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Hillage, Steve: Rainbow 1977

Recorded on the tour in support of his excellent Motivation Radio, the album that followed his popular Todd Rundgren produced album L, Rainbow 1977 is a very enjoyable archival live release recorded at London's Rainbow Theater by guitarist/vocalist Steve Hillage and his band, which consisted of Miquette Giraudy (synths), Joe Blocker (drums), and Curtis Robertson (bass). Though there are many similarities to the classic Live Herald album of that same year, this one here is all from the Rainbow show, and does contain some tracks not included on that other, more famous live release.

It wouldn't be a live Hillage album without classic cuts "Light In the Sky" (oh me oh my!), the covers of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and "It's All Too Much", a brief yet memorable "Salmon Song", or the legendary space rock jaunt "Solar Musick Suite (Part 2)", each one chock full of incredible guitar work from Mr. Hillage. "Searching for the Spark" is another familiar tune, here clocking in over 15-minutes of space rock bliss, with Giraudy's synths bleeping and blipping over complex rhythms before Hillage interrupts with a scalding lead guitar solo. Or, how about the spacey, futuristic hard rock of "Electric Gypsies", another of his trademark tunes that falls right in line with some of the best from Hawkwind or Gong. As for the tracks from this live set that didn't make their way onto Live Herald, you get the effects laden guitar tour-de-force that is "Octave Doctors", the metallic, delay soaked "Saucer Surfing" (again, with more mesmerizing Hillage guitar work), the gorgeous soundscapes of "Radio", and blistering blues rock with "Motivation", as Hillage cranks on the wah-wah and delivers some gut wrenching solos.

Sound wise this recording is pretty damn good, though there are some rather jarring cuts between tracks in a few spots that are a bit harsh. My guess is that this was a soundboard recording, as there are little to no crowd noises here, but the quality has held up quite well all these years, making this an excellent companion to the 'big brother' that is Live Herald. Hillage plays like a man on a mission throughout, so if you love extended guitar solos, you've come to the right place. The rhythms of Blocker & Robertson are just outstanding, and when you throw in the futuristic synths from Giraudy, you have a live space rock recording well worth seeking out.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing

  1. Octave Doctors
  2. It's All Too Much
  3. Light In The Sky
  4. Radio
  5. Electrick Gypsies
  6. The Salmon Song
  7. Solar Musick Suite (Part 2)
  8. Motivation
  9. Saucer Surfing
  10. Searching For The Spark
  11. Hurdy Gurdy Man

Added: September 1st 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Gonzo Multimedia
Hits: 1633
Language: english

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