allowed to write songs for the band. His Remember A Day and Paint Box are both beautiful. The Nile Song. This is as raw a song as I've ever heard by Floyd. The punks would love it. And Biding My Time, a honky tonk blues song is nice to.

Also, Careful With That Axe, Eugene is much more subdued than the live version on "Ummagumma", but I like it.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With the success of "Atom Heart Mother" some clever soul at the record label company decided it was high time to release a compilation for all the best material produced in the early years of 1967 to 1970 and here is the result. It is indeed a compilation of Floyd relics that captures some of the trippiest space rock that the band executed. These were experimental years of course and the raw psychedelic sound pervades the album throughout.

On offer is the awesome 'Interstellar Overdrive' that runs for about 10 minutes and is never dull. Highlights abound with Syd Barrett's cross dresser anthem 'Arnold Layne' and the dreamy 'See Emily Play'. The bone chilling mesmirising ambience of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' is here, as well as classic spaced up 'Julia Dream' and powerful 'Cirrus Minor'.

Other tracks are okay and of course there is nothing new for the Floyd fan who has everything, and it would take the most impoverished Floydian to not have everything here. The best bits of "Piper" and "Saucerful" is here though the title track is missing.

This album is best picked up on vinyl as it has a classic quality, especially the packaging and cover art. It is a product of its time but perhaps enough to satiate the appetite of music listeners interested in the dark mysterious early years of the band. There are better compilations such as "Echoes" but none with this much early psych from Pink Floyd so for that reason alone this is a curio worth snavelling up.

Review by Progfan97402
4 stars Back in my late teens (this would be around 1991) I was starting to explore pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd, as my father never owned anything pre-Dark Side. I already knew "One of These Days" from the totally unessential A Collection of Great Dance Songs, a compilation my father owned.

A Collection of Great Dance Songs gets a beating and rightfully so. Only six songs for a band with such an extensive catalog (even as of 1981 when that was released) hardly does the band justice. But there's an earlier compilation that gets much more respect that's Relics. This includes album cuts, non-album singles, and even one never-before released song (that is "Biding My Time"). Much of it from the Syd Barrett-era, as well as a couple of post-Syd-era tracks (like "Cirrus Minor", "The Nile Song", "Biding My Time" and "Careful With that Axe, Eugene"). "Interstellar Overdrive" from Piper at the Gates of Dawn is a prime example of proto-space rock, that many early '70s Krautrock bands like Amon Duul II and Ash Ra Tempel took and ran off with it and took it its logical conclusion. "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" are their first singles, predating Piper, and were actually major UK hits (it's easy to forget Pink Floyd were actually successful right from the start in the UK, and it was only with The Dark Side of the Moon that they finally made it big in the States). Two songs from "More", "Cirrus Minor" and "The Nile Song" are included, the latter Pink Floyd almost attempting heavy metal (as it was in 1969, but Led Zeppelin was still heavier than them even then). "Cirrus Minor" is a nice space song, with Richard Wright giving some spacy organ. It's no doubt groups like Eloy (particularly albums like Inside and Floating) and Nektar (particularly Journey to the Centre of the Eye) were obviously influenced by such songs as "Cirrus Minor", "Interstellar OVerdrive", and "Astronomy Domine" (this one not included on Relics). I really wished they left Syd's "Bike" off, I have never cared for that song, I would have felt that song should have been replaced with the much superior "Astronomy Domine". For a short time from 1968 until 1970, Mellotron could be heard on some Pink Floyd recordings, and "Julia Dream" is one of them, featuring tron flute. Although Relics was released in 1971, nothing later than 1969 ("More"-era) is featured here, I guess Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother found the band moving too far from the styles explored on this compilation, as Relics is a rather accessible collection of their earliest material (and Ummagumma and Atom Heart Mother aren't exactly easy listens).

