A tiny sound wave sent from "Pink Floyd's" active sonar in the depths of the ocean returned as a huge and terrifying "echo" in the form of a 23:31 minute musical piece - "Echoes".
On October 30, 1971, the album "Meddle" was released, the sixth studio album by "Pink Floyd", whose main opus "Echoes" became synonymous with it.
It can be said that this little ping is responsible for the rebirth of the band. A small flash of light, a lighthouse in the dark that directs the "Pink Floyd" rocking ship to a safe shore.
One note that is actually a compass that helped the band find its musical direction, break away from the psychedelia, overcome Syd Barrett, and spring forward to the top of the music world and become one of the greatest bands in history.
It is amazing to think that this single note originated by mistake. A random click on a high B key on Rick Wright's piano which went through the Leslie speaker and produced the famous "ping" that developed the masterpiece called "Echoes".
When the band entered Abbey Road Studios in London in January 1971, it was empty of ideas. Each member of the band grabbed a corner in the studio and began musical attempts and experiments. The band members even called them "Nothing, Parts 1-24" and later "The Son of Nothing" and "The Return of the Son of Nothing". These musical ideas served as the basis for this crazy work that is the fruit of a joint effort from all four members. During the development of the piece, the lyrics referred to the encounter between two celestial bodies, but due to Roger Waters' concern about the band's being cataloged as a "Space Rock" band, the lyrics were altered to contain "underwater" images that correspond well with the "ping", with the water drops on the album cover and even with the "seagulls" sounds created by David Gilmour's guitar during the "Echoes" musical piece. And for those who wonder what that album cover represents. So this is a photo of a human ear filmed underwater. Yes, this is what the band asked the legendary cover designer Storm Thorgerson to decorate the album cover. By the way, Thorgerson wanted it to be a close-up of Baboon's anus, but the band objected and Storm later claimed it was his least favorite cover than all the ones he designed in the "Pink Floyd" catalog.
Here is the place to point out that in our humble opinion this is the album where David Gilmour was re-born. It's not that he did not exist before, God forbid! But on this album he began to shine, developing his all-too-unique sound, the little touches, the melodic solos, the effects so identified with him, the "feel" and the immortal slide. Not only that, but on this album, he also gained confidence in singing as he served as the lead singer in all but one of the album's songs. And if that was not enough, then he was also prominent in the creative process and was a part of writing all the songs on this album except one.
The musical piece "Echoes" was the first song the band recorded for the album. If we continue with the "watery" line, then this is undoubtedly the "anchor" of the album, as well as of the film "Live at Pompeii", where it was divided into two parts that open and end the film. But "Meddle" is definitely not just "Echoes".
There’s the amazing and “almost” instrumental opening track “One of These Days”. Nearly 6 minutes of a nervous and sweeping groove led by Waters and Gilmour's pulsing bass. Yes, yes beyond David Gilmour's crazy playing on the slide guitar console, he reinforces Roger Waters playing bass guitar, while Nick Mason is in charge of the immortal sentence: "One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces".
The second track "A Pillow of Winds" evokes in us one association - "tranquility". The song details the stages of sleep, going to bed, dreaming, and waking up in the morning. David Gilmour composed the magical and simple chord passages and participated with Roger Waters in writing the lyrics. Beyond the acoustic guitars, Gilmour melts our hearts with electric touches and Slide guitar while Roger Waters plays fretless bass.
Immediately after that comes "Fearless" - another collaboration between Roger Waters (who also plays acoustic guitar) and David Gilmour. It was also the only single released from the album that ends with the amazing crowd of Liverpool football team fans, singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" - a song by the Rodgers and Hammerstein duo, which became the band's anthem.
The fourth track "San Tropez" is the only one on the album written and sung by Roger Waters solely. While writing the song Waters was influenced by a vacation the band took in St. Tropez and he plays an acoustic in addition to bass.
The ending Track of the first side "Seamus" is named after singer Steve Marriott's ("Small Faces" and "Humble Pie") Border Collie dog. Gilmore was babysitting the dog for Marriott and brought it with him to the studio one day. The dog used to bark and howl at the sound of David Gilmour playing, which got the idea to create this very special duet between a guitar and a dog.
By the way, the gatefold of the album included a picture of the four members of the band. This was "Pink Floyd's" last photo on an album. None of "Pink Floyd's" albums up to the 1987 album "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" will not include a picture of the band members and even on "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" the picture is of David Gilmour and Nick Mason, while on later releases the picture of Rick Wright was added.
This album was a very important step in the development of the band and its transition from the psychedelic era to the more progressive period. Roger Waters noted that the lyrics of "Echoes" were an attempt to explain the potential that each human being has to know and respect each other - or in his words "empathy rather than antipathy". Waters will later develop the ideological idea of this work and begin to focus on the people and problems of humanity. Before the rain of effects of "The Dark Side Of The Moon" and before the criticism of "Animals", this album gives us a one-time glimpse into the pure and optimistic musical innocence of a cohesive band that has found the sound that will define it.