White Label Wednesday: David Gilmour, “Blue Light”
I’ll be honest: I downloaded this mix a few months ago, after searching for it for years (decades, even), but planned to do nothing with it…until I read the comment in Dave Steed’s awesome “Bottom Feeders” column that “Blue Light” was voted the worst solo single by a member of Pink Floyd by some warped, disturbed group of people. At which point, I had to respond. Come on, really? Worst solo Floyd single ever? Can you really trust the Floyd faithful to be of sound mind to render such a judgment? As our own Ed Murray wryly observed, if you’re out of high school and still into Pink Floyd, you’ve got a problem, and their hatred of “Blue Light” proves this as well as anything. And if it didn’t, we have two words for you: “Radio Waves.” Case closed.
In fairness to those insane voters, I think I can see why they were so offended by “Blue Light.” It’s bouncy, chock full o’ horns, and has a beat you can dance to, all of which are anathema to anything Roger Waters ever stood for. But that’s sort of the point of solo albums, right? To make the kinds of records that you can’t make with your day job? And never mind the whole day job nonsense – is this song really that far removed rhythmically from “Run Like Hell”? Nope, it really isn’t, and in fact serves as a perfect bridge between “Run Like Hell” and “Dogs of War,” which would appear on the next (Waters-free, augh!) Pink Floyd album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. Ha fucking ha.
Given that the legendary Francois Kevorkian handled remix duties, the extended mix of “Blue Light” is not at all what I expected. He played it rather straight, basically making a Jellybean Benitez mix out of the song. And that’s fine, I guess, but part of me was hoping for something closer in spirit to the 12″ mix to the Firm’s “Radioactive” – or ideally, Arthur Baker’s mix of the Rolling Stones’ “Too Much Blood” – than a Jellybean mix. But let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth here. A Floyd-related 12″ mix is a Floyd-related 12″ mix. Dig in, mates.