Pink Floyd – Meddle (remaster) (review)

Pink Floyd – Meddle (remaster) (Capitol/EMI) review Capitol records is in the midst of a massive overhaul of the Pink Floyd catalog – all have been remastered with upgraded booklets.  Several of the albums also contain discs with bonus material.

This is where Pink Floyd truly came into their own.

Meddle, the band’s sixth album, marked the first time the band began to emphasize song structure over endless psychedelic jamming.  The album opens with the  throbbing instrumental “One of These Days,” featuring a twin bass guitar assault played by both David Gilmour and Roger Waters, augmented by Richard Wright’s organ accents, and a fiery guitar solo at the end from Gilmour.

That’s followed by the gentle acoustic “A Pillow of Winds,” which has a guitar line reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” The most impressive track is “Fearless,” a Waters/Gilmour collaboration that contains an ascending guitar line, and for the first time, a chorus you can actually sing along to!   Not everything on the record works – “San Tropez” is lounge-like in style and leaves you wondering whether to take it seriously or not.  There’s certainly no doubt with the lazy blues of “Seamus,” featuring a dog howling throughout the entire track (rumored to be Humble Pie frontman Steve Marriot’s pooch, which Gilmour was watching at the time).

Of course, the record also contains the side-length piece “Echoes,” but even at 23 minutes, the song still has a definite direction.  The track opens with a strange “ping” from Richard Wright’s keyboard, slowly building with some great singing and searing guitar by Gilmour.  It actually morphs into a funk section, fueled by Waters’ bass, only to give way to some goofy sound effects in the middle which last an almost unbearable five minutes, finally returning to the verse of the song (the 2-CD Pink Floyd Anthology called Echoes features a far more palatable version of the song, chopping out the unnecessary seven minutes).

Although not without its faults, Meddle shows that Pink Floyd was beginning to put the right pieces together of what would become their most successful period, culminating with their landmark Dark Side of the Moon.  Meddle shows they were certainly headed in the right direction.  –Tony Peters