I bought this on cassette in 1991, this one featured the cover depicting a strange mask with tongue sticking out (as this was the American pressing, after all). It was a great way for me to been introduced to early Pink Floyd, as I didn't realize (given how lousy cassettes were often at giving information, especially cassettes released before about 1983) a good portion of these songs only appeared as singles and "Biding My Time" appeared nowhere else. Certainly newer Pink Floyd compilations and box sets probably leave this in the dust, it was a great way for me to get acquainted with their early material and it's not a perfect comp, after all, it includes the rather lame "Bike", but it's four star worthy.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I remember listening to this compilation back in 1974, when I started liking rock music at fourteen. It belonged to my sister friend, who were both big fans of Pink Floyd. To us, brazilians, Relics was a very welcomed record since most of Pink Floyd early singles were never released here at the time. Or maybe one or two might have, but if they did, they were hard to find. Contrary to most people here I really liked the music here and I thought it was a great collection that I heard a lot at the time. Songs like Arnold Layne and Julia´s Dream were my favourites (I much rather hear David Bowie´s version of `Pin Ups, which my sister had). The cover art of the brazilian release was very different, being a photo of some odd looking pieces of painted ceramics (porbablçy the same cover as the american one, i guess).

I still enjoy this album to date, being it a quite interesting collection of non album singles and some album cuts that were not maybe their best but still good and representative of their psychedelic phase (nothing here was released after 1969). Although it was out in 1971, no tracks from Ummaguma or Atom Heart Mother is represented in Relics.

Rating: 3 stars

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 474

"Relics" is a compilation of Pink Floyd and was originally released in 1971. However, "Relics" has been reissued on several occasions and in different places with different covers, and sometimes without the proper authority, namely, without the consent of the band's members themselves. This lack of consent made that "Relics" became, in reality, a true rarity. Finally, the reissue of the compilation in 1995 in CD format, meant that it could be purchased easily again.

The cover of the album was designed by the drummer of Pink Floyd Nick Mason when he was studying architecture in the Regent Street Polytechnic. According to him this was the only concrete product made by him in all the years he spent at that architecture school. As I wrote before, in addition to the original design of the original compilation, it was released in different countries with different art covers. Even the re-mastered CD version, the version released in 1995, has a different cover, a three dimensional version of the original sketch drawn by Nick Mason for the original release.

"Relics" has another peculiar particularity, the rare participation of the five Pink Floyd's members. Syd Barrett (lead vocals on "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play" and "Bike" and lead and rhythm guitars on "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play", "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Bike"), David Gilmour (lead vocals on "Julia Dream", "Cirrus Minor" and "The Nile Song", baking vocals and lead and rhythm guitars on all the other tracks except those who were performed by Syd Barrett). Richard Wright (lead vocals on "Remember A Day" and "Paintbox", backing vocals, organ, piano and trombone), Roger Waters (lead vocals on "Biding My Time", backing vocals and bass guitar) and Nick Mason (drums and percussion). We have also the collaboration of Norman Smith (backing vocals and drums on "Remember A Day").

"Relics" has eleven tracks. "Arnold Layne" was released in 1967 as the A side of the first single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. 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. "Interstellar Overdrive" was released on "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". It's full of improvisations and dissonant parts, confusing and chaotic. It's very innovative, with some progressivity. It can be considered their first approach to the space rock. "See Emily Play" was released in 1967 as the A side of the second single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. It's a song with such an uplifting tune and I just love that psychedelic vibe, really. "Remember A Day" was released on "A Saucerful Of Secrets". It's a song with psychedelic reminiscences with nice keyboards. I like very much of this song with the brilliant piano work of Wright and the nice drumming of Mason. "Paintbox" was released in 1967 as the B side of the single "Apples And Oranges", the third single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. It has a mysterious sound and the echoes of the voices have that sense of madness that surrounded everything about Pink Floyd in those times. "Julia Dream" was released in 1968 as the B side of the single "It Would Be So Nice", the fourth single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. This is a song that stands out because of its melancholic vibe. The Mellotron flutes are great too. This is a great track. "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" was released in 1968 as the B side of the single "Point Me At The Sky", the fifth single of the band. It wasn't released on any studio album. It's absolutely an amazing instrumental piece. I particularly love the Wright work with his organ. "Cirrus Minor" was originally released on "More". It's a slow song very beautiful and very relaxing too that begins with Waters' acoustic guitar and that ends with a superb keyboard solo performed by Wright. "The Nile Song" was released on "More". It's a very heavy song, one of the heaviest songs written by them. It's a very enjoyable hard rock song with nice guitar solos and where Gilmour screams instead of singing, which isn't very nice to hear. "Biding My Time" is a previous unreleased Roger Waters' song which was never released. It's a very bluesy song. The lyrics are good. It isn't very proggy but it sounds very Pink Floyd. "Bike" was released on "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn". It's a childish and mad song with good lyrics but completely insane. This is a very strange and original song.

