On an Island

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On an Island
David Gilmour On An Island.jpg
Studio album by
Released6 March 2006
Recorded2001–05
GenrePost-progressive, art rock, baroque pop, ambient
Length51:36
LabelEMI (UK)
Columbia Records (US)
Producer
David Gilmour chronology
About Face
(1984)
On an Island
(2006)
Live in Gdańsk
(2008)
Singles from On an Island
  1. "On an Island"
    Released: 15 February 2006
  2. "Take a Breath"
    Released: 3 March 2006
  3. "Smile"
    Released: 13 June 2006
  4. "This Heaven"
    Released: October 2006
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic67/100[1]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic[2]
entertainment.ie[3]
The Guardian[4]
musicOMH[5]
Mojo[6]

On an Island is the third solo studio album by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour. It was released in the UK on 6 March 2006, Gilmour's 60th birthday, and in the US the following day. It was his first solo album in 22 years since About Face in 1984 and 12 years since Pink Floyd's 1994 album The Division Bell.

History[edit]

The album features Robert Wyatt, Jools Holland, Georgie Fame, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, early Pink Floyd member Bob Klose and Pink Floyd session and touring musician Guy Pratt. Chris Thomas and Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera assisted with production. Engineering duties were undertaken by long time collaborator Andy Jackson. The lyrics were principally written by Gilmour's wife, writer Polly Samson.

Recording[edit]

Much of the album was recorded in Gilmour's private studio aboard his houseboat Astoria. The track "Smile" was heard briefly in an unmastered form on the BBC2 show Three Men in a Boat which retraced a trip on the River Thames that passed the houseboat. Other sections were recorded at David's farm in Sussex and Mark Knopfler's British Grove Studios.

Orchestrations on the album were arranged by noted Polish film composer Zbigniew Preisner and conducted by Robert Ziegler. The orchestra was recorded at Abbey Road Studios by Simon Rhodes.[7]

Singles[edit]

The album also produced two singles; the title track "On an Island" and "Smile", the latter peaking at #72 on the UK Singles Chart.[8] "On an Island" also peaked at #27 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[9]

Promo Single edits of "Take a Breath" and "This Heaven" were issued to coincide with the US leg of the tour, while "Smile" was the second single in the UK.

Other releases[edit]

Copies of the album initially purchased from Best Buy in the US contained an exclusive bonus audio CD with the instrumental track "Island Jam" which was subsequently released on the CD single for "Smile" in Europe.

The album was re-released in November 2006 with a bonus DVD of live tracks and other material.

A 5.1 mix of the album was released as part of the deluxe edition of "Live In Gdansk"

Chart performance[edit]

On an Island entered the UK charts at #1,[8] giving Gilmour his first ever chart-topping album outside of Pink Floyd. It reached #1 on the European Chart, and #2 in Canada, Portugal and Iceland. It has also provided Gilmour with his first US Top 10 album, reaching #6.

Track listing[edit]

All music written by David Gilmour.

No.TitleLyricsLength
1."Castellorizon"Instrumental3:54
2."On an Island"
6:47
3."The Blue"Samson5:26
4."Take a Breath"Samson5:46
5."Red Sky at Night"Instrumental2:51
6."This Heaven"
  • Gilmour
  • Samson
4:24
7."Then I Close My Eyes"Instrumental5:26
8."Smile"Samson4:03
9."A Pocketful of Stones"Samson6:17
10."Where We Start"Gilmour6:45
Total length:51:39
Bonus DVD
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."On an Island" (Live from the AOL Sessions, New York, April 2006.)Gilmour, Samson 
2."This Heaven" (Live from the AOL Sessions, New York, April 2006.)Gilmour, Samson 
3."Smile" (Live from the AOL Sessions, New York, April 2006.)Gilmour, Samson 
4."Take a Breath" (Live from the AOL Sessions, New York, April 2006.)Gilmour, Samson 
5."High Hopes" (Live from the AOL Sessions, New York, April 2006.)Gilmour, Samson 
6."Comfortably Numb" (Live from the AOL Sessions, New York, April 2006.)Gilmour, Roger Waters 
7."Astronomy Domine" (Live from Abbey Road television series, London, August 2006)Syd Barrett 
8."Take a Breath" (Live at the Royal Albert Hall, May 2006 (from Remember That Night))Gilmour, Samson 

Non-album tracks[edit]

"Island Jam"

"Island Jam" (6:33) (not to be confused with "Island Jam 2007") was recorded as the b-side to the "Smile" single. The track was produced by Gilmour.

Personnel[edit]

Tour[edit]

Gilmour toured the album with Richard Wright, Phil Manzanera and long-time members of the live Pink Floyd band, Guy Pratt and Jon Carin. Steve DiStanislao was brought in as drummer. The shows included the entire On an Island album plus Pink Floyd songs such as "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", "Echoes", "Fat Old Sun", "Arnold Layne", "High Hopes", "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb" among others. No songs from Gilmour's two previous solo albums were played. The tour is documented on the DVD/Blu-ray Remember That Night and the live album & DVD Live in Gdansk.

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[40] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[41] Gold 50,000*
Germany (BVMI)[42] Gold 100,000^
Italy
2006 sales
100,000[43]
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[44] Gold 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[45] Platinum 300,000^
United States 96,000[46]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ On an Island at Metacritic
  2. ^ On an Island at AllMusic
  3. ^ Reilly, Elaine (21 March 2006). "David Gilmour - On An Island". entertainment.ie. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  4. ^ John L Walters (24 February 2006). "CD: David Gilmour, On an Island | Music". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Hubbard, Michael. "David Gilmour – On An Island". musicomh.com/.
  6. ^ Blake, Mark (2008), "Raves from Dave", Mojo, p. 48
  7. ^ "David Gilmour | Music | Live in Gdańsk | Official Website". davidgilmour.com.
  8. ^ a b "David Gilmour | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  9. ^ On an Island at AllMusic
  10. ^ "Australiancharts.com – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – David Gilmour – On An Island" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – David Gilmour – On An Island" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – David Gilmour – On An Island" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  14. ^ "David Gilmour Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – David Gilmour – On An Island" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  17. ^ Sexton, Paul (16 March 2006). "Gilmour's 'Island' Yields Chart Treasure". Billboard. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  18. ^ "David Gilmour: On An Island" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Lescharts.com – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  20. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – David Gilmour – On An Island" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Album Top 40 slágerlista – 2006. 12. hét" (in Hungarian). MAHASZ. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  22. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography David Gilmour". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Italiancharts.com – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  24. ^ "Charts.nz – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  28. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – David Gilmour – On An Island". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  32. ^ "David Gilmour Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  33. ^ "David Gilmour Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  34. ^ "Rapports Annuels 2006". Ultratop. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  35. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 2006". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  36. ^ "Top de l'année Top Albums 2006" (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  37. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment (in German). offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  38. ^ "Összesített album- és válogatáslemez-lista - eladási darabszám alapján - 2006". Mahasz. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  39. ^ "Årslista Album – År 2006" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  40. ^ "Canadian album certifications – David Gilmour – On An Island". Music Canada. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  41. ^ "French album certifications – David Gilmour – On An Island" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  42. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (David Gilmour; 'On An Island')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  43. ^ "LE CIFRE DI VENDITA 2006" (PDF). Musica e dischi. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2014.
  44. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (David Gilmour; 'On An Island')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  45. ^ "British album certifications – David Gilmour – On An Island". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type On An Island in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  46. ^ Orlof, Brian (15 March 2006). "Juvenile Takes the Top Spot". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 20 May 2020.