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Pink Floyd: Meddle

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: EMI Records
Released: 1971.11.11
Category: Pop/Rock
Producer(s): Pink Floyd
Rating: *******... (7/10)
Media type: CD
Web address: www.pinkfloyd.com
Appears with: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Richard Wright
Purchase date: 1997
Price in €: 7,99

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] One of These Days (Pink Floyd) - 5:57
[2] Pillow of Wind (Pink Floyd) - 5:07
[3] Fearless (Pink Floyd) - 6:05
[4] San Tropez (Pink Floyd) - 3:40
[5] Seamus (Pink Floyd) - 2:13
[6] Echoes (Pink Floyd) - 23:31

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

ROGER WATERS - Bass Guitar, Vocals
NICK MASON - Percussion, Drums
RICHARD WRIGHT - Keyboards, Vocals
DAVID GILMOUR - Guitar, Vocals

PETER BOWN - Engineer
JOHN LECKIE - Engineer
HIPGNOSIS - Photography

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

1991 CD Capitol C2-46034
1980 LP Mobile Fidelity MFSL-1-197
1971 LP Harvest 832
1995 CD EMI 7243 8 29749 2
1971 CD Mobile Fidelity UDCD-518
1990 CD Mobile Fidelity 518
1990 LP Capitol 832
1991 CS Capitol C4-46034

Recorded at: AIR Studios, EMI Studios, Abbey Road and at Morgan Sound, London

... not only confirms lead guitarist David Gilmour's emergence as a real shaping force with the group, it states forcefully and accurately that the group is well into the growth track again..."

Rolling Stone - 1/6/72, p.70
© Copyright 2001 RollingStone.com

"...The four were at their most collectively prolific at this time ...

Q Magazine (10/94, p.137) - 3 Stars - Good

Recorded at Air Studios, EMI Studios Abbey Road and Morgan Studios, London, England in 1971.All songs written by Pink Floyd.MEDDLE was the first album to truly represent what Pink Floyd evolved into after David Gilmour's arrival. The albums that immediately followed PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN either retained traces of Gilmour's predecessor, Syd Barrett (SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS), were soundtracks (MORE), paired live tracks with solo experiments (UMMAGUMMA), or were collaborations with outside parties (ATOM HEART MOTHER). Whereas any of them might have had traditional song structures dropped in at random, MEDDLE represents Pink Floyd attempting to approach a sequence of them."Echoes," an ambitious 23-minute soundscape, harkened back to Floyd's earlier exuberances. Its length enabled former architecture students Roger Waters and Nick Mason to patch together Gilmour and Richard Wright's fragmented musical ideas into a piece soaked in aquatic and lunar imagery. The pinging of a module greets the listener before Gilmour's warm, open guitar and gentle crooning gives way to a middle section that devolves into a repetitious, workmanlike rhythm. From here, the music fades into an abyss of whale calls and eerie sonic reverberations that slowly return to the opening section; it closes with the sound of howling wind. Spooky! Elsewhere, Floyd dabble with straightforward cocktail-hour jazz ("San Tropez") and a twisted slow blues ("Seamus").But it was "One Of These Days," MEDDLE's opening track and lone radio staple, that hinted at the direction the band was headed. Waters' bass, played through a Binson echo unit, establishes the song's manically hypnotic groove, as Wright's synthesizer bursts in and out, Mason's off-kilter drum fills get tossed about, and Gilmour's guitar dive-bombs through it all. These varied sound effects, packaged in a song that clocked in at less than six minutes, were a precedent for the masterpiece that was two years away: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.

With Meddle, Pink Floyd instrumentally arrived at an airy ensemble sound, which would eventually find full flower on their 1973 classic The Dark Side of the Moon. This approach is particularly evident on "Echoes," a periodically languorous jam that takes up one half of the album. Nevertheless, there are enough sonic concepts and pleasant melodies at work on this album to make it worthwhile to the Floyd fan looking to dig deeper than The Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall.

