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STEVEN WILSON

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Steven Wilson biography
Steven John Wilson - Born 3 November 1967 (Kingston upon Thames, London, UK)

STEVEN WILSON, perhaps most widely known for his role as the frontman for the popular act PORCUPINE TREE , is an artist from the UK who, through his various side projects, has spanned a vast number of musical ideas and concepts. Some of the styles he has been known to utilize are heavy prog, psychedelic, electronica, post-rock, ambient music, drone, metal, and art rock. Furthermore, WILSON is intensely focused on production values, dynamic mixing and mastering, and all other sorts of building albums that sound best in high-quality systems. In short, WILSON has always been an artist that appeals to audiophiles and fans of meticulously produced music. This shows up strongly in each of his bands and projects, but it plays even more of a role in his solo efforts.

Photo by Lasse Hoile

Though some of his earliest musical recordings were demos that predated even Porcupine Tree, his solo releases did not truly start appearing until his "Cover Version" singles began in 2003. Essentially releasing one a year, each "Cover Version" contained a particularly unconventional song that WILSON chose to reproduce and one original song by WILSON. Also, in 2004, WILSON put out his experimental electronic album "Unreleased Electronic Music Vol. 1." Neither the "Cover Version" singles nor "Unreleased Electronic Music" feature any other performers, aside from some input from THEO TRAVIS on the latter.

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2013 ⭐

⭐ Collaborators Top Prog Album of 2011 ⭐

That trend changed at the end of 2008, however, when WILSON released his first full-length, proper solo album, "Insurgentes." Featuring, among others, PORCUPINE TREE drummer Gavin Harrison, Prog bass legend TONY LEVIN, current DREAM THEATER keyboardist JORDAN RUDESS, and saxophonist/flautist THEO TRAVIS, "Insurgentes" proves rather quickly that it is not simply another ambient or electronic release. Toying with many of the styles that can be seen in PORCUPINE TREE, "Insurgentes" is a mature, laid-back album marked by less metal and more noise than PT's later albums. WILSON has stated that the album draws a lot o...
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STEVEN WILSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STEVEN WILSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 1145 ratings
Insurgentes
2008
4.20 | 1868 ratings
Grace for Drowning
2011
4.29 | 2256 ratings
The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories)
2013
4.29 | 1682 ratings
Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2015
3.51 | 551 ratings
4
2016
3.56 | 551 ratings
To the Bone
2017
2.97 | 293 ratings
The Future Bites
2021

STEVEN WILSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.37 | 196 ratings
Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
2012
4.68 | 65 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2017
4.45 | 73 ratings
Home Invasion (In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall)
2018

STEVEN WILSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.53 | 148 ratings
Insurgentes - The Movie
2010
4.61 | 326 ratings
Get All You Deserve
2012
4.64 | 80 ratings
Home Invasion : In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
2018

STEVEN WILSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.80 | 121 ratings
Nsrgnts Rmxs
2009
2.92 | 7 ratings
Tape Experiments 1985 - 86
2010
3.29 | 144 ratings
Cover Version
2014
3.45 | 86 ratings
Transience
2015

STEVEN WILSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.69 | 52 ratings
Cover Version
2003
3.64 | 50 ratings
Cover Version II
2004
3.68 | 50 ratings
Cover Version III
2005
3.44 | 58 ratings
Unreleased Electronic Music
2005
3.79 | 47 ratings
Cover Version IV
2006
3.43 | 51 ratings
Cover Version V
2008
4.37 | 82 ratings
Harmony Korine
2009
3.50 | 63 ratings
Vapour Trail Lullaby
2010
3.58 | 57 ratings
Cover Version 6 plus full collection bundle
2010
3.09 | 11 ratings
Demos
2010
3.98 | 50 ratings
Postcard
2011
3.75 | 28 ratings
Cut Ribbon
2012
4.00 | 133 ratings
Drive Home
2013
4.44 | 16 ratings
Luminol / The Watchmaker
2013
3.89 | 19 ratings
Happiness III
2016
3.45 | 33 ratings
Last Day of June - The Complete Game Soundtrack
2017
2.81 | 16 ratings
Permanating
2017
3.08 | 13 ratings
Song of I
2017
3.31 | 16 ratings
Pariah
2017
3.00 | 15 ratings
The Same Asylum as Before
2017
3.15 | 13 ratings
Refuge
2017
2.93 | 14 ratings
Nowhere Now
2017
3.05 | 22 ratings
How Big the Space
2018
2.60 | 30 ratings
Eminent Sleaze
2020
2.78 | 31 ratings
12 Things I Forgot
2020
2.85 | 26 ratings
The B-Sides Collection
2020
2.60 | 20 ratings
King Ghost
2020
2.81 | 21 ratings
Personal Shopper
2020
2.36 | 11 ratings
Anyone but Me
2021

