David Gilmour 1978 solo album

David Gilmour’s debut solo album – the history and the tones

David Gilmour 1978 solo album

David Gilmour’s solo career started way back in the late 70s, when Pink Floyd was in the middle of their hay days. Often overlooked, David’s first solo album feature some great moments and beautiful tones. In this feature we’ll dig deep into the history of the album, the gear and the tones.

I’ve always loved David’s first solo effort. There are no Echoes or Dogs on it but it’s just a solid, no frills album, with great guitar playing. What I especially like, is that you can hear that the band had great fun playing together. This feeling is certainly lacking on Wish You Were Here and Animals, despite being the great albums that they are.

About Face sounds somewhat out of character. On an Island sounds a bit forced and uninspired. The first album sounds very much like a musician who wants to play and stretch out beyond what the boundaries of the band can offer in terms of creativity.

Why a solo album?

In a recent interview with Uncut Magazine, David explains his motive for doing a solo album in 1978 “I don’t think it was a counteract to some sort of frustration I was feeling within Floyd. If anything, I thought it would be nice to have a bunch a guys in a room, play some tunes, knock ’em down and put out record”.

David Gilmour solo album

This might very well be one of the reasons for doing the album, but there definitely was a lot of tension within Pink Floyd at that point – both during and after the Animals tour, which ended in July 1977. They were sick and tired of each other and from touring.

Roger, especially, went through a though time and didn’t feel comfortable with the exposure and the rabid fans. His pissy mood was a stark contrast to David, who, according to himself in later interviews, enjoyed the tour.

There might also have been a financial motive for doing a solo album. By 1978 it was evident that although Pink Floyd was one of the biggest selling bands of all time, their investments had failed and they were now also subject to massive taxation. In short – they were broke.

Both Rick and David recorded solo albums in early 1978 and they did it in France to avoid taxes. Roger started writing what eventually ended up as The Wall (and Pros of Cons of Hitch Hiking) and although having a great idea for the band’s next album album, he also knew that he needed to create a success that could save the them financially.

The recording sessions

David Gilmour was largely written between November 1977 and January 1978 and recorded and mixed at Super Bear Studios in Nice, France, during a few weeks in february 1978. The album was released in May to fairly good reviews and it charted decent in both US and UK.

There are very few sources from the sessions. David has stated in several interviews that everything went really fast, which was, and still is, quite unusual for him. Sadly, there was also a fire that burned Super Bear Studio to the ground in 1986, and with it all the documents, reels and pictures from the sessions.

Interestingly, the guys David chose for his project, was his old band mates Rick Wills (bass) and Willie Wilson (drums). Both from Joker’s Wild and Bullitt – the bands David played in before joining Pink Floyd. The power trio rehearsed and recorded all of the songs together and additional session musicians were hired for piano, backing vocals and other overdubs.

Using close friends and old band mates seems to be a pattern in David’s musical career. Willie Wilson continued to work with Pink Floyd as the drummer in the Surrogate Band during the The Wall tour. Snowy White, who played rhythm guitar during both the Animals and Wall tours, is an old friend of David’s. So is Dick Parry, who played saxophone on Dark Side, WYWH, Division Bell and On an Island.

On an Island was a joint collaboration between David, his wife Polly Samson and Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music), who not only produced the album, but is an old friend and neighbour. This creative trio are also the minds behind David’s most recent album, Rattle That Lock.

Leftover songs

Comfortably Numb was originally written by David in early 1978 and intended for the solo album. A demo that surfaced in the early 90s, reveal that although the key was different, most of the structure of the song is very similar to the finished version that ended up on The Wall.

Run Like Hell also dates from the sessions. In an interview with Musician (1992), David hints that Short and Sweet and Run Like Hell was based on the same ideas, which makes sense when you listen to the main riffs.


By 1978, David Gilmour had established himself as a guitarist with a unique tone and style. His playing was firmly rooted in the blues but he also had lots of contemporary influences. His first solo album, much like On an Island, is a tribute to those influences.

