About Face (album)

About Face (album)
About Face
Studio album by David Gilmour
Released 27 March 1984
Recorded 1983 – Pathé Marconi Studio, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Genre Blues-rock, progressive rock, hard rock, pop rock
Length 45:18 (original album)
45:55 (2006 remaster)
Label Harvest Records, EMI (UK)
Columbia Records, Legacy/Columbia (US)
Producer Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour
David Gilmour chronology
David Gilmour
About Face
On an Island
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link

About Face is the second solo album by the Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, released in March 1984. The album was co-produced by Bob Ezrin and David Gilmour. Two songs, "All Lovers Are Deranged", and the more radio-friendly "Love on the Air" were co-written by Gilmour, who composed the music, and his longtime friend, Pete Townshend of The Who, who served as lyricist. The remainder of the songs are credited solely to Gilmour himself. In May of the same year, fellow Floyd counterpart Roger Waters released his first official solo album The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.



The album was recorded in France with engineer Andrew Jackson at a time when Pink Floyd's future was uncertain.[1] The album was mixed by James Guthrie at Mayfair Studios in London.

Some of the musicians working with Gilmour were Jeff Porcaro, Pino Palladino, Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord, Roy Harper, Michael Kamen (who also worked on Waters' album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking), Sam Brown and Steve Winwood.

Doing this album I wanted to make a really good record. I didn't want to do it very very quickly, and I wanted to get the best musicians in the world that I could get hold of to play with me, so I thought I'd just make a little list of all my favourite musicians, you know, best drummer, best bass player, best keyboard player, and I'll work through the list to see who I can get. Jeff Porcaro was top of my drummers list, Pino Palladino was top of my bass players list, and Ian Kewley, or the Rev, as he's known, he actually came and did the bulk of the hammond and piano playing, and he was terrific. Steve Winwood was top of my keyboard playing list but he couldn't do most of the album, but I got him to do a bit. He played hammond organ on "Blue Light." I had a bit more time and was feeling a bit freer about things on this album...just more "accidents" tend to occur.
[About Pete Townshend's lyrics on About Face and Townshend's and Gilmour's works on their own solo records while being the force behind very successful bands] "I think Pete feels some restrictions on what he like to do with The Who, as I guess we all feel restrictions within everything we attempt, just because of the types of personalities and role you've created for yourself. I know he's felt uncomfortable about certain things--- things he could express in solo stuff. For me, the restriction was the scale of what Pink Floyd had become more than anything. It's nice to get out and do something on a slightly different scale; go out and do theaters, which is not really a possibility with Pink Floyd until we get a lot less popular."

Allegedly, some of the songs on About Face were being composed by Gilmour when Roger Waters began production of the Pink Floyd album, The Final Cut. Waters is said to have refused Gilmour's request for more time to complete his own (Gilmour's) material, which effectively denied Gilmour any writing credits on The Final Cut. Songs that are said to be of the pre-Final Cut period are "Murder", "Out of the Blue", "Near the End", and the musical orchestration for "Love on the Air" and "All Lovers are Deranged".[citation needed]

The Sound

The album featured the disco-style single "Blue Light" (later remixed by François Kevorkian and which was often voted as worst Floyd solo song according to the Floyd fanzine The Amazing Pudding) and another single, "Love on the Air". "All Lovers Are Deranged" and "Murder" were released as singles for North American rock radio; the former reaching No. 10 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.

"Murder", which followed (reaching No. 11), was an outcry by Gilmour about the senseless killing of John Lennon, a longtime musical peer and inspiration to him. Pino Palladino embellished the song with a solo fretless bassline, adding an edgy funk groove to the acoustic beginning of the song, leading to an instrumental bridge, where the song picks up in the speed of the beat with more electric instruments.

The album reached No. 21 in the UK and No. 32 in the U.S. and was certified Gold by the RIAA.

David Gilmour was later interviewed by Texas-based DJ Redbeard, on the radio programme, In the Studio with Redbeard during which the focus was his 2006 solo effort On an Island. He commented on About Face saying, "Looking back on it, it has some great moments on there but the whole flavour of it is too '80s for my current tastes."

About Face was re-released by EMI in Europe as a digitally remastered CD on 14 August 2006. Legacy Recordings/Columbia Records released the remastered CD in the US and Canada on 12 September 2006.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by David Gilmour, except "Love on the Air" and "All Lovers Are Deranged" lyrics by Pete Townshend

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Until We Sleep"   5:15
2. "Murder"   4:59
3. "Love on the Air"   4:19
4. "Blue Light"   4:35
5. "Out of the Blue"   3:35
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "All Lovers Are Deranged"   3:14
2. "You Know I'm Right"   5:06
3. "Cruise"   4:40
4. "Let's Get Metaphysical"   4:09
5. "Near the End"   5:36

Note: the 2006 remaster has a longer fadeout for "Until We Sleep" and "Near the End" at 5:20 and 5:50 respectively.

Versions of "Blue Light"

  1. "Blue Light" (Single Edit) – 3:52
  2. "Blue Light" (12" Mix from the "Blue Light" 12" Promo Single) – 6:10
  3. "Blue Light" (Instrumental Version, B-side of "Blue Light" 12" Promo Single) – 6:13

Unused tune

Another piece of music written for the album was not used by Gilmour.[4]

He asked Roy Harper and, separately, Pete Townshend, to supply lyrics, but felt that those provided were not messages that he could relate to. Harper subsequently used the tune, with his lyrics, as "Hope", on his 1985 album with Jimmy Page, Whatever Happened to Jugula?.[4] Townshend used it with his lyrics as "White City Fighting", which has a markedly faster tempo, on his 1985 album White City: A Novel, on which Gilmour plays.[4]


Main musicians

Additional musicians



The supporting tour for About Face, which lasted from March to July 1984, covering Europe and North America saw David perform the following songs:

  1. Until We Sleep
  2. All Lovers Are Deranged
  3. There's No Way Out Of Here
  4. Love On The Air
  5. Mihalis
  6. Cruise
  7. Short & Sweet
  8. Money
  9. Run Like Hell
  10. Out Of The Blue
  11. Let's Get Metaphysical
  12. You Know I'm Right
  13. Blue Light
  14. Murder
  15. Near The End
  16. Comfortably Numb
  17. I Can't Breathe Anymore

Tour Personnel

David Gilmour – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Gregg Dechart – keyboards
Sue Evans – percussion (July 5–16)
Mickey Feat – bass guitar
Jody Linscott – percussion (March–June)
Mick Ralphs – guitar, vocals
Raphael Ravenscroft – saxophone, flute, keyboards
Chris Slade – drums

Roy Harper and Nick Mason joined him at his shows at the Hammersmith Odeon on April 28, 29 and 30th 1984.


The inner sleeve of the LP is unusual: wider than it is tall, it does not fit into the outer sleeve if turned 90 degrees.[dubious ] In one corner are printed the words "Fleudian slip", most likely referring to what is known as a Freudian Slip.


Album – Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1984 The Billboard 200 32
1984 Norwegian Record Charts 10

Singles – Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1984 "Blue Light" The Billboard Hot 100 62
1984 "Blue Light" Mainstream Rock Tracks 35
1984 "All Lovers Are Deranged" Mainstream Rock Tracks 10
1984 "Murder" Mainstream Rock Tracks 11


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