Sometimes all it takes is a bridge to attain legendary status in rock and roll, or at least rediscover what made you so great in the first place. One of the more notable ‘bridge’ albums in rock history came out this week 45 years ago as Pink Floyd released “Meddle”.
Following the just flat-out weird “Ummagumma” and marginally better “Atom Heart Mother”, Floyd really laid the groundwork for the sound that would catapult them to rock legends. The songs that best captured that foundation were “One of These Days” and the positively sublime “Echoes”.
The Holy Triumvirate released a very important “bridge” album of their own with “Caress of Steel”. Needless to say it went over many heads upon its release with more expansive, conceptual tunes and had Rush questioning whether they could exist as a band anymore (that is, of course, until their next album). While I admittedly am not a big fan of “Caress of Steel” despite some great tunes on it, I firmly believe that without it, “2112” would have never existed.
Then there are those “bridge” albums that help re-establish premier bands, with Metallica’s “St. Anger” a noteworthy example. Yes, the sound of the drums is not great! Yes, the lack of Kirk solos is sorely evident. But I very much like the album thanks to standout tunes like “Frantic”. And I feel it helped bridge the return of Metallica’s trademark thrashier sound with the outstanding “Death Magnetic”, plus what I’ve heard so far from “Hardwired,..to Self Destruct”.
How about you? What are your favorite rock albums that bridge the old and unchartered with the new and legendary?