Saturday, March 06, 2021

Blue Light Special: David Gilmour 75

We'll march into the third month with an obvious milestone birthday post, stapled to a great concert.

Today's big guy oughtn't need a syllable of introduction and is pretty identifiable just from a single guitar note or melodic vocal utterance.

A couple of months ago I started January with Syd Barrett, so today we'll start March with the man who replaced him in Pink Floyd.

A persuasive case could be made that without his stepping into The Madcap's large shoes, there never would have been a Pink Floyd after that one debut record.

His pure pentatonic guitar style slotted perfectly into the band from the first, and his steady creative hand helped steer the ship into unprecedented waters. Yes, waters, get it? I'm especially clever today.

Everybody knows what happened with The Floyd, and the unpleasantries between the principals, so there's no need to dwell upon them.

We're more focused on the solo David Gilmour today, especially his first proper tour on his own after the initial demise of PF.

He made an eponymous debut solo LP in 1978, but didn't get to hit the road until 1984.

This show was taped for the Westwood One radio network, and I've got it here all juiced up from the original pre-broadcast LPs, which I've suitably massaged into an improved, if not optimal, state.

Look out for sax master Raph Ravenscroft here; he just blows it up on several tunes.

David Gilmour
Stabler Arena
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania USA

01 Until We Sleep
02 All Lovers Are Deranged
03 Money
04 Love On the Air
05 Short and Sweet
06 You Know I'm Right
07 Run Like Hell
08 Blue Light
09 band introductions
10 Comfortably Numb

Total time: 1:18:16

David Gilmour - guitar & vocals
Mick Ralphs - guitar & vocals
Mickey Feat - bass & vocals
Raphael Ravenscroft - saxophones, keyboards & percussion
Gregg Dechert - keyboards & vocals
Chris Slade - drums & percussion
Sue Evans - percussion

pre-FM LPs from Westwood One
converted to 16/44 CD Audio, cleaned & remastered by EN, March 2021

There's a few iterations of this, including an off-air tape and a couple of boot CDs of the pre-FM source that have a kind of artificialized sound, all bricky and compressed and with a jarring skip in the beginning of the first song.

I decided to forego all that junk and go back to the original WW1 LPs, sprucing things up a bit with some succinct Sound Forge 11 usages.

There was a good deal of static, which I tried to meticulously remove, mostly successfully. There are probably a few more subtle ticks and pops, but the bolder ones are gone.

IMO this is now the best sounding version of this one so far, and what better occasion to drop it than on the birthday of one of the most beloved guitar Maestros of our time?
 So the happiest of b'days to David Gilmour, born this day in 1946 and thankfully still learning to fly and broadcasting from aboveground.--J.