David Gilmour solo album

Mihalis, the opening track, starts off with a lead that could very well have been nicked from an instrumental by The Shadows. That clean Strat tone, with the heavy use of the trem arm and echo, is typical of Hank Marvin, who is undoubtedly one of David’s biggest influences. After a few passages, David hits the Big Muff and reveals his unique ability to make influences into something of his own.

There’s a lot of blues and BB King references on the album too. Songs like Cry From the Street and No Way are reminiscent of King’s slower numbers like The Thrill is Gone. Raise My Rent is another that hints towards the dreamy landscapes of Pink Floyd, but there’s also a lot of both King and Peter Green in it.

Interestingly, some of the songs also hints towards some of David’s later compositions. So Far Away could very well be written for On an Island. A beautiful and timeless ballad featuring one of David’s finest solos (in my opinion anyway).

I can’t Breathe Anymore has some of On the Turning Away in it, with the slow intro and the tempo change during the outtro, with they also did on songs like Yet Another Movie and Keep Talking.

On repeat

There are some bits and pieces on the album that are strangely familiar. At least to the avid listener.

The solo on There’s No Way Out of Here is more or less identical to what he did on the live version of Pigs during the 1977 Animals tour.

The intro lick on Short and Sweet is a variation on D, which dates back to one of David’s compositions on Ummagumma, Narrow Way, and later on songs like Sheep (outtro) and Run Like Hell.

And the first bars of the solo on Raise My Rent? Check out What Do You Want from Me on Division Bell!

The live performance

David never toured to promote album. Shortly after its release, Pink Floyd was back together working on The Wall. He did, however, perform five songs with his band (including his brother Mark on guitar) at London’s Roxy, which were filmed for promotional use. What you see is a stripped down setup, which very much reflects the sound and mood of the album.

There’s No Way Out of Here from the promotional clips recorded in London in 1978. David’s brother Mark, plays rhythm guitar, with former Joker’s Wild and Bullitt members Rick Wills (bass) and Willie Wilson (drums).

The songs are more or less true to the album versions, although some of David’s solos are clearly improvised. Again, the clips gives us a rare glimpse of David’s tones during that late 70s era, with the Black Strat and the unmistakable Big Muff in focus.

Guitar tone

David’s debut solo album is a fantastic reference source for his Late 70s tones. It’s perhaps closest to the tones he had during the 1977 Animals tour, which were mainly driven by the use of Big Muffs and heavy modulation.

His main guitars for the sessions appears to have been the Black Strat, which now featured the 1963 rosewood neck and a DiMarzio FS-1 bridge pickup, and the 1955 Esquire “Workmate” Telecaster.

Five songs were filmed at Roxy in London, UK to promote the album. David’s rig featured a Conn Strobo tuner, MXR Digital Delay System I, Hiwatt DR103, Fender Dual Showman and the Pete Cornish pedal board.

Some sources also indicates that he might have used a Gretsch Duo Jet (later used on On an Island) and the #0001 Stratocaster, which he acquired around this time. David also employed a lap steel slide (probably one of the Jedsons, blonde or red).

He might have experimented with the amp setup, using perhaps a couple of Fenders, but his main setup was a Hiwatt DR103 head driving a WEM speaker cabinet. The signal from his guitar and pedalboard, was split between the Hiwatt and a Yamaha RA200 rotating speaker cabinet. This setup was also used on the Animals album and tour, and later for the Wall album and tour and last on The Final Cut.

Effects-wise, David most likely used the 1976 Pete Cornish pedalboard he used on the Animals album and tour, and later on The Wall, but he might have used stand alone pedals as well. By early 1978, the pedalboard had gone through several changes and upgrades, but the main effects for the sessions, where an EHX Ram’s Head Big Muff, EHX Electric Mistress (1976 model), Pete Cornish ST2 (Colorsound Powerboost clone), MXR digital delay and the Yamaha RA200 for rotary tones and modulation.

Check out the David Gilmour 1978 gear guide for a complete run-down of David’s rig and a song by song effects setup.

