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STEVE HILLAGE

Canterbury Scene • United Kingdom


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Steve Hillage biography
Once Steve HILLAGE was a member of URIEL/ARZACHEL, KHAN and the seminal space fusion band GONG. In '75 he made his first solo album "Fish Rising", soon after he left GONG and released a serie of studio LP's between '76 ("L") and '83 ("And Or Not") and two live-albums entitled "Live Herald" ('78) and "BBC Radio 1" ('92). Steve HILLAGE, 'the hippie from outer space', will be remembered as one of the main inventors of the space rock, his unique guitarplay inspired later progrock bands like OZRIC TENTACLES and PORCUPINE TREE.

The first solo-album "Fish rising" is the HILLAGE's most acclaimed record but my favorite is "Live Herald". This is a great and stunning live-recording with different line-ups, including drummer Clive Bunker (ex-JETHRO TULL) and bass player Colin Bass (later joining CAMEL). The music shows HILLAGE's spectacular, often distorted and spacey effects and spectacular flights with the synthesizers (often the Minimoog). The climates shifts from dreamy of mellow to up-tempo and bombastic but it remains melodic and harmonic, not as complex and adventurous as GONG.

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LL
Extra tracks · Import · Remastered
Virgin/EMI 2007
Audio CD$4.58
$3.91 (used)
Fish RisingFish Rising
Import · Remastered
Virgin/EMI 2007
Audio CD$4.58
$9.57 (used)
Live at the Rainbow 1977Live at the Rainbow 1977
United States Dist 2014
Audio CD$11.09
$18.13 (used)
GreenGreen
Import · Remastered
Virgin/EMI 2007
Audio CD$5.16
$7.53 (used)
Motivation RadioMotivation Radio
Import · Remastered
Virgin/EMI 2007
Audio CD$4.70
$3.40 (used)
Rainbow Dome MusickRainbow Dome Musick
Remastered · Import
EMI Europe Generic 2007
Audio CD$4.70
$9.68 (used)
Live HeraldLive Herald
Remastered
Caroline 2007
Audio CD$5.23
$4.79 (used)
Live In Germany 1977Live In Germany 1977
Import
Floating World 2011
Audio CD$26.19
$27.90 (used)
HILLAGE, STEVE - LIVE AT ROCKPALAST : CD + DVD SETHILLAGE, STEVE - LIVE AT ROCKPALAST : CD + DVD SET
unknown
Audio CD$18.98
$20.48 (used)
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STEVE HILLAGE For To Next LP nMINT UK 1982 Virgin Records USD $15.00 Buy It Now 2h 39m
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9h 22m
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9h 26m
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10h 56m
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STEVE HILLAGE shows & tickets


  • The Orb + System 7 + Steve Hillage at PictureDrome, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire on 21 Feb 2015

STEVE HILLAGE discography


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

STEVE HILLAGE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.13 | 303 ratings
Fish Rising
1975
3.64 | 130 ratings
L
1976
3.37 | 85 ratings
Motivation Radio
1977
3.95 | 134 ratings
Green
1978
3.29 | 59 ratings
Rainbow Dome Musick
1979
3.48 | 34 ratings
Open
1979
1.50 | 15 ratings
For To Next
1983

STEVE HILLAGE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.74 | 52 ratings
Live Herald
1978
3.92 | 8 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live
1992
2.38 | 4 ratings
Live at Deeply Vale Festival 78
2004
3.00 | 3 ratings
Live In England 1979 (CD+DVD)
2013

STEVE HILLAGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.50 | 6 ratings
Steve Hillage - Germany 77
2007
3.80 | 5 ratings
Live at the Gong Unconvention
2009

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Aura
1979
3.27 | 8 ratings
For To Next / And Not Or
1983
4.00 | 2 ratings
Introducing...Steve Hillage (Light In The Sky)
2003

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

4.30 | 10 ratings
And Not Or
1983

STEVE HILLAGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live Herald by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Live, 1978
3.74 | 52 ratings

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Live Herald
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by steelyhead

4 stars I need to make something clear: I am in love of Genesis and Steve Hillage. In that order. I don't care what others reviewers are saying. This Live record is a MUST in any prog music collection.

I really think that if you look "underrated" on Wikipedia there will be a post on Steve Hillage, He is adventurous with his guitar playing and the phrasing is unique.

