|Studio album by|
|Released||31 October 1971|
|Recorded||January – August 1971|
|Studio||AIR Studios, Abbey Road Studios, and Morgan Studios (London)|
|Pink Floyd chronology|
|Singles from Meddle|
Meddle is the sixth studio album by English progressive rock group Pink Floyd, released on 31 October 1971 by Harvest Records. It was produced between the band's touring commitments, from January to August 1971. The album was recorded at a series of locations around London, including Abbey Road Studios and Morgan Studios.
Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid- to late 1960s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening rather than dancing.
Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining a following as a psychedelic band, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows, and became a leading band of the progressive rock genre. They are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.
Harvest Records is a British record label belonging to Capitol Music Group, originally created by EMI, active from 1969 to present.
With no material to work with and no clear idea of the album's direction, the group devised a series of novel experiments which eventually inspired the album's signature track, "Echoes". Although the band's later albums would be unified by a central theme with lyrics written entirely by Roger Waters, Meddle was a group effort with lyrical contributions from each member, and is considered a transitional album between the Syd Barrett-influenced group of the late 1960s and the emerging Pink Floyd.The cover has been explained by its creator, Storm Thorgerson, to be an ear underwater. As with several previous albums designed by Hipgnosis, though, Thorgerson was unhappy with the final result.
"Echoes" is a song by English rock band Pink Floyd, and the sixth and final track from their 1971 album Meddle. It was written in 1970 by all four members of the group. Containing several extended instrumental passages, largely ambient sound effects, and musical improvisation, the track has a running time of 23:31 and comprises the entire second side of the vinyl and cassette recordings.
George Roger Waters is an English songwriter, singer, bassist, and composer. In 1965, he co-founded the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. Waters initially served solely as the bassist, but following the departure of songwriter Syd Barrett in 1968, he also became their lyricist, co-lead vocalist, and conceptual leader.
Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett was an English singer, songwriter, and musician who co-founded the rock band Pink Floyd in 1965. Characterised for his English-accented singing and free-form writing style, Barrett named the group and was their original lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter. His innovative use of guitar techniques, such as dissonance, distortion and feedback, proved influential to many musicians.
The album was well-received by music critics upon its release, and was commercially successful in the United Kingdom, but lackluster publicity on the part of their United States-based label led to poor sales there upon initial release.
Returning from a series of tours across America and England in support of Atom Heart Mother , at the start of 1971 Pink Floyd commenced work on new material at Abbey Road Studios in London.At the time, Abbey Road was equipped only with eight-track multitrack recording facilities, which the band found insufficient for the increasing technical demands of their project. They transferred their best efforts, including the opening of what became "Echoes", to 16-track tape at smaller studios in London (namely AIR, and Morgan in West Hampstead) and resumed work with the advantage of more flexible recording equipment. Engineers John Leckie and Peter Bown recorded the main Abbey Road and AIR sessions, while for minor work at Morgan, Rob Black and Roger Quested handled the engineering duties.
Atom Heart Mother is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. It was released by Harvest on 2 October 1970 in the UK, and by Capitol on 10 October 1970 in the US. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, England, and was the band's first album to reach number 1 in the UK, while it reached number 55 in the US, eventually going gold there. A remastered CD was released in 1994 in the UK and the United States, and again in 2011. Ron Geesin, who had already influenced and collaborated with Roger Waters, contributed to the title track and received a then-rare outside songwriting credit.
Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, which owned it until Universal Music took control of part of EMI in 2013.
Multitrack recording (MTR)—also known as multitracking, double tracking, or tracking—is a method of sound recording developed in 1955 that allows for the separate recording of multiple sound sources or of sound sources recorded at different times to create a cohesive whole. Multitracking became possible in the mid-1950s when the idea of simultaneously recording different audio channels to separate discrete "tracks" on the same reel-to-reel tape was developed. A "track" was simply a different channel recorded to its own discrete area on the tape whereby their relative sequence of recorded events would be preserved, and playback would be simultaneous or synchronized.
Lacking a central theme for the project, the band used several experimental methods in an attempt to spur the creative process. One exercise involved each member playing on a separate track, with no reference to what the other members were doing. The tempo was entirely random while the band played around an agreed chord structure, and moods such as "first two minutes romantic, next two up tempo". Each recorded section was named, but the process was largely unproductive; after several weeks, no complete songs had been created.