Setting up your David Gilmour 1978 tones

Although David mostly used the Black Strat for the sessions, the album doesn’t come off as a typical Stratocaster album. At least on in the same sense as Division Bell or On an Island. Most of the tones can easily be replicated with a Telecaster, P90 pickups and even a Les Paul with low output pickups. Still, a Strat with late 60s neck and middle pickups and a hot wound bridge (DiMarzio FS1, Duncan SSL5 or similar), will get you the most authentic tones.

You want the amp to have as much headroom as possible. Fenders and Hiwatts has tons of it but if you choose a smaller amp for your bedroom then make sure it’s capable of producing a warm and well balanced clean tone. The amp usually sounds best just at the very edge of breakup, so experiment with the pre-gain and master volume controls.

If your amp has two channels then the gain channel can often produce a better result. It often has a dash more compression and mid range than the clean channel, which goes well with your pedals. See the Amp Tone feature for more on setting up your amp.

The effects

A Big Muff is a must to nail the tones on this album. It’s used on almost all the songs, for both leads and rhythms, and the pedal really defined David’s late 70s tones. David used a mid 70s Ram’s Head for that scooped and aggressive tone.

There is a lot of crunchy overdrive tones on the album as well. David might have employed an amp, like a Fender, to provide the dirt but he most certainly used either a Colorsound Powerboost or the Pete Cornish ST2, which is basically the same pedal. That glassy, fat low end crunch is crucial for songs like Cry From the Street and Short and Sweet.

David Gilmour 1978 first solo album gear

The late 70s was the era of the flanger and David was probably one of the very first guitarists to really embrace the Electric Mistress and use it extensively on both albums and in live setups. That liquidy flanging is essential to songs like Mihalis (rhythms and solo), So Far Away (solo), Short and Sweet (rhythms) and I Can’t Breathe Anymore (rhythms).

You can’t really get authentic tones without that mild rotary modulation that’s draped around all of his tones. The Yamaha RA200 cabinet has a unique tone that’s much more liquidy and chorusy than the conventional Leslie cabinet, which has a more defined tremolo character. Blending the Yamaha with the Hiwatt amps, was also different to just plugging the guitar straight into the rotary cab, which is what most guitarists did at the time.

You could go for a chorus that has an effect volume control, like the CostaLab Chorus Lab, but the best pedal to simulate the Yamaha is the Boss RT20. It sounds OK as a Leslie simulator but it nails the Yamaha perfectly and it has a master volume, which allows you to blend in the amount you need – much like how David blends the Yamaha with the Hiwatts.

A good sounding delay is of course always a must for replicating David’s tones. While his first solo album feature a fairly modest use of delays, it is all over the album, on both leads and rhythms. By 1978, David had replaced the old Binson echo machines with new digital technology and the MXR Digital Delay rack systems.

You’ve heard the mantra before. The secret to nailing David’s tones is to keep it simple. There really isn’t a whole lot going on and as discussed above, what you hear is very much what went on in the studio. The guitars are unpolished to underline and capture the live feeling of the band.

You really need only 2-3 effects for each song. Experiment with your amp settings, to get a fat clean tone, and use the guitar volume control to create dynamics. Study the bends and vibrato techniques and also pay attention to how David’s using both familiar blues figures and more contemporary rock, blended with his unique use of effects.

What’s your opinion on David’s solo debut? Love it hate it? Please share your thoughts in the comments field below!

90 thoughts on “David Gilmour’s debut solo album – the history and the tones”

  1. Probably my favorite album of all time, had it on a cassette player, would lay down on a breakwater on Lake Erie and play whole album over and over while reflecting on life at the time. Great memories!

  2. 96 rock in Atlanta,Ga.used to play newly released albums every sat.nihgt 12:am from beginning to end bth sides. When they did Gilmores first solo 1978 I recorded it on my reel to reel to get it all. My brother and I listened to it and we’re hooked. Bought it as soon as it hit the
    local record store. Still have it and love it. Protect cover and album sleeve.
    Love David attack on the guitar.My fav. next Hedrix.
    Rock on forever Mr.

