So a long time ago I bought myself a copy of David Gilmour's "About face..."

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Blazer, May 14, 2019.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well around a decade ago I was really getting into a prog phase and I started buying albums left and right of bands like Camel, Genesis, Yes, Focus and Pink Floyd. At sometime I bought "About face" and listened to it a couple of time before relegating it to my CD closet and completely forgetting about it.

    Yesterday while clearing out my CDs I came across it and went "I never really DID familiarize myself with that one." and without having any memories about what it was like, put it on.

    Now of course with Gilmour being a VITAL component to Pink Floyd's sound, I had no other expectations of the album sounding Floyd-like, in fact I was expecting it to be similar to "The final cut" since many of the people involved with that album (Michael Kane, Bob Ezrin) were also involved with this one. But it actually is more akin to "A momentarily lapse of reason" Because of the album being so much Brighter than "the final cut"

    Love on the air.

    Of course the album has its dark moments too, "You know I'm right" for example is Gilmour talking directly to Roger Waters.


    And the hidden gem on the album must be the last track "Near the end" where we have a guitar solo which MUST be one of Gilmour's very best.


    In short, I fell in love with the album, sure, it's Floyd-like but it so much more than that. Gilmour himself now says that he hates the dated "Eighties" production but for me that's part of its charm.
     
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  2. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

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    Now of course with Gilmour being a VITAL component to Pink Floyd's sound, I had no other expectations of the album sounding Floyd-like, in fact I was expecting it to be similar to "The final cut" since many of the people involved with that album (Michael Kane, Bob Ezrin) were also involved with this one. But it actually is more akin to "A momentarily lapse of reason" Because of the album being so much Brighter than "the final cut"

    I have heard many people talk about how MLoR is really more of a DG solo album than Floyd album.

    Not sure how I feel. I really don't like MLoR at all, but I love About Face and at least like most of his solo stuff.
     
  3. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    To me MLoR sounds like they were trying too hard, I've learned of the crap slinging between Gilmour and Waters about the conception of the album with the latter stating that Gilmour didn't have the balls to release it under the Pink Floyd name. But the production of MLoR also sounds even more dated than "About face"

    It took the band until "The Division Bell" to get that true Pink Floyd sound and drama back.
     
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  4. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    How am I supposed to cop that lick with the bar code in the way!
     
  5. t guitar floyd

    t guitar floyd Tele-Holic

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    Some of my favorite music. I still listen to About Face weekly. One of my favorites is Let's Get Metaphysical. An answer to Olivia Newton-John's Let's Get Physical? :twisted:
     
  6. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    I don't know who Michael Kane is, but Bob Ezrin wasn't involved in The Final Cut. I remember reading where one of the reasons that The Final Cut was such an arduous experience for Gilmour was because Ezrin wasn't around to "play referee" between him and Waters. Ezrin produced The Wall and A Momentary Lapse Of Reason.

    The Final Cut is effectively a Roger Waters solo album, with Gilmour and Nick Mason guesting. Likewise, A Momentary Lapse Of Reason is effectively a Gilmour solo record, with Mason and Rick Wright guesting.

    Thus, each album reflects the respective leader's contribution to "the Pink Floyd sound". The Final Cut is Roger carrying on, as usual, about warfare and how horrible it is, etc, etc (the Falklands War broke out while they figuring out what to do next after The Wall, and Roger apparently felt moved to make a comment on it). But it's short on melody and the kind of atmosphere you associate with Pink Floyd. Waters gets so caught up in making "The Big Statement" that he forgets to write some songs to go with said statement. All of his solo albums suffer from this shortcoming.

    Conversely, one might argue that lyrics are a bit lightweight on A Momentary Lapse Of Reason, but at least it sounds like Pink Floyd, even if Gilmour is the only member of the band playing on most of it (they used several session drummers because Nick was out of practice, and by the time Rick Wright became involved, they'd already recorded most of the keyboards). And virtually every track has lots of that very sweet Gilmour guitar playing. Also, if you check the bylines, you'll see Gilmour's is the only actual band member credited.

    Now, The Division Bell is more of a proper Pink Floyd album, in my mind, because Gilmour, Wright, and Mason got together and put the album together in a rehearsal room, the way Pink Floyd used to create their music, i.e. by jamming together and building the music up in the rehearsal room. Wright's profile on this album is much higher than on AMLOR, he has several solos, one lead vocal, and his name appears frequently in the bylines.

    You forgot Murder, which was inspired by the death of John Lennon (this is mentioned at least one of the Pink Floyd books I have). The couplet "Did you get rid of the voices in your head/Do you now miss them, the things they once said" seems to be directed at Mark David Chapman.

    You also didn't mention (maybe because you haven't read the bylines) the two songs that were co-written by Pete Townshend, All Lovers Are Deranged (a great rocker, which Dave said was his "attempt at headbanging, before I get too old for it"), and a gorgeous ballad called Love On The Air. David said that he had bumped into Townshend a couple years earlier, and Pete said he liked Dave's first solo album and said that he'd love to work with Dave sometime.

    So when Dave was having trouble coming up with lyrics for three songs (that we know of), he sent the instrumental demos to Pete. The two cited songs were used on About Face, but Dave decided he couldn't relate to the third, so Pete recorded it as White City Fighting, on his White City album.

    See, I've never thought it was that "Eighties" sounding. There's live drums on all the songs, though it is Jeff Porcaro (who played on practically every record made in LA during the early 80's). There's a human playing a bass guitar on all the songs, but one (Until We Sleep, where it's the Fairlight), and when they needed a a horn section, they used a real actual horn section, instead of the Fairlight.

    And Gilmour apparently plugged into a real guitar amp on most of the album (except Blue Light, where he plugged into a Rockman for the ride out solo).

    If you think about it, that album could have been a lot more "Eighties sounding" than it does. There's a credit for "Fairlight programming" on the back cover, and Anne Dudley of Art Of Noise played on the record. So it could have come out sounding more like an Art Of Noise record than a Pink Floyd record (though think for that to happen, Dave probably would have had to have JJ Jeczalik involved, instead or in addition to Anne).
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  7. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted

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    I have all of his solo stuff. I really dig it a lot. Live in Gdansk and Live at the Royal Albert Hall are great.
    I just don’t care for Roger Waters all that much.


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