'About Face'

It’s the 25th anniversary of David’s second solo album, ‘About Face’ – released on this day in 1984 by Harvest and Columbia – so I’d like to know… whatever you feel like saying about it, really.

Some interesting facts about those that helped contribute to it would be nice.

Highlights for me: that unmistakeable guitar tone on ‘Murder’, the delicate pace and effective delivery of those touching ‘Near the End’ lyrics, and the late Michael Kamen working his magic yet again with the National Philharmonic, on ‘Let’s Get Metaphysical’.

It’s also the last day of bidding for the signed Strat. Current price: $2,600. You’ll need $3,100 to top that and have approximately eight-and-a-half hours to do so.

A very Happy Birthday to Susan and Thomas, as well.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

114 thoughts on “'About Face'”

  1. I remember when I first listened to About Face I realized it was in the middle of a new season for David. It sounded quite different from all the previous work he had done, maybe I was looking for more Floydish material, but that’s a mistake, it was his new project and had to be heard with different ears.

    Also, his look was totally different. 🙂

    What do our Gilmourettes think about it?

    1. I was a senior in high school when this album came out. I remember the video for “All Lovers Are Deranged” and thinking David was pretty hot. I tend to appreciate a “scruffier” look now that I’m older.

      I’m afraid “About Face” stayed in the 80s for the most part for me, with the exception of “Murder”.

      David though remains hot. 😀

  2. Prefer this album to David’s first and love “Cruise” and ” Love on the air”. Got the vinyl when it came out then much later the CD. The cover on the vinyl is much better in my opinion than the CD.

    Off topic, had a phone call from “Crisis” last night explaining how I could help by fixing a monthly donation and whilst I agree it is a very worthy cause, declined as I prefer to donate on an ad hoc basis. So why do I feel somewhat guilty that I didn’t agree? Strange feelings. The lady was very nice and laughed when she asked how I had heard of Crisis in the first place as she is a “fan” of David. I replied, “but then isn’t everyone?”

    Have a good weekend everyone.

    Ian

    1. Ian:

      You were right not to give in to the request for a monthly contribution to Crisis. Two reasons. First, because you never truly know what your financial situation will be in the future. People unexpectedly lose their jobs or their investments tank, etc. Second, and more important, is that you have no way of knowing whether you were actually speaking with someone from Crisis. There are millions of scams that involve someone pretending to represent a charity that they really have nothing to do with. Then they take your cash and laugh. Here in the US, this is actually legal as long as the person gives 10% of this money to the charity. They stull laugh with 90% of what you’ve given them!

      Your best bet is to call Crisis yourself and give what you want to give.

  3. My Favourite is “Blue Light”, I love David’s use of delays, like in “Run Like Hell” or “Give Blood” (Townshend).

    “Murder” could also be a part of “The Wall”. “Near the End” sounds a bit like “Two Suns in the Sunset” from Final Cut. Perhaps David wrote it for that but Roger rejected it?

    But, as I wrote: “Blue Light” is my favorite, especially the version played live together with Pete Townshend and the “Deep End Band” in Montreaux. Great drum solo from Simon Phillips. 🙂

  4. Hello mates and FEd,

    Happy birthday to About Face! Nice cover pic – new look for David but (good luck!) the same smile. I love “All Lovers are Deranged” and “Love On the Air” but I like very much a new strength and anger in “You Know I’m Right”… it was so unusual for David.

    This is a magic week end… do you remember? Happy Birthday David, happy day and happy life, day by day.

    God bless you and your family.

    A hug
    diana

  5. I didn’t discover ‘About Face’ until 1989, but it is probably the most significant album I have ever heard in terms of shaping my taste in music. A girl I was dating at the time played it, and I distinctly recall the moment during the guitar solo in “Near The End” when it transitions from acoustic to electric made me say, “This is fantastic! What are we listening to?”

    I borrowed the CD and after repeated listening, I identified and understood David’s contributions to Pink Floyd. I also realized that the reason I hadn’t been a ‘fan’ of Pink Floyd was Roger Waters’ dominant role in the most popular era of the band. ‘About Face’ made me re-discover Pink Floyd and I eventually grew to have a greater appreciation for Waters and his songs, though I still do not often care for the tone or the message.

    The next step in my ‘discovery’ of David’s talents came when I stumbled upon a video of the 1984 Hammersmith Odeon shows. Wow! Not only were the guitar solos completely different from the album, he was making those incredible sounds without posing or jumping around the stage in a display of unnecessary showmanship. Already a collector of live recordings by other bands, I began to source recordings from David’s tour as well as earlier Pink Floyd, and I was impressed by the amount of improvisation that went into his performances every night.

    For the last 20 years, David has been the dominant artist in the soundtrack of my life…

  6. …Seeing David and Richard Wright perform ‘Echoes’ in relatively intimate venues like Radio City in New York and the Rosemont in Chicago remain the highlight of my 29-year concert-going career. ‘On An Island’ is a masterpiece that I am delighted to say finally brought Gilmour the acclaim he deserved, not to mention the credit that has long been lacking for his vital contribution to Pink Floyd.

    Returning to ‘About Face,’ I believe it is one of those rare albums that you can listen to from start to finish without any glaring weaknesses… okay, maybe “Blue Light!” My favorite tracks are “Until We Sleep,” “Murder,” “You Know I’m Right,” “Let’s Get Metaphysical,” and of course “Near The End.” Jeff Porcaro’s drum work is superb, and the lyrics on many of the tunes (especially “Until We Sleep and Murder”) dispel the notion that David can’t do words.

    Regrets? I have a few, mainly that David did not perform any of the ‘About Face’ songs in 2001-02 or on the ‘On An Island’ tour. Wouldn’t “Metaphysical” have been great with the orchestra during the Gdansk show? Perhaps he can make up for that by re-releasing the 1984 Hammersmith Odeon video on DVD… with the songs that were omitted on the original VHS tape!

    1. I was going to bring up that VHS tape of ‘About Face” as well. I never watched the tape but had seen it in stores, and now I am very curious to see it, now that it is no longer available (of course).

      Fed; why isn’t that Video included in the discography section of this web site? Was it not worthy?

    2. What’s included there, or not, is nothing to do with me, sorry. If it was, I’d include it; I’ve always thought it a fine performance and certainly worthy of tracking down.

      It was only produced on NTSC tape, though.

  7. I don’t know how many here will relate to this but when I first heard the song Blue Light I thought that David was a frequent shopper at K-Mart.

