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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 8 August 2012
I could never understand why this first compilation of Floyd stuff never included unavailable tracks such as "Apples And Oranges", "Point Me At The Sky", "Candy And Currant Bun" yet included several album tracks that were still available on the original albums. This re-issue was also an opportunity to finally include the unreleased but brilliant "Scream Thy Last Scream" and "Vegetable Man"

Music ***** thought behind compilation *
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on 27 February 2007
This isn't 'The Wall' or 'Meddle' or 'Dark Side' or even 'Saucerful of Secrets' - this is largely Syd's Pink Floyd and gives full expression to our favourite Crazy Diamond. I'm proud to admit that this and "Piper at the Gates" are the only Floyd albums I now own and I play this often. Someone will doubtless point out Syd isn't involved on all of these tracks but they're all brushed with his influence and tainted by his maniacal vision. This is England's version of Roky Erickson & the 13th Floor Elevators but much better recordings.

Axe (as soundtracked on Zabriskie Point) is good, the singles Arnold Layne & Emily Play a perfect marriage but it's the mellow Cirrus Minor, Julia Dream, Paintbox and Remember a Day that really take me back to the years immediately after the Brit's summer of love. They're blissful (the perfect adjective here). Maybe I should give due credit to Roger Waters here. The Nile Song & Interstellar both rock and Paintbox ends up making you want to rip off all of your clothes, no matter who's in the room with you. Oops - time for me to be on me Bike!
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on 28 May 2007
This is an excellent compilation album for those who wish to investigate Pink Floyd's highly productive early years, especially those with Syd Barrett.

Two of Barrett's most renowned and revered compositions are included, 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play'. The former is a curious tale depicting a barmy fellow who enjoys stealing women's undergarments, and is a characteristically idiosyncratic cut from Barrett, being both delightfully playful and flawless musically. 'See Emily Play' is even better; a psychedelic masterpiece, made distinctive due to the hallucinatory organ sounds and Barrett's blithe and effervescent lyrical imagery. These are two fantastic examples of Floyd's Syd Barrett era, where the band was able to churn out playful, childlike, almost whimsical slices of psychedelic pop, which were quintessentially English. The inclusion of Barrett's 'Interstellar Overdrive' also demonstrates his experimental and progressive leanings, aptly underlining the many dimensions of early Floyd.

This compilation isn't all about Barrett, though. Also included are early tracks from keyboardist, Rick Wright, 'Remember a Day' and 'Paintbox' (although Barrett plays guitar on the former). These tracks undoubtedly intended to recapture the Barrett-era zeitgeist of psychedelic sounds and dreamlike lyrics. Though whilst Rick has a pleasant voice, the songs lack the distinctiveness of Barrett's work. However, they are still interesting artefacts from the band's distant psychedelic past.

On 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene', Pink Floyd's successful progression away from the Barrett sound is evident. The song is a hugely atmospheric jam, driven by Rick Wright's wondrous eastern-sounding organ playing and interpolated forebodingly with ghostly shrieks from Roger Waters. The song is almost unnerving, and is a sign of Pink Floyd evolving both musically and thematically. Additionally, the hard-rocking, 'The Nile Song', is reminiscent of The Who and shows the band in a new light, adding greatly to the variety of the album.

The album concludes appropriately, ending where it began, with a Barrett pop song, 'Bike', which typifies the initial Pink Floyd's quirky sound. This serves to emphasise what a well-constructed compilation 'Relics' is and, resultantly, the album is perfect for both seasoned Floyd fans and newcomers, as there will be something to satisfy everyone on here. My only (minor) gripe is the lack of two oft-forgotten Barrett songs: the winter 1967 single, 'Apples and Oranges', which would ultimately be Syd's final single; and the b-side to 'Arnold Layne', 'Candy and a Currant Bun'.
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on 4 April 2008
Covering the period 1967 to 1971, 'Relics' was originally released to capitalise on the success of the 'Atom Heart Mother' album. It now stands as the perfect introduction to the band's early work (alongside 'Piper At The Gates Of Dawn') for those who only know 'Dark Side of the Moon' or 'The Wall'. A selection of tracks from the early LPs are presented alongside the two big Syd Barrett period singles 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play' not included on albums of the time. For fans, 'Biding My Time' is not available anywhere else, and 'Julia Dream' and this version of 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' are only otherwise available on 'The Early Singles' disc available only in the 'Shine On' box set.