Leckie had worked on albums such as George Harrison's All Things Must Pass and Ringo Starr's Sentimental Journey , and was employed as a tape-operator on Meddle, partly for his proclivity for working into the early hours of the morning. He has said that Pink Floyd's sessions would often begin in the afternoon, and end early the next morning, "during which time nothing would get done. There was no record company contact whatsoever, except when their label manager would show up now and again with a couple of bottles of wine and a couple of joints."The band would apparently spend long periods of time working on simple sounds, or a particular guitar riff. They also spent several days at AIR attempting to create music using a variety of household objects, a project which would be revisited between their next albums, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here .
George Harrison was an English musician, singer-songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Sometimes called "the quiet Beatle", Harrison embraced Indian culture and helped broaden the scope of popular music through his incorporation of Indian instrumentation and Hindu-aligned spirituality in the Beatles' work. Although the majority of the band's songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, most Beatles albums from 1965 onwards contained at least two Harrison compositions. His songs for the group included "Taxman", "Within You Without You", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes the Sun" and "Something".
All Things Must Pass is a triple album by English rock musician George Harrison. Recorded and released in 1970, it was Harrison's first solo work following the break-up of the Beatles in April that year, and his third solo album overall. It includes the hit singles "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life", as well as songs such as "Isn't It a Pity" and the title track that had been turned down for inclusion on releases by the Beatles. The album reflects the influence of Harrison's musical activities with artists such as Bob Dylan, the Band, Delaney & Bonnie and Billy Preston during 1968–70, and his growth as an artist beyond his supporting role to former bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney. All Things Must Pass introduced Harrison's signature sound, the slide guitar, and the spiritual themes that would be present throughout his subsequent solo work. The original vinyl release consisted of two LPs of songs and a third disc of informal jams, titled Apple Jam. Several commentators interpret Barry Feinstein's album cover photo, showing Harrison surrounded by four garden gnomes, as a statement on his independence from the Beatles.
Sir Richard Starkey, known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. He occasionally sang lead vocals with the group, usually for one song on each album, including "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Yellow Submarine", "Good Night", and their cover of "Act Naturally". He also wrote and sang the Beatles' songs "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden", and is credited as a co-writer of others, including "What Goes On" and "Flying".
Following these early experiments – called Nothings – the band developed Son of Nothings, which was followed by Return of the Son of Nothings – the working title of the new album. One of these early works involved the use of Richard Wright's piano. Wright had fed a single note through a Leslie speaker, producing a submarine-like ping. The band tried repeatedly to recreate this sound in the studio but were unsuccessful, and so the demo version was used on what would later become "Echoes",mixed almost exclusively at AIR Studios. Combined with David Gilmour's guitar, the band were able to develop the track further, experimenting with accidental sound effects (such as Gilmour's guitar being plugged into a wah-wah pedal back to front, an effect they used live from 1970 for the central section of “Embryo”). Unlike with Atom Heart Mother, the new multi-track capabilities of the studio enabled them to create the track in stages, rather than performing it in a single take. The final, 23-minute piece would eventually take up the entire second side of the album.
Richard William Wright was an English musician, composer, singer, and songwriter. He was a founder member, keyboardist, and vocalist of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, performing on all but one of the group's albums including The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Division Bell, and playing on all of their tours.
The Leslie speaker is a combined amplifier and loudspeaker that projects the signal from an electric or electronic instrument and modifies the sound by rotating a baffle chamber ("drum") in front of the loudspeakers. A similar effect is provided by a rotating system of horns in front of the treble driver. It is most commonly associated with the Hammond organ, though it was later used for the electric guitar and other instruments. A typical Leslie speaker contains an amplifier, a treble horn and a bass speaker—though specific components depend upon the model. A musician controls the Leslie speaker by either an external switch or pedal that alternates between a slow and fast speed setting, known as "chorale" and "tremolo".
