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Apples And Oranges

by

Pink Floyd



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Pink Floyd came to America for their first tour of the country in October, 1967. As this was their latest single, it was the song they performed on their promotional TV show appearances. The song was written by their frontman Syd Barrett, who was becoming increasingly erratic. The group made their US television debut on November 7 when they performed this song on American Bandstand. Dick Clark asked some yes-or-no questions to Barrett, who got through the appearance without incident.

The next day, the band was booked on The Pat Boone Show, which didn't go nearly as well. When they recorded their performance, Barrett refused to lip-synch, instead just staring into the cameras when they were rolling. To solve the problem, Roger Waters mimed the song in his place. The tour was cut short after Barrett de-tuned his guitar and just made random sounds with it during a concert at the Fillmore West. He was replaced for live shows by David Gilmour soon after.
Listeners unaccustomed to Pink Floyd's '60s output will be surprised by this song, which is about meeting a girl in a grocery store. "Apples And Oranges" is a phrase that means an unfair comparison, but in this case it has to do with a shopping list.
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Comments (17):

The Beginning of the End for Syd. The golden boy of Floyd fails to deliver another hot single for the Floyd after the success of Arnold Layne and See Emily Play. The struggle begins here and culminates in the unreleasable tracks Scream Thy Last Scream and Vegetable Man before they draft in Gilmour and finally just stopped picking Syd up for gigs. That said, I love this song...
- Terry, Wickford, RI
This is a great song, didn't like it the first time through but a second listen really opened my eyes to the pleasant pyschadelia that was Syd. Its interesting that this song was sandwiched between his songs Jugband Blues and Vegetable Man, the latter one is very raw and out of control and the former is just as sad as it is thought provoking. Yet Apples and Oranges is a happy tune with a 'touch of Christmas' as Syd himself put it.
- Tristan, Philadelphia, PA
I think the B-side of this song, Paintbox is a highly underrated song as well as Rick Wright's finest composition. It is very unique (like most early Floyd songs), and it would have fit in well on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn or A Saucerful of Secrets. I wish there was a songfacts page for that song.

P.S. Syd Barrett is a legend.
- Roy, Granbania, MA
at about 2:20 in the song,"thought u might like to know", sick refrence to sgt. peppers. Syd is a god.
- jason, chicago, IL
I got this back in the early 80's on a French compilation. I think it's very catchy song with two alternating parts: Barrett and Wright singing the chorus slowly in harmony (although the "I love she! She loves me!" lyric is corny) and Barrett's screeching feedback guitar picking up the beat and making the verses rock. Waters said the song failed because Barrett didn't bother to tune his guitar but it's so distorted, it's hard to tell.
- Scott, Portland, OR
In a documentary they say that Syd couldn't even move because he was on a really strong lsd trip. I once read that some of the Beatles played in this album. Is this true?
- Omar, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Apples and Oranges was later covered by Paul Weller & The Jam. Weller admired Syd Barrett and the early Pink Floyd.
- ron, almere, Netherlands
I love this song. It's a shame that it's nearly impossible to find on CD.
- Angie, Jacksonville, FL
I've never heard this song, it was never released on an album, was it? I have every Pink Floyd album on CD, and I don't recall ever hearing this one...I'm too young to have caught it if it had a short run in the 60s, so I wouldn't know about that.
- Spencer, Los Angeles, CA
This is a great song for the most part, but I really can't stand the feedback screech at the very end.
- Ryan, Plano, TX
Just a little history. This record was a single that was never released in the u.s. it now sells for $100 because it is so rare
- PINKFLOYD, Abbey Road, United States
Syd's refusal to lip-synch to Apples and Oranges occurred on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. This clip is actually available on the trade circuit, as well as "The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story", part of which was shown on VH1 Legends and Britain's Omnibus. In that same documentary, Roger Waters does mention that Syd refused to lip-sync on the Pat Boone show. None of the official sources have ever mentioned Top of the Pops for this event.
- Tim, Lexington, KY
That is a rather odd "Visual" song fact. Was that included to ensure that the reader knew what apples and oranges looked like?
- Ash, Charleston, WV
My suspicion is that Waters rearranged this basic song structure somewhat to come up with "Corporal Clegg". The two have a sort of musical similarity to my ears.
- Kent Lyle, Palo Alto, CA
1. Syd Barret claimed to have been following a pretty girl during her shopping trip, watching her buy fruit and then writing the song based on this.
2. Regarding the statement regarding Syd's refusal to lip sync: on the Pat Boone Show in the US he was simply to stoned to even do that, so Waters had to do it.
3. The single flopped which, according to several sources, was a great personal shock for Syd who already felt pressure to live up to the expectations of pop success.
- Erik, Lund, Sweden
Pumpkins have a song with the same name
- Ben, Beaverton, OR
This one is a decent early-Floyd tune. My personal favorite song (not included on an album) off their early period is It Would Be So Nice.
- Corey, Dark Side Of The Moon, Other
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