  3. Thanks for the very informative article. I still play this CD regularly in the car. While his later solo albums might have been interesting for him as an artist, trying out songs in other styles and incorporating horn sections and things, his first solo album is most enjoyable to me as a listener.
    The overall sound of the album has a nice smooth analog warmth. Like the warm sound of the first Boston album and a few others, the overall sound is full, warm, and very enjoyable.
    The guitar tones that Gilmour and the recording engineers at Super Bear Studio captured are in my opinion the best he’s ever recorded. While his tones on Floyd albums are great, each solo on this first solo album has a different, unique, and amazing tone. The subtleties of his playing like his use of percussive muted notes, the way he attacks the strings and so forth are captured so well in the solos on this album. And there is never a harsh or ear piercing tone. The tones he and Super Bear Studio captured have edge and cut, but there is an analog warmth and smoothness to the guitar tones and the band’s sound overall.
    Gilmour’s songwriting for the album is outstanding too. As I mentioned, he may have stretched out more as a composer or arranger on the next few solo albums, but the melodies and arrangements, even the more improvised instrumental pieces, are the ones I enjoy hearing most.
    A very unique and historic album!

    BTW for those who have asked about various pedals or rotating speakers to capture the tone of the RA-200, a friend recently brought to my attention the GG Audio Spin rotary speaker plugin. I got it and I’m very impressed. This plugin has an RA-200 emulation, as well as Leslie emulations. The RA-200 sounds very realistic. It has gotten me that next step closer to nailing may favorite guitar tones.

  4. Diego Manriquez

    Hey Bjorn! Quick question when setting a Boss RT-20 should I place it before the delay or after the delay? In other words should it be the last pedal in the chain before the amp? Thank you ! Big fan of your work and David’s first album!

    1. Depends on how you use it. Obviously, David had a split after his pedals and delays, with one mono into a Hiwatt and one mono into a Yamaha rotary cab. You can do that with the RT20, if you’re using two amps and the RT20 placed between the split and one of the amps.
      In a mono setup, with one amp, I like to have the RT20 before the delays much like a chorus. It sounds cleaner and you can use the mix controls to dial in the amount of rotary you need.

  5. Hi Bjorn, I’m confused how to set the amp for the Gilmour sound. Here you say the amp should have much headroom; elsewhere I read to have the amp as clean as possible. But then, here you also say to have the amp at the very edge of breakup, and other posts I read about a bit of amp break up to smooth the distortion…these things seem to contradict in my mind. Please can you explain a bit more if and when the amp adds distortion, or when it is just the sound of the pedal? I think clean and with headroom is not the same as edge of breakup!

    1. I can see how that may be confusing. I write these articles and forget what terms and words I use in the previous ones :) Anyway, by headroom I mean that the amp should be able to play clean. You should be able to set the amp up for a clean tone and loud volume without getting any distortion, break-up or too much compression. That makes it easier to get a clean tone, obviously, but also to dial in the right ammount of pre and out volume. David sets his Hiwatts at the edge of break up. The tone is clean but the pre-amp is driving the tubes hard enough to get a bit of tube compression and just a hair of grit. A fully clean amp often sound flat and makes pedals sound fizzy. Marsall amps often has less headroom as they either tend to distort on low volume or, they have a lot of compression. Hiwatts has much more headroom. A Fender twin has tons of headroom and might be too clean.

  6. No frills here…it’s the album that made me pick up the guitar. Nothing else has had that kind of influence in my desire to play and to eek out Gilmour’s glassy and fluid tones and the crunch combined before or since. That’s how powerful his approach to the guitar, particularly the Strat, has been in my guitar-playing lifestyle. Still trying to do it from the heart and hands at the same time…no one played it like Dave. And it’s likely that no one ever will…

  7. Hello Bjorn

    Some months ago I bought a damaged Yamaha RA100 and I’ve just finished to repair it. Awesome tone machine!

    I’ve read all your articles about Gilmour use of rotating speakers, and my question is: in a dual setup (signal split between normal amp and the RA100) do all effects go to both the amp and the Yamaha? or is the amp wet and the Yamaha dry? (is only used for mix the clean rotating speaker sound with the normal amp)

    Thanks! and congratulations for your fantastic work


    1. David has all his effects running into both the Hiwatt and rotary. The board is split after the last effect, including delays.

