Album + Compilation
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This low-priced 'Bizarre Collection Of Antiques and Curios', originally released as a stop-gap between Pink Floyd's first No.1 album, Atom Heart Mother and the yet-to-be released Meddle, acted as a perfect introduction to the band, especially when, several years later, the success of Dark Side Of The Moon sent new fans back to investigate their earlier work. Relics put listeners in a reverie of strangeness. It was hard to imagine that this was the same group. And of course, in many respects, it wasn't, for, on six of the album's eleven cuts, mercurial former leader Syd Barrett was present.
The album demonstrates how Pink Floyd evolved, giving a neat precis of the group as they exchanged Barrett's psychedelic whimsy ("Bike", "See Emily Play") for space rock ("Careful With That Axe, Eugene"), before moving on to rock of a more conventional kind ("Biding My Time", "The Nile Song"); all in the space of four years. For years, this was the only way you could get the group's first two singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play" on long-player. On listening today, they still generate great excitement - this is the sound of musical boundaries being stretched. As Relics meanders through rare B-sides and Rick Wright-penned album tracks, it pauses on the overlooked album More as well as the then-previously unreleased studio trifle, "Biding My Time", recorded in July 1969. The album closes with The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn closer, "Bike", and gives us a final glimpse back into Syd's world. For all the weirdness and variable nature of the material, Relics holds together very well, adding further to the mystery of the legend of Pink Floyd.