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Steve Hillage - Fish Rising CD (album) cover


Steve Hillage


Canterbury Scene

4.12 | 452 ratings

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4 stars Ever since the release of Gong's Flying Teapot it became clear that Steve Hillage's contribution to the band was an important one but it wasn't until the release of Fish Rising that we, the audience, could gasp the scope of his artistic capabilities.

Rarely can a solo album improve upon his work within a collective, but its clear that Hillage made a wise decision by departing from Gong since he managed to keep their spirit alive much better than Pierre Moerlen's Gong and their ever changing direction. Featuring an impressive roster of names and a weird fascination for fish, Fish Rising gives us everything that we wanted to hear from a followup to The Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, minus Daevid Allen vocals. Steve Hillage shows that he is a great team player since this solo album has surprisingly few actual solo spots for the main star and instead its the great songwriting that keeps things fresh all throughout the album.

The two lengthy pieces, titled Solar Musick Suite and Aftaglid, remind me strongly of the best sections of Flying Teapot and You without those unnecessary intermission sections that disrupt the flow of the album. Still, it's the surprisingly effective side two opener, called The Salmon Song, that steals the show for me with its pretty basic but highly effective buildup and the main riff section works great in the context of the composition. The two shorter tracks might be considered to be filler material even if I happen to like Fish due to its very trippy sound that doesn't overstay its welcome in the spotlight.

Fish Rising is a very well executed debut release from Steve Hillage that definitely made me interested in hearing more. Just like John Paul Jones' solo albums that made me realize how important his contribution was to Led Zeppelin's overall sound, Hillage can definitely be described as the backbone of Gong's sound that only became apparent to me after hearing this solo release. An excellent album that I highly recommend to fans of exciting prog rock music.

***** star songs: The Salmon Song (8:29)

**** star songs: Solar Musick Suite (16:53) Fish (1:22) Aftaglid (14:44)

*** star songs: Meditation Of The Snake (3:16)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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