    For the benefit of those that may not understand, K-Mart is a department store, in fact in the movie Rain Man there is a dialogue between Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman where they establish that K-Mart sucks. Anyway one gimmick they used to have is special sales during the day on various items and they would highlight the sale item by putting up a rotating blue light and announce that they are having a blue light special for the next 15 minutes.

    I wonder what David would think of a store like K-Mart. Would he think it sucks too?

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  8. I love this album for the different sound and it being a new phase of David’s music and career. It seems to me that as you listen to Let’s Get Metaphysical you can understand how it will lead to Sorrow, High Hopes and many others.

    Cruise is maybe my least favorite.

    I think that Let’s Get Metaphysical paired with Near the End are two of the most beautiful of David’s efforts. They rank up there with Sorrow and Marooned for me. One a very moving purely musical piece and the other with great lyrics.

    Favorite from Near The End:

    “Standing in silence, holding my breath
    Disconnected and dry”

    Also, his look was totally different. What do our Gilmourettes think about it?

    Hope I qualify… but if I don’t, my opinion anyway is that David Gilmour is/was and always will be drop dead gorgeous, no matter what look he goes for.

    Jan

  9. About Face is a defining album for me. I had left school the previous year and had just left home to start a job in Folkestone (south coast of England for all non Brits) and, still, every time I listen to the album (which is quite frequently) I still, in my head, go back to the park I was walking in at the time as the first notes are played. I remember having a bright yellow Sony Walkman, and that tape virtually never coming out if it for that whole summer.

    I, too, was surprised that Mr Gilmour decided not to play at least one song from the album during his On An Island tour as a couple of tracks have that mellow vibe of the new album, or could have been re-jigged.

    As for favourite track, difficult one but the crunching chords of Murder as it changes pace gets my vote. But if you were to ask me again in an hour, chances are I would have changed my mind.

  10. Whoa! I actually listened to About Face today. What a weird coincidence.

    Great album, is there any hope of a remastering for this anniversary? 😛

    1. “About Face was re-released by EMI Records in Europe as a digitally remastered CD on August 14, 2006. Legacy Recordings/Columbia Records released the remastered CD in the US and Canada on September 12, 2006.”

  11. When I first heard About Face it was instant love at first hear. David often devalues his ability to write lyrics but both the music and the lyrics really hit home to me. I loved the irony or Cruise, and out of the Blue. The love in Love on the Air and the silliness of Blue Light.

    What I didn’t expect was how much this album was to play in my life the following month. That April, I lost my husband of 8 years due to heart problems. Along with SOYCD the only song that provided me any comfort was Let’s Get Metaphysical. The mood of the song really described what I was feeling inside about my loss. So much that along with SOYCD I played it at his funeral service. I got many comments from the older generation about the music I choose to play, all of them good.

    To this day, that song remains very close to my heart. Thank you David for your beautiful music that was there when I needed it.

    Sharon

  12. Ahhh, what a wonderful time when the About Face album came out. Mid 80s… I was in college and really exploding with my love of music. I was part of the college radio station and literally had a copy of David’s first album thrust into my hands. It was love at first listen.

    Then, out of nowhere, the About Face LP appeared on the shelves.

    My first listen was jarring, the album sounding so different to his first solo LP. However, after listening a second, then third, time it slowly grew on me. I still struggle with Blue Light (probably more due to the memories of that MTV video). Let’s Get Metaphysical is pure instrumental listening joy. All Lovers Are Deranged and Until We Sleep are killer tracks, showing Dave’s rocking side… and that tone of his guitar!!! Out of the Blue is so powerful in its subtleties, as is Cruise (both touching on personal anti-war/Nuclear proliferation convictions). Murder is a menacing slab of light/dark rock theatrics and dynamics that still works to this day. It’s great, with this song in particular and also with the whole LP, how David could open up his feelings and opinions on subjects that he was all but denied via Pink Floyd. Near The End is a perfect denouement, matching power and precision in a perfect mix of lyrics/musical angst.

    In total, the album is a huge triumph for David. It was filled with true musical/lyrical candour and profound personal beliefs. The range of dynamics and musical idioms on this LP are stellar!

    Darren

  13. A terrific record…

    Murder
    Love on the Air
    Blue Light

    …are all exceptional songs.

  14. First of all, my best wishes and bisous to Susan and Thomas. 🙂

    About Face…

    I always tried to forget ‘Blue Light’ and ‘All Lovers Are Deranged’, maybe because of these awful (IMHO) clips that we can see on the Hammersmith Odeon video.

    But I do love ‘Out Of The Blue’ (can any parents remain indifferent to the lyrics?), the instrumental ‘Let’s Get Metaphysical’ and ‘Near The End’, dark and very moving, with beautiful acoustic then electric guitar solos. Pearls.

    Is it stupid or selfish to be proud that David recorded it in France, in Studios Pathé Marconi (Boulogne-Billancourt)? Maybe.

    The ‘Making of ‘ (2007) on Classic 21 radio station taught me that he was surrounded on stage with numerous friends of his such as (Welsh) drummer Chris Slade, bass player Micky Feat, keyboard player Greg Dechert, guitarist Mick Ralphs (Bad Company), etc…

    Michèle

    1. Couldn’t agree more about ‘Out of The Blue’, a longtime favourite of mine.

      I could always tell when I didn’t have postnatal hormones anymore because I could listen to that without crying my eyes out.

  15. Great album, I love “Let’s Get Metaphysical”, and I wouldn’t say that there is a weak song on it.

    I’ll be off to CeBit ’til Sunday in a few hours, so take care and have a very nice weekend!

    Taki

  16. If you have it check it out…

    The inner sleeve of the LP is wider than it is tall, it does not fit into the outer sleeve if turned 90 degrees. In one corner are printed the words “Fleudian slip”.

    And DG did write one track that was not on the album…

    “DG asked Roy Harper and Pete Townshend, to supply lyrics, but felt that those provided were not messages that he could relate to. Harper subsequently used the tune, with his lyrics, as “Hope”, on his 1985 album with Jimmy Page, Whatever Happened to Jugula?. Townshend used it with his as “White City Fighting”, which has a markedly faster tempo, on his 1985 album White City: A Novel.”

    1. I love White City, I love that acoustic guitar in dropped D? I might be wrong… it’s a very complex and beautiful arrangement.

    2. I must admit I love everything David has done with only one song, from Division Bell, Coming Back to Life, that I feel for him is weak. But still great.

      But all of About Face has been one of my faves since it came out. I got to see the tour at the Gardens in Cincy, Ohio on my 25th birthday, 6-7-84. What fun after not seeing Floyd live since my first time which was in Cincy on 3-8-73 on the DSOTM tour. That anniversary is in 2 days! I still celebrate.

