I’ve always been aware of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s solo albums, and would sometimes grab one copy of his solo debut as a “tentative” buy whilst wandering about Bull Moose Music, only to put it back after stumbling across something else I forgot I was looking for. (You stingy bastard, all those Columbia catalog titles are dirt cheap nowadays.)
Last fall I finally got around to picking this album up. I’m sorry I put it off all these years. I’ll never tell you that the “David Gilmour” album is better than his work with the day job, but if you like his airy, melodic guitar work, you really can’t go wrong. I appreciate the album given its 1978 context; it’s a nice, light palate-cleanser between the heavy meals that are Pink Floyd’s “Animals” and “The Wall.”
I dragged this album out again this week, mostly as accompaniment for driving through whiteouts on snow-packed roads. You really need a certain calmness in your audio accompaniment as you try to anticipate what that fishtailing SUV with a foot of snow on its roof in front of you is about to do next. Anyway, I was into it so much, I popped it on again as the perfect accompaniment to a late-morning cup of coffee, all while looking out the window at the drifts of snow that lay outside.
The track from “David Gilmour” that stands out most to me is “Short and Sweet.” This track is a writing collaboration between Gilmour and singer/songwriter Roy Harper, best known as guest vocalist on Floyd’s “Have a Cigar” three years before. It has a rich Gilmour multi-tracked lead vocal, and parts of the song almost sound like ingredients for future composition “Run Like Hell” (though this track has a more leisurely tempo.)
Since Roger Waters gets all the ink when it comes to all things Pink Floyd (and got the most attention when it came to solo albums) it’s very easy to forget that other members of the band had solo recordings. Do not overlook this first one from David Gilmour. I like this one enough that I’m already saving my pennies for a shiny new copy of “About Face.”