Pink Floyd - Meddle
Meddle is a record of progress, the first album where the iconic Pink Floyd sound, perhaps, finally snaps into focus. It is not as complete or well-rounded as Dark Side of the Moon, as emotional as Wish You Were Here, or as pissed-off as Animals or The Wall, but it is, perhaps, the earliest example of the band forgoing their love of madcap experimentation in favor of a concise music-making ethos. And they manage to spread it across an entire album.Songs like “San Tropez” and “Fearless” feel like full-realized pop songs, with gorgeous melodies, discernible structures and lyrics that don’t just serve as mere texture. “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 you’re alone I’ll come home,” sings Roger Waters on “San Tropez” underneath the soft, jazzy strums of an acoustic guitar. His lyrics punctuate another important theme on Meddle, which is the concept of the pastoral. While past Floyd albums exist more in a psychedelic haze than in any particular place, Meddle is a rural record that dwells in wide, open spaces.
The most striking example of this sense of “space” comes on the record’s final track: the monstrous, multi-part, 23-minute opus “Echoes”. “Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air/ And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves,” sing Gilmour and Wright, their voices interlocked and effortlessly wispy. In many ways, “Echoes” is the turning point in the Pink Floyd canon, the culmination of everything that came before it and the “starting gun” for everything that will follow.
Like the rest of Meddle, it’s beautiful, airy, and ripe with pastoral imagery. But it’s also otherworldly and downright frightening in places, specifically during Wright’s wailing keyboard movement midway through the song, which eventually feeds back into the central melody. In essence, it’s a little bit of everything, all of which is damn good and distinct in its own right.
1. One of These Days
2. A Pillow of Winds
4. San Tropez