      I still use the term Floydian Slip! I actually think it was spelled this way though and not Fleudian. But alas, I don’t have the vinyl anymore. I could be wrong.

      Do you know, FEd? Anyone else?

      I also must say, Let’s Get Metaphysical is my fave. It certainly peaked my interest and I became a Metaphysician… hehe!

      I can also say, I am definitely a Gilmourette and although he looked great with long hair and such, the About Face picts reveal why he was a model as a young guy. Be still my heart!

      The K-mart thing comes to mind for me too as a side joke. Love the song, though.

      Hemptress

  17. Happy 25th Birthday to About Face!

    Murder, Out Of The Blue, Let’s Get Metaphysical, and You Know I’m Right were the knock-outs for me from the very first listen. Blue Light and Cruise were the two cuts that initially didn’t grab me, but I came to love them. I think it was an ’80s thing. :))

    I’d like to wish Susan a great birthday! I wish we could travel back in time to our meeting at the Leno show, along with Angelo, Erin, and the rest …

    Happy birthday to Thomas R. as well!

    Peace and love to you all. 🙂

  18. Trivia question related to a solo DG album…

    Which DG track & PF track share the same DG solo??? :/

    1. Welcome back Rudders! 😀

      I think this may be a question that only guitar players are going to be able to recognise and answer.

      It’ll drive us nuts now till we find the answer. Cheers Rudders. :/

      ash X

    2. That would be Raise My Rent, which shares the beginning solo with that of What Do You Want From Me?, mostly. The chord structure is identical as well, even the phrasing.

    3. Easy one:

      “Raise My Rent” and “What Do You Want From Me”.

      Great solo, I must add.

    4. Correctamundo…

      Raise My Rent and What Do You Want From Me.

      Legend has it that bits of the RMR solo are also on Keep Talking from the Division Bell. :/

  19. Oh, I forgot about it…

    …we performed “Blue Light” live in 1987 at our School-Exam Party… 300ms delay time Boss analog delay…very tricky to play…

    22 Years ago… hm… I think I’m gettin’ old…

    Monitor4208

  20. I agree with MOJO on About Face: that it represents The Career Crisis album for David with so much embarrassing over-mixing that dates it right to the 80s. David has said on the record that he doesn’t hold much of About Face in high regard.

    I do like the songs Murder, for its acoustic guitar and David’s clear voice and also Near the End, for the same reasons.

    I think the 80s were a difficult decade to make music; a lot of what was made was so formulaic and the sprites went crazy in the mixing room.

    As for how David looked at the time — for 38 he is a stunner still. The photos of David make the entire collection of songs worth owning.

    I too would love to hear David re-interpret some of the songs on About Face!

    Also, Happy Birthday David (tomorrow, I know)! May the powers keep you and yours happy and healthy!

  21. I didn’t like that album because it is David trying to be something that he is not.

    I saw him at the Beacon Theater in New York in support of this album. I was in high school at the time and this concert was a big thrill for me. I loved it.

    1. I have more to add to this post, now that I’m home from work.

      I was in high school at the time, and my school was just a few blocks from the Beacon. I remember inviting a few friends to go with me, but nobody knew who he was (“I’d rather see Floyd than just its guitarist,” was one comment I got at the time). So I went alone. I was in the tenth row center, which means much less when you consider that the theater was half empty.

      I’ve written in this Blog in the past that my favorite moment from this show was when David put his guitar down and started playing the piano. My least favorite part of this show was the opening act, Icicle Works. I thought they were awful; still, they were getting booed and heckled, which was really embarrassing.

      David played all the songs from About Face, around half of his first album, and for the encore he played “Money” and “Comfortably Numb.”

      His sax player, Raff Ravenscroft, was great!

  22. I like a lot of the album.

    I completely missed the eighties in terms of music. A great deal of what I’ve caught up with seems dated and old fashioned. However, About Face has some great bits and pieces on it and I think David could update it to great effect (if he was so inclined). I think you can see a little of what was to come in AMLOR because the lyrics have a certain flavour. I really do think some music could be re-worked and songs brought right up to date.

    A very Happy Birthday to Susan and Thomas, and a Very Merry Unbirthday to Stephen (who is on the calendar today but I’m sure he wasn’t the other day when I looked).

    ash X

  23. Hi FEd,

    About Face is really an album that has some different but great stuff on it. I personally love all the fretless bass work.

    In the context of David’s work, it marks a turning point. What I picture in my mind when I hear it is David, with all of the Floyd drama, leaving that behind and approaching this from different angle than Floyd or even his first album. There are more pop single oriented tunes, very contemporary sound with the keyboards and horns and a variety of lyrics from the more catchy pop stuff to the more serious.

    I hear a big About Face influence on A Momentary Lapse of Reason. I don’t think AMLOR would be what it is without About Face.

    Happy 25th anniversary to About Face. 😀

  24. Thank you for the Birthday greetings, and “Happy Birthday to Thomas”!! 😛

    Today’s topic gives me yet another good reason to give “About Face” more listening today! I didn’t know I shared the Birthday of David’s first solo album! And yes, Michele, you should be PROUD that it was recorded in France!!

    ~Susan

    1. Happy belated Birthday to you Susan and to Thomas.

      Dang, I seem to have missed the slot to comment on “About Face”.

  25. Ah, anniversaries… the perfect way to realise just how old you are getting! :))

    I remember buying this on vinyl when it appeared as a new release in the shops… followed, of course, by David’s appearance on The Tube, and the promo video for Blue Light (still not sure about the dancing chimney sweeps though!).

    Still give the album a twirl every so often. Some wonderful tracks on there… a shame that one or two of them didn’t get an airing on the OAI tour, but maybe if David tours again, songs from About Face could be considered as part of the repertoire?

  26. I got ‘About Face’ on vinyl when it came out, it’s also on my iPod, I think it still sounds good today.

    Good to see Rudders out’n’about again.

  27. Happy Happy Birthday Mr. Gilmour!!

    (I know I am a day early, but my post would be late otherwise. Yes, I know David doesn’t see the blog much, but want to be on time anyway. )

    Hope you have a wonderful day with many many happy healthy ones to follow with Polly and your family and friends. Enjoy life and all it has to offer. 😀

  28. I have always loved ‘About Face’.

    My favourite tracks on the album are ‘Out of the Blue’ with its environmental theme: ‘so hold back the fire, because this much is true, when all send and done the ending will come from out of the blue’.

