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Pink Floyd

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Pink Floyd Learning To Fly (promo single) album cover
2.52 | 65 ratings | 6 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1987

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Learning To Fly (LP Version) (4:53)
2. Learning To Fly (Edit) (4:21)

Total Time: 9:14

Line-up / Musicians

Performers not listed, however from the Momentary Lapse of Reason release, it was probably:

- David Gilmour / guitars, vocals, keyboards
- Nick Mason / drums, sound effects
- And others

Releases information

12" vinyl: Columbia CAS 02775 (1987)
CD: Columbia CSK 2775 (1987)
CD: CBS Samp 1167 (1987)

CDs were issued without cover art.

Thanks to progaeopteryx for the addition
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PINK FLOYD Learning To Fly (promo single) ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

PINK FLOYD Learning To Fly (promo single) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaeopteryx
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.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic Teams
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.

Review by Conor Fynes
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.

Review by 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!

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
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.

Latest members reviews

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#732061) | Posted by mohaveman | Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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