This edges out The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking as the best of the pink flawed following The Final Cut.
Kronomyth 2.0: A momentary act of treason.
The Final Cut was made, the battle was over, but a new war was brewing: Pink vs. Floyd. Waters’ Hitchhiking had more cons than pros, all of the acerbic intellect of Cut but none of its musical charm. In a grab for the same brass ring Pink was last seen holding, David Gilmour enlisted an epic storyteller (Pete Townshend) and their epic producer (Bob Ezrin), beating Waters to market with About Face. More ambitious than his first solo album, this was the great grab for solo credibility, enlisting a wide cast of players (Michael Kamen, Steve Winwood, Jon Lord) and even The National Philharmonic Orchestra (Ezrin never did anything by halves). The result is closer to the Pink Floyd lite that fans could reasonably expect (e.g., “Near The End,” the instrumental “Let’s Get Metaphysical”) and in fact received when Gilmour won the right to re-form the band.
With the emphasis on songs rather than instrumentals, About Face yields more memorable moments than its predecessor: “Love On The Air,” “Cruise,” “Murder.” Nothing on here will change your world, and despite the presence of Ezrin it’s not a concept album, but it’s nice to see Gilmour step out of the shadows and get the star treatment he deserves. Yes, the tart guitar licks are still there, but the guitarist is more interested in establishing himself as a singer and songwriter on About Face since, if there was to be life after Pink, a solo career of endless soloing wouldn’t cut it. Fortunately, we’ll never know if Gilmour could have sustained a solo career. Fans went to Waters first for inspiration, but Hitchhiking was a momentary lapse of judgment and, by the time radio stations warmed to KAOS, A Momentary Lapse of Reason had re-captured the imagination of Pink Floyd fans.
Thus About Face serves as a sign of what might have been, and truth be told it wasn’t as interesting as the convoluted Waters or the reconstituted Floyd. If the space between The Final Cut and Reason represents a void in your life, About Face and Radio KAOS should fill the gap nicely. Otherwise, embrace the space and use the opportunity to discover a new band, like Porcupine Tree or Mostly Autumn.
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Original LP Version
A1. Until We Sleep (5:58)
All songs written by David Gilmour unless noted.
David Gilmour (guitar & vocals), Ian Kewley (Hammond organ & piano), Pino Palladino (bass guitar), Jeff Porcaro (drums & percussion) with Sam Brown (vocals), Vicki Brown (vocals), Ray Cooper (percussion), Anne Dudley (synthesizer), Bob Ezrin (keyboards, orchestral arrangement), Mickey Feat (vocals), Roy Harper (vocals), Louis Jardine (percussion), Michael Kamen (orchestral arrangement), The Kick Horns: Simon Clerk, Roddy Lorimer, Tim Sanders, Barbara Snow (horns), Nick Laird-Clowes (special thanks), Jon Lord (synthesizer), National Philharmonic Orchestra (orchestra), Steve Rance (Fairlight programming), Pete Townshend (special thanks), Steve Winwood (piano & organ). Produced by Bob Ezrin & David Gilmour; engineered by Andrew Jackman, Kit Woolven, Eric Tomlinson; mixed by James Guthrie.
Photography by Davies/Starr, Jill Furmanovsky. Design and production by STd.
Released on elpee and cassette in February 1984* in the UK (Harvest, SHSP 24-00791-), the US (Columbia, FC/FCT-39296), Argentina (CBS, 20.506), Brazil (CBS, 138587), Germany (Harvest, 1C 064-2400791) and Japan (CBS, 28AP-2826) with lyric inner sleeve; reached #21 on the UK charts and #32 on the US charts (RIAA-certified gold record). (*Announced in 2/18/84 issue of Billboard.)
David Gilmour has never been the speediest fellow when it comes to maintaining his solo career. But in 1984, with his main gig in Pink Floyd at a dead end, he was finally out of excuses not to follow up his self-titled 1978 debut.
Pink Floyd unraveled during the recording of 1983's infamously contentious The Final Cut LP, and although he hadn't officially announced his departure yet, it was obvious that Roger Waters didn't have any immediate plans to reconvene with his bandmates for another record anytime soon. With Waters in the studio recording his solo LP The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Gilmour rounded up a crew of able session vets for his own album.
"I wanted to make a really good record. I didn't want to do it very, very quickly, and I wanted to get the best musicians in the world that I could get hold of to play with me, so I thought I'd just make a little list of all my favorite musicians," Gilmour told the Source.
"You know, best drummer, best bass player, best keyboard player, and I'll work through the list to see who I can get," he added. "Jeff Porcaro was top of my drummers list, Pino Palladino was top of my bass players list, and Ian Quely – or the Rev, as he's known – he actually came and did the bulk of the Hammond and piano playing, and he was terrific. Steve Winwood was top of my keyboard playing list. He couldn't do most of the album, but I got him to do a bit."
Listen to David Gilmour Perform 'Out of the Blue'
Gilmour also reached out to a famous friend for songwriting help, corralling Pete Townshend – himself at loose ends after the recent dissolution of the Who – to contribute lyrics. Their collaboration ultimately ended up yielding three songs, with two ("All Lovers Are Deranged" and second single "Love on the Air") making the final cut for About Face; the third later surfaced twice in 1985, once as "Hope" on Roy Harper's Whatever Happened to Jugula? LP, and again (with different lyrics) as "White City Fighting" on Townshend's solo release White City: A Novel.
In spite of all that star power – and the fact that millions of Floyd fans were jonesing for new product – neither About Face nor Hitch Hiking were major hits. In fact, both of them stalled out in the lower reaches of the Top 40 of Billboard's album chart. About Face proved a more potent draw on rock radio, where "Blue Light," "All Lovers Are Deranged," and "Murder" all enjoyed heavy rotation, but before long, Gilmour opted to focus his efforts on a Waters-less version of Pink Floyd and returned his solo career to the back burner – where it would remain until he released On an Island in 2006.
Does David Gilmour have dementia?
David Gilmour — 452 – Living with Lewy Body Dementia.
Did David Gilmour replace Syd Barrett?
David Gilmour admits he felt guilt about replacing Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd in 1968. Gilmour joined the young band in January of that year, as front-man and guitarist, replacing his school-friend, the late Syd Barrett, who was in the throes of drug addiction and serious mental imbalance.
Who played bass on Pink Floyd Momentary Lapse of Reason?
Pratt came to prominence when he was chosen to play bass for Pink Floyd's post-Roger Waters A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour in 1987–90, and The Division Bell Tour in 1994.
Who played bass on the division bell?
The production team included longtime Pink Floyd collaborators such as producer Bob Ezrin, engineer Andy Jackson, saxophonist Dick Parry and bassist Guy Pratt. The Division Bell received mixed reviews, but reached number one in more than 10 countries, including the UK and the US.