    I have always liked the middle eight too: ‘over and over we call, no-one hears…’ This is a song about the environment (Mother Nature taking it back) and not nuclear weapons, right?

    ‘Let’s Get Metaphysical’ makes my hairs stand on end. It is so beautiful.

    ‘You Know I’m Right’ is fun to play on the guitar. I have always wondered if this song alludes to Roger too.

    And the drop dead gorgeous photographs of David…

    And I just love that beat up Esquire too.

  29. Dedicated and avid fan as I am, I am currently downloading the album from iTunes so that I can express a meaningful opinion on it… but I’m doing so more in hope than expectation.

    The tracks I’ve heard previously haven’t inspired me and I believe that the main reason NONE of the tracks featured in the OAI tour is that they are simply not good enough…

    Watch this space…

    David and I share the same rugged good looks and if I were a Gilmourette I would declare myself a fan of this look.

    Oh and by the way I never normally buy from iTunes – would anyone care to justify how it could possibly be right to pay £7.90 or whatever it was that I just paid when I am looking after the distribution, manufacture, retailer margin, artwork, raw materials etc… and they wonder why people file share?

    Just how much of that is artist royalty F’ed?

    1. Well, here goes then. I’ll tell it as I see it… pointy sticks at the ready.

      Of course sitting down to listen to an album “cold” and giving an instant critique of it is rarely going to lead to a rave review… there are very few albums that have ever done that for me.

      I remain of the opinion that this is an album by a man who felt he ought to have something to say… but didn’t. A number of the songs lack originality… to be honest they sound like songs I could have written myself given a bunch of session musicians and a sound engineer.

      I can’t see how a single track on here would have made it onto a Pink Floyd album (or indeed an On an Island tour) and I’m particularly intrigued by some of the more glowing tributes to the album here. I’ll put that down to the warm, generous and positive spirits who write here but it also underlines how differently like-minded people can react to and feel about music.

      “Murder” is OK but it still sounds flat and lifeless compared to the warmth and production quality that we’ve got used to with OAI.

      Generally the singing lacks emotional depth – we know David has found it difficult to express himself in words sometimes and often he sounds awkward and restrained to me. Even the guitar sound whilst hinting at what we know – expect – from David rarely delivers punch or… well, emotional depth.

      In the ’80s the industry seemed to gravitate towards “production” to give a song a sense of importance rather than simply having a strong core to the song and About Face suffers from excessive use of synth fillers, horns, drumming that lacks flourish. Interesting to see comparisons to “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” which is by a fair distance my least favourite Floyd album.

      To be continued…

    2. Just how much of that is artist royalty F’ed?

      My limited understanding is that, generally, under traditional licensing agreements, it’s not uncommon for royalties to be split 50-50 with the artist’s record company when it comes to physical releases, such as CDs.

      Downloads are another matter. Again, it would depend on individual contractual agreements, but the big stink is that many artists don’t have anything about digital royalties written into their contracts, and considering that there are none of the packaging costs involved with downloads, as you mentioned, they’re unhappy at receiving the percentage of royalties usually associated with physical sales (if not a lower percentage).

      Interestingly, Eminem’s former publishers have filed a lawsuit against his record label regarding digital royalties. They’re currently arguing that Eminem should have been getting a bigger cut than the estimated 30% or less that he’s been getting from each single track download, so that should give you a rough idea.

    3. Continued…

      Some of the tracks are weak: “Love On the Air”, “All Lovers are Deranged”, the refrain in “You Know I’m Right”. “Cruise” is satire without bite although I find the reggae section quite jolly.

      “Blue Light” has too much of Phil Collins for my taste. Comparisons to “Run like Hell” only weaken the track by comparison… it takes more than a watered down riff – although to be fair it picks up and swings along somewhat better in that final section.

      Generally any track that has a good part has a poor part as well. I’m pretty fussy… I like albums that lack weak parts… I don’t want to be tempted to skip tracks and wait for “the good bit”.

      “Let’s Get Metaphysical” – great title by the way – hints at something more familiar, whilst the early emphasis is on the guitar… and then it gradually loses itself in the synth white-out… “Hey, we need drama, let’s add some orchestration….” Nooooo! Let’s just have some sweet guitar please or playing like we mean it.

      “Near the End” has more obvious echoes of the Floyd, that familiar bassline we hear in “The Wall”… but once again the vocal delivery is flat, dirge-like. The guitar outro makes it the strongest track for me, a much better flow, breaking out of the confines of the song’s basic structure and finally delivering something worthy of our hero… and so it ends leaving me feeling that we could have got a lot more.

      But hey, 20 odd years wasn’t too long to wait, was it?

    4. I would have fought against you if you had demolished ‘Out Of The Blue’, Tim, but you didn’t… Lucky you! 😛

    5. But on the flip side, I read part of the recent testimony of the Ticketmaster executive (part of the Bruce Springsteen concert ticket debacle) where he stated that the face price on the concert ticket goes almost entirely to the artist (band and crew) and that the promoter only makes money from the additional fees where as the venue makes their money from concessions.

      Thanks.

      Andrew

    6. I’m shocked that anyone would write such disrespectful c**p on David’s own blog.

      Who asked for your expert critique anyway? It sounds like what you really want is a job writing mean reviews!

      I’d like to see what you were doing 25 years ago and then completely slate it like you just did.

    7. My pointy stick is firmly in hand (perhaps sharpen it a bit too). 😡

      I’m particularly intrigued by some of the more glowing tributes to the album here. I’ll put that down to the warm, generous and positive spirits who write here.

      That’s a bit condescending of you. My opinion is honestly how I feel about these pieces.

      Especially regarding Let’s Get Metaphysical, Near The End and Momentary Lapse. These are pieces that I particularly love. And Sorrow from Momentary Lapse, as well as Yet Another Movie, Terminal Frost, are some of David’s best.

      Wonderful that we all have different opinions, but your post was disrespectful to us as well as to David. I thought we were discussing the music here, but you have made this personal.

      Jan

    8. Well, I expected a couple of comments, of course.

      Bobby, if you read F’eds intro you will find an answer.

      F’ed has actively sought a little more opinion. I just gave mine. If you’d care to point out where I have been disrespectful I’ll try and answer you.

      25 years ago I was a student at University. I’m sure we could all have a good laugh at some of the pretentious c**p I wrote in my philosophy essays, but then I didn’t publish them and put them before the public for their enjoyment and critique.

      Why not tell us what you like about the album? I’m genuinely interested to know.

