109 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2004
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2013
I first wanted to hear this album having seen the Live at Pompeii film. Playing One Of These Days, they were in full flight - thrilling.
An earlier reviewer rightly points out that this album captures Floyd at the moment before alienation set in as the predominant theme in their work. These guys must have enjoyed making this record. There is imagination, variety, power and a kind of creative ease. Also, it sounds like a partnership in which all four band members are fully engaged, before the famous power battles and distrust set in.
This is my own favourite Floyd album. It just makes me feel good. They are pushing the boundaries and experimenting but doing so with complete conviction. There's always more to hear every time you listen again - especially in Echoes but in many other tracks too (listen to the interplay between the synth and the howling slide guitar in One of These Days).
I'm sad some reviewers are unhappy about Seamus. I love to hear a band that don't take itself entirely seriously - and they did enjoy playing 12-bar blues too, even if it doesn't feature on their classic albums.
This release drops a star for the packaging. I like it made of card; I like it slimline. But how on earth are you expected to get the CD out of the tight-fitting envelope without your fingers gripping the playing surface?
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2012
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.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
*** THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2011 VERSION ***
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 vinyl copies of PINK FLOYD'S "Meddle" 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). It's called the `Discovery Edition".
1. One Of These Days [Side 1]
2. A Pillow Of Winds
4. San Tropez
6. Echoes [Side 2]
JAMES GUTHRIE and JOEL PLANTE have carried out the remaster on this and all 14 albums in their catalogue 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 lackluster. 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...
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
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.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2001
I'd like to start by saying that this album wuold be as much a five star offering if were not for the terrible Seamus. Talk about an album wrecker when it has such profound pieces as "One Of These Days", a brilliant display of musicianship showcasing Waters ability to preserve a Structure in a song with his throbbing bass playing (well he was an architect!) whilst Gilmour's guitar soars above. "A Pillow Of Winds" is a dreamy piece which is probably only bettered by the track "Wish You Were Here" and slopes through and takes you with it, an ambiental piece. Then you have the more rockin "Fearless" which just gets you singing along with Gilmour's wispy voice. Next the more jazzy "San Tropez" which is reminiscent of tracks off the soundtrack album "More" before we suffer (or in my case skip) the infamous dog howling, "Seamus" which apparently is a four way co-write (although it sounds like it was written by the dog!) Then there is the quintessential Floyd track. Forget "Dark Side.." "Echoes" is the Floyd. Lyrical brillince from Waters; wispy dual vocals from Messrs Wright and Gilmour and a musical feast culminating in the first successful 23 minute piece (unless you are a fan of "Atom Heart Mother"). On a par perhaps with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" this is the outstanding long play piece of any band, let alone Pink Floyd, and will drift you through their "Labyrinths of coral caves". This is a must buy for any floyd fan. Don't buy the cop out "Echoes:Greatest Hits", get the albums, you will not be disappointed!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 April 2015
...Meddle was released on 30 October 1971 & was a true group effort, with lyrical contributions from all four members...No central theme but a very experimental album using many sound effects...This Album confirmed David Gilmour who took over from Syd Barrett in 1968 as a real shaping force among the Pink Floyd music...
Syd Barrett knew Roger Waters from his Cambridge school days. He reconnected with Roger when he moved to London...Roger had already formed a band with Richard Wright & Nick Mason first called 'The sigma 6' & later 'The tea set'...Syd joined...later in the summer of 1965 they began to use the name 'Pink Floyd'...The name paid homage to two American blues musicians...Pink Anderson & Floyd Council...
At the end of 1967 David Gilmour was brought in as a second guitarist to aide Syd, who was increasingly debilitated through his use of LSD tripping...it reached a point where the band could no longer do anything with him...& on the 6 April 1968 Pink Floyd announced that Syd Barrett was no longer a member of the band...
David Gilmour & Roger Waters both cited this album as the turning point that led towards the realisation of 'The dark side of the moon'...Meddle is absorbing even today & a pioneering album of it's time with special highlighted tracks 'One of these days' & 'Echoes' always popular at their live performances...
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2011
This review for 2011 remastered version.
Hopefully this review may be of use to people contemplating the 2011 reissue versus earlier manifestations. The music itself is 5 stars and remains one of my most favourite recordings of all time, my notes therefore refer to the quality of the actual CD itself.
