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BBC Radio 1 Live
     

BBC Radio 1 Live

by Steve Hillage
 
Culled from two BBC radio concerts in 1976 and 1979, this is much better than Hillage's studio albums, with the performances offering a funky kick and a real sense of adventure, since he can stretch out with his guitar work. And he does that right from the outset, with "Hurdy Gurdy Glissando," where he quotes the theme from Lawrence of Arabia -- a presage of

Overview

Culled from two BBC radio concerts in 1976 and 1979, this is much better than Hillage's studio albums, with the performances offering a funky kick and a real sense of adventure, since he can stretch out with his guitar work. And he does that right from the outset, with "Hurdy Gurdy Glissando," where he quotes the theme from Lawrence of Arabia -- a presage of his future involvement in Arabic music, perhaps. Blessed with a band that can not only stop on a dime but also improvise like demons, Hillage produces some astonishingly fluid fretwork, with arrangements that bring in plenty of compound, complex time signatures and key shifts, but which are ultimately elastic in their construction. And he doesn't limit himself to electric guitar -- he's not afraid to offer more delicate acoustic sensibilities. The highlight, though, has to be a scorching version of George Harrison's "It's All Too Much," which not only heightens the Eastern-flavored psychedelia, but lets Hillage unleash some of his most scorching axe work yet, tearing into the song like a starving man given a five-course meal. "1988 Activator" gets all the punch of punk, simple and to the point, but still manages to cram in a stunning solo along with the slightly sneering (albeit positive) vocal. It's the odd one out amidst a more mid-tempo, very spiritual set, which flows and segues beautifully. And if you can take lyrics about salmon, crystals, and Om, it's even better. Perhaps the ideal advice is to turn off the words -- Hillage isn't a great singer, anyway -- and listen to the music. It won't disappoint, even when, as on parts of "Crystal City," it offers some proto-new age swooshing synths; it's all done so well that you can't say no. And keep on listening; it develops into a riff fest where the guitar solos come loud, long, and inventive. Overall, a great record.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/29/1994
Label:
Griffin Records
UPC:
0054421032720
catalogNumber:
327

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Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Hillage   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Guitar,Vocals
Christian Boule   Guitar
Andy Anderson   Rhythm Section
Miquette Giraudy   Synthesizer
John McKenzie   Rhythm Section

Technical Credits

George Harrison   Composer
Steve Hillage   Composer,Contributor
Christian Boule   Contributor
Andy Anderson   Contributor
Chris Cycett   Producer
Miquette Giraudy   Contributor
Jeff Griffin   Producer
Chris Lycett   Producer
John McKenzie   Contributor
Alan Kinsman   Liner Notes

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