      Jan, you are right… that came across as condescending although I hope not personal. I apologise for that. I mean what I said when I’m intrigued by why people like these tracks, but I sacrificed balance for a soundbite – although you also edited out the important line, “but it also underlines how differently like-minded people can react to and feel about music”, if we’re being fair.

      Once again I don’t think I’ve been disrespectful to David, but please tell me where I have been and I’ll happily apologise for that too.

      Michele, I can’t say I like “Out of the Blue” much either, but as you had so nicely eulogised it for its emotional contact with parenthood (something I have not experienced), I thought better than to say so.

      “I find the reggae section quite jolly.” – Sorry F’ed, that’s the best I could do, but I do thank you for your explanation about the royalty.

      I’m of the opinion that a big contributor to avoiding file sharing would be to charge fair prices for downloads. An efficient vehicle ought to deliver for about £1-2 an album with a good proportion going to the artist. I can’t really see where the rest would be justified and this would keep the artists nicely funded, I would hope.

    9. Tim_C’s critique was strong but polite and backed up and articulate, I don’t think David could have a problem with it.

      We all have different taste, of course an artist would like to make everybody happy, this is not possible. David mainly makes music for his own satisfaction, as he responded to those who moved critiques about such a long wait for another release.

      We all respect each other’s opinion and taste, that’s the beauty of having a dialogue.

    10. Tim, I think the problem here may have been with you thinking that this material should have been comparable to anything on a Pink Floyd album… you probably should not have thought that to begin with.

      I remember when he released his first solo album… and thought, that’s definitely not Floyd…. but I definitely know that guitar and voice.

      Look at the time of “About Face”… David was trying to break away from a lot of shit. It may not be the best I have ever heard, but it is without a doubt better than some of the Grammy winning garbage we have been exposed to in recent years.

      “About Face” has been good enough for me to have purchased on CD and record.

    11. Stephen,

      That’s perfectly fair of course. It’s not so much that I expect it to be like a Pink Floyd record. If it had been half as good as On an Island I would have been satisfied.

      The standard I judge it by is what I know David is capable of, and I don’t think he’s someone who settles readily for second best.

      Anyway, I’ve said enough and I hope it’s understood that I mean no slight to other bloggers. I’m normally Mr Positive here, believe it or not, and I’ve been interested to read all the positive comments and happy memories the album inspires.

    12. Tim_C:

      Your apology is appreciated. I think the problem that we all have to deal with is how the comments are perceived by those of us reading them.

      David and I share the same rugged good looks and if I were a Gilmourette I would declare myself a fan of this look.

      And now I want to know if you would care to post your pic so we can be the judge? (If we promise not to print it and use it for dart practice.)

  30. The record never struck me much apart from the end of side two… but the live version of “Murder” with the extended intro was severely under-rated.

  31. Happy Birthday Susan, Happy Birthday Thomas, have a great day!

    And what timing, having a birthday one day before David has, and on the 25th anniversary of About Face too?

    Time is flying, it seems like yesterday attending David´s gig in nearby Düsseldorf in April of 1984, in the Phillipshalle, what a thrill it was, will never forget it. As the venue was rather small, I remember standing in the front row, and David was almost as close as recently in the Odeon. Beyond magic!

    About Face is a spellbinding album, one of my all time faves, love all the songs on it, and picking a fave song is a challenge, might chose Out of the Blue and Blue Light.

    David, please don’t let us fans wait 2 decades for a new album and tour again!

  32. I’ll confess that my first reaction to About Face was not 100% positive, mainly due to the slick 80’s production on some tracks (seems like too much of what was recorded in that decade had those chugging synthesizers and reverb-heavy drums). After more listenings, it grew on me, there are some truly great songs, and fine musicianship – Pino Palladino’s superb bass playing, for one thing. It’s a shame that David didn’t revisit some of those songs for his last tour. Maybe next time? (We can hope, can’t we?)

    Cheers;
    Bill C

  33. I liked the album when I first bought it on cassette almost 20 years ago. I upgraded it to CD more recently, but I’ve barely listened to it since doing that. It just feels like it is from another time, and it isn’t a time where I am these days. I suspect that David feels the same way since he hasn’t played a bit of it live since then.

    One thing that I found notable about this album was the legion of people who played on it. It was an interesting cross-section of rock history for me. I remember when drummer Jeff Porcaro passed away and knowing who he was, not from Toto but from his work on this album.

  34. Well the guitar auction ended but I have no idea as to how much it sold for as once the auction ends, the bidding information is gone. I know that it was up to $4,100 with about 10 minutes to go.

    Scanning through some of the other auctions it was interesting to see what else was up there and some of the bidding. Looks like someone walked away with another Fender guitar signed by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit for about $200.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  35. about face is good album, you know i’m right and near the end have great solos and are my favorite songs on that album and they need to put david gilmour 1984 on dvd already!

  36. Oh, I forgot to mention that I have always loved the play on words with ‘Let’s Get Metaphysical’ (a type of philosophy which is concerned with abstract thought or subjects, as existence, causality, or truth etc.) with Olivia Newton John’s ‘Let’s Get Physical’.

  37. This was the first David Gilmour solo album I ever acquired on cassette in February, 1988 at Caldor Department Store in Brockton, MA for $5. When I first put it on, I loved it immediately (since got the original Columbia/CBS CD and then the 2006 Columbia/Sony BMG remaster).

    David had a great band on the album including the late Jeff Porcaro on drums and Pino Palladino on bass guitar amongst others to play on the album.

    My favorites on the album are “Until We Sleep”, “All Lovers Are Deranged” (great rocker), “Murder” and “Near the End” plus “Let’s Get Metaphysical”.

    David in a 2006 interview with US DJ Redbeard on the On an Island episode of In The Studio said, and I quote: “About Face has some great moments but the flavor of it is too 80s for my current tastes” – end quote. Kurt Loder gave About Face a favorable 3 star review whilst he gave Roger Waters’ Pros and Cons a 1 star review. I agree but I round About Face to 3.5 out of 4.

    I still love the first solo album and On an Island a bit more.

  38. “About Face” was the first David solo album I discovered.

    It was a New Year’s Eve, maybe 1989. I was very young, but I remember that I was surprised, because it wasn’t so similar to Pink Floyd as I was expecting.

    I loved “Murder”, “Out of the Blue”, “Cruise” and “Near the End” since the first listening, but there were some songs I really didn’t like, such as “Blue Light” and “All Lovers are Deranged”.

    I’ve been listening to it for a lot of years now and “Blue Light” is the only song I really don’t like.

    It’s really a great album and “Murder” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. 🙂

  39. Blimey, 25 years.

    I was in Portugal or Spain at the time. Never knew it was out. Just happened to see it in a shop.