What happened to him? Where is He now? The whole collection of his CD's are on heavy rotation at home. And this one is the crown in the group.

A must for any fan of Vai, Satriani, Bonamassa to learn from the master.

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 L by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.64 | 130 ratings

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L
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by steelyhead

4 stars I don´t care what other reviewers are saying. This is a fine example of a four stars CD: "Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection". Mine included, of course.

I know, I know, I have a soft spot for Hillage. Whenever I hear his guitar I am reminded of someone who is free, He is a gipsy after all, and I am very jealous of him.

The music here is infused in a Utopia enviroment (listen to the keyboards) but to hear Don Cherry on the trumpet against a layer of keyboard music is superb and the guitar playing, as I said, is just marvellous.

Sorry, this is just as good as the first one. Get It soon.

(marginal note) I really miss Didier Malherbe.

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 Fish Rising by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.13 | 303 ratings

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Fish Rising
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Emblimatic guitarist of the Canterbury scene.Steve Hillage was born in London in 1951 and begun his career with Uriel (aka Arzachel) in late-60's along with the core that would form Egg a couple of years later.His next chapter would be Khan next to bassist Nicholas Greenwood.After the ''Space Shanty'' album in 1972 musical disagreements forced Hillage to break the band at the fall of the year.Starting originally as a session member for Gong in 1973, he was soon upgraded to a full-time partnership and eventually became the band's leader in 1975, when both Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth quit.Around the same time Hillage recorded his first solo album ''Fish rising'' at the Manor Studios for the Virgin label, featuring the whole Gong line-up along with ex-Comus' and Henry Cow's Lindsay Cooper on bassoon.

Hillage's sound does not move far away from GONG's experiences and the album offers a slightly humurous Space/Psychedelic Progressive Rock with evidence on Hillage's alternating guitar lines and the dual keyboard textures of Miquette Giraudy and Dave Stewart.Three very long tracks are the album's highlights, consisting of fiery jamming parts, weird soundscapes with a psychedelic nature and synth-drenched spacey instrumentals.The Canterbury flavor is also very strong.Stewart's melancholic organ is almost flawless and jazzy interludes appear constantly along the listening, while Didier Malherbe's devastating sax work delivers a rich sound as a whole.Some instrumental parts are definitely overstretched with emphasis on the psychedelic side of Prog Rock, but after all this was what Hillage was born to do: Create spacey, atmospheric and edgy guitar soundscapes.Good electrified soloing combines with mid-tempo synthesizers and hypnotic drumming for a trademark sound of the British Canterbury scene.The more energetic and dense passages with the full-blown instrumental interactions shine through, although this specific style does not seem to be among Hillage's top priorities, with the music usually following a cosmic mood with shifting tempos.

Good album of well-played Psych/Space Rock, typical of the Hillage and Gong school.Sharp, nervous and psychedelic soundscapes, combining the power of keyboards with Steve's inventive guitar stylings.Recommended.

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 L by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.64 | 130 ratings

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L
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by The Mystical

4 stars Steve Hillage - L

Those who are fans of the genre of progressive rock music will be familiar with the work of Steve Hillage. Hillage, who has worked with the likes of Gong and Egg, is a canterbury scene musician that has ventured into the realms of psychedelic rock, jazz fusion, and electronic trance music. L is a transitional release in Hillage's discography, since this is his first solo album that does not feature an extensive list of Gong's band members. The overall sound of the album is rather less spiritual and immersive that Hillage's previous album, Fish Rising, sporting a sound that is rather more riff driven and grounded than the bubbly new age sound of its predecessor. This is in no way a weakness, in fact one of the strengths of this album is its raw hippy tendencies which comes from the patchiness of the album as a whole.

The album begins with a cover of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man", a rather less aggressive and softer version than the original. It is clear from the very opening of the song that this album does not feature the bubbly new age tendencies of Fish rising. The Hurdy Gurdy is used in this track, adding a nice flavour. "Hurdy Gurdy Glissando" is very different to the previous track, beginning with a mellow guitar solo that is backed with a swirly combination of guitars and bells. It is evident that Hillage chose to imitate the ancient "aum" mantra with his guitar sound, and this is an idea that he explores in his following releases, most notably the 1978 release "Green". The track soon progresses into a percussion driven vocal section, where the swirling guitars grow ever more intense, further highlighting the choice of the "aum" mantra sound. The track soon moves into a bass-driven jam. This track is reminiscent of some of Gong's earlier work, particularly in the ethereal guitar backing. "Electrick Gypsies" is a whimsical affair, placed rather insensitively alongside the more spiritual sounding "Hurdy Gurdy Glissando". This track is driven by silly lyrics and a standard rock riff that is rather uncharacteristic of Hillage's other work. This is the album's weakest point, but while this track does fail to reach the heights of Hillage's other work, this new sound is fun and a pleasant listen.

