67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stand in the fireplace, between the speakers ... go on!
First I bought this album on 8-track (that would have been about 1972 or 73), then LP, then cassette, now CD. I must like it. First time I heard it my friend Kathy grabbed me by the elbow as I walked past her room and said stand there, in the fireplace, between the speakers and listen to this. It was "One of These Days". It was loud enough to cause brain damage. I'm...
Published on 10 Jun 2004 by Sally-Anne
8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great at the time
This album was the start of the Floyd phenomenon (commercially speaking), moving away from the psychedelia & popish toons under the new influence of Dave Gilmour.
It was interesting at the time of the release because whilst at school most of my musically-orientated mates were into the psychedelic Barrett Floyd & subsequently most 6th formers (inc me) got into...
Published on 16 Jan 2009 by Ken Grew
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stand in the fireplace, between the speakers ... go on!,
First I bought this album on 8-track (that would have been about 1972 or 73), then LP, then cassette, now CD. I must like it. First time I heard it my friend Kathy grabbed me by the elbow as I walked past her room and said stand there, in the fireplace, between the speakers and listen to this. It was "One of These Days". It was loud enough to cause brain damage. I'm still a bit deaf and never came out of the altered state. It was just (excuse the expression) mind-blowing. We were too primitive back then to own a set of head phones so the experience of the jet of sound squirting right through the middle of my head, from one ear to the other then back again, was like a new revelation - the sort of thing that hippies were guzzling all sorts of expensive substances in order to achieve. Then some creep said he was going to cut me into little pieces. Unusual lyrics too and a far from sensual singing voice, as befits a psycho. Never heard the like before!
"One of These Days" was enough on its own to sell the album to me. But every number was a shiny gem (varying degrees of brightness). It's been a star in my music collection for 3 decades. It's music like this that slows the onset of old age (or at least maturity in my case). Even my dogs like it. One of them likes to howl along with Seamus.
This is special. If you haven't heard it, you should seek it out and discover that it's something you wouldn't have wanted to miss.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ground-breaking and breath-taking album,
This is the last Floyd album written before those which were based on alienation and struggle. In comparison it has a joyful feeling overall.
The first half has a diverse selection of pieces: One of These Days is very brooding, A Pillow of Winds is quite light and refreshing, San Tropez is very laid back, Fearless is invigorating (especially for Liverpool fans) and Seamus is just a bit of fun.
The second half consists of the superb Echoes, a rock symphony that leads us enchantingly from the sub-marine to the sublime. Bathe in its deep, warm ambience and drift away! This is their first and arguably their best masterpiece.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...I'll Climb That Hill In My Own Way...",
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2011 VERSION ***
I've just come from reviewing the 2011 remaster of Pink Floyd's "Obscured By Clouds" (the album that followed "Meddle" in June 1972) - which is sonically amazing - but is also disappointingly skimpy on the packaging front (a miniscule 8-page booklet). It's pretty much an identical story here. But to the details first...
Released 30 October 1971 on Harvest Records SMAS-832 in the USA and 13 November 1971 in the UK on Harvest Records SHVL 795 - original UK copies of the vinyl LP came in an untitled textured gatefold sleeve. American issues were titled and featured reversed artwork on a hard-card sleeve - the back of the UK cover put on the front. This 26 September 2011 version (27 Sep 2011 in the USA) on EMI 50999 028942 2 5 is a straightforward 6-track remaster of that studio album and comes in a gatefold card sleeve (using UK artwork) with a 12-page colour inlay inside (total playing time 48:51 minutes).
Like all the other albums in this 14-title reissue series - "Meddle" has been mastered by JAMES GUTHRIE and JOEL PLANTE at the Das Boot Recording Studios in Tahoe in California (Guthrie is a Sound Engineer associated with the band since 1978). The original 1st generation master tapes have obviously been given a thorough going over because it truly feels like each song has had a staggering amount of time spent on them worrying out every single nuance possible. The audio result is truly impressive.
On the 1995 remaster the six-minute opener "One Of These Days" took ages to arrive and even when it did it was somehow dull and lacklustre. How things have changed - when the huge synth riff kicks in about 2:50 on this 2011 version - the sound is incredibly clear - allowing you to hear crashes and bangs going on in the background that I've never heard before. Then the sort of Piltdown Man voice says "One Of These Days I'm Gonna Cut You Into Little Pieces..." and all Hell breaks loose - Gilmour's guitar indeed sounding like a musical chainsaw. It's revelatory genius and in that uniquely peculiar Pink Floyd kind of a way.
