As the primary architect of Pink Floyd’s sweeping signature sound, Dave Gilmour’s ever-distinctive vocal and guitar style is melodic, often mesmeric. We all know the story: When most bands would call it a day, Gilmour replaced original Pink Floyd visionary and bandleader Syd Barrett as guitarist and lead vocalist, appeared on Floyd’s second album SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS (1968) ★★★, found his own voice and style around proper follow up MEDDLE (1971) ★★★★★, thencarried on throughout the 1970s with Pink Floyd to become one of the biggest bands on the planet.
During this time Gilmour released two very good solo albums, DAVID GILMOUR (1978) ★★★★, and the Bob Ezrin-produced ABOUT FACE (1984) ★★★, however a second crisis loomed with the departure of bassist, lyricist and genius conceptualist Roger Waters in 1986, his attempted dissolution of the band, proceeding bitter legal action, and slanging matches in the press.
This was all to no avail. Waters had forgotten that, just like Barrett before him, he might’ve been the leader of the band internally, but to the public he was a distant, faceless figure on record and on stage, half-hidden behind dry ice, lights, and an inflatable pig. Waters created the brilliant concepts and wrote the lyrics, but it was Gilmour who was behind the music and the classic-Floyd guitar sound.
The re-energised band continued on under Gilmour’s steady direction with drummer Nick Mason and newly rehabilitated Rick Wright to release a new Pink Floyd studio album, the majestic A MOMENTARY LAPSE OF REASON (1987) ★★★★★, to mixed reviews, undertaking extensive sold-out touring and releasing the mega-selling live album THE DELICATE SOUND OF THUNDER (1989) ★★★. With the release of another album in 1994, THE DIVISION BELL ★★★, the Gilmour-led Floyd sounded infinitely more ‘classic-Floyd’ than the late Waters era albums (eg: The Wall and The Final Cut), featuring increasingly significant musical contributions from Wright and Mason, amidst the many session men.
Following the untimely passing of Rick Wright in 2008, Gilmour dedicated the band’s final instalment thus far (2014’s The Endless River) to the late keyboard player, and eventually followed that up with his fourth solo album in 2015 (Rattle That Lock), while continuing to work with some of the most respected names in British rock.
While avoiding the timeless material of the classic Floyd albums of the ’70s and ’80s (Dark Side through The Final Cut), these cuts touch on the finest moments of Gilmour’s early and late-career tracks with the band, and some underrated solo work highlighting the beauty and bedazzlement of his spacious moods and incisive signature guitar sound.
- There’s No Way Out of Here – David Gilmour (1978)
- Fearless – Meddle (1971)
- Wot’s …Uh the Deal – Obscured by Clouds (1972)
- Mihalis – David Gilmour (1978)
- Murder – About Face (1984)
- Marooned – The Division Bell (1994)
- Childhood’s End – Obscured by Clouds (1972)
- This Heaven – On An Island (2006)
- Louder Than Words – The Endless River (2014)
- Fat Old Sun – Atom Heart Mother (1970)
- And Then… – Rattle That Lock (2015)
- Pillow of Winds – Meddle (1971)
- Sorrow – A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)