Green - Steve Hillage Album Review

Green - Steve Hillage Album Review

Steve Hillage

Album Review

Re-mastered and re-issued with bonus tracks, former Gong guitarist Steve Hillage gets a dust-down 21st century style, three decades after the original releases. This quadruple simultaneous release follows sharply on the January batch of re-issues Fish Rising, L, Motivation Radio, Rainbow Dome Musick. With Prog-Rock becoming more popular than ever amongst new bands and retro visitors to the genre that brought Led Zeppelin, Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis, Hillage is a must have addition to everyones collection. Not always accessible, Prog Rock, sometimes seen as pompous, self-indulgent and over-blown particularly by musicians such as the Sex Pistols in the mid-70s ( Punk was a knee jerk reaction to it ), it allowed musicians to explore beyond the 3 minute songs of the time. It created a whole new world of music, which, in some ways emulated the classical composers. In effect there were no limits, and sometimes no clearly defined rules, with some songs lasting up to, in this case on Live Herald zooming up to 15 minutes long. Such was its beauty. On Echoes, Pink Floyd managed an entire side of one album with one composition. Prog was seen as music for the acid generation. In many ways it was the height of musical creativity, yet to be matched.

In 1978 Steve Hillage was exploring many soundscapes that included synthesisers and rock guitar, best found on Ether Ships (Green 1978). Music OF The Trees is a gorgeous acoustic lead beauty with splashes of synth-guitar and bluesy guitar solos, and Palm Trees is possibly his most beautiful song ever; again synth effects drench this wonderful piece. It sharp contrast, Unidentified turns out be a funk laden thump, heavy basslines with swirling synths, whereas The Glorious OM Riff is a cacophonous blast, with masses of ear-splitting solos. The seeds of his future direction were sown here.

In true Prog Rock fashion, Hillage was totally unpredictable; this is why hes still revered to this day.

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