Rick Clark - All Music Guide
© 1992 - 2001 AEC One Stop Group, Inc.

'Meddle' is far more hard-edged and more song-oriented than 'Ummagumma'. It revolves around "Echoes", a slow-building, sidelong psychedelic set-piece. Even without a lightshow, this epic still wields considerable transportative powers.

© Copyright 2001 RollingStone.com

Atom Heart Mother, for all its glories, was an acquired taste, and Pink Floyd wisely decided to trim back its orchestral excesses for its follow-up, Meddle. Opening with a deliberately surging "One of These Days," Meddle spends most of its time with sonic textures and elongated compositions, most notably on its epic closer "Echoes." If there aren't pop songs in the classic sense (even on the level of the group's contributions to Ummagumma), there is a uniform tone, ranging from the pastoral "A Pillow of Winds" to "Fearless," with its insistent refrain hinting at latter-day Floyd. Pink Floyd were nothing if not masters of texture, and Meddle is one of their greatest excursions into little details, pointing the way to the measured brilliance of Dark Side of the Moon and the entire Roger Waters era. Here, David Gilmour exerts a slightly larger influence, at least based on lead vocals, but it's not all sweetness and light — even if its lilting rhythms are welcome, "San Tropez" feels out of place with the rest of Meddle. Still, the album is one of the Floyd's most consistent explorations of mood, especially from their time at Harvest, and it stands as the strongest record they released between Syd's departure and Dark Side.

Stephen Thomas - All Music Guide
© 1992 - 2001 AEC One Stop Group, Inc.

For all that menacing, hatchet-happy growl at the beginning of Meddle's opener, "One of These Days," Pink Floyd really weren't about to "cut you into little pieces." Meddle did, however, show that the reigning British monarchs of 1970s-era psychedelia could rip into galloping jams. It also showed what its predecessor, Atom Heart Mother, promised--that the band could excel in long, breathtaking suites that revealed strains of late-classical music, Sun Ra-inspired space explorations, and a patchwork approach to colliding sounds that together took on acid-drenched proportions. And if all that isn't enough, "San Tropez" revealed a playful side of the band, playing footsy with loungy jazz and having good fun in the process.

Andrew Bartlett - Amazon.com essential recording

Bob Eichler:
In a David Gilmour interview I once read, he mentioned that many people seem to think the Dark Side of the Moon just came out of nowhere. He then pointed out that if you listen to the previous albums, particularly the title track to Atom Heart Mother, "Echoes" from Meddle, and the film soundtrack Obscured by Clouds, you can hear the band developing the concepts and sound that they would perfect on _Dark Side_. Meddle opens with the powerful "One of These Days". Most of the energy for this track comes from the dual bass lines - Waters playing on one side, Gilmour on the other. With Nick Mason's distorted line about cutting your head off at the track's midpoint, it blasts off into overdrive. In sharp contrast, the next two tracks show the unplugged, folksy side of Floyd. These two tracks are possibly their best treatment of that style. Many fans seem to hate the lounge jazz of "San Tropez" and the howling hounddog blues of "Seamus". My take on these songs is that they're sort of the "comic relief" - These tracks are perfectly placed after the heavy opening track and serious lyrics of tracks two and three, and before the epic "Echoes". I like both tracks a lot, but then I go for "comedy music". "Echoes" is a song that took a long time to grow on me. The creepy atmosphere of the screaming seagull section put me off the song for a long time. But once it finally clicked for me, this track became one of my all time favorite Floyd songs. The "guitar orchestra" section towards the end is particularly great. Overall, this album isn't as instantly enjoyable as later Floyd albums, but is well worth the effort to digest.