Side two opens with "Om Namah Shivaya", an incredible track that is unique among all of Hillage's songs. Origionally written by Kesar Singh Nariula and Uma Nanda, this song is one of the album's highlights, simply for its retro sound and unique indian flavour. This track is a blend of swirling sitars, brass, indian chants and some of Hillage's best guitar work. This track incorporates the sacred Hindu chant "om namah shivaya", a chant which translates to "adoration to Śiva". "Lunar Musick Suite" is another unique track, recorded exclusively under the full moon. Jazz trumpet player Don Cherry was taken on board to embellish this track with a spacy improvisatory solo, which paints an exquisite painting across the canvas of synths and swirling guitars. Hillage's guitar is used rather minimalistically here (with the exception of the manic synth driven opening and the final guitar solo), and once again, he uses his guitar sound to imitate the "aum" mantra, creating a superb musical soundscape that is delivered with both a strong sense of direction and a vague, ethereal subtleness. Hillage closes the track with his charming vocals, concluding the affair with lyrics somewhat reminiscent of those in his previous release. The album is brought to an upbeat and sentimental conclusion with a cover of The Beatles' "It's All Too Much", which would be compatible with the ethereal "Lunar Musick Suite" if the transition was not disrupted by a disconcertingly loud chord from the band. This is one of the weaker tracks on the album, but it's upbeat and joyous mood make it a fitting and worthy end to the album.

There is no denying the patchiness of this album as a whole, particularly in contrast to the previous release, Fish Rising, which stands as one of psychedelic rock's greatest albums. Many of the songs do not flow well into each other, which creates a feeling of hurriedness in the production. However, this album was obviously not intended as an exercise of coherence, and there are some incredible compositions to amend any damage done by the lack of unity that exists between some of the songs. L's highlights are the retro fusion classic "Om Namah Shivaya", and the ethereal gem "Lunar Musick Suite".

L is an excellent album and a worthy addition to any psychedelic music collection.

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 Live In England 1979 (CD+DVD) by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Live, 2013
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Live In England 1979 (CD+DVD)
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars Steve Hillage is a well-known guitar player from the 70's. Despite the fact that nowadays he's doing Electronic Music under the System 7 name, throughout the 70's he was considered a guitar innovator and was associated with the Canterbury Scene. Steve Hillage was the member of bands like Gong (which he recorded 3 albums with) and Khan. He also started his solo career in 1975 before his departure.

Live in England 1979 (2013) is a package recently released by Gonzo Multimedia that will be for sure a delight for fans. It contains 1 CD and 1 DVD of Steve Hillage's performance at The University Of Kent on 28th February 1979. Like I said, Live In England 1979 (2013) is mainly a piece for fans and collectors.

On the CD we have 6 tracks recorded in the aforementioned University, and two more recorded in 1977 (probably in Germany) on the tour of his album L (1976). Tough the performance of the 1979 show is absolutely great, it feels that the album is a bit of a patchwork with many bits here and there gathered together to have something extra on the package. But if you forget that and focus on Steve's band, you'll see his best band's line up with Steve Hillage (vocals and guitars), Miquette Giraudy (vocals and synths), Dave Stewart (guitars), John McKenzie (bass) and Andy Anderson (drums). This is the same line up that recorded his Live Herald (1978) album and also tracks recorded to his album Open (1979).

The highlights on Live In England 1979 (2013) CD are 'Salmon Song', 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' and an interesting version of The Beatles 'It's All Too Much'. To complete the album you still have 'Unzipping The Zype', the punk '1988 Activator', 'Unidentified (Flying Being)' and the 77 concert bonus material with 'Hurdy Gurdy Glissando' and 'Electrick Gypsies'.

