1971 compilation. Original artwork. Remastered in 2018 by James Guthrie, Joel Plante and Bernie Grundman. Also available on CD.
With a No.1 album under their belts (‘Atom Heart Mother’), EMI badgered the band into putting together their first compilation for issue on Starline, one of the labels budget labels. Drummer, Nick Mason, drew the artwork for the album which contained six tracks not previously issued on LP plus another five tracks from their first three albums.
The main selling point was the inclusion of their first two hit singles “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play”. Original frontman Syd Barrett was also represented with two tracks from their debut album ‘Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’: “Interstellar Overdrive” and “Bike”. Syd’s guitar work was also present on two other songs: “Paintbox”, which was the b-side of their third single and his gorgeous slide playing on “Remember A Day” from the second album. Both of these tracks were composed by keyboardist Rick Wright.
Two more b-sides were featured in the form of “Julia Dream” and “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”, the latter becoming a live favourite until 1973. The rest of the album was fleshed out with three tracks from 1969: “Cirrus Minor” and “The Nile Song” were the opening two numbers from their third album, the soundtrack to the film ‘More’. Finally, the Floyd agreed to issue one unreleased track: “Biding My Time” was a Roger Waters composition which formed part of their live suite ‘The Man and The Journey’. Whether the recording was made for a proposed studio rendition of the piece or a consideration for their planned fourth album is unknown. Either way the song was left behind until the issue of this collection.
Upon release, the album proved popular and for many fans, would be the entry point for discovering the bands early work. It probably helped bump up Syd’s royalty cheques following the relatively quiet sales of his two solo albums. When EMI retired the Starline label in 1978, the album was moved to MFP (Music For Pleasure), the group’s most important budget imprint and resulted in the cover gaining some amendments, mainly the band’s name and album title, coloured in pink. Sales continued to be strong but it did not emerge on CD when the rest of the bands catalogue came out in 1987. Except in Australia where the local branch of EMI put it out with completely different artwork, without informing the band. It was soon withdrawn where it became a collectors item.
Finally in 1996, the album gained an official CD release. The artwork this time featured a real life model of Nick Mason’s original artwork. The original design became the front cover again in 2016 when the latest ‘Pink Floyd Records’ issue was released. This new vinyl edition is the first official pressing of the album in over twenty years.