Firstly, I compared the new CD to my first purchase (1986, 1st UK release, CDP7460342, states Made in Japan). The difference between these two CDs, about 25 years apart, is very marked indeed. The difference in musicality, clarity and definition is audibly clear and immediate. Essentially it sounds as if a heavy blanket had been removed from the speakers. If you have an old CD and love this music it will, in my opinion, be well worth the upgrade - which seems like nine quid well spent.
I then moved onto to a comparison with the CD contained in the "Oh, by the way" box set. I must admit I am not quite sure when, or where, this was actually mastered. However, in direct comparisons with the 2011 version I detect very small changes between the two. For my own opinion, whilst the new 2011 version does seem to represent a small improvement, it really is in minor details rather than the whole album. Playing the two through I am really ambivalent as to which one I would listen to. This is not negative, just my view that these versions are close in musicality and quality. The 2011 version is better but, unless (like me) you have an inquisitive (obsessive?) nature and really want to have the "best" version available, I would be happy to stick with the "Oh, by the way" version at least.
Finally, to add my twopence on the subject of the cover, I really do prefer the "Oh, by the way" version. Apart from the fact it is a bit larger, and protects the CD better, it retains the original inner sleeve picture...... no idea why it was deemed necessary to change that in the 2011 version but, they did.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2000
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.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
"Meddle" is one great album, and still sounds surprisingly fresh after almost 40 years.
For the younger listener who might still be discovering Pink Floyd's epic musical legacy, some of the albums which followed on from "Meddle", notably the 30-million seller "Dark Side of the Moon" from 1973 (which deservedly took the band from the interesting and experimental fringe into something close to a mainstream supergroup) might be a more accessible gateway. "Meddle" still carries the inheritance of the earlier, more psychedelic and experimental era but the band was starting to find its way to a more structured and disciplined sound, showcasing lyrics driven by the societal-alienation themes which dominated the "Roger Waters" era up to and beyond "The Wall."
"Meddle" divides naturally into different halves of equal length. The original Harvest-label vinyl LP had five tracks on side one:
1. The driving, powerful and essentially instrumental opener "One of these Days" with an insistent single-note bass motif introduced over the recorded sound of howling wind, gradually overlaid with raunchy guitar, held together by powerful high-register keyboard chords over a driving rhythm: a real rocker with a hard edge and a quirky but short distorted vocal phrase right in the middle: "One of these days, I'm gonna cut you up into little pieces" - scary psycho, or what?
2. The whimsical "Pillow of Winds" with Wright and Gilmour providing melodious complimentary vocals and calming down the mood
3. "Fearless", a slow but powerfully insistent song with a slightly syncopated rhythm whose lyrics express ideas of detached alienation later explored so much more fully in DSOTM (the crowd singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" on the soundtrack at the end of the song was the Liverpool Football Club "Kop")
4. The delightfully upbeat "San Tropez" with its summer beach-town feel, written and sung by Roger Waters
5. The peculiar and downbeat blues track "Seamus" which sounds like it might have been recorded when the band was drunk, complete with howling dog on the soundtrack
Then side two: "Echoes", arguably the greatest single track ever composed and recorded by the band. If you've not yet heard "Echoes" but have heard "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" then you have some idea of the long, slow, predominantly instrumental musical form full of richness and complexity of which the band is capable.
"Echoes" is a classic mood-piece, symphonic in concept and execution. With its theme of the sea, of the eternity of rolling waves and coral caves, it builds from a repeated single-note "ping" through a slowly-wake-up intro to a gradually more insistent and rhythmic main theme complete with harmonised vocal line; then moves through a thumping, rhythmic instrumental section into a long, spacey, stretched-out mid-section with eerie but simply beautiful electronically-generated whale-song sounds; rediscovers the main theme and builds melodically to a satisfying climax, and winds down with whale, sea-bird and ocean sounds to leave the listener spaced-out and simply awed. Put on the headphones, recline, crank up the volume and enjoy. You'll be won over. It's an all-time great, one of those rare instances where musical virtuosity, a simple but innovative idea, a kind of intuitive, psychic connection between musicians and the confidence to experiment with new sound techniques whilst remaining restrained and disciplined to form, all came together to distil something unique and wonderful. It's a great, unforgettable piece, a timeless treasure.
"Echoes" of course supplied the title of the 26-track retrospective compilation album, which features a slightly edited version of the eponymous piece sandwiched between "Another Brick" and "Hey You". However, the version here on "Meddle" is the full-length, unedited original.
If you can't work out what the weird image on the album cover is, it's a close-up of an ear. Nice idea.