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Tracy Hitchings - From Ignorance To Ecstasy CD (album) cover

FROM IGNORANCE TO ECSTASY

Tracy Hitchings

 

Neo-Prog

3.43 | 15 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
5 stars This is the reissue of Tracy's solo album, 'From Ignorance To Ecstasy', which first came out on SI back in 1991. I reviewed it in #17, but listening to it again for the first time in aeons (it was lent, never to be returned...) it seems fitting to review it now. These days Tracy is firmly established as the singer with Landmarq, but at the time of this album originally being released she was known as being the singer in Quasar. David Wagstaffe (also ex-Quasar and now in Landmarq) played drums, Ian Salmon (now Shadowland/Arena) played bass while a young(er) Mr Nolan provided keys/ backing vocals and all of the songs and his partner in crime Karl Groom (Shadowland/Threshold) provided all guitars. Of course Clive and Karl also engineered and produced the album together. In fact it states that it was recorded at Thin Ice studios, but if memory serves me right at this time Thin Ice was literally the rear room in a house in Maidenhead, how times have changed.

Tracy has a stunning voice, good range with stacks of power when it is required, and with an album specifically written for her by someone who knew what she could achieve it is no surprise that this is a wonderful album. It starts dramatically with a tolling bell, as the introduction to "Beauty and the Beast", then long held down chords and vocal whispers just hint of what is to come. The entry of the guitar marks the change in the piece, the mood lightens and Tracy makes her entrance, breathy and gentle. Gradually the power and emphasis starts to come through, with Clive joining on vocals as she reaches the chorus. I can remember seeing Clive and Tracy performing as a duo at The Standard at about this time and it was superb.

While it is not the longest or most complicated song on the album, it is the title cut that always attracts me the most. With a gentle almost nursery rhyme feel and gentle piano it is a song that builds and builds, layer on layer, but always with Tracy full of passion. Like the rest of the album, it just reeks class. This is easily one of the finest albums that SI released and thanks to Verglas is now again available. Clive and Tracy have worked together many times through the years, as she seems to appear on virtually all of his side projects somewhere, but if only Clive could find the time to write the follow-up I for one would love to hear it.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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