Now that I am done with the criticism of the entire Pink Floyd discography, the time has come to start analyzing the albums of their solo members.
The first solo album by the Floyd guitarist, singer and songwriter, Mr. David Gilmour, was recorded in France after the Pink Floyd tour to promote their album. Animals. For me, it is without a doubt his most accomplished solo work. It is an album that I have always liked, from that magnificent cover with those autumn tones close to winter, and the music that contends that, at all times, gives off the aroma of these two seasons.
The cover reminds me, obviously saving the distance, a bit of the mythical first album Black Sabbath, it has an aura of mystery. The grain of the photo and the tones invite solitude, appeasement, retreat. The album was recorded during the winter of 1977 and was released in May 1978 in England and a month later in the United States. David called his old friends, bassist Rick Wills and drummer Willie Wilson, who were the same musicians Gilmour played with in Joker’s Wild, the band where he played before joining Pink Floyd.
Gilmour’s first and eponymous album is a work made with love, without pressure with his friends. Although David has stated in several interviews that the whole process was very fast, something quite unusual for him. He also mentioned that unfortunately there was a fire that devastated the Super Bear Studio in 1986, and with it all the documents, photographs of the sessions, so it would hardly be possible to get an enlarged edition.
In addition to the musicians mentioned above, the song “Short and Sweet” was written with Roy Harper, who in turn interpreted it differently on his magnificent album “The Unknown Soldier” a few years later and with David Gilmour as guest guitarist. .
David was exhausted from the extensive “In the Flesh” tour and the tensions that existed in the band, he also liked to spend long periods in his country house in France. He took his time putting together a record that needs a few listens before he has a real opinion on it. That year both Rick Wright and David recorded solo albums and did so in France to avoid taxes. On the other hand Roger began to write what finally became “The Wall” and “Pros of Cons of Hitch Hiking”.
The guitar shines at all times with its unique and unmistakable style, standing out on the instrumental ‘Mihalis’. Mihalis comes from the name of Gilmour’s boat, which in turn comes from the Greek for Michael. The album is not a really progressive album and it does not innovate practically at all, since it is structured around traditional chords, such as the lyrics that are also quite banal, since Gilmour is not Waters and with this album they wanted to get as far away from it as possible. spirit of “Animals” with its theme and dark and cynical lyrics.
It’s a very successful album, which reminds me a lot of what the Floyd did on the song “Childhood’s End” from “Obscured by Clouds”. The sound and feel of the pink fluid are present throughout the record, even though it is unlike anything they recorded. In 1978 a promotional film was shot since Gilmour did not go on tour to promote his albums. In the film you can see and hear David, Rick Wills and Willie Wilson, accompanied by Gilmour’s brother, Mark Gilmour on rhythm guitar and Ian McLagan on keyboard. As an anecdote remember that the songs “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell” were written for this album, but David saved them for an upcoming album by the band. Also, if you know the Floyd’s trajectory well, you may realize that David takes advantage of everything, since there are some very familiar fragments.
The solo on “There’s No Way Out of Here” is similar to the one he did on the live version of “Pigs” during the 1977 Animals tour. The intro of “Short and Sweet” to Ummagumma’s “Narrow Way”, and some more than I let you discover if you feel like it.