Sean McFee:
Meddle, released in 1971, is a transitional album between the more experimental early incarnation of the band and the later, more "vanilla" progressive rock band of the mid-late 70s. Unfortunately, this album captures the stronger aspects of neither era. The opening track is one of the strong parts of the album, built upon a monster riff from Roger Waters of all people, entitled "One of These Days (I'm going to cut you into little pieces)". This is a powerful six minutes in which we get to hear the "Dr. Who" theme briefly. The rest of the first side of the album consists of pop ranging from mediocre to annoying. The side-long epic, "Echoes", is a pretty good stab at prog greatness, but falls somewhat short. It seems like there is about ten minutes worth of themes and ideas here, yet the song is 23 minutes long. I don't mean to be overly harsh, because the good stuff here is certainly good, but it could have been great and it isn't. I simply can't agree with those who claim it is the Floyd's greatest hour either. So there you have it. While I'm sure this album has its supporters, I would mainly recommend it to established fans of the band. Depending on if you are a Waters fan or a Barrett fan, the best was either yet to come or already behind them. Either way, it isn't here.

Joe McGlinchey:
With the release of Meddle in 1971, Pink Floyd were really beginning to hit their full stride, releasing an album which showed a maturity in both song construction and experimenting with recording technology. The throbbing bass echo, fierce slide guitar and backwards effects of "One of These Days" are by now of course instantly recognizable. "A Pillow of Winds" reveals Floyd at their most melodic and delicate. The side-long "Echoes," with its submarine-like blips and hazy dual vocals of Gilmour and Wright, represents the pinnacle of the album and some of the finest work that the Floyd ever accomplished as a band. Eschewing the wholesale gravity that later defined every other subsequent release with Roger Waters, Meddle even offers some very lighthearted touches as well for balance, such as the loungy "St. Tropez" and "Seamus", a blues duet with a hound.

Eric Porter:
Meddle continues Floyd's experimentation, and things really gel here. The sidelong epic "Echoes" is a sonic delight which takes on three seperate identities. The melancholic opening, with a gorgeous melody, features harmonized vocals from Wright and Gilmour. Tasteful lead guitar work takes over after this and leads into the soundscapes of heavily echoed Rhodes keyboards and sound effects with the band fading out. The band then returns to close things out. The other standout track is "One Of These Days". This has to be one of the most powerful tracks of their career. The ominous pulsating bass intro, the spoken words that send chills up your spine and the bomb drops with the angry slide guitar fury and the band churning it out underneath. The acoustic guitar has a vital presence on most of the other tracks. "A Pillow of Winds" at times has a country feel but grows darker and again features slide guitar. "Fearless" again showcases acoustic guitar, featuring Gilmour's light drifting vocal. The wispy jazz piano of "San Tropez", and the humor of "Seamus" with its acoustic blues and has a hound dog to accompany the band round out the rest of the tracks. An excellent CD that displays a band about to come into its prime.

Brandon Wu:
This album is acclaimed by fans of progressive rock but largely ignored by a majority of more mainstream Pink Floyd fans. It opens with a great slice of atmospheric space-rock, the succinctly titled "One of These Days (I'm Going to Cut You Into Little Pieces)". Pretty easy to see why this appeals to prog fans. The next four cuts, though, have less appeal to said fans, being mostly poppy early 1970s English rock. "Fearless" happens to be really good early 1970s English pop rock, though, making up for "Seamus", perennial contender for Worst Pink Floyd Song Ever. The real gem here, though, and the one I'm itching to write about, is the epic "Echoes" - a masterfully moody and atmospheric piece featuring ethereal guitar and keys, altered vocals, and a truly fantastic and lengthy buildup leading to a climax and then the reflective, thoughtful ending. Though perhaps not complex from a musicological standpoint, the sheer mastery of composition here should make most prog fans more than happy. Live versions of "Echoes" tend to smoke, as well - at some shows the band made use of a saxophone which really added to parts of the piece. Get this disc, and if you like it ("Echoes" at least), start hunting for bootlegs. And then move on to similar prog bands - Pulsar comes immediately to mind.


