Steve Hillage - 1979 Live Herald

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited March 22 in year-1979

image
ARTIST: Steve Hillage
ALBUM: Live Herald
LABEL: Virgin
SERIAL: VGD 3502
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2007, Virgin, CDVMR 3502

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Refer next page for project/track lineups.. [click here..]

TRACK LISTING: 01 Salmon Song * 02 The Dervish Riff * 03 Castle In The Clouds/Hurdy Gurdy Man * 04 Light In The Sky * 05 Searching For The Spark * 06 Electrick Gypsies * 07 Radiom/Lunar Music Suite/Meditation Of The Dragon * 08 It's All Too Much/The Golden Vibe

Background

This British guitarist is well known within the progessive rock scene, particularly from the 70's decade. Having made a name for himself during the first part of the decade, playing with Kevin Ayers and French-based proggies Gong, Hillage went solo from 1975 onwards, a deal struck with Virgin Records that would release many albums over the next few years.

Albums such as 'Fish Rising', 'L', 'Motivation Radio', 'Green' and 'Open' added to Hillage's resume, but I think the pinnacle was his live 1979 set 'Live Herald' which showcased many of his best songs up to that point on a two-sided LP. The songs were recorded across several dates between 1977 and 1978, and featured several different live line-ups.

The Songs

If you liked the music that fellow Brit Gary Wright delivered during his 'Dreaweaver' era, then there is a lot to like with Hillage's work. Not as commercial as the former Spooky Tooth keyboardist, it's much more guitar-driven, but still, all of Hillage's work is worthy of acclaim, with hints of space rock and prog all interweaved into perfect unison throughout.

Some of the guitar doodling from Hillage might resemble the work that Alex Lifeson did on Rush's late 70's albums, and the swirling keyboards make for some glorious listening.

The tunes selected for this live set are all familiar to long-time Hillage fans, with the stand-out being the classic staple of the Donovan cover 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' (coupled with 'Castle In The Clouds'), 'Salmon Song' from the 'Fish Rising' LP is another powerful rendition, while 'The Dervish Riff' features some very cool spacey effects and is mostly keyboard-driven.

Both 'Light In The Sky' and 'Searching For The Spark' are sourced from 1977's 'Motivation Radio', the latter featuring a resonating filter driven moog which could be a 70's version of Ozric Tentacles! A few tracks from 'L' are also included, other than 'Hurdy Gurdy Man'. 'Electrick Gypsies', 'Lunar Music Suite' and 'It's All Too Much'.

In Summary

The original double LP release is quite different to the CD issue which came out a few years later. The CD contains the first three LP sides only, and leaves off the four studio tracks that were originally on Side 4 (D).

'Live Herald' was the only live recording between the 1975-1979 period, and is an essential album from Hillage during a most fertile recording and live/onstage era. I've since gone on to collect all of Hillage's 70's material, all of his albums release by Virgin up to about 1983.

There is some excellent stuff to be found here, but 'Live Herald' remains top drawer stuff.

Live Herald - live lineups
March 1977
Steve Hillage - lead vocals, guitar * Christian Boule - glissando and rhythm guitar * Phil Hodge - keyboards * Basil Brooks - synthesizer, sequencer, flute * Miquette Giraudy - synthesizer, vocals, bells * Colin Bass - bass * Clive Bunker - drums

Nov 1977
Steve Hillage - lead vocals, synthesizer, guitar * Miquette Giraudy - synthesizer, sequencer, glissando guitar, vocals, bells * Curtis Robertson - bass, vocals * Joe Blocker - drums

May and August 1978
Steve Hillage - lead vocals, synthesizer, guitar * Christian Boule - glissando and rhythm guitar * Miquette Giraudy - synthesizer, sequencer, glissando guitar, vocals, bells * John McKenzie - bass, vocals * Andy Anderson - drums


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