Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour is undoubtedly one of the most skilled people on the planet with a pen in his hand, but even he can’t help looking over his shoulder and wishing he had written other songs by other artists — with one song, in particular, standing out to him as the perfect piece of music.
Gilmour famously wasn’t a founding member of Pink Floyd, but the group welcomed the guitarist into the fold as a replacement for their ailing singer and founder Syd Barett. Initially, alongside the troubled musician, Gilmour took over the guitar sections and was mainly included to ensure the band could still function on stage. Soon enough though, Gilmour stood across from Roger Waters, Nick Mason on drums and Richard Wright on keys and he soon took over the mic. As an entity, there’s perhaps no greater inspirational figure in popular music.
His influence the shape of Pink Floyd, Gilmour hugely rejuvenated the group and helped them become one of the most revered bands of all time, his presence lifting the band to newfound heights. That said, there is one track that he’d still adore to have him in his arsenal.
Gilmour has spoken about this track on a number of occasions, with it making his first pick when he appeared on BBC’s Desert Island Discs in 2003 and it is the blissful ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by The Kinks. “On a lovely warm beach, to listen to this in ‘somewhere else’ sunset, and missing London would be a wonderful moment,” Gilmour shared with Uncut Magazine in 2015.
He also shared The Kinks played a part in inspiring ‘Fat Old Sun‘ from Pink Floyd’s 1970 album Atom Heart Mother. “I remember,” he disclosed, “thinking at the time, ‘What have I ripped this off? I’m sure it’s by the Kinks or someone’ But since whenever it was – 1968, ’69 – no one has ever yet said, ‘It’s exactly like this.’ it’s a nice lyric, I’m very happy with that.”
At the premiere of his new DVD Remember That Night – Live At The Royal Albert Hall, Gilmour spoke again about the special place that the song has in his heart, revealing, “for me, the perfect pop song is ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by the Kinks. I would have loved to have written that.”
‘Waterloo Sunset’ can do something that very few songs have the capacity to do, which is transporting you as the listener to a different place. On this occasion, it moves you to London’s glorious summer skyline and it doesn’t get much better than that, especially when this location means so much to Gilmour, one which he owes so much to for helping create that late sixties movement that is synonymous with the counterculture boom.
Stream the song, below.