But what about the music? If you only know Floyd's later work, the sound may be something of a shock. 'Arnold Layne' and 'See Emily Play' are pure sixties pop while 'Interstellar Overdrive' is the sound of Rock in its first flush stretching out and feeling for the possibilities of a more complex, experimental neo-classical approach. Elsewhere there is that peculiarly English mixture of whimsy and the blues, pastoral and psychedelia, and of course no-one should be without 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene' with its menacing whispers and screaming.
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on 1 July 2001
This is a lovely, carefree little CD of some of Floyds 60's works. And the fact that it contains the fantastic non-album Syd Barrett compositions "Arnold Layne" & "See Emily Play" make it indispensible. Elsewhere the songs here are very strong, the Gothic-hippyishness of "Julia Dream" & "Cirrus Minor" are wonderful. Well worth having.
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on 23 July 2005
"Relics" is an early 'Best Of' album, featuring some of Pink Floyd's most popular songs of the time. This, however the first time that "See Emily Play" and "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" have appeard on an album. (Unless you own the Japanese version of "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" which has "See Emily Play")
This is a great album by a great band. A must have.
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`Relics' was released in 1971 and contains material from `Piper at the Gates of Dawn', `A Saucerful of Secrets' and the soundtrack album `More'. About half the songs feature Syd Barrett and the remainder are from the early Gilmour epoch.

The reason any fan should buy this collection is the inclusion of material excluded from the Floyd albums prior to `Meddle'. The opening track `Arnold Layne' was a Barrett-penned piece of 1960s psychedelic pop about someone convicted for stealing clothes from washing lines, full of the quirky observational humour you would expect from Syd. Released as a single, this song appeared on none of Floyd's albums. Likewise the lyrics of `See Emily Play' describes a child with learning difficulties ("Emily tries but misunderstands...let's try it another way") not the usual fare for the top 20 at the time and which in the 21st century would likely be seen as questionable subject matter for a pop song, to say the least. Other highlights are `Paintbox', the delightful `Julia Dream' and the jazzy `Biding my Time' which begins lazily and works up to a party-tempo.

Some fans lament the exclusion of other early Floyd numbers like `Point Me At The Sky' and `Apples & Oranges' and yes, `Relics' may have been even better had such pieces been included. But appreciate the album for what it is: a cherry-pick of the best of early Floyd, the one to go for if you've never delved into their pre-Ummagumma back catalogue. Moreover, `Relics' works as an album in its own right and feels like a well-crafted collection rather than a random melange of odds-and-ends.
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on 5 December 2015
well I am playing this album on my laptop as I write this review / my space music I call it... and I can really chill out to it believe me
Some very good tunes to play on one album Thanks to Pink Floyd
But I have not got my CD yet now work that one out ....again thanks to Amazon and technology
If you are a Pink Floyd fan don't miss out on this one To me it's a must have album
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on 1 April 2010
Although Relics is a compilation the tracks hang together in ways more satisfying than the bands first two albums.

Here are some gripes:

1. This CD offers a stingy package for a reissue. There is plenty of space on the CD format for gems which could not be squeezed on to the original vinyl. What about "It would be so nice" a great little song that was astonishingly equaled by Raymond (Captain Sensible)The Power Of Love. And what about those early blues numbers "King Bee" and "Lucy Leave" It would be so nice to give guitarist Bob Klose acknowledgement.

2. While the slick photograph of the model based on Syd's [Error see Comment] art work is a worthy endeavor it does not have the charm of the original pen and ink drawing which graced the original album.

3.A sub par re-master.
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on 14 May 2014
I recall buying this album on vinyl way back in the 1970s, mainly because it was released on a budget label. In order to keep the fans interest while the band were working towards their next studio release 'Meddle', 'Relics' was popular for 2 reasons:- 1. It was very cheap. 2. It was a great way to catch some early classics which hadn't been included on the early albums e.g singles/B sides.

Featured here are the inspired Syd Barrett penned early singles 'Arnold Layne' and the gorgeous 'See Emily Play' as well as a couple of superb songs from Richard Wright - 'Remember A Day' and 'Paintbox' - both wonderfully dreamy tracks. Roger Waters contributes several interesting songs including the lovely 'Julia Dream', the hard-rocking 'The Nile Song' and the spacey 'Cirrus Minor' and there are 2 longish 'instrumental' tracks to bite into in the shape of 'Interstellar Overdrive' and 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene. Although this is a highly disparate set of songs, it gives the listener a pretty fair indication of what Pink Floyd was all about in the late 1960s. Recommended.
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