STEVEN WILSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 4  by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.51 | 551 ratings

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4
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The clue is in the title: 4 1/2 isn't really a full-fledged new Steven Wilson solo album so much as it's a grab-bag of wayward songs which wouldn't have fit on any of his other solo projects. If we count albums 1-4 as being the run from Insurgentes to Hand. Cannot. Erase. and album 5 as being To the Bone, this sits just outside the usual sequence, with a running time long enough to quality as a short album and short enough to qualify as a long EP.

The material here reminds me a lot of the original songs on Cover Version - in other words, fairly accessible spacey art rock stuff with indie influences, a bit like the material on Porcupine Tree's late 1990s triptych of Stupid Dream, Lightbulb Sun, and Recordings. There's even a Porcupine Tree cover here - Don't Hate Me having originally been recorded by the band on Stupid Dream - and the fact that it slots so well into the sound here only reaffirms to me that this might be Steven Wilson 4 1/2, but you can also see it as Stupid Dream 2.0. Whether that's a good thing or not depends on how you feel about Porcupine Tree's indie-influenced transitional years between their space rock roots and their more prog metal influenced later career.

 Hand. Cannot. Erase. by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.29 | 1682 ratings

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Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Steven Wilson would probably be flattered by comparisons to Marillion - he was, in fact, an attendee at one of their first ever live shows - so let's go for it: Hand. Cannot. Erase. is to his solo discography what Brave is to Marillion's. (In fact, I swear I can hear some of the sinister samples from Brave buried deep in the ominous opening track of this album, First Regret.)

In a conceptual sense, you have the parallel where both are very loosely inspired by stories from the news about lost women - Brave was about a young lady found standing on a bridge refusing to speak to emergency services, Wilson's album is about a woman who was found dead in her flat after nobody realised she was missing for three years. Lyrically, both albums veer away from telling a linear story, instead trying to adopt the perspective of the women in question and offering a voice for their stories, or rather the stories of their fictional equivalents in the context of the album.

Musically, just like Brave found Marillion forming an interesting fusion of their prog inclinations and more modern sounds, Hand. Cannot. Erase. finds Steven Wilson applying his songwriting prowess and style to a different sonic palette from those he'd focused on in his solo career to date. There's a bit more classic rock, a little more The Who in some of the guitar lines, and less of the spacey Porcupine Tree murk which is usual stock in trade; though there's long tracks on here too, Wilson less shy of admitting some poppier influences here and there than he has perhaps been on previous solo albums under his own name.

The end result sits on the borderline between full-fledged prog and art rock, shifting between the two worlds adeptly.

 Get All You Deserve by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Live, 2017
4.68 | 65 ratings

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Get All You Deserve
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Like Catalogue/Preserve/Amass, this was recorded on the Grace For Drowning tour; the distinction is that whilst that is a terse, edited setlist, this is a sprawling full show, and comes from substantially later in the tour, meaning that it includes a taster of Luminol from The Raven That Refused To Sing. Other than that, it's the Grace For Drowning material which is the star here, along with the tastiest cuts of Insurgentes. The live renditions of the material are, again, stellar - Raider II once again being the apocalyptic culmination of the entire set - but there's an extra confidence here born of the material being road-tested to perfection.
 Catalogue/Preserve/Amass by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Live, 2012
4.37 | 196 ratings

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Catalogue/Preserve/Amass
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Steven Wilson's first solo live album is taken from the Grace For Drowning tour. Whilst that album had Steven play the multi-instrumentalist and enjoy the company of a large number of guests, for the live shows it became necessary to assemble a tight live band to deliver the tracks here (which make up the cream of Grace For Drowning - including the standout track Raider II - and a couple of cuts from Insurgentes). The band manage marvellously, really teasing out the jazz fusion influences on material like No Twilight Within the Courts of the Sun.