  8. Fantastic article as usual my friend. I’ve always loved this album since my cousin first played it for me back in the 70’s. I also loved about face and it sounded like you didn’t really care for it. I know it has that 80’s production to it but I think it features strong material especially the ones that Pete Townsend helped out on and some great playing from David. I had the privilege of catching the tour when came through Boston. One of my first concerts at age 15. (Almost missed it cause me mum found rolling papers in my pants pocket while doing the laundry). Keep up the great work, I never miss an article. Respectfully

    1. Thanks Brian! I agree that there are some really strong moments on AF. Especially Murder and Near The End… But I think it suffer from both the production and some of the songs seems a bit forced. I got the same problem with Rattle That Lock, while I can listen to his debut and On an Island anytime. They just sound more relaxed and better prouduced to my ears. A matter of taste I guess :)

  9. Hey Bjorn, I just have a quick addendum where you mention the Fender 1000 pedal steel: it didn’t have humbucking pickups – it had 8-string Jazzmaster pickups! The later ’60s versions had Jaguar pickups, and also came in 10-string versions (models 800 and 2000, for single and double necks). On the Wish You Were Here page, you refer to it as a Fender Stringmaster pedal steel, but the Stringmasters had no pedals and were consider a “console steel” and had two Duo-Sonic/Mustang style-pickups per neck. Stringmasters came in two-, three-, and four-neck versions, each with 8 strings; the 6-string Stringmaster that Gilmour started using after Pulse was just called the Deluxe 6 (also available as a Deluxe 8) and the double neck version was the Dual-Six (used by Steve Howe of Yes, and…me! I consider mine, currently loaded with Fender-Lace Gold Sensors, to be the Steinway of lap/console steels).

    Also, though he didn’t have the pedals hooked up during the 2003 Dark Side of the Moon documentary, he did have them on it when he used it on stage in June of 1974 – and they’re kind of a pain to attach, with a separate case for the board that the pedals are mounted to, and rods that get popped in to each pedal one at a time – much easier to leave that entire case at home, so he probably intended to use them back then. I’m sure he used them on most of the Unicorn tracks that he produced, which started that same year.

    1. Thanks for the info! Yes, there are some pics of him using it during the summer dates of 74. Not sure he used the pedals and hard to tell just by listening to the bootlegs.

  10. Great post as ever. I think I bought the album pretty much when it was released and really liked it. Strangely I haven’t listened to it in years. Now inspired to give it a spin.

    1. I agree, it has that very mellow sound and relaxing mood, kind of a calmer sounding Division Bell, it’s my favorite Gilmour solo album. Those TD+Fender Tweeds/Hiwatt combo tones have something special. When studying for college exams or doing programming projects my mind flows much better when I’m listening those albums, it’s like a secret sauce. On a Cub12 I find a mix between the smoother Hustle Drive into the clearer Blues Mood gives me those tones spot on.

  11. Bjorn,
    I remember seeing his solo tour at DAR on June 1st 1984. Such a small hall and I was SO young! Run like Hell was preformed by him and his bandmate shouting out lyrics alternately and Comfortably Numb closed out the show. Maybe 1,000 fans in total.
    Four years later at RFK, total pandemonium when he brought the band in front of 60,000 fans. The complete house setup failed during ‘Money’ – no panic, they played the chorus & refrain for twenty minutes(!!), just using the stage-based amps while the crew fixed the soundboard. Such great memories!!!

  12. Michael Streichhan

    Hi Björn, thanks a lot for your great work. As for the album: I’ve been loving the music and the sounds for quite some time. Do you happen to have any idea of the delay settings on the ‘Marvin’ solo part in Mihalis (ms/repeats/intensity)? I bet you do :) Cheers Michael

    1. From the top of my head I would guess 440ms, which seems to be the main setting he used for the MXR DDL at the time. There doesn’t appear to be much delay on that track but try setting it up for 440ms, with a moderate mix and 6-7 repeats.