But it's on the DVD that we have the most shinning treasures of Live In England 1979 (2013). The DVD disc has the full 1979 concert plus two short promo videos for the songs 'Radio' and 'Light In The Sky' that were released on his album Motivation Radio (1977) and a 2006 in-depth interview with Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy.

Basically, if you're a Steve Hillage fan this package that Gonzo Multimedia has put together is just essential for you. If you're not a fan, it would be interesting for starting with his music and to see a great band live.

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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 Fish Rising by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.13 | 303 ratings

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Fish Rising
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by VOTOMS

5 stars Between Khan and Gong, there was Fish Rising, another awesome work. A concept album about... fishing? According to Steve Hillage, most of the music on Fish Rising, like The Salmon Song, Solar Musick Suite and even the bonus track Pentagrammaspin would have appeared on a second Khan album. The titles and lyrics were different. The review below was taken by an "album reviews-album of the month" page from a 70s newspaper. It cames within my Fish Rising booklet, I found it interesting so I will share with you guys.

That Steve Hillage is now firmly established as one of the finest guitar players in the country must now be beyond doubt. As the new driving force behind Gong ménage, he has given them driving direction that they needed to allow them to break through from the "too freaky for me" accusation which once used surround them. Now, Hillage has produced his own solo album and what a masterpiece it is. On any of its many levels it hits you as a triumph for a new type of music which doesn't draw it's influences from any of the big fads at present in vogue. It's not boring laid-back pseudo country music, it isn't white soul and it isn't repetitive. What it is is completely original guitar work which draws its inspiration from straight out of Hillage's head, not off a B. B. King album of a Nashvile session man's lunchtime break. Backed by a collection of many of the people Hillage has spent the last few years with, this solo album presents a bewildering amount of talent. Listen to the bass lines of Mike Howllet, the drum work of Pierre Moerlin and, especially the synthesizer work of Tim 'Moonweed' Blake. The musical style of the album is difficult to describe, fluctuating from a sort of nursery rhyme innocence followed by towering waves of echo guitar and synthesizer to a straightforward rock riff covered over by beautiful sustain guitar. By the way, don't worry if Steve's mystical motivation puts you off (it doesn't us we should add). He has not fallen into the Harry Georgeson trap of ear bending you with fairly boring pseudo Eastern religions. Hillage just calmly puts in his own feelings (which are broad enough and natural enough for anyone to get off on) and lets us take it from there.

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 Rainbow Dome Musick by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.29 | 59 ratings

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Rainbow Dome Musick
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Sitting "Rainbow Dome" in the Canterbury scene because Steve Hillage comes from there; is quiet undeserving; not because there is something wrong with that scene; but mainly because this effort goes beyond that sole stage, This work will also be sitted more comfortably among the electronic-prog people or their kraut counterparts or better yet; among the 3. "Canterbury"; because it has all the "back to nature; psychedelic approach"; "Electronic" because as raw as "recorded in a hut" it seems; it uses wisely electronic gadgets and synths available at the time plus Steves´s long time electric accomplice; and also because the work itself has the feeling of long environmental conceptual ambiences; this genre was so famous for. And last but not least; the whole thing; as sacred as it seems to be; has the loosen up attitude the "Krauts" so dearly enjoy. In todays fashion this could easily be called very early "New Age Music". A category that then turned to be called "Ambient". So also; it could be named early "Ambient Music"... Un-pretentious and quiet away ahead of its time; a 2 "vinyl sided" single compositions (44 min in total); that should not be overlooked by people who dig the sub-genres mentioned above and proggers who like to know what happened before midi.-- 4 very deserving stars; mainly for being ahead of its time.

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 Fish Rising by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.13 | 303 ratings

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Fish Rising
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I am not claiming to be anything more than familiar with Steve Hillage. Obviously, being a prog-head I've listened to this and that associated with the man. You can't but help stumbling over his work, either as a solo artist or in groups. Fish rising is the first solo album I'm getting acquainted with and I do like it. A lot, actually.

Being a prog-head I am partial to long tracks with fantastical names. Thus I love a track like Solar Music Suite, just by name and length but the proof is in the actual pudding. What an opener! Long instrumental passages, fantastical lyrics and greater than great instrumentation. There are some great jazzy passages I adore in this track, aswell as really heavy rock-sounds. the bass is great and the organ of Dave Stewart brings me to my knees. he's got such a personal and distinct sound it is flabbergasting.

