“went up trevs for afternoon – bor’d Meddle, Argus, If 2 / City 2, Spurs 1”
City spank Tottenham whilst I apparently purloin three more albums to commit to tape…
Pink Floyd’s Meddle was the band’s 1971 precursor to “Dark Side of the Moon“. It includes amongst its 6 cuts the fantastic freefall 24-minute opus, “Echoes“, which is an ambitious meandering testament to ‘all that is prog’.
Meddle is an album recorded so perfectly – at least to my ears – that I actually used (Side 1, Track 1) “One of These Days” as my ‘hi-fi tester’ for years afterwards, the cut’s sonic extremes often pushing speakers to their limits, proving their worth or (more often) not.
(Sidenote:- I herein wish to unreservedly apologise to all those ‘stereo salesmen’ who I have inadvertently pissed off over the past 3½ decades!)
Meddle also features the track “Fearless“, which sticks in most people’s minds – including mine – not just for Waters & Gilmour’s self composition but also for interpolating a recording of an emotional (is there another kind?) kop-full of Liverpool FC supporters singing the football ‘hymn’ “You’ll Never Walk Alone“.
Trivia freaks may care to know that “You’ll Never Walk Alone“, far from being a Gerry Marsden composition (as many people wrongly assume), was actually written by Rodgers & Hammerstein for the cheesy 1945 musical “Carousel”
Personally, I deem Meddle to be WAY up there with Floyd’s best output and I think it has benefited over the years from not being over-exposed like DarkSOTM. (American “classic rock” radio really does have a way of overplaying such a tiny handful of songs until you are completely sick of them… I count Floyd’s “Money” amongst that handful)
Voted Sounds’ Best Rock album of 1972, Argus was the big one for Devon’s Wishbone Ash.
The band’s twin-guitar sound (guitarists Ted Turner and Andy Powell) – an idea ripped off, but not copied, from The Allman Brothers – finally paid dividends on Argus, with cuts such as “Time Was” and “Blowin’ Free” ensuring the album its rightful place amongst prog rock classics.
More recently I have – for want of a better phrase – ‘rediscovered’ this album. I’ve found it to be the perfect accompaniment to my early morning walks in and around the neighbourhood we now live, it’s rhythms often marrying my stride beat for beat. Now, considering I have almost 900 albums loaded on my i-Pod that’s no small testimony to how well it has stood the test of time!
The band if (they always wanted it spelled in lower case) are hardly a household name some 36-years later, but in the seventies they were the closest thing the UK had to mirroring the jazz/rock brassy rhythms US bands such as Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago were pumping out across the Atlantic.
To be fair, it was probably their very diversity that stifled them from becoming a mainstream success. They didn’t exactly fit the ‘prog rock’ category very well – too many horns – and they were far too heavy a sound for jazz purists.
I don’t know how long I kept my tape recording of if2, but I’m being honest when I say I couldn’t name you one cut or recognise one track from this album if it was played to me now. However, remembering it via this diary entry has made me somewhat nostalgically curious as to what it sounded like, so I think I may have to find a preview or two online for old times sake… if only to discover if what I hear stirs up any memories.