But even that is trumped by the awesome clarity of the forgotten and hugely underrated "A Pillow Of Winds". Put simply - it sounds 'beautiful'. The jaunty "San Tropez" and the rather pointless ditty that is "Seamus" are both the same - so clear and renewed. The 23:25 minute Side 2 opus "Echoes" has hiss as it opens on sonar pings - but luckily Guthrie and Plante have allowed it to breath instead of using some no-noise dampening technique. So when the funky break takes place at about seven minutes (now being used by Dance DJs in the UK as a mix in sets) it sounds just HUGE. It's impressive stuff, it really is.
But on this album my heart has always been with "Fearless" - issued as a B-side to "One Of These Days" in the USA and other European territories. It seems like I've waited literally 40 whole years to hear this fabulous song in such clarity (lyrics above). It's a genuine wow - and reminds me of a club I used to go to in Dublin called The Grove in the Seventies when they actually used this song as a 'lurch' (a slow tune in Ireland). As it fades out to the Liverpool Football Club fans singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" (a no.1 UK hit for Gerry & The Pacemakers in 1963 and adopted by them as an anthem) - I'm in floods...
I wish I could say the same for the staggeringly unimaginative packaging. The 'Pink Floyd' logo you see in all the photos advertising these new reissues turns out to be a sticker on the outer shrink-wrap that gets lost the second you unpeel it. The card sleeves are like The Beatles 09/09/09 EMI reissues - glossy and flimsy - so they smudge with finger prints the second you open them and are easy to bend and crease. The CD itself has new generic artwork that's repeated in different colour variations throughout the series - a sort of Turquoise and Pale Green for "Meddle", a garish Red and Pink for "Obscured By Clouds" etc. It has no relevance to the original albums whatsoever (where's the original Harvest label they've used on other reissues or the colourful inner bag?) but also has no protective gauze sleeve so it will scuff on repeated plays.
But the skimpy booklet is the biggest disappointment. Although it has the lyrics (like this is a major improvement) it seems little different to the 1995 issue. It has no history on the album, pictures of European and Worldwide 7" sleeves, the different US artwork etc. OK - it does look nice and does the job adequately - but that's all. It's a lazy-assed approach on behalf of EMI and undermines the sterling work done on the sound front. I hate to come across like some nick-picking fan boy here, but it would have been nice to actually 'discover' something on this so-called 'Discovery' version (docked a star for that). And there are no outtakes either...and man would they have been worth a listen.
To sum up - we finally get five-star sound - but it's housed in 3-star presentation. Still - with the truly beautiful sonic upgrade, the casual listener is advised to dig in, rediscover and enjoy.
Die-hard fans however might want to wait for the Japanese Editions that will inevitably arrive in 2012 on the far superior SHM-CD format (a better make of CD playable on all players). With their faithfully reproduced artwork and audiophile reproduction - they may give your bank manager a cold sweat - but they will absolutely be the ones to get if the best is all you'll accept.
"Meddle" is a gem in the Pink Floyd canon and on the strength of this remaster alone - I'm going to have to buy the new "Dark Side Of The Moon " and "Wish You Were Here" versions too. I suspect many will feel exactly the same...
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just My Review.....,
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars same great music, questionable mix adjustments,
this "discovery edition" malarky is the floyd's way of saying they've given everything a 21st century big sound, as if this had been recorded just yesterday on today's sophisticated equipment, verb units and compressors, tailored for today's audience. All those delicate passages from Pillow of Winds and San Tropez have disappeared as the entire sound ambience has been brought as far forweard as it can come without it all spilling out of the loudspeakers, and Gilmour's voice is often upstaged by structural instrumentation. They've really jumped the piano right to the front in San Tropez, rather killing it's hot lazy summerday rag-time feel, and there's some unnecessary extra reverb on the psychedlic football hordes on Fearless - the original was quite enough to get their art across. You can hear every minute detail now in Echoes, even an occasional studio sound, a tap or a hum from something or other - and the percussion on this track is what has been ramped up and hardened.
Well, they have their new toys, the latest sound processing modules, and they're as determined as Genesis were 3 yeasrs ago to fiddle and tinker with stuff that honestly ought not to be fiddled and tinkered with, it was absolutely perfect the first time around. I'm sure some people - today's Coldplay generation perhaps - will like the Big Sound. Not sure I do. But you can't fault the music here, this is the floyd doing exactly what they want to do without any interference from record label micro-executives. Hunt down the original AAD release of this title, that for me is where it's at.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pink Floyd's best ever ... full stop.,
By A Customer
I heard Pink Floyd play Meddle for the first time on Radio 1's "In Concert" and bought it shortly afterwards. The good ol' scratchy vinyl is now worn out and I recently bought the CD version. For me this is PF at their very best, and yes it is better than DSOTM. The richness and haunting quality of Echoes will last for ever - and if you have never heard Meddle take your time, sit down somehwere quietly, and play Echoes first.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meddle 2011 version,
OK, so another version of a cd that has been released 3-4 times before, one of which I have, the Shine On Box set version to be precise, and what is new?
