A Classic Album Under Review

Pink Floyd: Meddle [MVD]
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Widely known as the precursor to the epic Dark Side of the Moon, 1971’s Meddle was Pink Floyd’s most fully realized post-Syd Barrett offering. As with all of the Under Review series, a cadre of journalists weigh in on an album, as well as the events leading up to it. The Under Review series of DVDs always acknowledge that they are in no way authorized by the artists, their label, or their management, and that point is clear, as Under Review: Meddle is a far cry from the more popular Classic Album series which trot out the actual artists to shine a revealing light on their masterworks. But that’s not to say this latest offering isn’t worth its 62 minute running time.

You get legendary engineer/producer Norman Smith on camera discussing his working relationship with the group, both pre- and post-Barrett (Smith worked with Floyd from its debut, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, up to 1970’s Atom Heart Mother), as well as former Yes guitarist Peter Banks weighing in on the haughty early psyche/ prog scene. There are some live performance clips, the bulk of which are taken from the excellent Pink Floyd movie, Live at Pompeii, but nothing too earth-shatteringly rare—or complete. Under Review: Meddle does get bonus points, however, for discussing the Binson Echorec—the archaic delay unit Floyd used extensively on its early records as well as Meddle—most notably on the galloping bass intro to the classic 23-minute- plus track, “Echoes.” Throughout the DVD, the panel of journalists provides some rather insightful commentary on the band, the album, and its place not only in the rock pantheon, but the ambient/electronic world as well.
—Darrin Fox