David Gilmour

David Gilmour

Columbia, 1978


REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


Here it is: another album that’s lurked on the fringes of my musical awareness for decades that’s finally getting the close listen it’s always deserved.

In early 1978, Pink Floyd guitarist-vocalist David Gilmour was developing a backlog of songs because bassist-vocalist Roger Waters had essentially taken over the band and was in the midst of assembling his magnum opus The Wall. Frankly, one of the reasons I was curious to check out this album is that for most of its existence, I have found The Wall extremely overblown, and for all of its existence, my favorite songs on it have been the three that had the most creative input from Gilmour (“Young Lust,” “Run Like Hell,” and “Comfortably Numb”). (For the record, I’m among those who didn't have a problem when Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright relaunched Pink Floyd without Waters in the late ’80s… my attitude was “Have at it, guys.”)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

As one might expect, David Gilmour features a lot of sharp blues-rock guitar and echoey, rather dark and melancholy vocals. Gilmour provides vocals, guitars and keys, with Rick Wills (Peter Frampton, Roxy Music, Foreigner) on bass and Wills’ former bandmate and longtime Gilmour pal Willie Wilson on drums.

Opener “Mihalis” is a tasty instrumental leading into the one cover here, of Unicorn’s chunky blues-rocker “There’s No Way Out Of Here.” Its virtual sequel “Cry From The Street” follows in a similar vein; both tracks feature superb guitar work, with the latter developing serious propulsion in the fifth minute as the rhythm section finds another gear, leading to a dynamic fadeout solo. Then “So Far Away” changes pace, a thoughtful, rather wistful midtempo number with Mick Weaver’s piano also featured.

Album highlight “Short And Sweet” opens with some striking, heavily reverbed strums and chords, with a hint of organ underneath establishing the mood before Gilmour brings pulsing rhythm guitar in underneath on a steady-building philosophical tune that could have been a Floyd song. In the fourth minute things accelerate and Gilmour really shines with some absolutely gorgeous soloing.

“Raise My Rent” is another instrumental, this time featuring big, arcing, echoey solos, the kind of stuff you could play me three seconds of and I would say “Oh, that's David Gilmour.” Then “No Way” delivers a steady, pulsing, Floydian blues that erupts into a muscular solo, before “Deafinitely” ranges farther afield with a driving, rather Jeff Beck-ish instrumental with abundant skronky soloing.

Closer “I Can’t Breathe Anymore” is another very Floydian number, full of bold chords and echoey vocals, everything super-sized and full of muscle, leading to a positively explosive solo from the guitar hero himself.

As a songwriter, David Gilmour may not generate the same degree of “I’m such a tortured soul” angst as his musical other half Roger Waters, but he’s solid, and his guitar playing is exceptional. David Gilmour is an occasionally rambling but consistently impressive showcase for the half of Pink Floyd’s musical personality that I’ve always preferred.

Rating: B+

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