Contact Us

35 Years Ago: David Gilmour’s Debut Album Released

Columbia Records

As any crate digger can attest, it’s easy to judge a rock album by its cover. Analyzing a gatefold sleeve can be an illuminating experience — and there’s no better example of this than David Gilmour‘s self-titled 1978 debut.

For Gilmour — who basically reinvented the electric guitar with psych-rock pioneers Pink Floyd — the album was a creative emancipation, a step forward from the diplomatic machine that was his main band. And the cover feels like a deliberate statement of purpose: Where previous Floyd covers (like those for ‘Wish You Were Here,’ ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ and ‘Atom Heart Mother’) were high-concept art pieces, the sleeve for ‘David Gilmour’ is a stark, fuzzy afterthought: a seemingly discarded photograph, with Gilmour himself standing in front, gazing directly into the lens.

Though the music found inside — with its blustery blues riffs and spacey solos — isn’t a radical departure from the trademark Pink Floyd sound, it came at a crucial point in Gilmour’s career, proving he could carry the burden of a full LP all by himself.

“This album … was important to me in terms of self respect,” Gilmour told Circus in 1978. “At first I didn’t think my name was big enough to carry it. Being in a group for so long can be a bit claustrophobic, and I needed to step out from behind Pink Floyd’s shadow.”

‘David Gilmour’ wasn’t jaw-dropping enough to pull the guitarist out of Pink Floyd’s shadow entirely. Thirty-five years after the fact, it feels like a warm-up for what Gilmour would accomplish on future recordings (including his hugely underrated 2006 album, ‘On an Island’), and it’s difficult not to imagine the less-developed tracks (like the repetitive riff-fest of ‘Cry From the Street‘) as Pink Floyd scraps. Nonetheless, every second is tastefully played and impeccably produced, and the highlights are truly remarkable: The punchy ‘Short and Sweet‘ is a showcase for Gilmour’s gorgeous vocal harmonies; ‘Mihalis‘ is an ultra-trippy showcase for his psychedelic guitar skills. Meanwhile, the elegant ‘There’s No Way Out of Here‘ (originally recorded in 1976 by the obscure country-rock band Unicorn) is arguably the definitive Gilmour solo track.

The album found modest success on the U.K. charts, landing at No. 17. But from that point forward, Gilmour focused mainly on his work with Pink Floyd. In 1979, Floyd released ‘The Wall,’ their double-album opus; Gilmour’s next solo album, ‘About Face,’ came in 1984.

“It’s necessarily a compromise to work in a group,” Gilmour told Circus. “A lot of people tend to cling together and say ‘we live for the group,’ and at the beginning you need that. But later on you need other things.”

Next: Top 10 David Gilmour Pink Floyd Songs

More From Jack FM

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://929jackfm.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 92.9 Jack FM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on 92.9 Jack FM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!