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Tracy Hitchings


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Tracy Hitchings From Ignorance To Ecstasy album cover
3.45 | 19 ratings | 4 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Beauty and the Beast (5:58)
2. From Ignorance to Ecstasy (4:11)
3. Escape (5:16)
4. Horizons in Your Eyes (7:33)
5. Caamora (11:26)
6. Everything I Am (4:04)
7. Hide and Seek (6:24)
8. Behind the Scenes (6:01)

Total time 50:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Tracy Hitchings / vocals

- Karl Groom / guitars, co-producer
- Clive Nolan / keyboards, backing vocals, composer, orchestration (8), co-producer
- Ian Salmon / bass
- Dave Wagstaffe / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Mario Baert

CD SI Music ‎- SIMPly SIX (1991, Netherlands)
CD Verglas Music ‎- VGCD016 (1999, UK) New cover art

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TRACY HITCHINGS From Ignorance To Ecstasy ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

TRACY HITCHINGS From Ignorance To Ecstasy reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 for sure

Tracy Hitchings is one of the most talented female vocalist from neo prog zone, that is a fact, she was part across the years in diffrent bands like guest or permant musician in Landmarq, Quasar, Strangers on a Train. She also worked with great musicians, here on her first solo album and aswell her swansong, released in 1991 and named From Ignorance to Ecstasy on SI label, has some fantastic team like Clive Nolan: Keyboards & Backing Vocals and Karl Groom: Guitars (the excellent guitarist who formed couple of years later the progressive metal band Threshold). So, the album is on melodic side of neo prog with some great arrangements, her voice fits very well in this kind of aproach, specialy on piece Horizons In Your Eyes, great voice.Caamora - the longest track has some fantstic moments aswell like Hide and seek. I like the album , the other musicians involved did a great job here, wel nothing realy groundbreaking overall , but pleasent most of the time. The album was re release in 1999 by Marillion's Mick Pointer label Vergas, the one I have. Another intristing fact is , whele the album is under her name, the music and vocal arrangements are entirely composed by Cive Nolan from Arena fame, but he knew what to take from her voce and the result is ok and enjoyble. 3.5 stars for this one, neo prog well produced, well performed with a doze of granious vocal parts from the queen of neo prog. For some years Tracy Hitchings is a professional vocal coach and voice therapist helping many musicians who begin the career

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars The original Caamora

Tracy Hitchings, the queen of Neo-Prog, is probably best known from her work with Quasar and Landmarq. What we have here is her solo album with words and music written by the great Clive Nolan. The band consists of Nolan on keyboards, Karl Groom (Shadowland and Threshold) on guitars, Ian Salmon (Arena) on bass and Dave Wagstaffe (Quasar and Landmarq) on drums.

Nolan's writing style is clearly recognizable both musically and lyrically, but the Prog aspect is rather relaxed here and mostly present only on a few of the songs. The majority of the music is more towards melodic, slightly bombastic, 80's sounding Rock. But there are also quite some similarities with the music of Shadowland (another Nolan/Groom project). The longest track of the album is called Caamora, which years later would become the name of a different one of Nolan's many musical projects.

In the longer songs, there is some room for a bit of instrumental work out and some twists and turns. Hitchings has a fantastic and dramatic voice, but she did a better job on Quasar's excellent Loreli album which is a personal favourite of mine and much better than this album, in my opinion.

From Ignorance To Ecstacy is enjoyable, but both Nolan and Hitchings have done much better, and much more progressive, works elsewhere.

Review by kev rowland
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

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Without doubt Tracy Hitchings is the ultimate diva of British Neo Prog.She became known in mid-80's, when she replaced Susan Robinson as the frontwoman of Quasar and the following decade she became the lead singer of veteran progsters Landmarq.When she left Quasar and upon meeting Clive Nolan for the running project Strangers on a Train, she decided to record her first and only solo album ''From ignorance to ecstasy'', supported by Nolan's composing skills and the talents of Neo movement's veterans bassist Ian Salmon, guitarist Karl Groom and drummer Dave Wagstaffe.The album came out in 1991 on SI and was reissued some years later by Verglas.

I think when you unite the forces of a voice like the one of Hitchings and the keyboard talents of Clive Nolan you sure know what to expect: Pompous, lyrical rock material with certain Neo Prog tendencies and ''From ignorance to ecstasy'' won't dissapoint all those you bet how this one would sound like.It's very British-styled and melodramatic Prog/Art Rock music with plenty of atmospheric parts, rhythmic lines, grandiose keyboards but also some superb guitar melodies.Hitchings' voice is in great shape and the performance here belongs among the best of her career, her distinctive style of singing is a trademark for the whole Neo Prog scene.You would guess that Nolan would dominate the album with his synthesizers, but I found this work to be pretty balanced instrumentally speaking, while it often sounds like what the future held for Hitchings, being overall very close to the sound of LANDMARQ.Lyrical moments, melodious themes, seminal symphonic-flavored keyboards and a generally accesible style for those who love a break between more adventurous listenings.Mood changes are a basic characteristic of this album, Hitchings and Nolan collaboration offers passages of a romantic flavor but also some darker themes with a FISH-era MARILLION-like atmosphere, great work as a whole with vocal-dominated material, I would like some more room for instrumental madness, but even so this one is pretty cool of a listening experience.

A work of sheer pomposity and lyrical melodrama, set strictly within the principles of British Neo Prog.Much better than the other project of Nolan and Hitchings, Strangers on a Train, pretty consistent and fairly enjoyable.Recommended.

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