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.
CD Ref.: CDP 7 46034 2
CD Date: 1994
N. CDs: 1
1. One Of These Days (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)
2. A Pillow of Winds (Waters, Gilmour)
3. Fearless (Waters, Gilmour)
4. San Tropez (Waters)
5. Seamus (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)
6. Echoes (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)
- 1. One Of These Days (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)
One of these days I'm gonna cut you into little pieces
- 2. A Pillow of Winds (Waters, Gilmour)
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 boot 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
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.
- 3. Fearless (Waters, Gilmour)
You say the hill's too steep to climb,
You say you'd like to see me try,
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
Emotionless 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 the frown
You look down
Hear the sound of the faces in the crowd
- 4. San Tropez (Waters)
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 our love
Deep in my dreams and I still hear her calling
If you're alone I'll come home
Backwards and home bound
The pidgeon 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 a while
By a country style
And listen to things they say
Digging for gold in the hoe in my hand
Hoping they'll take a look at the way things stand
And you're leading me down to the place by the sea
I hear your soft voice calling to me
Making a date for later by phone
if you're alone I'll come home
- 5. Seamus (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)
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, you know the sun was sinking slowly
But my hound just sat right down and cried
- 6. Echoes (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour)
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 stirs and
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 the land
And no one crosses there alive
And no one speaks
And no one tries
And no one flies around the sun
And now this is the day you fall
Upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Comes streamin in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning
And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky.
Release date: November 11st, 1971
Recorded at: AIR Studios, EMI Studios, Abbey Road and at Morgan Sound, London
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'".
- One of These Days (Waters, Wright, Gilmour, Mason) [05:57] Vocals by Nick Mason.
- A Pillow of Winds (Waters, GIlmour) [05:07] Vocals by Gilmour.
- Fearless (Waters, Gilmour) [06:05] Vocals by Gilmour.
- Saint Tropez (Waters) [03:40] Vocals by Waters.
- Seamus (Waters, Wright, Mason, Gilmour) [02:13] Vocals by Gilmour.
- Echoes (Waters, Wright, Gilmour, Mason) [23:31] Vocals by Gimour and Wright.
Total Playing Time: 46'33
David Gilmour: Guitars, Vocals
Nick Mason: Drums
Roger Waters: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Rick Wright: Keyboard, Vocals