White Label Wednesday: David Gilmour, “Blue Light”

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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.

David Gilmour Blue Light 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.

David Gilmour – Blue Light (12″ Mix)




  • http://jackfear.blogspot.com Jack Feerick

    Kevorkian was kind of a two-faced beast. Yeah, he could do some wildly inventive stuff, but he was also the go-to guy for rockers just dipping a toe in the remix world – see also his work with U2 around the same time period; he could make a rock song danceable without totally deconstructing it.

    What's funny about “Blue Light” is that all the bits that sound “remix-y” – the horns, the Latin percussion, the funk bass breaks – are all present in the album version. Kevorkian didn't actually add any elements at all; he just lengthened the instrumental breaks, really.

  • benw

    I am a pretty fanatical Pink Floyd fan, and I did not even know of this song's existence. Or perhaps I had seen it long ago and just was blocking it out somehow. Makes sense that Dave would want to quickly re-assemble the Floyd to try and erase 'Blue Light' from people's memories.

  • http://jackfear.blogspot.com Jack Feerick

    Yeah, because artists should only ever do one kind of thing ever, and God forbid they should stray beyond the comfort zones of their fanatical fans.

    Here's a thought: “Blue Light” = a million zillion times better than anything Pink Floyd did ever, PRECISELY BECAUSE it's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

  • benw

    Oh I don't know, Dave's 'About Face' album takes some chances and it's a solid album. I even enjoy the much-maligned Dave-Floyd albums occasionally. I like music that is danceable, but those horns. It's those horns.

  • JohnHughes

    Jack, I like the cut of your jib, boy.

    Seriously, I HATEHATEHATE Pink Floyd, yet loved this song when MTV flogged it to death back in the day (it was played about every 15 minutes, unless I'm misremembering).

    Having said that, I can understand why it would give Floyd fans minor strokes.

  • JohnHughes

    …and to be fair, “(Another Brick In) The Wall” wasn't exactly un-danceable…

  • benw

    Or the dance mix of “Money” that came out in the early 80s. I will say “Blue Light” is better than the album Gilmour did of instrumental guitar pieces over car racing sound effects.

  • http://jackfear.blogspot.com Jack Feerick

    Yeah, because artists should only ever do one kind of thing ever, and God forbid they should stray beyond the comfort zones of their fanatical fans.

    Here's a thought: “Blue Light” = a million zillion times better than anything Pink Floyd did ever, PRECISELY BECAUSE it's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

  • benw

    Oh I don't know, Dave's 'About Face' album takes some chances and it's a solid album. I even enjoy the much-maligned Dave-Floyd albums occasionally. I like music that is danceable, but those horns. It's those horns.

  • JohnHughes

    Jack, I like the cut of your jib, boy.

    Seriously, I HATEHATEHATE Pink Floyd, yet loved this song when MTV flogged it to death back in the day (it was played about every 15 minutes, unless I'm misremembering).

    Having said that, I can understand why it would give Floyd fans minor strokes.

  • JohnHughes

    …and to be fair, “(Another Brick In) The Wall” wasn't exactly un-danceable…

  • benw

    Or the dance mix of “Money” that came out in the early 80s. I will say “Blue Light” is better than the album Gilmour did of instrumental guitar pieces over car racing sound effects.

  • http://jackfear.blogspot.com Jack Feerick

    Kevorkian was kind of a two-faced beast. Yeah, he could do some wildly inventive stuff, but he was also the go-to guy for rockers just dipping a toe in the remix world – see also his work with U2 around the same time period; he could make a rock song danceable without totally deconstructing it.

    What's funny about “Blue Light” is that all the bits that sound “remix-y” – the horns, the Latin percussion, the funk bass breaks – are all present in the album version. Kevorkian didn't actually add any elements at all; he just lengthened the instrumental breaks, really.

  • benw

    I am a pretty fanatical Pink Floyd fan, and I did not even know of this song's existence. Or perhaps I had seen it long ago and just was blocking it out somehow. Makes sense that Dave would want to quickly re-assemble the Floyd to try and erase 'Blue Light' from people's memories.

  • Pingback: David Gilmour “Blue Light (12″ Remix)” « Rock God Cred()

  • http://jackfear.blogspot.com Jack Feerick

    Yeah, because artists should only ever do one kind of thing ever, and God forbid they should stray beyond the comfort zones of their fanatical fans.

    Here's a thought: “Blue Light” = a million zillion times better than anything Pink Floyd did ever, PRECISELY BECAUSE it's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

  • benw

    Oh I don't know, Dave's 'About Face' album takes some chances and it's a solid album. I even enjoy the much-maligned Dave-Floyd albums occasionally. I like music that is danceable, but those horns. It's those horns.

  • JohnHughes

    Jack, I like the cut of your jib, boy.

    Seriously, I HATEHATEHATE Pink Floyd, yet loved this song when MTV flogged it to death back in the day (it was played about every 15 minutes, unless I'm misremembering).

    Having said that, I can understand why it would give Floyd fans minor strokes.

  • JohnHughes

    …and to be fair, “(Another Brick In) The Wall” wasn't exactly un-danceable…

  • benw

    Or the dance mix of “Money” that came out in the early 80s. I will say “Blue Light” is better than the album Gilmour did of instrumental guitar pieces over car racing sound effects.