This was the album which streamlined and established the hallmark of the Floyd's mature style: a dense and colourful weave of actuality sounds (notably the football chant on Fearless) original electronic textures, and more conventional rock instrumentation. "Meddle" contains two extremely important songs in the Pink Floyd story. One, the powerful, spacey "One Of These Days", marked a welcome return to simplicity; while the other, the side-long "Echoes", is a progressive rock classic.

On this track they managed to dispense with additional musicians and became, in effect a four-piece orchestra. The song marked the first real appearance of the lush, symphonic sound that was such an obvious feature of their music from then on. "Echoes" featured Dave Gilmour's first significant contributions to the group's sound.

David Gilmour: "We did loads of bits of demos which we then pieced together, and for the first time, it worked. This album was a clear forerunner for Dark Side Of The Moon, the point when we first got our focus."

Nick Mason: "We spent a long time starting the record. We'd worked through the Sounds Of Household Objects project, which we never finished. The idea was always to create a continuous piece of music that went through various moods and this was the album that established that. Rick was the guy who got it off the ground with that one note at the beginning."

Rick Wright: "I was playing around on the piano in the studio but it was actually Roger who said, Would it be possible to put that note through a microphone and then through the Leslie? That's what started it. That's how all the best Floyd tracks start, I believe."

The title "Meddle" was meant to be a pun - "a play between 'medal' and 'interfere'".



 L y r i c s

One of These Days

One of these days I'm gonna dance with a King of Sweden

A Pillow of Winds

A cloud of eider down
Draws around me softening the sound
Sleepy time in my life
With my love by my side
And she's breathing low
And the candle dies.

When night comes down you lock the door
The book falls to the floor
As darkness falls and waves roll by
The seasons change
The wind is raw.

Now wakes the hour that sleeps the swan
Behold a dream, the dream is gone
Green fields
A cold rain is falling
Near the golden dawn.

And deep beneath the ground
The early morning sounds and I go down
Sleepy time in our life
With my love by my side
And she's breathing low

And I rise like a bird
In the haze and the first rays touch the sky
And the night winds die.


You say the hill's too steep to climb,
Climb it!
You say you'd like to see me try,
Climb it!
You pick the place and I'll choose the time
And I'll climb
The hill in my own way
just wait a while, for the right day
And as I rise above the treeline and the clouds
I look down hear the sound of the things you said today

Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd, smiling
Mercyless the magistrate turns 'round, frowning
And who's the fool who wears the crown
Go down in your own way
And everyday is the right day
And as you rise above the fearlines in this ground
You look down
Hear the sound of the faces in the crowd

San Tropez

As I reach for a peach
Slide a rind down behind
the sofa in San Tropez
Breaking a stick with a brick on the sand
Riding a wave in the wake of an old sedan
Sleeping alone in the drone of the darkness
Scratched by the sand that fell from my love
Deep in my dreams and I still hear her calling
If you're alone I'll come home

Backwards and home bound
The pidgen, the dove
Gone with the wind and the rain on an airplane
Owning a home with no silver spoon
I'm drinking champaigne like a big tycoon
Sooner than wait for a break in the weather
I'll gather my far-flung thoughts together
Speeding away on a wind to a new day
If your alone I'll come home

And I pause for awhile
By a country stile
And listen to things they say
Digging for gold in the hoe in my hand
Open a book, take a look at the way things stand
Would you lead me down to the place by the sea
I hear your soft voice calling to me.
Making a date for later by phone
and if you're alone I'll come home.


I was in the kitchen
Seamus, that's the dog was outside
Well, I was in the kitchen
Seamus, my old hound was outside
Well, I'm song singing slowly
Well my old hounddog sat right down and cried


Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves
in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine.

And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the wheres or whys
But something stares and something tries
And starts to climb towards the light

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can
And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
And no one speaks
And no one tries
And no one flies around the sun

Cloudless everyday you fall
Upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise.
And through the window in the wall
Comes streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning
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 skies.

 M P 3   S a m p l e s

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