Friday, November 18, 2016

"Blue Light" by David Gilmour

Song#:  1853
Date:  04/07/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  62
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  For English musician Gilmour, his first bands were not enjoying any success and by 1967, he and his bandmates were flat broke with no prospects. Luckily, some old connections came in handy and Gilmour was asked to join the band Pink Floyd. That band had just scored a Top 10 debut album in the UK (the psychedelic rock classic The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) under the guidance of co-founder Syd Barrett. However, Barrett's use of LSD and other issues led to the rest of the band not wanting to work with him. They came to an agreement that Barrett would leave the band and it was Gilmour that was there to take his place. With Gilmour taking on lead vocal duties and writing/co-writing many of the songs along with Roger Waters, the band continued to be highly successful in the UK while starting to grab a following in the US. It all culminated in their massive 1973 classic LP Dark Side of the Moon, which remains one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Prior to that in 1978, Gilmour though he had more to offer than what he could do via Pink Floyd and issued a self-titled solo album. Although it featured no charting singles, his ties to Pink Floyd helped make it a gold-seller. After Floyd's second huge album, 1980's The Wall, things started to fall apart within the band. Their follow-up LP, The Final Cut, ended up all written and mainly sung by Roger Waters. It set Gilmour's creativity aside and he responded by recording a second solo disc title About Face. Again, it would be gold certified, but this time around his songs got a little chart action. "All Lovers Are Deranged" reached #10 at Rock while "Murder" (which was about John Lennon's murder) got to #13. Then, this single did well enough at Pop to get on the chart for a few weeks (and #35 Rock). It would end up being his only song to hit the Pop chart. Gilmour would end up taking over Pink Floyd once Roger Waters departed in 1985.

ReduxReview:  If Pink Floyd turned into a pop/rock band and collaborated with Phil Collins, this is probably what they would sound like. Based on this tune, I think it might have worked just fine. The opening guitar lick is very Floyd sounding, but then it moves into an exciting rock tune with organ, sax, and horns. It doesn't necessarily have a hooky chorus, but this thing chugs along nicely and consistently draws you in. It's not a great single, but it is a solid song from Gilmour who showed that he could move his prog rock into more commercial territory.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) It would be twenty-two years before Gilmour would release another solo album. In 2006, Gilmour issued On an Island and it reached #1 in the UK. It would also go Top 10 in the US hitting #6. A follow-up album in 2015, Rattle that Lock, would do about the same - #1 UK, #5 US. Even though both albums reached the US Top 10, neither sold well enough to hit the gold level.  2) For two songs on the album, Gilmour teamed up with another musician who was having is own creative issues with his band. Pete Townsend of The Who contributed lyrics to two of Gilmour's songs - the Rock chart hit "All Lovers Are Deranged" and "Love on the Air." The latter song was chosen as the album's second single, but it failed to chart.


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