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Steve Hillage - Green CD (album) cover

GREEN

Steve Hillage

 

Canterbury Scene

4.00 | 132 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars My goodness, I skipped many albums before landing on this old trusted friend. For those of you still unsure whether Steve Hillage deserves to be among the "Three Steves" (with Hackett and Howe), the answer is a resounding yes! His hallmark slippery eelish guitar made Gong such a cosmic joyride and influenced so many young aspiring axe slingers. His previous solo albums including the stunning debut "Fish Rising" made quite a commotion back when it hit the proggy wave of the "golden years" and this recording sealed the fame of this stellar musical mind. A "Live Herald" only made the cherry on top of the sundae even tastier. "Green" kicks off into cyberspace from the get-go with a hard psychedelic voyage, a high voltage romp into devilish rhythms and incredible leads and a bizarre finale (wife Miquette on vocoder and all?) on "Sea Nature", a fabulous opening salvo. The terrific "Ether Ships" has serious preliminary vintage Tangerine Dream introduction that lends credence to some whistling lead guitar slashes and a complete plunge into the deepest space. Steve has two lead guitar solo claims to fame: sustained notes and mathematic scales, all conveniently shrouded in intense textures. His various pedaled effects were the first adventurous usage of future MIDI technology; they called "Guitar-synth" back then. Anyway, sturdy stuff this! "Music of the Trees" is only slightly more upbeat but features some incredible synthesized guitar runs, while Hillage intones in his hippy-trippy voice. His picking is bluesy, deathly brisk on occasion, searching for some delirium. Got to say something now, right away, about the drumming , the stool manned by stalwart stickmen in the funky Andy Anderson and the powerful Joe Blocker. Making room for producer Nick Mason (of Floyd fame) only makes this more remarkable. I am pretty sure it's the Pink man on the sultry "Palm Trees", a breezy ballad that lopes along with supreme guitar illuminations (what a solo!) and droll singing from Steve, a classic space ballad if there ever was one! And a pure classic that I fell in love with at first hearing when it was released. "Unidentified" is the funkier side with a manic urban bass held by Curtis Robertson (wow!) and a splendid phosphorescent lead from the Hillfish (as he was often called) a drum barrage leads into the amazing "UFO over Paris" , a breathtaking escapade with plowing bass, manic drumming and wilder almost soaring guitar solos, insistent and yet dreamy , an absolute cosmic expedition that wanders into a synthesized vapor of the deepest order. This blends into "Leylines to Glassdom" (whatever that means!), a clear trip into more experimental fields, a shuffling olla of bizarre sounds and whistling Moogs in fact closer to ex-Gongster Tim Blake material than anything. Some intricate guitar incursions do not fail to catch the ear, a luxuriant cornucopia of notes and textures. "Crystal City" (now that's a title!) reverts to the space groove , more reptilian bass and pulverizing drums to launch Steve into all kinds of gymnastics over the fret board, the vocals are drug-fuzzy and very hippie. Good stuff. After a short sonic ping-pong interlude, the masterpiece ends on a very lofty note ,the incredibly deep "The Glorious OM Riff" is a legendary composition that has a rooted riff that is positively unremitting, space rock on a grandiose scale that hammers itself far into the prog psyche, a solid platform for the Fishman to really let loose with some blitzkrieg solos, fast , remorseless and hard .I see that my pal sinkadotentree named his 3 favorite songs here and I concur to the tee! A masterful album that sits proudly among my perennial prog albums. Not hearing this is like being deaf. 5 golf courses.
tszirmay | 5/5 |

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