  13. The first David Gilmour solo album I heard was “About Face.” I bought it in 1984 while I was stationed in the Middle East. I learned “About Face” was his second effort when I returned stateside in 1985. I became occupied with other things and had forgotten about it. Thirty-one years later while I was looking to bolster my Pink Floyd collection, I saw David’s self titled cd and bought it. It is truly an excellent album.

  14. Cgithmark1@carolina.rr.com

    Hey Bjorn,

    Great post! I am thinking about getting an RT-20. When you use the RT-20 does it become the modulation effect or do you use it In addition to other modulation such as flanger, chorus, etc.?



  15. Born have you ever tried contacting a company to try and make the rosary speaker part of a Yamaha ra-200? I contacted Motionsound and never got a response. I think if someone was to offer such a thing they could make a killing. I’d buy one in a heart beat. It could possibly be powered by an amp head. I may try contacting again. What do you think?

      1. Glad I’m not alone! Lol I tried motion sound again and got nothing. I may just try to make it myself. Oh well

  16. Very great article! Thanks!

    This is an album that I really like to listen from time to time. Its simplicity is relaxing and makes me feel zen.

    Does anyone know why he does not play those songs today? He had a lot of opportunities… I find no information on this. No interview

    Any ideas?

    1. I don’t David consider his first albums to be up to standard with what he’s done with Floyd or with On an Island. It’s a shame because that first one in particular has several songs that would fit right into his current sound and setlist.

  17. Great post. Depsite being a 30 year floyd fan, years ago after hearing the dissapointing (to me anyway) About Face album I decided that David’s first solo album would’nt be worth the effort. After seeing this blog entry I decided to check it out………and I now can’t stop playing it. A really good album, and to me at least as good as On an Island. Some great songs, particularly “Now way out of here” which is a good as any of his other solo stuff (which begs the question why he has’nt performed this live much since!).

    Anyway, thanks for getting me to buy this album – just dissapointed that I waited so long to do so.

  18. Hello, Bjorn.

    I haven’t posted any comment for a long time, even though I check the site, religiously, every day – can’t thank you enough for all your work and for making me want to start to play again, with a better rig, since I discovered gilmourish.com, in late 2006.

    Well, I just wanted to tell you how happy I am today, because David’s south american tour has just been confirmed!!! He’s coming to Brazil and I will finally see the man live! Can’t wait to get the tickets…

    On the other hand, I’ve just listened to his new song called “Today”.
    Well, what a disappointment… A real contender (along with “Blue Light”) for the “Worst-Gilmour-Song-Ever” prize.
    I was not very impressed by “Rattle That Lock” either, even though it was a bit more infectuous. That train jingle really sticks in our minds (and I don’t know if it’s a good thing, after all). But it has a nice vocal performance. I haven’t posted my opinion on that track, when you asked about, but, from the first teaser I heard, it reminded me of Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” (imagine that!). It also reminds me of David Bowie, specially the guitar solo tone, which sounds like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s collaborations with Bowie (Let’s Dance). Well, at least it’s a good thing… Didn’t care for the lyrics, though… C’mon, it’s kinda big of a stretch to say it comes from “Paradise Lost” (“Gotta do it”?!?!?).

    I’m not particularly impressed with the bit I heard from “A Boat Lies Waiting”, too, although it doesn’t seem to be a bad song.
    “5AM”, on the other hand, gave me a little hope.

    The fact is, unfortunatelly, I don’t think it’s gonna be a very good album – hope I’m proved wrong. For the record, I was not that impressed by “The Endless River”, either, although it had some moments (that, unfortunatelly, were brief and lead to nowhere). I guess I’m getting old and grumpy.. :)

    Talking about your post, DG/78 album, on the contrary, is great! So many great songs. It was pretty hard to find in Brazil, on the vinyl era (and I don’t even know if it was released here, unlike About Face and Pros and Cons, that got local releases). I just got to hear it (and Rick’s Wet Dream) in the early 90s, on CD. Always loved it, specially “There’s No Way Out Of Here”, “Cry From The Street”, “Raise My Rent” and “No Way”. Great guitar tones, too.

    Well, this post is already too long. Sorry. I’ll leave some comments on About Face and OAI for another time.