    Saw the tour at the Birmingham Odeon. Pitiful crowd if I remember. How times change.

    However, although I enjoy hearing it I remember thinking that I preferred the 1st album.

  40. I think “About Face” is a stellar album. The 80s vibe was definitely there and it might be a turn off for some but I enjoyed it. If nothing it else it is an unique exercise in hearing David try to do about the exact opposite of Pink Floyd as he could. I happen to like the results.

    Highlights are:

    Let’s Get Metaphysical
    Murder
    All Lovers Are Deranged
    Love on the Air
    You Know I’m Right
    Blue Light

    There are some really great guitar solos to found in there and “In the End” is perfect for when you are having a really, really, awful day.

    Special shout out to Pete Townshed for helping David pen lyrics to a few of the songs specifically, “All Lovers Are Deranged” that track is probably my favorite on the album.

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

  41. I would like to be the very first to wish David a happy birthday tomorrow!

  42. Hi,

    Congratulations David with your birthday!

    We are just back from Marike Jager, a Dutch singer/songwriter, with a guitarist that did a lot strange Gilmouresque things with his guitar, including the use of a lap steel. One song was particularly Floydish, could be from Syd Barrett… Mmm, I love the sound of the lap steel…

    Sorry back to the topic;

    ‘Let’s Get Metaphysical’… wonderful, that great sound with the dear late Michael Kamen. This song was the reason that I wanted to hear more from him (“Concerto for Sax” was such an album).

    Sadly we missed David’s show at time… we had planned our first weekend trip. Ah, but we still are in love and we saw David Gilmour later… but a shame it was. 😉

  43. Greetings FEd;

    I really enjoy About Face! Yes, it is noticeably 80s, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    David Gilmour’s new look on About Face is great. As someone else mentioned, no matter what, Mr. Gilmour is drop dead gorgeous with long hair, short hair, no hair, clean shaven or with a beard… he’s one handsome man!

    Penny

  44. Have it on now. Still holds up. Hope he’ll do tracks from it on his next solo tour.

    Happy Birthday, David!

  45. KNOWING THIS IS NOT THE BEST PLACE, BUT HAVING NOWHERE ELSE TO WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

    HAS ANYONE TURNED UP THE VOLUME TO MAX AT THE VERY END OF THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON??? I’M SURE EVERYONE HAS LISTENED TO THE VOICE, BUT, HAVE YOU NOTICED THERE’S ALSO MUSIC RECORDED??? I’M SURE IT’S NOT RADIO INTERFERENCE BECAUSE I ALWAYS HEAR THE SAME EVERY TIME I PLAY IT. IT’S AT A VERY LOW VOLUME BUT IF YOU LISTEN CAREFULLY TO IT WITH HEADPHONES… IT’S THERE!!!!! IT’S A KIND OF ORCHESTRAL MUSIC. I’M NOT JOKING!!!

    LONG LIFE TO THE FLOYD!!!!

  46. Hi,

    Great topic!

    There are few jewels on About Face. In terms of finished product (track) the better (which means in this case the most Floydish) is Let’s get Metaphysical. Great instrumental, could have been included in any Floyd album. Should be longer (which is a compliment).

    As the most improved songs when played live, I should point out “Near the End” (great live solo, very close to “Where We Start”) and Murder, which as, live, the second best guitar solo I ever heard (after the one that you’re thinking about). Murder (live) is probably the best Gilmour did as a solo artist.

    Worth to be mentioned is also “Out Of The Blue”. Very good song, I find some links with “A Great Day for Freedom” and “A Pocketful of Stones”.

  47. Well, since the DVD-release of “DG in Concert” in 2002 and “On an Island” I didn’t hear very much about David’s solo-career (yes, shame on me). OK, Nick Mason wrote about it in “Inside out” but that was all until some weeks ago, when I got the concert recording in 1984 at Hammersmith Odeon.

    Wow! That was David’s music 25 years ago? I must have missed something…

    Herbert

    BTW, FEd, did I tell you my birthday-date? It’s on April, 17th.

  48. Hi.

    From all 3 of Dave’s solo-albums “About Face” is my favourite.

    It is clearly an 80s album (if you don’t realise it from the production, than at least from the Credits where the VIPs of 80s music are listed).

    Murder, Cruise, Near the End, You Know I’m Right are my favourites.

    I never understood how “Love On the Air” did not become a Hit in those years…

    Anyway… happy birthday and please keep on doing music.

  49. Thanks for the birthday wishes everyone. And (a slightly late) Happy Birthday to Susan.

    It wasn’t until I saw this topic that I realised that I haven’t listened to ‘About Face’ for quite a while now. That’ll all change this afternoon though.

    Thanks Fed.

  50. Fed,

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this album. It played non-stop in my tape deck until Sept of 1987 when he released Momentary Lapse. The video is awesome, the documentary… awesome. The videos were HILARIOUS!!! They were really bad… The heli-pad guitar solo on his knees… what the hell was that? I don’t care… it was awesome. I mean, this album had everything. I think he should have lost Blue Light and Cruise, but the rest is perfect to my ears.

    If you haven’t heard it then go get it… watch the video. I learned how to play guitar watching that video. Mick Ralphs on the guitar… Chris Slade on the drums… Raff Ravenscroft, Mickey Feat. I’m excited!

    I was disappointed that he didn’t bust-out Murder or Until we Sleep in 2006. I would have bet money on one of those. I think Until We Sleep would have fit onto ‘On an Island’.

    There was another ‘double song’ thing between Pete Townshend’s White City Fighting and something else. Anyone remember? I can’t. Same music… different words for DG and PT depending on whose version that you chose. Maybe it was Give Blood… I love Give Blood live with PT in 1985. Gilmour rocked that song so hard! (I know it wasn’t on About Face but the same period.)

    And you REALLY never fall in love unless you’re 17.

    Have a great weekend and I love this topic. Can you tell?

    Blake in Nashville

  51. I’ve always thought “About Face” is brilliant, although I don’t particularly care for “Blue Light” – too trendy. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it’s the ‘contractual obligation’ song for the record. If it is, the song is brilliant in that it’s perfectly constructed to be exactly what the producers would want, thereby shutting them up so that you could make the rest of the record as you like.

    “Out of the Blue” is beautifully, serenely horrifying. “Peacekeeper” missiles, my ass. I still don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I hear it.

