A glowing review by an unknown reviewer. Pink Floyd was an impressive band.
Floyd `meddle` to good effect
PINK FLOYD: MEDDLE (Harvest SHVL 795; £2.40)
Record review by (Unknown)
FLOYD have done it again; something I thought would be difficult after the brilliance they showed with the Atom Heart Mother Suite, a piece of musical mastery that took great courage to put on record, and even greater courage to perform live — which they did successfully. On the second side of this album we hear Echoes, which in many ways is more important than Atom Heart.
Side one is really three themes. One Of These Days and A Pillow Of Wind are linked to each other by the haunting wind (also a feature of Echoes, producing a continuing element), with gentle use of instruments including both acoustic and electric guitar, interplaying well. Days is more forceful, with Gilmour showing off his guitar techniques.
Fearless is on its own in many ways, with an almost countryish guitar and a variety of moods, with the football crowd chanting “You’ll never walk alone” totally relevant to the theme of the lyrics. Then San Tropez and Seamus have a feel of blues mixed with jazz. The former track shows much of Wright’s keyboard expertise and a more mellow Gilmour. The latter features howling dogs.
Now to Echoes — a zenith which Floyd have been striving for but only partly achieved last year. The introductory sound effects, giving the impression of a submarine underwater, provide a backcloth for the instrumentation – the effect then emerging and becoming wind. But it is more than that.
Before, I had regarded Nick Mason as a solid consistent drummer, but now he shows a lot more flair, and Gilmour, Wright and Waters all contribute strongly to the piece. The music is grand, a good example being the guitar bridge between the vocals, in what seems like a two part harmony, at the beginning. They use a similar technique in the arrangement to that used on Heart, building the music up, then easing it down, and never letting the sound go empty, maintaining a compelling interest.
The middle part is a strong rock structure, with Gilmour cutting through hard, while Wright works around the theme. The effects, sometimes comparative to an electric cayotte, bring back the opening mood. It fades out at the end, rather than leaving you in limbo – which always makes me feel frustrated.
The important thing is that Floyd have created dramatic music without having to draw off the strength of full brass and a choir. The wind is used as the choir, and the effects of the organ soar and hold like an orchestra, with a deep bass synthesised sound like a viola.
Though this piece, Echoes, is not as adventurous in structure as Heart, I feel it is more significant because they’ve done it on their own. An exceptionally good album.
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