Either you are wrong or I am right
“About face”, Gilmour’s second solo album, was released the year after Roger Waters ended Pink Floyd, as he thought at least. This album has more production compared to the first self-titled solo album from 1978. This one is slicker. In the same year Roger released “The pros and cons of hitch hiking”, a concept album he pitched to the other guys pre-The Wall even. I may have to review Roger’s album next as a comparison. Which of the two legend did best with their 1984 efforts?
“About face” is a much “bigger” album than “David Gilmour” where he played with only two other guys, one bass-player and one drummer. Here there are loads of famous musicians joining up with David. First of all the album is co-produced with Bob Ezrin that produced “The Wall”. James Guthrie, another who has worked with Floyd was the engineer. David got help from Peter Townshend with lyrics on two songs (“Love on the air” and “All Lovers Are Deranged”).
For the sessions David got help from Jeff Porcaro of Toto fame who plays the drums and Pino Palladino who has played with many bands including Nine Inch Nails plays the bass. Added musicians are Jon Lord, Steve Winwood, Michael Kamen, Ry Cooper, Sam Brown and Roy Harper among others.
Yes, so this album is slick, clean, well-produced… and a little boring. Or is boring the right word? It feels “safe” anyway. It’s like Paul McCartney without Lennon, like Sting without Andy and Stewart. And still there are some great songs here. The one that stands out on the first side is “Murder” with its guitar and somber lyrics.
“Love on the air” and “Blue light” are the singles and true single material, as in… boring. The first one is a soft easy-listening love song. The second is a “Run like hell” light, a fun song performed live but it doesn’t make me jump and scream in my home. The eighties production with “The Kick Horns” blowing for all they’re worth make it very dated.
The second side of the album is a big step up, it’s very good. In the middle there is a beautiful soft song called “Cruise”. The rest of the bunch are all great songs with Gilmour’s guitar playing aWe get some nice guitar songs in the forefront.
Overall a nice album. It is easy listening to enjoy when relaxing in the lounge. But now the most important question! Who wins the 1984 battle between Gilmour and Waters, the “Floyd Bowl”? Whose album from 1984 is the better one? Come back to the site next time and check my review of “The pros and cons…”
My rating: 6/10
- Until we sleep
- Love on the air
- Blue light
- Out of the blue
- All lovers are deranged
- You know I’m right
- Let’s get metaphysical
- Near the end
Best songs: “Murder”, “All lovers are deranged”, “You know I’m right” and “Cruise”
Released on March 5th, 1984
Media: 1984 LP, made in Germany