The rock band Pink Floyd, of which the English singer David Gilmour was a member, became well-known around the world. Gilmour’s influence on the band is indisputable, as he played on all Pink Floyd albums aside from the band’s debut, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Gilmour began his Pink Floyd career when band co-founder Syd Barrett quit the group back in 1967.
Gilmour established himself as a true icon by joining Pink Floyd as a senior member, first to fill in for Syd Barrett’s drug-impaired performances as the band’s main guitarist and singer on stage and then as a permanent member after Barrett’s sanity could no longer be saved. In many ways unassuming, Gilmour’s mastery of the guitar has made him a guitar hero, but his flamboyant, distinctive songwriting approach balanced his appeal. One may see a delicate dichotomy across his influences as well.
In a 2017 interview with the magazine Guitar Techniques Insider, Gilmour named 5 albums that are among his all-time favorites. There are other aspects of which David thinks highly and which, arguably, greatly influenced his creativity and helped him build his music. He draws a lot of inspiration from some of his favorite albums, as some of you might agree.
Jeff Beck – Blow By Blow
In an interview for Jeff Beck’s 2018 documentary “Jeff Beck: Still On The Run,” David Gilmour lauded the musician’s artistic legacy, saying, “He is a maverick. A maverick guitar player who doesn’t like to repeat himself, who takes big risks all the time and has done all the way throughout his career.”
“Blow By Blow” (1975), one of Jeff Beck’s best-selling solo albums peaked at number four on the American Billboard 2000 and was given a platinum certification. It contains “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers,” one of Beck’s most well-known songs.
Ironically, Pink Floyd recruited Jeff Beck to be their guitarist before bringing David Gilmour to the group. The musician turned down the offer, though. As a guest for a 2009 performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Gilmour shared the stage with Jeff Beck.
Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland
Hendrix’s legendary Isle of Wight performance was once famously mixed by Gilmour, who afterward referred to him as the best guitarist ever. In a 2006 interview with the BBC, Gilmour said, “Jimi Hendrix, fantastic. I went to a club in South Kensington in 1966. This kid got on stage with Brian Auger and the Trinity. (He started to play) the guitar with the other way around (upside down). Myself, and the whole place, were with their jaws hanging open.”
He added, “I went to the next day to record shops and I said, ‘You’ve got anything by this guy Jimi Hendrix?’ So they said, ‘Well, we’ve got a James Hendrix’. He hadn’t yet done anything. So I became rather an avid fan waiting for his first release.”
The magnanimous Jimi Hendrix and his wondrous second album Electric Ladyland was well-liked by David.
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton
John Mayall And The Bluesbreakers’ studio album, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, was released in 1966. It has a total of 12 songs and received five-star ratings from critics. In 1966, the album peaked at number 6 on the UK Album Chart.
When he was talking about the band, he commented, “All of those guys were incredible. I spent time trying to learn how to play their licks perfectly. I would suggest any young player should try to sit down and do that. You will wind up knowing how to play their stuff quite well. But eventually, you will find your own style form that. It forces its way out of the copying.”
Dire Straits – Dire Straits
When Dire Straits’ self-titled debut album was released in 1978, “Sultans Of Swing,” one of their most well-known songs, already had a number-one smash single. David Gilmour previously admitted to Guitar Classics magazine in 1985 that Mark Knopfler, the guitarist and vocalist for Dire Straits, was an inspiration.
He said, “Mark Knopfler has a lovely, refreshing guitar style. He brought back something that seemed to have gone astray in guitar playing. These days I don’t listen to other people with the objective of trying to steal their licks. Although I’ve got no objections to stealing them if that seems like a good idea. I’m sure that I’m still influenced by Mark Knopfler and Eddie Van Halen as well.”
The Shadows – Greatest Hits
Another record chosen by David Gilmour as a favorite is the 1963 compilation CD Greatest Hits by the British instrumental group The Shadows. The record, which was created between 1960 and 1962, spent 56 weeks at number two on the UK Albums Chart.
Hank Marvin, the lead guitarist for The Shadows, was one of Gilmour’s key influences over the years. The guitarist remembered having the opportunity to watch the band perform live multiple times. He lauded the group in an interview with Music Radar from back in 2006: “The way I play melodies is connected to things like Hank Marvin and The Shadows. That style of guitar playing where people can recognise a melody with some beef to it.”