Relics (album)

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Pink Floyd Relics 1971.jpg
Compilation album by Pink Floyd
Released 14 May 1971 (UK)[1]
15 July 1971 (US)
Recorded 1967–1969
Genre Psychedelic rock, prog rock, space rock, experimental rock, avant-garde
Length 49:38
Language English
Label Starline
Producer Pink Floyd, Norman Smith, Joe Boyd
Pink Floyd chronology
The Best of the Pink Floyd / Masters of Rock
Compact Disc cover
Storm Thorgerson created a new cover for the 1996 re-release, photographing a model inspired by the original line drawing.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Blender 4/5 stars[3]
Yahoo! Music (favourable)[4]

Relics (subtitle: A Bizarre Collection of Antiques & Curios) is a compilation album by Pink Floyd released in 1971. The album was released on 14 May in the UK and 15 July in the United States. A re-mastered CD was released in 1996 with a different album cover, a three-dimensional version of the original sketch drawn by drummer Nick Mason for the initial release. Initially released by Starline, the compilation was reissued by Music for Pleasure in the United Kingdom; Harvest and Capitol distributed the album in the United States.


The release of Relics occurred because the band's record company, EMI, were concerned that they had gone into the studio to record what would become Meddle without any songs or ideas, effectively starting from scratch. This, combined with their ever increasing touring schedule, made EMI realise that no new product would be released for some time, possibly not until well over a year after completing their previous album, Atom Heart Mother. In order to issue some more "product" for fans, they decided to release a budget priced LP on their Starline label, combining early singles, B-sides, album tracks and one unreleased number, "Biding My Time".[5]

Relics has been released on numerous occasions, and at times without the proper authority. One such incident involved EMI Australia releasing the album without the band's consent. This led to the LP being withdrawn and the album as a result became a rarity. A remastered reissue of the album in 1995 meant that it could be purchased easily again. The album was reissued again on June 17, 2016 with the original artwork, although it contains the 1995 remaster.[6]


Relics was most noted for its inclusion of Syd Barrett-era hit singles, "Arnold Layne" and "See Emily Play", as well as B-sides to three other singles. The Relics versions of "Paintbox", "Julia Dream" and "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" are mixed in stereo. Relics has the only CD release of "Paintbox" that has the same length (3:33) that the original single version had; on the albums The Early Singles (1992, part of Shine On), 1967: The First Three Singles (1997), and the 40th anniversary edition of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (2007), it fades out about 13 seconds later.

The album also includes a previously unreleased studio recording of a Roger Waters composition, "Biding My Time", which had otherwise only been heard by live audiences as part of "The Man and The Journey" concert sequence.

The album was not a definitive collection of material previously only available as singles, as several A-sides were omitted ("Apples and Oranges," "It Would Be So Nice" and "Point Me at the Sky"), as well as one B-side ("Candy and a Currant Bun"). Until this was rectified with the release of The Early Singles (1992), it was left to bootlegs such as The Dark Side of the Moo to plug the gap.

Cover and machine[edit]

The album cover was designed by drummer Nick Mason, and was inspired by his time studying architecture at the Regent Street Polytechnic. In 2008, Mason sold a limited edition of 195 signed prints of this cover.[7][8]

In addition to variations on the original design, the album was released in several countries with different artwork. The four-eyed face on the original US album cover was an antique bottle opener.

When the album was released on CD, former Hipgnosis partner Storm Thorgerson had a real-life version of the contraption on the cover made and presented it to Mason. It still resides in Mason's office. Both Thorgerson and his assistant, Peter Curzon, came up with the idea after viewing the head sculpture which had been constructed by John Robertson and which appeared on the album sleeve of The Division Bell.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Arnold Layne" (Single A-side released 11 March 1967) Syd Barrett 2:56
2. "Interstellar Overdrive" (from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 1967) Barrett/Roger Waters/Richard Wright/Nick Mason 9:43
3. "See Emily Play" (Single A-side released 17 June 1967) Barrett 2:53
4. "Remember a Day" (from A Saucerful of Secrets 1968) Wright 4:29
5. "Paint Box" (Single B-side to "Apples and Oranges", released 18 November 1967) Wright 3:33

Side two[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Julia Dream" (Single B-side to "It Would Be So Nice", released 13 April 1968) Waters 2:37
7. "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" (Single B-side to "Point Me at the Sky", released 7 December 1968) Gilmour/Waters/Wright/Mason 5:45
8. "Cirrus Minor" (from Soundtrack from the Film More 1969) Waters 5:18
9. "The Nile Song" (from Soundtrack from the Film More 1969) Waters 3:25
10. "Biding My Time" (Previously unreleased, 1971) Waters 5:18
11. "Bike" (from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn 1967) Barrett 3:21

The Capitol Re-Issue of the cassette (4N-16234) is in original order.


Pink Floyd
Additional personnel

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ Povey, Glenn (2006). "The Sound of Music in My Ears 1970–1971". Echoes : The Complete History of Pink Floyd (New ed.). Mind Head Publishing. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-9554624-0-5. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Blender review
  4. ^ Yahoo! Music review
  5. ^ Povey, Glenn (2006). "The Sound of Music in My Ears 1970–1971". Echoes : The Complete History of Pink Floyd (New ed.). Mind Head Publishing. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-9554624-0-5. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "". 3 April 2004. 
  7. ^ "Nick Mason "Relics" limited edition signed print". 8 March 2008. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Nick Mason - Relics launch at Birmingham gallery". Brain Damage. 1 April 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 233. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  10. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 7519." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Pink Floyd | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Pink Floyd – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Pink Floyd. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  13. ^ "British album certifications – Pink Floyd". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 10 June 2016.  Enter Pink Floyd in the field Search. Select Artist in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search