A Nice Pair

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A Nice Pair
Compilation album by Pink Floyd
Released 5 December 1973
Recorded 1967–1968
Genre Psychedelic rock, progressive rock
Length 79:19
Language English
Label Harvest/Capitol
Producer Norman Smith
Pink Floyd chronology
Dark Side of the Moon
(1973)
A Nice Pair
(1973)
Wish You Were Here
(1975)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

A Nice Pair is a compilation album by Pink Floyd, re-issuing their first two albums—The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets—in a new gatefold sleeve. The album was released in December 1973 by Harvest and Capitol in the United States and the following month in the United Kingdom by Harvest and EMI. It reached number 36 in the US Billboard album charts, and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in March 1994.

Release history and track variations[edit]

There are a few differences between the US and UK issues on the first disc of this compilation. In the US Harvest Records and its distributor Capitol Records reconstructed their edition from tapes that had been previously altered for the debut 1967 US album Pink Floyd (the original U.S. title for Piper) and other recordings, which were cut from the UK version. As explained in a note on the back cover of the US edition of A Nice Pair, songs dropped from the US 1967 Pink Floyd album, "Flaming", "Astronomy Domine" and "Bike", are restored for this re-issue.

However, some of the restored songs appear in versions that are different from the UK Piper release: the eight-minute live Ummagumma recording of "Astronomy Domine" replaces the original four-minute studio recording; "Interstellar Overdrive" fades out slightly early (as it did on the US debut album) and adds a few seconds of silence before "The Gnome", rather than using a segue between these songs as found on the UK version; and "Flaming" is an alternate mix and edit which previously appeared on a US single, and the only track to appear on this album in mono. In later pressings, the correct stereo version of "Flaming" was restored, while the other songs continued to appear in the versions described here. The US version of this album was also released in Canada.

Cover art[edit]

The cover is by the Hipgnosis group, who did many other Pink Floyd covers, and consists of 4 grids of 9 small pictures of proposed but previously unused album cover designs. Several images depict a well-known phrase or saying in the form of a visual pun; for instance, the centre right-hand panel on the front depicts "a fork in the road", while the bottom right represents "a fine kettle of fish". Another picture presents two puns on the album title: a nice pear, and an image of a woman's breasts; the latter is censored with a black bar on some copies, while other US copies opted to cover it with a purple and white sticker over the shrink wrap. Initial copies had a picture of a Mr. W.R. Phang's dental surgery on the cover (a genuine business), but Dr. Phang objected because dentists were not allowed to advertise, and the picture was replaced with one of a gargling monk. US editions from the 1980s restored both the nudity and the W.R. Phang photo.

The album was the band's next US release after Dark Side of the Moon, and introduced new fans to the earlier psychedelic sound of the Syd Barrett period of Pink Floyd, which contrasted greatly to the style of their more recent work. Following the worldwide re-issue of the original two albums on CD, including the original UK version of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, A Nice Pair is now out of print.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Syd Barrett, except where noted.

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn[edit]

Side one
  1. "Astronomy Domine" – 4:14 (UK – 1967 studio version) / 8:25 (USA – 1969 live version)
  2. "Lucifer Sam" – 3:07
  3. "Matilda Mother" – 3:08
  4. "Flaming" – 2:46
  5. "Pow R. Toc H." (Barrett / Roger Waters / Richard Wright / Nick Mason) – 4:26
  6. "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" (Waters) – 3:05
Side two
  1. "Interstellar Overdrive" (Barrett / Waters / Wright / Mason) – 9:41
  2. "The Gnome" – 2:13
  3. "Chapter 24" – 3:42
  4. "The Scarecrow" – 2:11
  5. "Bike" – 3:21

A Saucerful of Secrets[edit]

Side three
  1. "Let There Be More Light" (Waters) – 5:38
  2. "Remember a Day" (Wright) – 4:33
  3. "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" (Waters) – 5:28
  4. "Corporal Clegg" (Waters) – 4:13
Side four
  1. "A Saucerful of Secrets" (David Gilmour / Waters / Wright / Mason) – 11:57
  2. "See-Saw" (Wright) – 4:36
  3. "Jugband Blues" (Barrett) – 3:00

Cassette versions in the UK feature Piper on side one and Saucerful on side two. For the US versions, "Bike" was moved to the beginning of side two, due to the longer running length of "Astronomy Domine" on this version.
The US 8-track version moves "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk" after "Bike" and before "Let There Be More Light."

Personnel[edit]

Pink Floyd
  • Syd Barrett – guitars, lead vocals on British version of "Astronomy Domine", "Lucifer Sam", "Matilda Mother", "Flaming", "Pow R. Toc H.", "The Gnome", "Chapter 24", "The Scarecrow", "Bike", and "Jugband Blues"
  • David Gilmour – guitars, kazoo, vocals, lead vocals on American version of "Astronomy Domine", "Let There Be More Light", and "Corporal Clegg"
  • Nick Mason – drums, percussion, kazoo, vocals, lead vocals on "Corporal Clegg"
  • Roger Waters – bass guitar, percussion, vocals, lead vocals on "Pow R. Toc H.", "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk", "Let There Be More Light", and "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun"
  • Richard Wright – Farfisa and Hammond organs, piano, Mellotron, vibraphone, celesta, xylophone, tin whistle, vocals, lead vocals on British and American versions of "Astronomy Domine", "Matilda Mother", "Remember a Day", "See-Saw", "Let There Be More Light", and "Corporal Clegg"
Additional personnel
  • Peter Jenner – intro vocalisations on British version of "Astronomy Domine"
  • Norman Smith – drums and backing vocals on "Remember a Day" and drums on" Interstellar Overdrive", producer
  • The Salvation Army (The International Staff Band) on "Jugband Blues"

Sales chart performance[edit]

Year Chart Position
1974 UK Albums Chart 21[2]
1974 Billboard Pop Albums 36[3]
1974 Norway's album chart 8[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eder, Bruce (2011). "A Nice Pair – Pink Floyd | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 6 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats – Pink Floyd". www.chartstats.com. Retrieved 2009-07-02. 
  3. ^ allmusic (( Pink Floyd > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums ))
  4. ^ "norwegiancharts.com – Pink Floyd – A Nice Pair". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2009-07-02.