Flashback Friday – Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

Comfortably Numb

Comfortably Numb from the 1979 Pink Floyd album The Wall demonstrates the true genius of David Gilmour on the guitar.

It had to happen, sooner or later we were going to have to chose a Pink Floyd track for our Flashback Friday and our choice is the amazing Comfortably Numb.

Really we could have chosen from a vast number of Floyd singles.  After all if you are a band that started in the 60s you are going to have a significant back catalogue.  But for us the guitar solos in Comfortably Numb are just truly amazing and this is not because David Gilmour plays one hundred notes a second.  The solo is an object lesson in creating something where the tone and expression wins out.  If I could play like this I would be a happy man indeed.

Comfortably Numb is a single that features on the Pink Floyd classic The Wall album.  The album was released in 1979 but Comfortably Numb was not released until 1980.  For the trivia hunters amongst us Comfortably Numb is 1 of only 3 singles on the album where the writing credit is shared between Gilmour and bassist Roger Waters.

The Wall album is a dark affair and this is further reflected in Comfortably Numb.  The Wall is a concept album about Pink an embittered and alienated rock star.  In Comfortably Numb Pink reflects on his memories of being feverishly ill as a child and compares this with his feeling nothing at all as an adult.  The lyrics feature interplay between a doctor treating the adult Pink, which are the verses that are sung by Waters and Pink’s inner monologue which is the chorus, sung by Gilmour.

The version we have picked is the Earls Court live version from David Gilmours 1994 Division Bell tour.  As we mentioned above the two guitar solos are truly amazing.  Gilmour is well known for his endless pursuit of the perfect guitar tone and this can really be heard in this performance.


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