Thursday, March 6, 2014

David Gilmour - About Face

Today (March 6th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of About Face, the second solo studio album from Pink Floyd’s lead guitarist David Gilmour. In the UK, this 1984 release went to number 21. In the US, it spent twenty-eight weeks on the Billboard Album chart with a peak position of number 32.

Gilmour assembled a number of musicians to work with him on the project. Jeff Porcaro provided drums and percussion, and Pino Pallandino was on bass. Ian Kewley played Hammond organ on piano on most of the tracks.

Side one starts with the very tight and razor sharp rhythm of “Until We Sleep”.

“Murder” was written as a response to the murder of John Lennon. I like that Gilmour kept it simple on the arrangement at the start - just a man and his guitar - before it builds in sound and fury. The piece has a number of different movements within its five minute length.

“Love on the Air”, the mid-tempo second single, is one of two tracks that featured lyrics written by Pete Townshend of the Who. Steve Winwood played piano on it.

“Blue Light” was released as the first single. Winwood also performed on this one, playing the Hammond organ. I like the powerful horn section here.

The side closes out with the beautiful ballad “Out of the Blue”.

Side two opens with “All Lovers Are Deranged”, the second collaboration with Townshend. The song has a great rhythm and a chorus that seems familiar to me (I might have actually heard this one a few times on the radio).

Next up is “You Know I’m Right”, a track that continues the theme of an arguing couple at a crossroads in their relationship.

The B-side to the first single was “Cruise”. Again, we get a very clean guitar arrangement up front that makes for a pleasant song. It ends with a bit of a reggae sound to it.

The B-side to the second single was the instrumental “Let’s Get Metaphysical”, and it features the National Philharmonic Orchestra.

The closing track “Near the End” speaks to aging.

I do not recall hearing much of the music from About Face back in the 1980’s (not even the singles). The album-oriented rock stations around school may have been playing it but it was not what I was into at the time. And, despite the fact that I never was a huge Pink Floyd fan, I did enjoy listening to this one for my review. David Gilmour definitely went a bit more commercial with the tunes here, and that is part of the reason that I like them.

1 comment:

HERC said...

Girlmour has always had more of a commercial bent than his Pink Floyd band mate, Roger Waters.

"Blue Light" got a lot of airplay on KLPX back then and I liked it, liked it, yes I did. My buddy Steve was the designated Pink Floyd fan so I borrowed this album from him for a cassette dub sesh and later picked up the "Blue Light" 12" promo, intending to give it to Steve but never did. Sorry, Steve.

Gonna give Gilmour some playing time today. Thanks, Martin.