Well this is a hard one to put my finger on, so let me attempt to help clear up a few things. First the gatefold sleeve is an improvement over the jewel case, although I can see why it annoys a lot of folk. It is a bit fiddly getting the cd out, some of these gatefold sleeves can be tighter than others. Same outer image, new inner one-an outtake from the same photo session though.
The sound quality, well this is the tricky part. It definitely sounds better, not sharper, not louder, but more musical overall, more vinyl. In an A/B test it was difficult to actually nail down the difference, I simply preferred the new version. I thought about how to describe it for a while and try and think of an analogy to compare it to. Here goes-the new version has more inner detail, the sounds are no sharper than previously, it is just that the instruments sound more realistic, the acoustic guitars more obviously hollow wooden boxes with vibrating metal strings over them, the cymbals sound more genuinely metallic and rich decaying realistically, the sound of the drum heads is cleaner, Rogers bass has a deeper plummy tone and all the instruments are better separated. If it was a tv the new one is HD the old is not, the shapes are the same , the colours are the same, but the textures are better in the new one.
Overall not a day night difference, but if you are a fan of hifi and love Floyd this is an improvement.
Why only 4 stars,? Well the booklet is a bit ho-hum, not a patch on Storms previous inventiveness, nor a faithful copy of the original artwork, sort of a halfway house so to speak.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best floyd album,
A lot of people seem to think that "Meddle" is the start of the "real Pink Floyd" and the stepping stone to the megaselling "Dark Side of the Moon". "Dark side" is, of course, a pinnacle in rock music (especially in the sonic department) but it seems to me that the cold has set in with that album. Given the choice I would always pick "Meddle" over "Dark side" (or any other Floyd album). Why? The atmosphere is palpably better and certainly more upbeat, and it seems to me this is the last truly collective album - before Roger Water's gloomy preponderance takes shape. Besides, this album features the best Floyd track ever, which, of course, is "Echoes" - the band never reached this level again, as far as I'm concerned.
And for those who fancy "Echoes" as much as I do: the surfer film Crystal Voyager features "Echoes" in its entirety, accompanied by stunning sea wave sequences. It's available for a very reasonable price - check it out!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A saucerful of surprises,
Pink Floyd presented a wide range of styles on this album which very much went against the conventions of the genre at the time. I think for this reason Meddle was controversial right from the beginning. I bought this in the Musicassette format when I was 15 (it was presented in a cardboard flip top pack, like a cigarette packet) after hearing "Fearless" on John Peel's BBC "Top Gear" radio show. That track gave little indication of what else was in store, but it was ultimately "Echoes" that prompted me to rebuy it later, in vinyl and finally this CD edition.
This reminds me that the two-sided format of vinyl (and cassette) is crucial to the way this album is paced. San Tropez and Seamus, both stylistically odd for Floyd, were the last two tracks on one side, and if you didn't like them, especially Seamus (and I don't like either of the two) you could take the needle of the record and flip it over. In CD format having these two tracks in the middle is understandably annoying.
I would still have bought this for Echoes alone, though. What I really like about this track is the sense of going on a journey through an imaginary landscape. At first I imagined a night train journey through some kind of alien desert (there are very trainlike rhythms at one point) with the guitar near the end sounding like a sunrise. Ultimately, though, I guess it's an undersea voyage, as announced by the sonar ping-like opening (however the sound was achieved!) and the faux whale-song with seagulls section later (this was long before the whale song sound became a newage cliché).
I think it's fair to say that you never know what to expect from one Pink Floyd album to the next, and that was never more true than with Meddle.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pure classic.,
By A Customer
Meddle came after 'Atom Heart Mother' and showed Pink Floyd in a whole new light. Rather than being a reinvention of themselves Meddle shows another side to the four members, with an overall laid-back jazzy feel coming through. The opening number 'One of these days...' has become a standard and is way ahead of its time. The numbers that follow it up to 'Seamus' take the beat and slow it down to a toe-tapping rythmn, lulling the listener into a false sense of security. 'Echoes', the major track on the album at around 22 minutes long, has become a revered member of the Pink Floyd canon, and justly so. Opening with a single note from Rick Wright which sets the scene the song progresses into darker territory via Dave Gilmours almost violent crashing of chords into the eeiry wind-swept gothic towers of the middle section. Rick Wright once more brings light into the piece before the whole thing is rounded off in an almost fin de cycle.
A TRUE MASTERPIECE.
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