David Jon Gilmour is an English multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter who was a member of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. He joined the group as guitarist and co-lead vocalist in 1968 shortly before the departure of founding member Syd Barrett. Pink Floyd subsequently achieved international success with the concept albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. By the early 1980s, they had become one of the best-selling and most acclaimed acts in music history; by 2012, the band had sold more than 250 million records worldwide, including 75 million units sold in the United States. Following the departure of Roger Waters in 1985, Gilmour assumed leadership of Pink Floyd; they released two more studio albums before disbanding in 1995 and briefly reunited in 2012 for an additional studio album released in 2014.
"One of These Days" was developed around an ostinato bassline created by Roger Waters, by feeding the output through a Binson Echorec. The bassline was performed by Waters and Gilmour using two bass guitars, one on old strings. Drummer Nick Mason's abstruse "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces" vocal line was recorded at double speed using a falsetto voice, and replayed at normal speed.
Meddle was recorded between the band's various concert commitments, and therefore its production was spread over a considerable period of time. September, but remains unreleased. . New 2016 stereo and 5.1 mixes of the album were inadvertently released as hidden tracks on the Reverberation Blu-ray disc in The Early Years box set.The band recorded in the first half of April 1971, but in the latter half played at Doncaster and Norwich before returning to record at the end of the month. In May they split their time between sessions at Abbey Road, and rehearsals and concerts in London, Lancaster, Stirling, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Nottingham. June and July were spent mainly performing at venues across Europe. August was spent in the far east and Australia, September in Europe, and October to November in the US. In the same period, the group also produced Relics , a compilation album of some of Pink Floyd's earlier works. A quadraphonic mix of the album was prepared at Command Studios on 21 and 26
Although the tracks possess a variety of moods, Meddle is generally considered more cohesive than its 1970 predecessor, Atom Heart Mother.The largely instrumental "One of These Days" is followed by "A Pillow of Winds", which is distinguished by being one of the few quiet, acoustic love songs in the Pink Floyd catalogue. These two songs segue into each other across windy sound effects, anticipating the technique that would later be used on Wish You Were Here. The title of "A Pillow of Winds" was inspired by the games of Mahjong that Waters, Mason, and their wives played while in the south of France.
The song "Fearless" includes field recordings of the Liverpool F.C. Kop singing "You'll Never Walk Alone", their anthem, which brings the song to an end in a heavily reverberated fade-out. "San Tropez", by contrast, is a jazz-inflected pop song with a shuffle tempo, composed by Waters in his increasingly deployed style of breezy, off-the-cuff songwriting. The song was inspired by the band's trip to the south of France in 1970. Pink Floyd uncharacteristically displayed their sense of humour with "Seamus", a pseudo-blues novelty track featuring Steve Marriott's dog (which Gilmour was looking after) howling along to the music.Although "Seamus" often tops polls of the worst songs Pink Floyd ever created, the band would use animal sounds again on Animals .
The final song on the album is the 23-minute "Echoes". First performed as "Return of the Son of Nothing" on 22 April 1971 in Norwich, the band spent about six months on the track in three studios (Morgan, AIR and Abbey Road). The track opens with Wright's "ping". "Echoes" was recorded almost entirely at Air Studios, and completed in July 1971. In the background of the track a Shepard tone can be heard. "Echoes" also gave its name to the compilation album Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd , on which a much-edited version of the title track was included. On the compilation, multiple edits throughout the entire song cut the running length of the piece down by some seven minutes. Some of the material composed during the creation of Meddle was not used; however, one song would eventually become "Brain Damage", on The Dark Side of the Moon.
The album's title Meddle is a play on words: a medal, and to interfere.Storm Thorgerson of the art-design group Hipgnosis originally suggested a close-up shot of a baboon's anus for the album cover photograph. He was overruled by the band, who informed him via an intercontinental telephone call while on tour in Japan that they would rather have "an ear underwater". The cover image was photographed by Bob Dowling. The image represents an ear, underwater, collecting waves of sound (represented by ripples in the water). Thorgerson later expressed dissatisfaction with the cover, claiming it to be his least favourite Pink Floyd album sleeve: "I think Meddle is a much better album than its cover". Thorgerson's colleague Aubrey Powell shared his sentiments, saying: "Meddle was a mess. I hated that cover. I don't think we did them justice with that at all; it's half-hearted." The gatefold contains a group photograph of the band (Floyd's last until 1987's A Momentary Lapse of Reason ).
