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Gordon Giltrap - Perilous Journey CD (album) cover


Gordon Giltrap


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4.25 | 36 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
5 stars Like many others, the first time I came across Gordon Giltrap was when he appeared on Top of the Pops playing "Heartsong" back in 1977. I was 14 at the time, and spending much of my spare time listening to progressive rock music and trying to learn as much about the scene as possible, and I just hadn't come across anything quite like this. I was blown away with the incredible acoustic guitar which just seemed to lift and take off )I always thought it was 12- string, but according to the booklet this is a common misconception and was in fact multi- tracked six string), and to this day it is still one of my favourite Giltrap numbers. The album on which it appeared, 'Perilous Journey', was a continuation of 'Visionary' with the same production team, and the same rhythm section of Simon Phillips and John G. Perry with keyboard player Rod Edwards. Everyone was accustomed now to how each other worked and they took the ideas even further than they had previously.

The orchestration is lush, there is much more use of brass (including the appearance of some guys from the Average White Band), and it is as if the whole band has stepped up. Gordon is very much centre stage, and the additional musical elements (if there are any) add to the guitar while never detracting from it. Rod has a more important part to play on this album, and his use of mini-moog is a key part to the overall success. Even in 1977 this was quite a short album, at only 32 minutes long, but that is no longer an issue as this re-mastered reissue now clocks in at 75 minutes. A special mention should really be made of the final song, the new 'bonus' that even now causes Gordon to cringe. "Heartsong" was such a success that the label of course wanted another hit, and for some reason Gordon was convinced to cover "Oh Well". Given that the original is a classic, this was always going to be a hard ask, especially as Gordon is not a strong singer. It's probably best to just note that this is here, and instead go back to the album 'proper'.

If you want to investigate Gordon, then this is probably the album to start with.

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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