Inevitably, the material lands differently in a live context than as the product of patient studio work, making the live album an interesting alternate interpretation of the tunes in question. It says a lot that a mere two albums into his solo career, Wilson was already producing enough quality material to fill out a setlist without drawing on the Porcupine Tree catalogue, and Catalogue/Preserve/Amass does a good job of capturing this excellent live set.

 Cover Version by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2014
3.29 | 144 ratings

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Cover Version
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In parallel with his work in Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson spent the 2000s putting out a series of solo singles in the Cover Version series, each covering a different artist's song on side A and then providing an original Wilson song on side B. Cover Version is a compilation which brings all of this material together into a sort of "lost album".

The exact running order depends on which edition you get - some versions put all the cover versions together and all the original material together, while others mingle them, but either way what you get is a subdued art rock treatment of the material here - Steven doesn't go full prog simply because many of the songs he's tackling don't lend themselves to that, but he does add a distinctive aesthetic touch. (Never have ABBA sounded so sombre, for instance.)

As far as the original material goes, it sounds like Wilson was using the series to provide an outlet for the sort of material which had been part of the Porcupine Tree sound back when it was basically a solo project of his own, but which fell by the wayside as it shifted into being more of a band - The Unquiet Grave, in particular, sounds like something which might conceivably have appeared on Up the Downstair, whilst Well You're Wrong is a slice of the sort of whimsical psychedelic pop that the earliest Porcupine Tree releases dipped into.

Don't expect anything too much like either Wilson's previous or subsequent solo albums or, for that matter, his other musical projects - this is another body in the same sonic universe, with some aesthetic features in common with other musical worlds of Wilson's construction but its own particular way of doing things.

 The Future Bites by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2021
2.97 | 293 ratings

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The Future Bites
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by fathomer1963

2 stars As a long time fan of PT and Steven Wilsons work, this album really came as a bit of a shock to the system. Hard on the heels (if a four year gap counts as that!) of his last album, it was difficult to see which way Wilson would jump? Would he go for a more traditional sound, as heard on his three prior albums, or keep pushing the more commercial envelope, and a sound more akin with his Bass Communion project? With 'The Future Bites' we got the answer - and it wasn't a good one. Now, I have nothing against artists wanting to release material that is a homage to their musical inspirations. But Wilson had already done this with 4 and a half. So why repeat the process, and moreover, do it in a way that leads the listener to believe its 'not really' a homage,- but merely 'drawing inspiration' from his favourite 1980's acts? I got into a row with a reviewer for one of the well known hifi mags over this issue. He sneeringly rejected any criticism of Wilson's last two albums as the 'sad moaning of proggers', as of course, prog fans have no right not to like an album if it doesn't appeal to their music tastes. A common theme, but, well, lets leave it there. On listening to the album, the impression I had, was that Wilson had run out of ideas, and was simply producing an album with a 1980's theme, and drawing overtly from the artists of the day. Now, a guy as gifted as Steven Wilson, is surely unlikely to need do that? So why then are we treated to tracks that are indistinguishable from Ultravox? From Jimmy Sommerville? From a host of electro pop acts? No criticism of them, for example I have Ultravox albums in my collection, but why does Steven Wilson feel the need to produce an album that contains tracks that sound almost exactly like them? Call me old fashioned and contrary, but if I want to listen to acts from the 1980's all I have to do is rustle up some vinyl or CD's from my collection, and bobs yer uncle. Why do I need Steven Wilson, a man who's produced masterpieces like In Absentia, Fear of a Blank Planet, Grace for Drowning and the Raven that refused to Sing, to chuck out stuff that others have already done, and in all honesty, done better? What's worse, is that if you put forward these views in the wider World, with Stevens current profile, its seen as heresy, and receives the usual abuse from people who should know better. This album, for me, had very little to redeem it. He'd already done the covers thing, he already has Bass Communion to express his love of electronic music, so why release this? Pressure from the record company? A bad tab? Who knows? All we can hope, is that he's now got this out of his system, and better is to come, because for me (and this is only 'my' opinion) this was a massive disappointment.
 Insurgentes by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.83 | 1145 ratings

