Download a free song, as Pink Floyd's David Gilmour celebrates his 66th birthday

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David Gilmour is celebrating his 66th birthday with a present … for Pink Floyd fans. The legendary guitarist is offering a free download today of his song “A Pocketful of Stones” from the most recent studio release On an Island.

Click here to download the song from Gilmour’s Web site.

Issued six years ago, Island was the third solo project from Gilmour, who joined Pink Floyd in 1968 and emerged as the band’s leader in the 1980s. Floyd’s most recent release goes even further back, 1994’s Division Bell. Gilmour has since collaborated with the Orb on Metallic Spheres, but hasn’t announced plans for any other major recording project.

Island, which also included the Grammy-nominated instrumental “Castellorizon,” entered the UK charts at No. 1, giving Gilmour his first-ever chart-topper album outside of Pink Floyd, and also went platinum in Canada. Late Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright contributed to the album, in one of his last studio appearances.

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on David Gilmour and Pink Floyd. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

THE ORB FEATURING DAVID GILMOUR – METALLIC SPHERES (2010): Gilmour’s familiar Fender Stratocaster vibrato effortlessly blends with the Orb’s next-galaxy synthesizer washes, mid-tempo house flourishes and whoa-man effects. And, along the way, helps both Gilmour and the Orb reclaim a measure of their own early promise. In fact, we might just be hearing the best collaboration from any edition of Pink Floyd in the last three decades. Revisiting a pre-Dark Side of the Moon penchant for narrative instrumental musings allows Gilmour a return to his own roots, even as it hurtles him past an impossible talisman in Pink Floyd.

HAVE A CIGAR!: CELEBRATING PINK FLOYD’S MASSIVE REISSUE PROJECT: Psych-rockers Pink Floyd and EMI are launching an exhaustive re-release campaign. You could say that tickled us … pink. Released under the banner “Why Pink Floyd?,” the band started by issuing remastered editions of all 14 of its albums, with a staggered schedule of unreleased material from its archives for super-deluxe box sets. The remastered studio albums are available either separately or as a box set. To celebrate, we reminisced about a few key cuts from throughout their career.

NICK MASON: WE’D HAVE BEEN NOTHING WITHOU SYD BARRETT: ick Mason, the only member to have appeared in every different configuration of Pink Floyd, credits long-departed co-founder Syd Barrett for giving the band its “liftoff” — even as he expresses regret over how the group parted ways with the troubled singer-songwriter. “If you just look at that first album (1967?s Piper at the Gates of Dawn), the first songs — which were the things that got us a record contract into Abbey Road and all the rest of it — without Syd, I mean, you wouldn’t even have Interstellar Overdrive,” Mason said. “It’s just impossible to evaluate what would’ve existed without Syd, in my opinion.”

GIMME FIVE: SONGS WHERE PINK FLOYD, WELL, SUCKED: Everybody went through a Pink Floyd phase, right? But, the child is grown; the dream is gone. Let’s face it, some of this stuff, well, sucked. So while we still have a deep respect — and I mean that most sincerely — for, say, Dark Side of the Moon, careful adult inspection reveals that even that psych-masterpiece boasts at least one awful clunker. So, have a cigar, as we count down the stuff that didn’t quite make their hall-of-fame resume — the ones where they were tongue-tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit … well, you get the idea.

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