    “Let’s Get Metaphysical” made me realize a passionate, wailing electric guitar can blend beautifully with orchestral music, which I’ve always loved (thank you, Loony Toons and Tom & Jerry), and inspired me to write my own arrangement of orchestral music and bluesy electric guitar. It’s still my favorite piece I’ve ever done (all two minutes of it) and the one I’m most proud of, although my musical abilities were somewhat, ahem, ‘limited’ at the time (still are).

    I love playing “Until We Sleep” on the pub jukebox and hearing people say, “Woah… Which ‘Pink Floyd’ album is THAT on?!”

    “About Face” is still one of my favorite records, but I think I like “David Gilmour” even more; the simple three-piece band style of it keeps the pure feeling of the songs in the forefront, without a lot of studio ‘spit-n-polish’ to spiff it up. I still get shivers when I hear “Raise My Rent” – my god… I wish I could have the chords (nudge-wink).

  52. Who here is David? I mean, does he even look through, and since I’m too lazy to find out all by myself, I just need to know; Who`s FEd?

    1. Although I can’t help but wonder if you’re not perhaps too lazy to check back for a reply, a) David doesn’t leave messages here, and b) the FAQ page – there’s a link at the top of any page – should answer your other question.

  53. I love About Face. People often criticize it for being “too eighties” but I can´t agree. The only song which reminds me on the typical eighties pop is Blue Light but beside that it´s for me a thrilling album which shows the range of David´s musicality.

    My favourites are Until We Sleep (I think this is the hardest rock song David has ever written), Love is on the Air, Cruise (who says David can´t be sarcastic?) and the beautiful, almost Floydish Near the End. I would have loved it if David had played some songs from About Face on his tour.

    And about the comments about the eighties production style: Sure, music sounded then a bit more “slick” than today but was this really so much worse? When I´m hearing the often over-compressed sound of many records now, where everything has to be just LOUD (I´m very thankful that David is still staying away from such gimmicks) than I begin to miss the sound of the eighties.

  54. About Face is one of my favorite albums of all time. David prefers not to talk about it too much because I think it really is quite a sore spot for him. The tour was miserable with negative cash (lack of ticket sales).

    As a Gilmour fan, more then Pink Floyd, I rushed out when his tour for On An Island (brilliant) was announced and planned to see every US show (12 of them in 6 cities) hoping to hear some of his previous solo work from his 1st and 2nd album.

    I listen to About Face from start to finish more than any other Pink Floyd album – still! Not only was David going through a divorce, but the horrific episodes of The Final Cut could of driven any mortal MAD! But not Mr. Gilmour. He came out with the most emotional effort of his career. Songs specifically needed to speak his mind, about what was happening.

    The Island tour was fantastic. I took someone different with me to every show! I have sooo many stories about what happened during the shows because I was so close for every one. Meeting great people showing their love for David – and On An Island really grew on me along with some old David favorites.

    Unfortunately, not one lick from either previous solo albums. Oh well. Maybe next time?

  55. 😡 About Face is a rubbish album, it should have been withdrawn from sale years ago!

    As for Blue Light, that’s gotta be up there with Dogs of War as about the worst song ever!!!

    1. Whatever Grumpy.

      You don’t have an ear for music, obviously. I would probably laugh at your top 20 albums…

  56. Once I learned that he was releasing a solo album, I remember waiting for hours on end day after day for Murder (the first song released) to come on the radio. How times have changed. God bless the internet.

    I’ve read elsewhere on this thread that the tour was miserable for David, which I find surprising. I think I saw 5 of his shows on that tour and it always looked and sounded like he was having a blast.

    I actually met David at the tour’s final date in New York City, at the now defunct Pier. My brother and I had been standing in line since early in the morning to get into the show. During the soundcheck we noticed that the gate to the Pier was open, and that there was no security in sight, so my brother and I decided to see if we could sneak a peak at the rehearsal. We walked right up to the front of the stage, and to my amazement David walked right over to us with a smile and said, “Hello there”. He asked me what song I’d like to hear, and I even though I knew I wouldn’t get to hear it, I said “Raise My Rent.” He said, “Yeah, I like that one, but I’m afraid not tonight. Maybe next time around.” At that point the security figured out what was going on, and in a panic, perhaps a bit more aggressively than he needed, asked us to leave. David, God bless him, told them to relax, that we were friends and were to be treated as such.

    In my mind, his performance that night was far and away the most magical and emotive I’ve ever witnessed, even to this day.

    Happy days those were.

  57. I’m being decadent here by posting again, but I did want to briefly comment on the album ‘About Face’.

    I think it was a very important album for David. It introduced him to a global audience as a standalone artist, and not just a part of a greater whole (Pink Floyd). When it came out, I loved the album from start to finish. I loved hearing him out of the Pink Floyd context. It was a breath of fresh air to hear him play something other than the Floyd classics, important to me as they were and are.

    All these years later, while I have a great affection for it, the album doesn’t really hold up for me from start to finish. I prefer his first album, truth be told. I think Murder is far and away the album’s standout. I think Near the End is probably the most personal song and the one that offered a glimpse into the man’s psyche, and as such is probably the next strongest song. Of the rest, these days most lack any real spark. These songs were much better performed live than they played on the album (particularly Until We Sleep). I don’t care much for Love On the Air. It sounds like a Townshend song to me, and I was never quite comfortable with David singing ballad like songs. Leave that to the Eric Claptons of the world.

    Back in the day, About Face was a great album to me, someone who was starved for new music from the Floyd or any of its members. It gave me years of pleasure, thereafter. I don’t play it anymore, but I hold it dear in my pantheon of music and memories.

  58. Hi Fed

    Haven’t been here for a few weeks, but this subject is more to my liking.

    I like both of David’s early solo albums. To me they are not at all pretentious as can sometimes be the case.

    Am I right in saying that ‘About Face’ was the first album Sam Brown sang backing vocals for David? I think Sam has a fabulous voice and I will always remember first hearing ‘Stop’ when I was driving through a town called Richmond somewhere in the north of England. I had to buy the album when I got back to Australia. To my great delight I noticed that David played on this album for Sam. Just great and what great memories, and what a sexy voice.

    Wilko

  59. Scrolling through some of the customer reviews on Amazon it seems a fair number of fans don’t care much for this album, but I think it’s fabulous. Most whine about the so-called 80s sound but I love it. Though some of the lyrics may point towards subjects such as Armageddon, aging, and the death of John Lennon, I think the FEEL of the music is very positive and upbeat.

    I also love the mix of styles. Despite the fact that it bounces around touching on everything from hard rock to pop to reggae and all points in between, it never sounds calculated or contrived. Some artists try to force their eclecticism (“now I’ll do a country song… now a blues”) and their albums sound pieced together. For me, About Face has a very natural flow. All the various styles melding into the Gilmour sound.