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Insurgentes
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Perhaps we should have seen the long Porcupine Tree hiatus between The Incident and Closure/Continuation coming, because prior to knuckling down with Porcupine Tree to tackle The Incident, Steven Wilson put out this solo album which suggested that he was more than willing to continue exploring dark prog territory without Porcupine Tree themselves (though Gavin Harrison does swing by to provide drums on some tracks).

Indeed, Insurgentes prompts the question of "What's the difference between a Steven Wilson solo album and a Porcupine Tree one?", which is harder to answer than you might think. After all, early on Porcupine Tree was very much a Steven Wilson solo project, and it was only really during the sessions for The Sky Moves Sideways that it started evolving into being an actual band. That said, with Wilson being the most prominent vocalist and exerting significant sway over Porcupine Tree's songwriting and aesthetic, one might question what he'd find to do on a prog- oriented solo release which he couldn't already perfectly happily do on a Porcupine Tree album.

To my ears, Insurgentes at first sounds like an exploration of a path not taken by Porcupine Tree themselves. It reminds me a lot of where the band might have gone had they stuck with the Radiohead-adjacent, indie-electronic New Prog sound of the era of Stupid Dream, Lightbulb Sun, or Recordings, rather than going the more prog metal- adjacent direction they took on In Absentia onwards, but still with a similar trajectory towards darker and grimmer sounds rather than staying in the wistful dreamscapes of their late 1990s era. Bit by bit, though, heavier material creeps in, until by Salvaging we're in a sort of doomy post-rock world; if early Porcupine Tree was prone to neo- psychedelic dreaming, this is getting into a very bad trip indeed, though the soothing conclusion to the title track suggests that calmer weather is coming.

As with Porcupine Tree, Insurgentes presents a very modern approach to prog, informed by the past but making no attempt to mimic it. Like I said, it feels like in a parallel universe it could be a Porcupine Tree album, had the project evolved down a different route, but as it stands I'm glad to live in a timeline where we have both Porcupine Tree's metal-tinged mid-2000s direction and this striking artistic statement from Wilson as a solo artist.

 Insurgentes by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.83 | 1145 ratings

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Insurgentes
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Dapper~Blueberries

3 stars Steven Wilson, one of modern prog's most prolific and celebrated artists. The leader of many projects like his mixes of popular bands like King Crimson and Gentle Giant, and musical experiments like Storm Corrosion and Bass Communion. He is best known for his efforts in the band, Porcupine Tree. Not only is he well respected in the progressive rock community but also in many other Music communities such as ambient fans, metal fans, even pop and jazz fans. He is really prolific and considerably so. It wouldn't be a surprise that a solo career of his would be instantly gratifying and successful. However every career starts somewhere, whether it's a slow start, or a quick scale to the top. With this release, I feel like it's the former rather than the latter.

Let's start with the positives. I really dig the darker and more melancholic sound that this album exudes. It's well thought out and free form, it's quiet but loud at the same time. I also think the experimentation on this album is pretty interesting. You can tell Steven Wilson was trying new things on this album, at least somewhat. Steven's vocals are pretty tight too, lots of highs and lows, and it captures the music greatly and the tone he clearly wants to convey. I definitely feel the emotions Wilson is showcasing on this album. It is also pretty textural, a lot more use png quieter moments rather than loud and bombastic scores of the songs on his future releases. It's quite impressive on how differently this album can go from quiet and sad to loud and angry on a dime, while other bands would prefer to have some kinda build up, which is definitely a quality of life accomplishment that Steven provides.