Conclusion: "Relics" was one of my first musical experiences with Pink Floyd and represents one of my first contacts with progressive rock. It isn't a pure and a genuine compilation. It's true that five of the songs were previously released on studio albums, but it's also true that six were never released on any studio album and this was the first time that we can have all those songs together and not spread for all those singles. So, I sincerely think that "Relics" is, in reality, an indispensable document to check the first musical period of Pink Floyd, their most psychedelic phase, the Barrett's era. So, consequently, this is an excellent addition to any progressive rock collection. Therefore, I don't share the point of view of those who think this compilation is only important for Pink Floyd's fans who love their first psychedelic musical period, or that it's only essential for fundamentalists and hard fans of Barrett's music. It's a great document of the 70's.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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3 stars In mid-1971, Pink Floyd released Relics, an album which collected some non-album singles, B-sides, and unreleased songs. However, five of the eleven songs had already been released on other records. I was conflicted over whether or not to include this release in this article, but if I addressed Livi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904349) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, April 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review #20 "Relics" is a really nice compilation album of Pink Floyd's early songs from 1967 to 1971, some of them were part of their first three albums: "The Piper at the gates of dawn" ("Interstellar overdrive" and "Bike"), "A saucerful of secrets" ("Remember a day") and "More" ("Cirrus Minor" ... (read more)

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5 stars Five stars for a review of a compilation album? Surely you jest? No, I'm quite serious. It's not often that one gets a history lesson as pleasurable as listening to an album like Relics, for starters. It is also a skeleton key, if one knows how use it, to see why Pink Floyd started out as a s ... (read more)

Report this review (#1448598) | Posted by SteveG | Monday, August 3, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is not just a compilation. This is a good overview of the Syd Barrett period of Pink Floyd and include three songs (Arnold Layne, See Emily Play and Paintbox) which were never released on studio record before and delivers a studio version of "Careful with that Axe, Eugene" which was also ... (read more)

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3 stars A greatest hits package from 1971 of the early work of Pink Floyd. Not much groundbreaking or different here, just non-album singles and known tracks. I remember when I got this album it was because of the cheap price. This is not the later proggy Floyd but mostly more psychedelic and folky tunes fr ... (read more)

Report this review (#752796) | Posted by mohaveman | Sunday, May 13, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An eclectic compilation of early Pink Floyd songs, Relics includes some album tracks and some early singles from both the Syd Barrett and late 60's-early 70's David Gilmour phases. The two Barrett singles "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" are possibly even better and more charactaristic tha ... (read more)

Report this review (#699148) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Thursday, March 29, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Many compilation albums just feature songs from a groups past albums, but not Relics. 6 of the 11 songs here are either singles or never previously released and all of them are quite good. See Emily Play and Arnold Layne are the two "hit" singles with Syd Barrett in charge of the group. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#515297) | Posted by tdfloyd | Monday, September 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Relics captures the most expressive work from early Pink Floyd. It is a complilation but is well worth picking up because it features lots of jewels not included on any main studio albums. I have been enjoying it since its release, to the extent that I didn't like "Piper At The Gates of Dawn" ... (read more)

