Rattle That Lock is the fourth solo studio album by the English singer and musician David Gilmour. It was originally released in September 2015, on the label Columbia. Gilmour completed short tours of Europe in September and October 2015 and South America in December 2015 to support the album, with a similar tour of the US and Canada following in March and April 2016. The artwork for the album was created by Dave Stansbie from The Creative Corporation under the direction of Aubrey Powell, who has worked with David Gilmour and Pink Floyd since the late 1960s.
The album was recorded at Gilmour's recording studios. Phil Manzanera, co-producer of the album, estimated that Gilmour had been writing the material for Rattle That Lock over the past five years, though he pointed out that one piano piece was recorded 18 years ago in Gilmour's living room. Most of the album was recorded at Medina Studio, in Hove – the additional recording was at the Astoria houseboat studio. The final Pink Floyd album, The Endless River, was similarly recorded and produced using a combination of the two studios. Orchestra parts were recorded at AIR Studios in London and the Liberty Choir were recorded in a South London church. The album was mixed at Astoria and mastering for all formats was performed by James Guthrie and Joel Plante at das boot recording in Lake Tahoe, California.
The title track "Rattle That Lock" was inspired by and makes use of the SNCF jingle, composed by Michaël Boumendil. Gilmour heard and recorded the jingle on his iPhone at Aix-en-Provence station while travelling to visit friends. When Boumendil first got a phone message from Gilmour, he thought it might be a prank, so didn't return the call. The lyrics for the track were written by Gilmour's wife and long time collaborator, Polly Samson and are based around the themes of Book II of John Milton's Paradise Lost. The musicians Mica Paris and Louise Marshall, together with the Liberty Choir perform on the track.
David's son Gabriel performs piano on the song "In Any Tongue", making his recording debut.
"Rattle That Lock" was the first single released from the album, it had its first radio airplay on BBC Radio 2's The Chris Evans Breakfast Show during the morning of 17 July 2015. The single was made available for digital download immediately afterwards. Also, David granted US rock radio legend Redbeard an interview and premiered the album in the US on an episode of In the Studio the week of the album's US release.
For the week beginning on 3 August 2015, BBC Radio 2 made "Rattle That Lock" their Record of the Week, guaranteeing the song at least one play per day.
On 31 July 2015, a music video for "Rattle That Lock" was released on Gilmour's website and promoted via social media outlets. The video was created by Trunk Animation under direction from Alasdair Brotherston and Jock Mooney, produced by Richard Barnett and involved 12 animators, artists and compositors. Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis served as Creative Director for the video. The video depicts the fall of Lucifer from the Kingdom of Heaven and his subsequent journey through Pandæmonium, Purgatory and Chaos to corrupt the virgin Earth and become Satan, as told in the epic poem, Paradise Lost.
The album's cover features a landscape photograph by Rupert Truman of StormStudios with painted corvidaes escaping a locked cage. The album book's photographs were taken by Kevin Westenberg with Polly Samson contributing recording session photographs. Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis is credited as creative director.
The Rattle That Lock tour was scheduled to begin on 12 September 2015 in Pula, Croatia with a special album preview show on 5 September 2015 in Brighton, England. It ended on 12 April 2016 in New York City, U.S. with a three-month break between the South American and American legs. Gilmour also performed a one-off charity show at Wrocław, Poland on 25 June 2016.
Most of the venues on the European leg of the tour were Roman amphitheatres, similar to the one featured in Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii (1971). Gilmour also played two historic venues in London: the Royal Albert Hall and KOKO (formerly the Camden Palace theatre). He also played the historic Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, having last performed there with Pink Floyd in 1972.
The touring band was made up of mostly the same musicians who accompanied Gilmour on his On an Island Tour of 2006. These were Phil Manzanera, Guy Pratt, Jon Carin, and Steve DiStanislao. Kevin McAlea, who performed with Carin at Kate Bush's Before the Dawn shows in 2014, also played keyboards on the tour in place of Richard Wright.
Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.