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Pink Floyd - Meddle CD (album) cover

MEDDLE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.30 | 2110 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I always thought the album cover looked like it had a nose on it, but that was looking at it upside down. Although the title "Meddle" can mean nosey. PINK FLOYD were always about creating new paths and discovering new worlds musically.They were the explorers, the leaders not the followers. So as they entered the studio to record this new album they did so not knowing where it would lead. There seemed to be something akin to writers block with the whole band as none of them seemed to have any good ideas. Mike Butcher an engineer at Morgan Studios remembers the sessions there well. "It was like a Monty Python skit, one of them would have an idea, present it to the band and then someone would say "No we can't do that". And that was it, the idea was dead". This went on from 2 pm to 4 am. The material that was gathered from the first "Meddle" sessions at Abbey Road Studios was if anything lacking inspiration. The single biggest inspiration for this whole album came from a single note that Richard Wright had played on his piano through a Leslie speaker. Some of the band were reminded of a sonar pulse. It sounded like it was in the distance. And this idea of space as in outer space rekindled and reminded them of what was once an inspiration even on their debut as in "Intersteller Overdrive" and "Astronomy Domine".

The block was gone and this experience got them excited again about what they were doing and obviously that carried on well into the future. I should mention that while they were recording this, EMI's budget release arm Starline released a compilation album called "Relics" of their earlier work. A positive that came out of this struggle to find inspiration was that the band co-wrote all the tracks.They worked as a team even if Roger Waters was clearly involved in creating each track.

"One Of These Days" is an instrumental with Waters' bass being played through an echo machine, and it sounds amazing ! Wright adds his expertise on the synths as Gilmour lays down some good guitar melodies, including a scorching solo later on while the drums pound away. Can't forget Mason's manipulated vocals either. Gilmour would later state that it was the most collaborative work the band had ever done. What an opener ! "A Pillow Of Winds" is one of my favourites on this record. I just love the way it opens with the wind blowing as acoustic guitar and reserved vocals come in.This song is to me a dreamy song that would be perfect to listen to on a warm, lazy summer's day. "Fearless" features some beautiful guitar and fantastic lyrics. The subject of mental illness would be addressed further on the "Dark Side Of the Moon". "San Tropez" is a fun, upbeat song, with a nice piano melody to end it. "Seamus" is a bluesy number that is both short and silly.

"Echoes" is a side long suite that is truly an epic. This had taken a long time to create as they painstakingly assembled it from small segments. Richard Wright really shines on this song with his synth work as well as his organ play. Mason pounds away methodically, while Gilmour is prominant especially in the jam section. "The song was a monument to the experience that had given rise to it : much as they had done in their earliest experimental pieces, with "Echoes" PINK FLOYD had found a way forward working together". By the way Nick Mason has stated that he didn't think the band could have done "Echoes" without having first done the "Atom Heart Mother" side long suite. It prepared them for "Echoes". And certainly doing "Echoes" prepared them for "The Dark Side Of The Moon". Something to keep in mind for those who dump on FLOYD's earlier albums. These guys kept searching and trying new ideas from album to album, doing what no one else was doing at the time.

This would be their first studio album without Norman Smith helping to produce and while it didn't chart as high as "Atom Heart Mother" it would be their most important record to date. Oh but we all know what was coming next. Up to this album this is my favourite just edging "A Saucerful Of Secrets".

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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