Meddle was released on 31 October 1971 in the US, and 13 November in the UK. Meddle was later released as a remastered LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, and in April 1989 on their "Ultradisc" gold CD format. The album was included as part of the box set Shine On on 2 November 1992.
Although in the UK it reached number three, lacklustre publicity on the part of Capitol Records led to weak sales in the US, and a chart position of number 70. "Pink Floyd had a strong following in the UK and other parts of Europe," recalled Rupert Perry, then head of A&R at Capitol. "But they needed to be bigger in the United States, where they were only doing 200,000 units. They were very much an album act – no singles – which was bad news for us. They had a high credibility factor without the sales."
On 29 November 1971, "One of These Days" was released as a 7-inch single in the US, with "Fearless" on the B-side. October 1973 and then double platinum on 11 March 1994, following the added attention garnered by the band's later successes in the United States."One of These Days" and "Echoes" were performed during Live At Pompeii (the latter in two parts) and also on the BBC's 1971 In Concert. Meddle was later certified gold by the RIAA on 29
|Retrospective professional ratings|
|Christgau's Record Guide||B–|
|The Daily Telegraph|
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|
|The Great Rock Discography||8/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|
On release, Meddle received generally positive reviews from music critics. 's Jean-Charles Costa wrote: "Meddle not only confirms lead guitarist David Gilmour's emergence as a real shaping force with the group, it states forcefully and accurately that the group is well into the growth track again", and the NME called it "an exceptionally good album". Steve Peterson of Hit Parader cited "Fearless" as its best song and said of the album, "This has got to be their best ever." Ed Kelleher of Circus called it "another masterpiece by a masterful group", noting "Fearless" as "fascinating" and praising "Echoes" as "a tone poem that allows all four group members much time to stretch their muscles". However, Melody Maker was more reserved, describing it as "a soundtrack to a non-existent movie".Rolling Stone
In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Robert Christgau said Meddle was a fairly good progression over the group's previous work and featured folk songs highlighted by unique melodies, although he lamented the lyrics to "A Pillow of Winds": "The word 'behold' should never cross their filters again". In his critique of "Echoes", he believed the lyrics imitate "Across the Universe" by the Beatles but over 23 minutes of music that flows with a "timeless calm" similar to "Interstellar Overdrive".Daryl Easlea of BBC felt it was a similar, but more consistent and tuneful version of Atom Heart Mother highlighted by "Echoes", which he said "dominates the entire work" and is "everything right about progressive rock; engaging, intelligent and compelling". In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Rob Sheffield said "Echoes" showed Pink Floyd to be a more developed group than before, "coloring the slow guitar ripples with deep-in-the-studio sonic details that only the truly baked would notice, much less appreciate." Writing for AllMusic, editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Meddle the best album from their transitional years leading up to The Dark Side of the Moon, as it "spends most of its time with sonic textures and elongated compositions, most notably on its epic closer, 'Echoes'". He noted a "uniform tone", but not song structure, and wrote of the album's significance in the group's catalogue: "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."
|1.||"One of These Days"||instrumental||5:57|
|2.||"A Pillow of Winds"||Gilmour||5:13|
|3.||"Fearless" (including "You'll Never Walk Alone")|
(including Rodgers, Hammerstein II)
|1.||"Echoes"||Gilmour and Wright||23:31|
Credits adapted from sleeve notes.
Animals is the tenth studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 21 January 1977 through Harvest and Columbia Records. It was recorded at the band's Britannia Row Studios in London throughout 1976, and was produced by the band. The album continues the longform compositions that made up their previous works, including Wish You Were Here (1975). The album received positive reviews from critics and was commercially successful, reaching number 2 and 3 in the UK and US, respectively.
Wish You Were Here is the ninth studio album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 12 September 1975 through Harvest Records and Columbia Records, their first release for the latter. Based on material Pink Floyd composed while performing in Europe, Wish You Were Here was recorded over numerous sessions throughout 1975, at Abbey Road Studios in London.
A Momentary Lapse of Reason is the thirteenth studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released in the UK and US on 7 September 1987 by EMI and Columbia. It was recorded primarily on guitarist David Gilmour's converted houseboat, Astoria. It was the first Pink Floyd album recorded without founding member Roger Waters, who departed in 1985; the production was marred by legal fights over the rights to the Pink Floyd name, which was not resolved until several months after the album was released.
