Pink Floyd have some rather complex compositions, but "Apples And Oranges" is a simple, feel-good song about a girl shopping for things she needs and someone noticing her cheerful, easy nature.
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.