    I remember the first night I brought this home (yes, on vinyl). I left my girlfriend upstairs with my mom and headed down to the basement JUST to get a sample. I cranked that puppy up and could not move for about 40 minutes (well OK, in those days you had to flip the thing over, but you get the idea). I just loved it straight away.

    What enhanced it for me was two months later seeing my hero for the first time EVER, live at Sheas in downtown Buffalo. INCREDIBLE! He played the entire album and nearly every track was extended and vastly improved. The tone on his guitar was earth shattering and his playing was beyond comprehension. It made me love the album all the more.

    1. I agree, I liked it from the git go, didn’t need time for it to grow on me. The only cut I haven’t fully warmed up to is “Blue Light”. Seems I like him best either hard-driven like 2 cuts or like the other 7 cuts, or “Floydish”. One of the reasons I have made DG my 2nd favorite guitarist is the way his playing goes with, augments, enhances, etc. the particular song he’s playing/soloing in. Do you know what I mean?

      Anyway, thanks for being the sharer of my first time doing this.

  60. (Good grief, I’m long winded!! Sorry!)

    Anyway, maybe a year later a very good friend of mine who shall remain nameless (let’s just call him “The Bootleg King”) managed to obtain a nice little gift for me. Knowing I’ve been a Gilmour loon since before I was born, he presented me with a vinyl version of a live show from the About Face Tour. Professionally recorded for Westwood One, this baby had a nice chunk of the show (complete with radio commercials). Though I haven’t had a turntable in 15 years, I still treasure this lovely gift.

    About Face isn’t just a great album, but a collection of wonderful experiences that I cherish to this day. Thank you David!

  61. Being somewhat slow with computers, it is only now, after being in the mood for and listening to “About Face”, that I decided to see if there was a way to tell DG how much I enjoy it. Alas, don’t know if any of this gets back to him or not (does it?). First time speaking on this type of format also.

    Anyway, “About Face” has a great distinction with me in that there are very few albums that I can say I like every song; this one is 95%. DG can get me into the best kind of “high” there is: a “natural” one.

    Disappointed I missed a “chat” time earlier today, I can only say: while you made your mark with PF, your solo efforts show you have so much more to offer.

    1. Thanks for taking the plunge and leaving us a message, Robert. 🙂

      Comments certainly do get back to David, and you’re very welcome to visit the chatroom when it’s next open, but I should point out that David does not chat. If you’re happy chatting about completely random topics with other fans, we’ll be delighted to welcome you.

  62. Thanks for the welcome FEd. It’s good to know the comments get back. I assume the next chat will be on the “calendar” of events.

    Agree with Blake on “Blue Light” but sort of like the reggae touch on “Cruise” without DG losing his sound. You know, every artist out there must face the same recording dilemma: keep doing the same old sounds on every album that my initial fans/following has come to love, or chance some new sounds. While there are some sounds I would have a hard time getting enough of, the artists that find their way into filling the greatest volume in collections are those who manage to pull off a great sound in a broader range (which of course is harder to do).

    Have a great week.

    1. Excellent point, Robert. I think true artists (and David is certainly at the top of THAT list for me) follow their instincts and allow the music to progress naturally. Second guessing the public is something that just doesn’t work. Certainly not in any long term fashion.

      I think by aiming to just please himself/herself first, an artist’s talents truly blossom, because the source is sincere and not contrived. This is something you can hear in everything David does. Every note seems heartfelt… and there is tremendous value in that. I think that’s why the bulk of Pink Floyd/Gilmour fans continue to follow David year after year (it’s been almost 30 for me now!).

      Oh and welcome aboard.

  63. I know a lot of people always just say this is David’s worst album, but you have to look at the time.

    Also I think he was just trying to get as far away from the Floyd sound as he could. I personally have to admit its probably my least favorite solo album, but I still love it. The intro to Blue Light is just awesome. Sure the album has a corny 80s feel to it, but it came out in the 80s, and for being an 80s album is awesome.

    No matter what David Gilmour comes out with, it will always have his signature sound, and that’s what makes it great. 8)

  64. If you love About Face try watching with the movie Grease. Let 0.02 second lapse and play when the Paramont picture first appears. The word Dance should be being sung when the movie fads into the movie and waves.

    The ending will come out of the blue.

    Duane Carter

  65. I bought my 1st guitar at age 20, 9 months and 2 weeks after seeing David Gilmour in concert on the 1984 “About Face” tour at the palatial Cincinnati Gardens.

    About Face remained on my turntable and in my car stereo for many years…

    Listening to Comfortably Numb on my stereo was one thing, but 6 rows back *live* was… life-changing.

    David Gilmour’s lyrical and emotive playing style continues to influence, guide and inform my playing and writing.

    I now lead a Pink Floyd tribute band.

  66. For David G/Pink Floyd fans of a certain era, About Face represents a key point. I’m one of them… Read on:

    I purchased Dark Side as an adolescent, bought The Wall a few months later as a new album in November 1979 (it would be a couple of months before radio in the States really dug into that record). Final Cut? Played it until the grooves wore out of the vinyl in the spring of 1983.

    Then came About Face.

    Again, purchased it new played it A LOT but finally, I’d have the chance to see David Gilmour play some of the songs live. ‘Twas at the Bushnell Hall in Hartford, CT. As an 18-year-old, I was really looking forward to this show.

    Keep in mind, The Wall ‘tour’ was only a handful of US dates when I was 14 years old. Animals/In The Flesh Tour? Forget about it, I was 11. But I knew I’d be seeing a very talented guy in May 1984.

    David didn’t disappoint. I’ve seen several world class guitar players live and he definitely rates there. One of the few I’ve seen that in watching as a fellow guitarist, my jaw was dropped for much of the night. He WAILED throughout this show.

    I saw the Momentary Lapse/Delicate Sound tour a few years later in the same city. Was also a great show but whereas the solo show was superior musically, the Floyd show was a genuine spectacle, explosions, flying pigs, you know the rest.

    (I was unable to see Roger Waters’ Pros and Cons tour a few months after my About Face experience but a close friend who saw both shows made a similar comparison. He said that even with Eric Clapton on guitar, the Gilmour show was superior musically, the Waters’ show was more visually appealing.)

    About Face was underrated as a record (this is acknowledged in the “All Music Guide to Rock” — paragraph-long reviews of each of nearly every major artists’ records up to 1995 — but it, and the accompanying tour were the first true touchstone for many of us David/Floyd fans.

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