Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pink Floyd - Meddle (1971)

This is for you, Bob. Meddle, по моему, is perhaps Floyd's transition point between the trippy, not altogether focused and sometimes rambling psychedelia of their first few albums, and the tightly wound musical virtuosity that came to fruition on Dark Side Of The Moon. Simply, it's got a touch of everything, the focal point being the otherworldly "Echoes" -- which is clearly one of the best musical statements of that era. (It sounds even better live.) An ethereal quality, let's call it, seems to permeate the entire album. "Echoes," even at its almost 24 minute length, has this fleeting, pulling away kind of quality despite some incredibly moving and powerful passages. "One Of These Days" is menacing; "Pillow Of Winds" dreamy; "Fearless" like an inevitable marching forward feel; "San Tropez" is a beer in the breeze and a nice bit of sun on your face. All very moody, impressionistic type stuff going on here, but not simply drug music -- stuff you need an amy under your nose for. No, no, this is the kind of music that makes you remember a band named Pink Floyd and not the other numberless psychedelic outfits from that time; they're simply too creative and skilled as musicians to forget them.

"Seamus" for me is one of the worst songs I've ever heard in my life. Pure fucking vulgarity and nonsense. A nasty black blot on an otherwise perfectly written work of a master scrivener. Thankfully it's short and thankfully "Echoes" accounts for half the album. Seriously, folks, if Floyd to you is "Comfortably Numb" and "Wish You Were Here", you are missing out. Dark Side Of The Moon, besides being the greatest album ever, is not the starting point for these fellows. Piper has its merits and flaws; Ummagumma is responsible for some quite exotic divergences in opinion and the poor forgotten Obscured By Clouds, nestled squarely before Dark Side and after Meddle, is quite solid as well. But Meddle is crucial in the band's own catalogue and it should be for you too. No, you don't need to get their soundtrack More like me, but this will still do nicely. Man, and listen to "Echoes" if you haven't already. The guitar is SUPER FUCKING TASTY. A-


s.jones said...

I kind of get a feeling when I listen to meddle that some of the music goes into the drug-space territory

however I could be wrong..

The Mad Hatter said...

hmm, what is the drug-space territory anyway? are you speaking from personal experience in the woods next to your house? lines of coke along the leaves? cannabis candy growing from the trunks of trees? i know, for sure, that whatever i try to articulate concerning drugs is wrong, simply because i've never done them, and haven't a clue otherwise, except for a curious reliance on my drug addict friends to describe to me, as best they can, the various states of being and what have you.

Jeff said...

I usually have Meddle going head to head with Atom Heart Mother as my third favorite Floyd album. Unfortunately neither of them get the respect they deserve. It's tough for me to say that I like Atom Heart Mother solely because of the fact that Echoes is on Meddle but I feel for the most part it was better because there are no songs I would skip over unlike Meddle (well besides Alans Psychadelic Breakfast, but it's the last song on Atom Heart Mother anyhow.) I agree with you about Seamus not belonging on the album, I would also include San Tropez into that list but San Tropez is much easier to listen to than Seamus. Everything else however is just so perfect from the incredibly haunting One of these Days to the best song ever created, Echoes. This album is definitely a Pink Floyd masterpiece.

David Amulet said...

I enjoy this one, too. But it doesn't work as well for me as Dark Side and Wish You Were Here. Just a different taste, that's all.

The Mad Hatter said...


While excellent, you're still right. Dark Side and Wish you are here are number 1 and 2 for me. Can't top 'em.

bob_vinyl said...

Meddle is my favorite Floyd album. Understandably, "One of These Days" and the epic "Echoes" get a lot of attention, but don't forget about "Fearless." That one's amazing too. I actually prefer this to Dark Side, not because it's better, but because there's still the wildness of discovery about it. I like its imperfections and the feeling that they're not so calculated here.

The Mad Hatter said...

Oh, "Fearless" is great. I should have been more effuse in my praise of it. As you can see, I'm trying to knock them all out, hehe. I figured solely listening to Floyd and reviewing them will keep me more focused.