Report this review (#484165) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Sunday, July 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Relics is just that: an old dusty box that you discover in the attic that has all sorts of old antiques that have been long forgotten, but are very important. Though I usually hate compilation albums. (as compilation albums often rip other albums apart, and I especially hate it when compilations ... (read more)

Report this review (#196957) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Friday, January 2, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4 stars because a compilation, even if it's a great one (like this one) deserves not a full-stars rate. But everything's really wonderful here (even the cover art, yes ! Yes !). Here, you could hear an unreleased track from the Meddle sessions (Biding My Time), the studio version of Careful With ... (read more)

Report this review (#165040) | Posted by Zardoz | Wednesday, March 26, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A compilation. I wanted to give it four stars. But I looked on the tracklist again. What do we have here? Two songs from Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, one from A Saucerful Of Secrets another two from More, one unrealesd (Biding My Time), and the rest are singles. Nothing special, although they are ... (read more)

Report this review (#113097) | Posted by Deepslumber | Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Relics" represents a major crossroads for me - the listener. My previous listening experience had been limited to what I found on the airwaves - pop/rock and my leanings at the time were towards bands like Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath etc. I was lent this album by a fri ... (read more)

Report this review (#84371) | Posted by | Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars the best PF compilitaion that is focused on a certain era of the band's history (as most of them are). Half the songs are singls that were never realsed on an album while the others are great songs previously realsed. "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" are by far the besy Syd Barret singles, ... (read more)

Report this review (#77854) | Posted by echoes2112 | Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I started my Pink Floyd-journey (if you can call it that way) with the well known records, like Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, The Wall; you'll probably know them aswell. And I really liked it! But since I discovered the Floyd-material with Syd Barrett, I'm totally blown away! What I hear when ... (read more)

Report this review (#64266) | Posted by Baukereg | Wednesday, January 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Syd Barrett, the original line-up's creator of playful, psychedelic rock songs, had been gone for two years and Pink Floyd's current work did not have the hit single potential of their work with Barrett. Hoping to rekindle the draw of the Barrett era, Capital Records released Relics, in 1971. ... (read more)

Report this review (#55962) | Posted by Marquês_Prög | Friday, November 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars all right "the best on here are "careful.."and "remember a day" and the barret songs that is "arnold layne" and "emily.."the rest are good except for "nile song".this is excellent for people starting on pink floyd those who have "piper.." and "a saucerful of secrets"and don't have money don't ... (read more)

Report this review (#29297) | Posted by | Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars You cant say this disc is a "masterpiece" only because its sort of picking songs and put them together, But I still think this disc is one of the best from the prog band pink floyd, expecialy because it has "See Emily Play" that only been able to get from the single See Emily Play that worth over ... (read more)

Report this review (#29293) | Posted by RedNightmare | Monday, December 27, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Out of the 11 songs on this album, there are 4 songs that stood out to me and without them I do not think the album would be worth the price of admission - 1. Arnold Layne - the opening track, this strange song just has a mystery about it that frightens just a little bit but pleases the ear ... (read more)

Report this review (#29291) | Posted by | Saturday, December 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Very poor early work of Floyd. I do not welcome the sound of this complilation. Arnold layne is a decent start to the album. Interstellar Overdrive is good, but maybe a little long. See Emily Play is by far the best song on this album. Paintbox and Julia dream stink. Care with that axe is good ... (read more)

Report this review (#29290) | Posted by | Thursday, November 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Relics is an incredible album. This compilation album, made up of amazing tunes, was released before their break-through album, The Dark Side Of The Moon. That's what I find incredible. An overlooked gem that is available on this CD, and nowhere, is "Biding My Time", a jazzy, sort of rag-time ... (read more)

Report this review (#29287) | Posted by | Friday, June 11, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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