    Just let me say it again, ’cause I still can’t believe:




  19. I bought this album whilst on holiday in Windermere (English Lake District) with my parents in 1978 – I was 14 years old and it was the first LP I ever bought.

    I still love the lakes and this album?

  20. Very nice to see some new site content about David and the glory years. I realize Bjorn is extremely busy, and we’re very lucky he’s continued to keep his site going long after the workload surpassed ‘hobby’ status. The information here is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable Pink Floyd resources on the Internet. Right up there with the Echoes FAQ from the 90s, maybe only second to it.

    I have to admit I’ve been less interested in the new content over the past year or two. Every new article seemed to be yet another article reviewing another overdriver, muff clone, etc.

    I actually took the time to read this one, it was a real treat.

    Thank you, Bjorn.

    1. Thank you, Steve! Appreciate your kind words and honesty. It was fun to write and there will certainly be more of this in the feature… and less reviews :)

  21. His first solo album is my favorite. He had a more agressive tone and the album, imo, was alot more mellow than other pink floyd albums. I hope to hear some of these songs live in NYC. One question, on cry from the street is the first solo a muff or the powerboost? I hear alot of low end but it doesnt sound as heavy as a muff. Btw thanks for the article! Love it!

    1. I’ve always thought of that solo as a Muff, perhaps through a Twin or something considering the heavy bottom. Could very well be the Powerbooster/ST2 at full throttle…

      1. Ah I see. The other day I was playing with my overdriver CRANKED, trying to get the “have a cigar live in 1975” tone. It is VERY heavy and very well could be passed off as an overdrive when maxed out, IMO. Or a fuzz rather. You have better ears than me though so you are probably right about the muff. BTW…I got very very close on the have a cigar live tone. I had to crank it big time, but like I said it sounded very similar. Comes to show, if you match good pickups with a good amp like the reeves custom 50, theres really no better sound out there ;) lol take care Bjorn! I cant wait to hear your review of Rattle That Lock all the way through and his live performance!

  22. My roommate bought thel album when it first came out, and I don’t think it was taken ofc the turntable for a week! In my opinion,it is the only solo album of David’s that I ever thought he showed his incredible talent to it’s fullest. I know I’ve made it clear many times that few Floyd songs, or members solo efforts post 1980 are indicative of what they were capable of,and have never bought a post Wall album by Floyd, or any member. Of course there are a few songs on every album,( except perhaps MLOR, that I love, but they are few and far between. However, the 1978 self titled LP is a thng of beauty, but sadly, I’d almost forgotten about it until this article. I will have to go out and get another.copy of it soon. The raw, Animals like tones on some tracks are some of his finest, and I think I’ll learn a few of the songs and add them to my repertoire! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

    Peace Bjorn, KEITH

  23. Great, informative article, Bjorn. It’s so great we (the Internet) :) have you around!

    I enjoy the first album but I actually like “About the Face” more. Even if it’s out of character and cheesy, it’s at the same time more exploratory. I’m generally into the ’80s, so I’m this weird kind of Floyd fan, who really dig “Momentary Lapse of Reason”.

    “David Gilmour” has some, dare to say, muzak quality to it IMO. I’m having troubles concentrating on it. It’s a great background music with a very nice mood, but it takes me nowhere.

    1. Fair enough :) There are some great moments on About Face, like Murder and Near the End but for the most part, I think it’s too dated. Momentary suffer from the same 80s sound but I really love the songs! Cheers!

  24. Always look out for your gear posts on davids set ups always informative and well written i’ve tried most effects set up to get that classic gilmour lead sound but it always falls short unlike yourself Bjorn who has his tone nailed down for fun… great article as always tho Cheers !!

    1. Thank you Tony! There’s a lot of different things that makes up a tone. Everything from the tiniest screw to the guitar and amp :) Keep on experimenting and practicing :)

  25. I will see David at Madison square garden! Thanks for all this great info about how David does what he does, very cool stuff.

  26. Manuel Martínez

    Once again, thank you very much for the work of writing the article and the work it takes to create it. For me the Album “David Gilmour” is very good, the best of all the solo albums of the members of Pink Floyd Wet Dream with Rick.

