On the Turning Away

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"On the Turning Away"
Single by Pink Floyd
from the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason
B-side "Run Like Hell" (live version)
Released 14 December 1987
Recorded November 1986 – August 1987
Genre Progressive rock
Length 5:42 (album version)
4:43 (single edit)
Label EMI (UK)
Columbia (US)
Writer(s) David Gilmour, Anthony Moore
Producer(s) Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour
Pink Floyd singles chronology
"Learning to Fly"
"On the Turning Away"
"One Slip"

"On the Turning Away" is a song from Pink Floyd's 1987 album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason.[1][2] The song was a staple of live shows from the 1987-89 world tours in support of A Momentary Lapse of Reason and was one of the songs in rotation during the 1994 tour in support of The Division Bell. The song was resurrected by David Gilmour on his 2006 On an Island Tour for one night only. Live recordings exist on Delicate Sound of Thunder (1988) and Live in Gdansk (2008).


Released as the second single from the album, it reached number one on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart in early 1988. In the United Kingdom, the song charted at number 55 on the UK Singles Chart.


The song, a power ballad, references issues of poverty and oppression, lamenting on the tendency of people to turn away from those afflicted with such conditions. It ends on a determined note, with the last stanza beginning, "no more turning away" and continuing "it's not enough just to stand and stare." It is a song that recovers the mysticism of songs like "Wish You Were Here" or "Us and Them", but this time treating topics like the suffering of people; the phrase "weak and the weary" portrays the suffering of people as a big problem in today's world.[3]


The music video for the track featured a live recording and concert footage filmed during the band's three night run at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia in November 1987 directed by Lawrence Jordan (who has directed concert films for Rush, Mariah Carey and Billy Joel). Promotional videos for "The Dogs of War" and "One Slip" also used footage of this concert. The video made it to number nine on MTV's Video Countdown in January 1988.



  1. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Edinburgh: Canongate Books. p. 1177. ISBN 1-84195-551-5. 
  2. ^ Mabbett, Andy (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Pink Floyd. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-4301-X. 
  3. ^ On The Turning Away, PinkFloyd.cl, Chile. (Spanish)

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