David Gilmour (Columbia) 1978
1. Mihalis [instrumental] (5:48)
2. There's No Way Out of Here (5:10)
3. Cry from the Street (5:13)
4. So Far Away (5:50)
5. Short and Sweet (5:26)
6. Raise my Rent [instrumental] (5:32)
7. No Way (5:32)
8. It's Deafinitely [instrumental] (4:27)
9. I Can't Breath Anymore (3:08)
After the hugely successful Pink Floyd album "Wish You Were Here", Pink Floyd entered the phase which led to their disbanding. In he meantime both Wright and Gilmour released their first solos. Wright's "Wet Dreams" was fairly close to the standard Floyd sound but Gilmour strived to release something slightly different. This is evident even in the front cover artwork. While the saying, "never judge a book by it's cover" may be true, it does give a glimpse into what might be. In previous years Pink Floyd had been releasing albums like "Wish You Were Here", "Animals" and "Dark Side of The Moon" with highly-designed, concept cover art. With "David Gilmor" we are given a grainy, stark image of David standing and staring into the camera lens. It's simplistic and not all that artistic. Likewise the music isn't all that arty, progressive or Pink Floyd-like. Sure, Gilmour was one of the main ingredients in Pink Floyd's sound, so there is certainly some connections that are inevitable. However, the sound here is built around blues riffs, spacey guitar solos and short, unrelated songs. It's an honest solo album.
The album opens with the ultra-trippy psychedelic instrumental "Mihalis". Other standout cuts include the rockin' "Short and Sweet", the elegant single "There's No Way Out of Here" and the beautiful piano based "So Far Away". "There's No Way Out of Here" was the only single released for the album. The song is staple on American rock radio today. The song was originally recorded in 1976 by the country/rock band Unicorn. "Raise My Rent" is a particularly Floyd-like instrumental with Gilmour's distinct solos over some very melodic and melancholy music. The song also reminds me of something Jeff Beck might have recorded for "Wired" or "Blow by Blow".
Session musicians for the album include Peter Frampton's former bassist Rick Wills and drummer Willie Wilson, who along with Gilmour, used to be part of a band called Jokers Wild.
David Gilmour - About Face (Columbia) 1984
1. "Until We Sleep"
What a wonderfully emotional album, although I am not really sure why this disc wasn't recorded with the guys from Pink Floyd. 'About Face' sounds like a great Pink Floyd disc to me, especially lead single and lone hit "Murder." Regardless of hits, the music on this disc is somewhat of a mellow nature, so I suppose the mood has to be right to really enjoy this disc. For me it may also be a bit of nostalgia, being that I have been a Pink Floyd fan since I was a kid in grade school. In anycase, the guitar playing is spectacular, although not overly flashy. The vocals are all sang by David, which just adds to the overall Pink Floyd likeness. There are some more upbeat moments as well, like the hard-driving "All Lovers Are Deranged". Should also make not the The Who's Pete Townsend co-wrote a few of these songs. This disc is an absolute must for Pink Floyd fans.
It has been 22 years since David Gilmore last recorded a solo album. In that time you might think that he would move away from the signature sound he created with Pink Floyd. However, if you thought this, you would be dead wrong. To be sure, the majority of "On An Island" could be Pink Floyd in all but name only. However, since Pink Floyd has covered such as wide musical ground themselves, this really doesn't describe the music. "On An Island" is a melodic, somewhat mellow release, yet it still has an edge to it that is created purely by the mood of the songs themselves. The CD opens with a dramatic number called "Castellorizon" complete with orchestral arrangements. This dramatic mood is carried throughout the album. The title track is all melancholy, strummed chords, with keyboards by Richard Wright, and ethereal vocals from Gilmour, backed by Crosby and Nash. If this doesn't leave any Floyd fan salivating, they probably aren't a Floyd fan to begin with. Wright also offers some backing vocals throughout the CD, which gives the CD even more of an air of classic Pink Floyd. "This Heaven" will no doubt be the single from this album. It has a very catchy groove to it that would work well on rock radio. "Smile" even brought me back to those early 1970's albums like "Meddle" and "Obscured by Clouds". The set ends with "Where We Star", which is a mellow and romantic song. Overall, however, "On An Island" is what you might expect from Gilmour. I just can't imagine how any Pink Floyd fan wouldn't like this CD.