Album Review: ‘Meddle’ by Pink Floyd

Album Review: ‘Meddle’ by Pink Floyd | I Love Classic Rock Videos

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Whether you’re a fan of the Syd Barrett-led era or the Roger Waters-led era, there’s not one thing worth hating about Pink Floyd. Simply put, the world’s musical and cultural landscapes would have looked very different if Pink Floyd hadn’t existed during their creative prime.

Although conversations about Pink Floyd would mostly center around Piper at the Gates of Dawn led by Barrett or the magnum opus Dark Side of the Moon led by Waters, one thing worth noting was, at one point, it had the best of both worlds. Let’s take a look at the importance of the transitional album from the former’s psychedelic funk down to the latter’s progressive rock: Pink Floyd’s 1971 Meddle.

Meddle is Pink Floyd’s sixth studio album, published on Harvest Records. The album was recorded at various London studios, including EMI (now Abbey Road Studios) and Morgan Studios, between January and August 1971, when the band was on the road.

The band had nothing to work with and no preconceived notion of where they wanted to take the album, so they came up with a series of innovative experiments that would lead to the album’s defining tone.

The first track, “One of These Days,” follows the standard Floyd template with its signature sound effect, slow organ builds, lead guitar surge & climax, and the resolving sound; yet, it’s so beautifully executed and cohesive that it comes across as a pleasant, rising opener. We then move on to a string of ozone love songs like “Pillow of Winds” and “San Tropez” with tiny acoustic tunes that float serenely over an odd soundscape.

“Fearless” is another story. The story follows an “idiot” as he climbs a hill in silence, despite the jeers of onlookers who insist he would never reach the peak. With the guitar moving at a leisurely pace to match his modest ascent, Waters plays an alternate tuning Barrett taught him years ago. The result is an ascending riff with ringing open notes. With “Seamus,” Floyd makes the most obvious attempt to recapture the zany spirit of the band’s earlier work by fusing blues mimicry with a whimsical sound collage.

To top it all off, Pink Floyd’s “Echoes,” a 23-minute sonic extravaganza that occupies the entirety of side two, reinterprets some of the band’s earlier musical motifs and melodies into a new musical context. This is all topped off by a gorgeous Gilmour solo and a funky organ, bass, and percussion section, making for a great long-form electronic performance.

This is Meddle – a proven gem of Pink Floyd.