The Division Bell is the fourteenth studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released on 28 March 1994 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and on 4 April by Columbia Records in the United States.
A Saucerful of Secrets is the second studio album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 29 June 1968 by EMI Columbia in the United Kingdom and released on 27 July 1968 in the United States by Tower Records. The album was recorded before and after Syd Barrett's departure from the group. With Barrett's behaviour becoming increasingly unpredictable, David Gilmour was recruited to complement Barrett, and eventually to replace him.
Ummagumma is the fourth album by the English rock band Pink Floyd. It is a double album and was released on 7 November 1969 by Harvest Records. The first disc consists of live recordings from concerts at Mothers Club in Birmingham and the College of Commerce in Manchester that contained part of their normal set list of the time, while the second contains solo compositions by each member of the band recorded at Abbey Road Studios. The artwork was designed by regular Floyd collaborators Hipgnosis and features a number of pictures of the band combined to give a Droste effect. It was the last album cover to feature the band.
Obscured by Clouds is the seventh studio album by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released on 2 June 1972 by Harvest and Capitol Records. It is based on their soundtrack for the French film La Vallée, by Barbet Schroeder. It was recorded in two sessions in France, while they were in the midst of touring, and produced by the band members.
The Final Cut is the twelfth studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 21 March 1983 in the United Kingdom and on 2 April in the United States through Harvest and Columbia Records. It comprises unused material from the previous Pink Floyd record, The Wall (1979), alongside new material recorded throughout 1982.
Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd is the fourth compilation album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 5 November 2001 by EMI internationally and a day later by Capitol Records in the United States. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart on 24 November 2001, with sales of 214,650 copies. It remained on the chart for 26 weeks. The album was certified Gold, Platinum and Double Platinum on 6 December 2001 in the US by the RIAA. It was certified Triple Platinum in the US on 8 January 2002, and Quadruple Platinum on 10 September 2007.
Relics is a 1971 compilation album by English progressive rock band Pink Floyd. The album was released in the UK on 14 May 1971 and in the United States on the following day. Initially released by Starline, the compilation was reissued by Music for Pleasure in the United Kingdom, while Harvest and Capitol distributed the album in the United States. A remastered CD was released in 1996 with a different album cover, picturing a three-dimensional model based on the sketch drawn by drummer Nick Mason for the album's initial release.
"Atom Heart Mother" is a six-part suite by the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, composed by all members of the band and Ron Geesin. It appeared on the Atom Heart Mother album in 1970, taking up the first side of the original vinyl record. At 23:38, it is Pink Floyd's longest uncut piece. Pink Floyd performed it live between 1970 and 1972, occasionally with a brass section and choir in 1970–71.
"Fearless" is the third track on the 1971 album Meddle by Pink Floyd. This song was one of several to be considered for the band's "best of" album, Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd.
"Learning to Fly" is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, written by David Gilmour, Anthony Moore, Bob Ezrin, and Jon Carin. It was the first single from the band's thirteenth studio album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. It reached number 70 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart in September, 1987, remaining three consecutive weeks at the top position in the autumn of the same year. Meanwhile, the song failed to chart on the official U.K. top 40 singles charts. On the other hand, in Spain, the song peaked at number 1 on the Los 40 Principales chart.
"Seamus" is the fifth song on Pink Floyd's 1971 album Meddle. The group performs it in the style of country blues, with vocals, an acoustic slide guitar in an open D tuning, and piano. The song is named after the Collie dog who howls throughout the 2:15 piece. Group biographer Nicholas Schaffner calls the tune "dispensable"; David Gilmour added "I guess it wasn't really as funny to everyone else [as] it was to us".
"One of These Days" is the opening track from Pink Floyd's 1971 album Meddle. The composition is instrumental except for the only spoken line from drummer Nick Mason, "One of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces." It features double-tracked bass guitars played by David Gilmour and Roger Waters, with each bass hard panned into one channel of stereo, but one bass sound is quite muted and dull. According to Gilmour, this is because that particular instrument had old strings on it, and the roadie they had sent to get new strings for it wandered off to see his girlfriend instead.
The four were at their most collectively prolific at this time …
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