Pink Floyd
Meddle


4.5
superb

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
November 8th, 2009 | 1971 replies


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An outstanding and ambitious effort that is underappreciated.

Every successful band has a breakout album. Some take advantage of excellent debut records, while others take years to define their sound. In the case of Pink Floyd, the band had released several moderately successful psychedelic records, including debut “A Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” Throughout the late 60’s however, Pink Floyd began their shift to a more progressive sound while still retaining the psychedelic elements. Much of this was due to the need to replace lead guitarist and musical mastermind Syd Barrett in 1968, who showed signs of mental insanity. David Gilmour would replace Barrett, and would be instrumental in defining the band’s progressive sound. In 1971, Pink Floyd released “Meddle” in which would serve as their breakout album. It can be argued that without “Meddle;” “Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Animals” never would have happened.

“Meddle” marks the beginning of Pink Floyd’s prime. In many ways the record is similar to masterpieces such as “Dark Side of the Moon,” but is somewhat inferior. This 45-minute piece is a typical progressive record in which has only 6 tracks, four of which exceed 5 minutes. The 23 and a half minute Echoes is one of the band’s greatest accomplishments to this day and their longest track ever recorded. This record has a tremendous contrast in atmosphere, from the spacey and powerful One of These Days to the soothing A Pillow of Winds. In fact, the transition from the high-energy opener into A Pillow of Winds is brilliant, and a complete change in mood. One of These Days serves as an incredible opener complete with a perfect buildup. The track begins with wind-like sounds and a powerful bass line, and is complemented by engine-sounding leads by Gilmour. As the noise grows louder and stranger, drummer Nick Mason exclaims, “One of these days, I’m going to cut you into little pieces!” The track proceeds with thumping bass, wailing guitars, and Mason beating his drums to a pulp. One of These Days is extremely significant, for it illustrates the sheer originality that is associated with Pink Floyd.

A Pillow of Winds offers a stark contrast to the opener, and is highlighted by soothing vocals by Gilmour. The track is overall very mellow and gives off somewhat of a “floating” vibe. This psychedelic trend is displayed throughout the remaining tracks; the upbeat yet relaxing Fearless features spacey breakdowns and even crowd chanting at the end. Much of this album demonstrates that Syd Barrett is still very much with the band, even if he is not contributing. San Tropez is a bouncy and “poppier” track that would not be out of place on “A Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” This trend continues with Seamus, which is arguably the weakest track here, but serves as an excellent segue to the sheer masterpiece that is Echoes.

Echoes proves to be Pink Floyd’s most ambitious effort, for it is a track that defines progressive music. Bell sounds, atmosphere changes, and excellent harmonies are only several significant characteristics. As you may imagine, Echoes is a slow burning track that follows a bit of an A-B-A format. The song has several solo sections, which is where Gilmour’s guitar and Rick Wright’s keyboards shine. About eleven minutes into the song we are introduced to the strangest and most “boring” section of the track. The wind sounds of One of These Days re-occurs here, and are complemented with screeching noises. While this is the least enjoyable section of the song, the effect that is given off is brilliant, displaying that Pink Floyd is still not afraid to go out of the box. It becomes clear around the 17-minute mark that Echoes is building to a powerful and fitting climax as Gilmour utilizes a palm muted riff and Mason is quietly beating his drums senseless. Just as you expect the track to build to something greater, you are stunned when the track returns to the beginning once again, with Gilmour and Wright singing, “Cloudless everyday you fall upon my waking eyes, inviting and inciting me to rise.” The lyrical effect cannot be undermined, for the message of the track is truly tragic. Gilmour and Wright's final phrase is incredible, “And no-one sings me lullabies, And no-one makes me close my eyes, And so I throw the windows wide, And call to you across the sky.” As the wind sounds return and the track fades out, you can help but feel awed. The band for sure had to of felt a great sense of accomplishment, for this is arguably their most underappreciated work. “Meddle” deserves to be mentioned along with the other outstanding Pink Floyd records and really marks the beginning of the band’s prime.

Recommended Tracks:
One of These Days
Fearless
Echoes



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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
November 8th 2009


6088 Comments


I think I just realized how great this album really is. I had to bump it up from a 4 to 4.5.

Jethro42
November 8th 2009


12438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Super Duper review for a Super Duper album. I first had this on vinyl,
then on cd, but I lost both for years. ;(
I badly need this cd again. Echoes is sooo epic. Masterpiece of album.

Take note that the cover art is an ear to Waters. To see it better, just incline
your head to the left and look. =]

thatguy84
November 8th 2009


214 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review, I totally am going to listen to this album again now. I thought Wright did the lead vocals on Echoes though.

Jethro42
November 8th 2009


12438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^Gilmour and Wright together.

I love to sing 'Echoes', even if I don't see exactly
what it's all about. (I'm french, so english allegories
remain mysterious to me)

EVedder27
November 8th 2009


6088 Comments


Yeah Wright harmonizes with Gilmour. I probably should have mentioned that. And thanks for the feeback guys.

Jethro42
November 8th 2009


12438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pleasure buddy. Pos'd

scotish
November 8th 2009


835 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album's fantastic

aside from that you say wind noises and psychadelic alot, and that you describe echoes in a very this-
happens-then-this-does-then-that-happens-again (kinda hard to avoid with a track that's like 20
minutes long, I know :p), review isn't half bad

EVedder27
November 8th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks. I really tried to avoid doing that for Echoes, but yeah as you said its hard with a track that long. It's also hard to avoid that with a six song album.

LepreCon
November 8th 2009


4082 Comments


Album's near-classic, just doesn't do as much for me as Wish, Dark Side and The Wall did. Great review too

HenchmanOfSanta
November 8th 2009


1865 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review, but this is the most overrated album in prog. One of These Days is the only great track on here. Echoes could be if it weren't for the irritating middle section. Fearless and A Pillow of Winds are decent, and San Tropez and Seamus are utterly pointless.

Nagrarok
November 8th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A definite pos. I missed your last few because I've been off for a while, but I must say your reviews keep getting better. Keep it up. Because of your great work I'm inclined to give this (and especially Echoes) another listen.

Only thing I disagree with is Barrett being a musical mastermind, but hey, that's just my cup of tea.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2009


23816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is stupidly good.

EVedder27
November 8th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks a lot Nag. I'm actually much more of a fan of post-Barrett Pink Floyd, but he was really great at what he did.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2009


15035 Comments


good album

Nagrarok
November 8th 2009


8245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Piper and some other of their early albums were pretty good, but I hardly listen to those. Care mostly for Dark Side up till The Wall (logically), but as said I should probably listen to this more.

Romulus
November 8th 2009


8434 Comments


I should listen to more Pink Floyd besides the "big three." Great review, I'll definitely check it out.

EVedder27
November 8th 2009


6088 Comments


I think I need to listen to the late 60's albums again since I haven't in 5 years or so.

Ire
November 8th 2009


41770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fine review, I should check this out.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2009


15035 Comments


echoes and a pillow of winds rule

rasputin
November 8th 2009


14544 Comments


great album



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