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Pink Floyd - Meddle CD (album) cover

MEDDLE

Pink Floyd

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.31 | 2202 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces!

One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces! The iconic cover with the sonic sound vibrations of an oversized pig's ear is a symbol of prog rock. The music is incredibly complex and well executed throughout. Floyd took a few jump starts to get going but once the machine was motoring and the wheels were in motion, there was no stopping them.

From the word go this album boasts one of the finest instrumentals put to vinyl. 'One of these Days' begins with a wind effect signifying the calm before the storm. An echoing bass and a chugging one note riff launches the track before the organ swells rise up and crash down like ethereal sonic waves. Wright is masterful on this and the dynamics and drama created by simple staccato chord swells is incredible. The extraordinary light show on the DVD 'P- U-L-S-E' would complement this. The half time feel is an effective delay bass heavy acrostic hook that creates an ambience that is ominous and foreboding. This is the part of the song where the pigs appear in concert. The drums crash down as we imagine someone bashing at the door to get in and then the monstrous voice roars, "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces!" As the door is broken down the murderer enters ready to kill, and then the music rises to a crescendo and Gilmour slaughters us with slide guitar slashes, performing torturous glissando runs and screaming bends with finesse. The wall of sound is glorious and then the freakout ends with the soul chilling delay effect. Quite simply, quintessential Floyd. After this opening there are four tracks that range from poor to OK. The worst being 'Seamus' and 'San Tropez' that are candy flavoured throwaways and really hinder this album from masterpiece status. 'Seamus' is literally barking mad and features a dog barking through the jazz infused music.

There is no better reason to buy this album than the title track. 'Echoes' has become a legendary opus that has been returned to by Gilmour as a solo artist and the band themselves in recent times. It stands the test of time as a prime example of space rock at its best. 23 minutes of headphone bliss. It begins with the infamous pitched ping that may be akin to a sub sonic sonar sound underwater. The lonely sound alienates the listener immediately and then an ambient keyboard swells in, Wright is superb on this track. The band were not only experimenting with sound, they tore the heart out of the music machine that was churning out manufactured bubblegum pop in the 70s. They showed that it was possible to create provocative music outside the box that was still listenable. The beautiful melancholia is enhanced by heartfelt vocals from Gilmour and Waters, and the lyrics are profoundly stimulating. 'Overhead the albatross, Hangs motionless upon the air, And deep beneath the rolling waves, In labyrinths of coral caves, An echo of a distant time, Comes willowing across the sand, And everything is green and submarine. And no one called us to the land, And no one knows the where's or why's. Something stirs and something tries, Starts to climb toward the light.'

The guitars ascend and descend a series of fractured notes with precision; very effective and haunting. The lengthy instrumental break is mind boggling, keyboards take off and drums pound, Gilmour's guitar is always ready to improvise riffs; undoubtedly this is the definitive lineup of Floyd and when the band take off in full flight they burn their firebrands right between the eyes. When Barrett was axed, the band were freed up to blaze trails of glory. And this was only the beginning. Having shed their trippy, psychedelia image, Floyd were yet to launch into the stratosphere and make world changing music with the cognitive classic 'Dark Side of the Moon', the legendary 'Wish You Were Here', not to mention the brilliant conceptual mindbender 'The Wall'. The flood gates were not just about to open, they were about to be blown off their hinges, and everyone would want a piece of Pink Floyd pie. This underground psychrock quartet were knocking at destiny's door and would soon be a household name worldwide. But it really started with 'Meddle' which shows what happens when you put four brilliant minds into a recording studio. This album indelibly changed the lives of the virtuoso musicians who created it, and indeed carved a deep wedge into the tombstone of the Rock music industry.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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