Monday, July 27, 2015

There's No Way Out of Here

A question I read online recently: if forced to choose, whose solo works would you take to a desert island: Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright or Nick Mason?

(Even including "Lie for a Lie," I assume the final two were put on there for inclusivity's sake.)

The obvious answer: any one Dave Gilmour LP is better than all of Roger Waters' solo works (not including The Final Cut) combined. And—sorry, Syd—probably everyone else's combined.

Because while, yes, Dave can't come within a few timezones of Roger's truly amazing skill as a lyricist, his abilities as a musician are so far above those of Roger's it's not even amusing, much less to death. And as Peter Gabriel once said, "There have been many great songs which have had really appalling lyrics, but there have been no great songs which have had appalling music."

For proof I offer this:

I mean...that's a cover. And Gilmour still makes it his own, and makes it absolutely captivating, despite the presence of the poodle-haired sax player wearing his pantaloons tucked into his boots. I mean, come on: has that ever been a good look? Ever? Okay, fine, sometime around the War of 1812, maybe. But that's debatable and, either way, 170 years later?

And yet the performance. I first heard this song on an MTV broadcast of a 1984 concert—this one, I assume, although I think I always though it was from Pittsburgh—and was instantly smitten. Far too many years later, that hasn't changed. Gilmour's smoky, surprisingly supple voice and his amazingly lyrical, liquid guitar playing match wonderfully the moody, atmospheric song with time changes that are far from obtrusive but in fact match the tone of the song perfectly. Right there is the difference between The Wall and The Final Cut, not to mention between The Final Cut and everything that came after.

No comments:

Post a Comment