Pink Floyd
The Early Singles


3.0
good

Review

by Divaman USER (150 Reviews)
September 3rd, 2018 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album is primarily for Pink Floyd completists and Syd Barrett fans.

This compilation was originally released in 1992 as part of the Shine On box set, although nowadays, it's easy enough to get the LP as a standalone. It comprises all five of the band's non-album singles and their B-sides from 1967 and 1968. It's one of those collections that's less an album you listen to repeatedly from beginning to end, and more of a historical curiosity.

The Early Singles has two main attractions. The first is that it's a collector's item for Pink Floyd completists. Some of the more popular songs here, such as "Arnold Layne", "See Emily Play", and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" were already available on such compilations as The Best of the Pink Floyd, Relics and Works, but you've got them all in one place here. The album's second selling point is that the first six songs serve as a nice sample of Sid Barrett's strange, psychedelic flavored singles and shorter songs. ("Paintbox" was actually written and sung by Richard Wright, but still features Barrett on guitar and backing vocals).

The stress on the "singles" aspect may be a little misleading. The truth is, Floyd never was much of a singles band to begin with, and their early 45's releases with Barrett were so distinctly British that they seldom made much of a dent outside of the UK. The most successful of the five singles here is "See Emily Play", which reached #6 on the UK chart, and was their only charting song in the U.S. during this period, coming in at an anemic #134. (It also reached #25 in Germany.) Outside of that, the only other charting single in this collection is "Arnold Layne", which reached #20 in the UK and #24 in The Netherlands.

A number of the other songs on the LP do have a certain charm to them, though, including "The Scarecrow" (which was the "See Emily Play" B-side), "Apples and Oranges" and its B-side "Paintbox", and "Julia Dream", a Roger Waters-penned track written in Syd Barrett style as a B-side for the largely forgettable "It Would Be So Nice". And of course, "Careful With That Axe, Eugene", included here as a studio version (and as the B-side of "Point Me to the Sky") is considered something of an early Floyd classic.

In general, the rarest of the tracks included here, "Candy and a Current Bun", and especially "It Would Be So Nice" and "Point Me at the Sky", are also the least interesting musically. However, fervent Pink Floyd fans will want to own them anyway.

This is one of those LPs I'm glad to have in my collection. However, if you're somehow a fledgling fan of this band, it's probably about the 20th or so Pink Floyd album you'll want to explore/obtain. Give it an extra star or so if you're a rabid Barrett fan, though.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Divaman
September 3rd 2018


3164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's kind of weird to realize that the studio version of "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" only actually shows up on the comps. It was on "Ummagumma" as a live version, and in the "Pink Floyd: Live at Pompei" film. The studio version didn't show up on an LP until "Relics".

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Papa Universe
September 3rd 2018


18587 Comments


I'd personally merge the two last paragraphs, but your call.
And yeah, didn't know Floyd were much into singles either.
the early POS

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

parksungjoon
September 3rd 2018


8901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

na this is dope

parksungjoon
September 3rd 2018


8901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

relics is probably a bit better though

wham49
September 3rd 2018


4236 Comments


its a comp, so who cares.

only a very select few comps have ever been worth anybody's time

parksungjoon
September 3rd 2018


8901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its convenient for listening to songs that arent on LPs or EPs

Divaman
September 3rd 2018


3164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks for the pos, Papa U. Gonna keep the last two paragraphs as two separate entities. Don't want to push my "however"s too close together.



The primary thing about this comp is that none of the songs were ever released on the studio albums, Wham. You can get the songs in other places, but only on other comps.



My take on Pink Floyd is this, ps. They're up in my top few favorite bands of all time, but mostly because of the studio albums from "Meddle" to "The Wall". The early Barrett stuff is fun, but odd, and if Barrett hadn't fried his brain and had stayed in charge of the band, they'd be an interesting little band with a cult following, like Soft Machine, but they wouldn't be the huge phenomenon they eventually became.



That's just how I feel, though. I know there are people who are passionate about the Barrett years.

JustJoe.
September 3rd 2018


5575 Comments


POS Floyd

parksungjoon
September 3rd 2018


8901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

most of their 70s stuff are literally my topmost favourite albums of all time



even so, the first 2 albs and the singles comps are easy 4/5s

Jethro42
September 3rd 2018


15572 Comments


Will give it a listen. I have the same views as yours Divaman, about the albums before Meddle and after The Wall. I have no ratings above 3.5 into those zones, and the Barrett era goes too far into psychedelia and experimentation imo. I pos'd your review.

Divaman
September 3rd 2018


3164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, gents.

ArsMoriendi
September 3rd 2018


24255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Candy and a Currant Bun and Paintbox are my faves on here

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Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2018


40868 Comments


THOUGHTCHA MIGHT LIKE TO KNOOOOOOOOOOOOW

i'm her lorryyyyyy driver maaan

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TwigTW
September 4th 2018


3531 Comments


I don't think of Pink Floyd as a singles band at all (although they've had some pretty big ones). I'll have to give this a spin . . . The Syd Barrett story is tragic, but I wonder if things had gone better for him if he still would have been nudged out of the band as Pink Floyd transitioned into the 70s. It's hard to imagine 70s Floyd not happening. Who knows, maybe DSOTM, WYWH, Etc. would just be Rodger Waters solo albums. :-/

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ClungeAbsentia
September 5th 2018


97 Comments


You can never have too much Syd, is his music was your thing this will definitely scratch your itch.

Divaman
September 5th 2018


3164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Was watching the Pulse dvd earlier. God, I love David Gilmour.

parksungjoon
September 6th 2018


8901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed

zakalwe
September 6th 2018


26036 Comments


Pulse is indeed absolutely top notch.

Tunaboy45
September 6th 2018


16609 Comments


late Floyd deserves more credit, Final Cut deserves a reassessment

Divaman
September 6th 2018


3164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You gotta be a real Waters guy to love that one, I think, Tuna. I just re-listened the other day, but it (and Pros and Cons) don't do it for me. But I'm more a Gilmour guy than a Waters guy.



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