Someone wrote the music flows and yes, to a degree I find that to be accurate but I find it more to be grooving really hard. It's bits and bobs of everything, really. Flowing, rocking out, grooving and bouncing. It's everything prog's supposed to be in one great song, namely Solar Music Suite.

The rest of the album has great moments aswell. The short Fish is goofing around but quite fun. The Salmon song and the closer Aftaglid is almost as impressive as Solar Music Suite. The salmon song is shorter and feels more punchy though Aftaglid is a marvellous piece of music ranging from the heavy to the sublime, the electric to the acoustic, from Europe to Asia. Simply outstanding.

I bought the 2007 remastered edition with two bonus tracks. The album I am reviewing is the original album compeised of five songs. The bonus tracks (Pentagrammaspin and Aftaglid Power trio version) are great but it is the original album that truly sets my head on fire. And let me tell you, to the sounds of these gloriuos pieces of music I am burning for eternity. Simply tremendous and amazing.

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 Green by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.95 | 134 ratings

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Green
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by The Mystical

5 stars "Green" is my one of my two favourite Steve Hillage albums (my other favourite being "Fish Rising"). The album blends 70's Psychedelic Prog and Jazz/Rock Fusion with new wave Electronica, which gives it a unique sound.

"Green" is Hillage's 4th studio album. The record is oozing with hippy happy vibes, and funky fusion flavours. The addition of Pink Floyd's Nick Mason on drums and the production suits this album very much. Hillage's partner Miquette Giraudy adds some wonderful synth to this album too, which play a vital part in the unique sound of the album.

This album isn't so much heard as it is felt. The music seems to be sitting on top of the atmosphere, so to speak. Even as a recent fan of "Green", the album is one of my most sentimental albums. I could write all day about how and why I love this album, but I think it needs to be experienced to fully understand it's depth.

This is, in my opinion, a must have for fans of Psychedelic Prog.

5 stars! ☮

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 Motivation Radio by HILLAGE, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.37 | 85 ratings

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Motivation Radio
Steve Hillage Canterbury Scene

Review by HolyMoly
Forum & Site Admin Group Forum & Site Admin

2 stars Steve Hillage is a Canterbury scene artist that I've never quite been able to enjoy as much as I hoped - not that that was his concern in the least. His work as a member of Gong, as well as the Gong-like solo debut "Fish Rising", set the bar pretty high for this guitarist. This album, his third solo flight and the first to really feel like a solo album (the prior two were more like supergroup albums), suffers from poor flow, underwritten song material, and thin sound. The difference is immediately apparent as soon as "Hello Dawn" starts. Whereas before Hillage's music was characterized by a huge, spacey sound, this one sounds like a rough bedroom demo by comparison. This would be fine (nothing wrong with a shift in perspective if you're an artist), if the song had anything going for it, which it sadly does not. Just a few chords, an optimistic vocal, and a weak hook. "Motivation" follows, showing glimpses of a dance beat to make a fairly annoying self-help song.

"Light in the Sky" is by far the best song here, with a great set of guitar riffs and a cool cameo vocal by Miquette Girady in the chorus. Great tune! "Radio" sounds good at first, with a long instrumental intro that hearkens back to the prior albums, but in the end it goes nowhere, even after the vocal finally kicks in. "Wait One Moment" returns to the basic 3 minute song format, with an emphasis on "basic": a predictable ballad that sounds ok, but doesn't offer much else for me. Again, basic is not a bad thing, but these songs could at least use some emotion or atmosphere to carry them along. "Saucer Surfing" is a decent enough space rocker, as is the first part of "Searching for the Spark" (the latter being a highlight on "Live Herald", overall a much better version than here). "Octave Doctors" is a ho-hum instrumental that doesn't leave any impression, but the worst is saved for last with "Not Fade Away", the Buddy Holly tune, seemingly "updated" to include the New Age philosophy Steve Hillage was into at the time, using Hillage buzzwords like "glid".

Hillage is a great musician with a very distinctive guitar style, but for this album he appears to go half-heartedly into the world of 3 minute songcraft, de-emphasizing his guitar and emphasizing his lyrics, which I have to say are pretty heavy-handed and don't inspire me much. "Light in the Sky" and "Searching for the Spark" save this one in the end, but overall I consider this a big disappointment.

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