But this album has quite a bit of problems. One such problem is that it feels like Steven Wilson is trying to make another Porcupine Tree record instead of it's own thing. Plus a good number of songs like Veneno Para Las Hadas and Get All You Deserve are fairly boring and forgettable. I can definitely tell Steven really was passionate about this album, but it was clearly at a time when he was passionate about Porcupine Tree which mixed with this album's sounds, making it rather unoriginal. I wouldn't mind if this was just a Porcupine Tree album, but this being a solo album makes this feel a tad weird next to his later works like The Raven That Refused To Sing and 4 1/2.

This is a weird album for me. It has a good amount of moments that are memorable and nice to me, but there are just some aspects that make me scratch my head. I would recommend this if you want a little bit more of that Porcupine Tree sound, but I wouldn't recommend this as the first Steven Wilson album to check out. It's fairly good, but it's not great.

 Get All You Deserve by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Live, 2017
4.68 | 65 ratings

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Get All You Deserve
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Gallifrey

5 stars 6th May, 2021: Steven Wilson - Get All You Deserve (progressive/art rock, 2017)

This is probably my favourite era of Wilson's live tour, even if the album he was supporting was far from my favourite. The music on those records really felt like it needed to be played live, and the inclusion of Theo Travis in the lineup is another dimension that in my opinion his shows have sorely missed since. I also like the fact that there's no PT material here, it really feels like a truly Wilson show, with the improvisations and flourishes that you'd never see in a PT gig. The only real downside is Marco Minnemann, who just won't shut up.

9.1 (5th listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog - www.facebook.com/TheExoskeletalJunction

 To the Bone by WILSON, STEVEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.56 | 551 ratings

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To the Bone
Steven Wilson Crossover Prog

Review by Magina_Jr

4 stars The first time I listened to "To the Bone", the idea was to apply a rating of 4 stars. After listening to other SW's albums - including the awesome "The Raven Stories That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)" - I considered the rating of 3 stars as appropriate.

"To The Bone" has indeed a more commercial feel than the previous SW's albums, and that's OK, no problem. However, as the days went by, I felt like listening to it more than other albums, so I thought about changing my initial rating of 3 stars.

Thinking another way, what is the use of an album with very intricate songs, if you don't feel like listening to it one more time?

"To the Bone" (the song) has a chorus that invites us to sing along, and the pace necessary for a title track - at least according to my concept of what a title track should be!

"Permanating" is pop music, it is danceable, and songs like that don't really catch my eye at first. But it is written in a very competent form, celebrating life and making us levitate (as the very lyrics say). When you watch the video (that you can find in Steven Wilson's channel on YouTube), you feel this idolatry of life more pronounced.

Also in a pop mood, but very pleasant to listen to (and repeat) I highlight "Nowhere Now" and "The Same Asylum as Before".

The most beautiful song in the record is "Refuge", where Steven Wilson's vocals stand out at the beginning, leading to an instrumental section that immerses us in an ethereal and spatial environment that in some instances reminds us of Pink Floyd's moments. The song closes in a smooth ambience, mixing piano, harmonica and voice.

The partnership with the Israeli Ninet Tayeb was a very fortunate decision, adding spark to "Pariah" and "Blank Tapes". I can't imagine what they would be like without her! Conversely, "Song if I", with Sophie Hunger, was not as captivating; its best ṕart is the keyboard solo at the end of the song.

The first thing that caught my attention about "People Who Eat Darkness" was its title, and I promptly looked up at the lyrics. They are aggressive, accompanied by a memorable guitar riff, as good old rock and roll should be. It reminds me of Oasis.

"Detonation" is a remarkable example of Steven Wilson's ability to start a song in an intimate way - where the vocals predominate - and enter a section with an energetic and accelerated rhythm - "an angry punk sound" as I saw on an Indian website.

Summing up: it may be pop music, but it is pop music very well done! That is why I made up my mind to increase the rating to 4 stars.

Thanks to Dean for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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