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Pink Floyd - Learning To Fly (promo single) CD (album) cover

LEARNING TO FLY (PROMO SINGLE)

Pink Floyd

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This is a 12" promo single originally released in Sept. 1987. The cover art is from this vinyl release and as I understand it, the CD promo had different cover art. It features two versions of the song Learning to Fly, from Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason album. It included the full LP version of the song and an edited version that was released as a single. The original single contained Terminal Frost, from the same album, on the B side.

Learning to Fly was a very different song for Pink Floyd. It sounded nothing like the band had ever created before and was even very different from David Gilmour's solo output. It was clearly radio-friendly, upbeat, and a drastic departure from the depressing The Wall and The Final Cut, the band's previous two albums with Roger Waters. The lyrics for Learning to Fly were chiefly inspired by Gilmour's own flying lessons, but were also a metaphor for humankind's attempt to take flight spiritually. The lyrics were rather poetic and quite different from Waters' long-winded tirades about politics and other subjects. Learning to Fly even managed to make the Billboard top 100, peaking at #70 in the U.S., but failing to chart in the U.K.

I suspect this promo single is quite rare nowadays, but the music on it isn't worth your effort unless you are a completionist or a collector of rare singles of prog or prog related musicians.

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Send comments to progaeopteryx (BETA) | Report this review (#74077)
Posted Tuesday, April 04, 2006 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This version of Learning To Fly is a 12-inch promotional vinyl single. Clearly, this is for collectors as you would most likely prefer the LP version of this song. Since it's available off the Momentary Lapse of Reason album, there really isn't any reason to seek this out unless you collect this stuff. I suspect it's quite rare nowadays, but I'm not really sure.

As for the song, well it's really different compared to the band's previous recordings. Gilmour is now at the helm and his lyrical skills are more of a poetic nature than the long anti-this and anti-that diatribes of Waters. Musically, it's actually quite refreshing compared to the darkness of The Wall or The Final Cut, but it's much more radio friendly. To me, it seems as if Gilmour was really trying to get some airtime on the radio with this as it fits the AOR scheme of things more than progressive rock. It's somewhat similar to material on Gilmour's About Face solo album, but more polished and with more synthesizers.

I like the song, but due to the nature of the format of this item and it's availability elsewhere I must give it two stars. For collectors of rare 12-inch promotional singles and such.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#133925)
Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 'Learning To Fly' - Pink Floyd (Single)

From the album 'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason', Pink Floyd's 'Learning To Fly' was a fairly big song on the radio around the late eighties. Although not even comparing to the sort of quality the band had achieved earlier on their career, 'Learning To Fly' is a fairly good song doused in eighties sampled beats and a repetitive, catchy guitar lick that goes on throughout the track. Due to the fact that Floyd had not been functioning together as a unit for quite some time by this point, 'Learning To Fly' feels more like a David Gilmour solo piece than a band track, but especially when compared to the lows that many other classic progressive rock giants had fallen over the course of this decade, it's this much we can settle for.

Very true to the song title, 'Learning To Fly' has a sense of floating throughout, soaring over an open plain. This feeling comes across through the light synths and uplifting nature of the song; there's nothing here that could be considered melancholic or sad in nature. Instead, the song feels like an affirmation in music. For the singles promo release on which this song came on alone, there are two versions; an LP version and radio edit, but they are fairly similar, so there is little point in comparing the two. Truly, the best thing that this song has going for it is the ongoing instrumental idea that cycles onward through most of the song, going from some tinny beats to a higher register guitar lick that is instantly memorable and enjoyable to hear. Unfortunately, the vocal melodies do not feel quite as powerful, and the way the song progresses is a bit disappointing, only sticking to one main idea throughout the entire track.

A pleasant enough song for David Gilmour, but I can't say this compares to any of the band's best material.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#457512)
Posted Sunday, June 05, 2011 | Review Permalink
memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Learn to Fly!

Honestly, there is not much to say about this single. "Learning to Fly" was probably the most successful track from their first Waters-less album entitled "A Momentary Lapse of Reason", it was also a radio single, so clearly the direction of Pink Floyd's music was a little bit different. With Gilmour as the leader (hypothetically) this track functioned as an attractive and catchy piece of music that would appeal to Pink Floyd fans.

I am not sure if the song is actually a let-down, but I know it did really have success and even gained new fans for the band. Well, so then the decision of making this a 12-inch vinyl single was taken. The fact is that here you will not find any other song, just the original version and the radio-edit version of Learning to Fly, nothing more. So if you like the song, buy it, if you are a die-hard Pink Floyd fan, buy it, otherwise it is not worth it. My final grade will be one star, since I believe this is only for completionists. However?

Enjoy it!

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Send comments to memowakeman (BETA) | Report this review (#479485)
Posted Saturday, July 09, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Promotional single released in 1987 by a Roger Water-less version of Pink Floyd, which I consider a pale imitation of the real Floyd. They needed Roger, warts, angst, and all. COnflict produces great music. Harmony produces this. "Learning to FLy" is probably my favorite post-Waters tune by the band along with "High Hopes", but that's not saying a lot. This release contains the album version as well as a pointless editied version. Why bother? This is a kind of rare release but is not really worth too much money or digging around for. Bland and just barely satisfying. 2 stars only

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#732061)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Learning to Fly is a brilliant track, my favourite on the "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" album. It works well live also and is atmospheric with lyrics that perfectly capture the thrill and dangers of flight. It is certainly a powerful song and there are 2 versions on the single, the album track and an edited radio friendly version which is almost identical apart from the extended musical moments.

The single is rare these days and the sleeve design is rather strange, having nothing to do with the album cover design by Storm. It is for collectors but I think the song is terrific and really captures the exhilaration of flight especially in a small plane soaring high over the horizon, and I think of it everytime I am airborne in flight.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#753111)
Posted Monday, May 14, 2012 | Review Permalink

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