    1. I think that I find ‘Wet Dream’ to be the best structured of the solo Floydists’ albums. Snowy White does a great job of filling David’s shoes whilst being able to leave Rick enough space to make his own decisions. You can almost hear the relief of Rick being free from the weight of Floyd on that.

      1. Great album. Same goes for David’s 78 solo album as well, I think. Both seems to have had an urge and need to do something different at that point.

    1. Hard to tell. There was a MXR Dynacomp on the board but whether he actually used it on the sessions or not, I really don’t know. I would suspect that he didn’t, as one usually record without and add compression naturally by recording onto tape or using effects in the mixing.

  27. Hi Bjorn, i tried to post this morning i wouldve been the first too , but i was on a ferry to Ireland and it kept timing out before i could do it :)

    Ive been listening to this album alot this week , i absolutely love Davids tones from this era , animals and DG
    are my favourite, raise my rent solo tone and Mihalis rhythm i love…

    Glad you did this post ! Im really getting excited for RAH now, i’m there thursday 24th!

    On another subject i got a power boost from steve at buffallo fx two weeks back , i struggled to see what the fuss was about for abit until i found the sweet spot at about 3oclock just before it breaks up and boom!! My clean tones , muff tones and fuzz tones all got so much more authentic…. thanks for the help!! Keep doing what your doing…. if your near rah the weekend i am i owe you a drink :-)

  28. HI Bjorn,
    this article is fantastic, I hope you’ll be rewarded for all the time and dedication you put into each of them, you’re a source of inspiraiton for everyone. If only I had access to all these information 20 and more years ago when I started to play…
    Ah..forgot…the album? That was a nice job, the best of all the 3 he did.

  29. I love both the songs and the tone on the album. I might even go as far to say that it’s my favourite album he’s been involved with (inlcuding all Pink Floyd albums). It’s that good!

    Thanks for the great post BTW. :)

  30. I like his 1st album but must admit that it feels uncomfortably close to post
    Waters Floyd & that makes me think of these more as David ‘solo’ efforts than Pink Floyd, proper. (excuse me, now, while I duck for cover!)

    1. I think all of Davdi’s solo work and the later Floyd albums show that David is more of a shorter song kind of guy. Even close to the standard pop format.

      1. Hasn’t David said that he disliked doing The Wall because it was more about short songs? I’m sure he has stated that he was glad to get back to the kind of thing Floyd were doing before The Wall once Roger had gone.

  31. I absolutely love the album, it’s like a extension of David’s Animals and Wall contributions which are my favorite tones of his with the live Gdnask sound being a close second. Mihalis is a wind the day down kind of song for me with that trailing Muff/Mistress solo that gets slower and slower at the end. My wife who’s not a big Floyd fan by any means sings these songs when I’m listening in the car so that’s how good it is haha.

    Where do you put the RT-20 in your chain Bjorn? Before or after the delay? I would think you would want it at the end if your truly going to use it as a Yamaha sim. I’m seriously considering purchasing one(or the MXR Univibe). I run stereo with a Nova Delay at the end currently so I think I could place it in either position. Thanks for your contributions to help us amateurs with the Gilmour sound!

    1. Hi Brian! I have mine before the delays but that’s how I like it. The “proper” way to do it in terms of replicating David’s setup, would be to either have it after the delays or, on a separate line to a second amp.

  32. It would be cool to see an article on David’s work and gear used with other artist. I have always dug his solo on we got married with Paul McCartney. Just a thought.


  33. As usually a great article,
    thanks for the time and effort you put into this page. I look forward to checking it everyday!


  34. Great post, as usual, you set a high bar for anyone else who would document things like this! Love that album all the way through.

  35. Very informative as always. Love the nods to comfortably numb and run like hell…
    Dave had always had his own sounds that are unique to him…like any talented musician. Love the pedal round up…God knows what they would cost if of course you could actually get them. Still there are other alternatives that will get you close.
    Anyone have an honest opinion about the nux timecore digital delay that looks a lot like the the tc electronics Nova delay.
    Nice one Bjorn…you still haven’t said which concert you will be attending.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.