Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Steve Hillage- Searching for the Spark 22CD Box Set

I had wanted this from the day it was released but felt that 200£ was a bit too much to pay but I finally managed get a copy for 150 so I went for it. What can I say. This box is simply amazing. The book is such a high quality with amazing pictures from back in the 70s and so much information that I did not know at all and basically written by Steve and his wife. The box features all of the Steve Hillage works from 1969 through to the early 80s and the first System 7 (which was actually a collaboration that Steve produced with a number of well know electronic music people and not the band he has with his wife).  In addition to all the amazing Steve Hillage band records, Azrachel, and Khan (most with some bonus material), there are a number of live shows, some released and some not released previously. On top, there are 4 CDs with totally unreleased material, a lot of which is demos for tracks but quite a few never before heard tracks.  I am not even finished hearing it all yet but what a great package and done with such care.  Steve was such a brilliant guitar player back in the 70s and so creative.  Amazing box. Worth the money..
Sparks Vol 1
Goblin, is a solo track with just Steve, his voice, guitar layers and some synth sounds. He sounds so young, his voice. He was already a great guitar player at this age. Wow.
Khan- Demos and Live
The next 7 tracks are some unreleased live and demos from 71-72. Hollow Stone (acoustic) and Stargazers are just Steve on guitar. Canterbury Sunrise the first of the live tracks from  72 rehearsal, has a sort of GONG like vibe and riff to it. A low fi but decent sound.
MadMan’s rap is a great track but it was faded out just as it was really getting going with a nice Dave Stewart solo.  Wring out the ground Loosely Now is live form 1972. Does not say where but nice short 3min track. A bit of a Matching Mole feel, perhaps. Five Piece starts with some glissando guitar straight out of the previous track and is a great number. Pity not more live Khan exists. The next tracks are all recorded in 1973 at the GONG house in France and just Steve and delay unit creating some cool ideas. Interesting to hear.

Here is the info from the web site:
* Arzachel.
* Khan's Space Shanty, 1972.
* All eight of Hillage's classic Virgin Records solo albums - Fish Rising, L, Motivation Radio, Green, Open (and Studio Herald), Rainbow Dome Music, Open, For To Next (and its companion And Not Or) - plus bonus tracks.

* System 7 (first album).
* Live in Deeply Vale, 1978.
* Two BBC performances from The Paris Theatre recorded in December 1976 and November 1979.
* Eight CDs featuring recordings taken from Steve's personal archive, including four superb concert performances (Brighton Dome November 1977 (this concert is amazing!!), Munich April 1979, Hammersmith Odeon November 1979, The Steve Hillage Band Live At The Gong Family Unconvention 2006) and four discs (Sparks Volumes 1-4) packed with previously unheard and unreleased tracks, demos and alternate takes.

Accompanying the recordings is a magnificent 188 page 32,000 word coffee table book. Written and assembled by Steve Hillage and Gong family expert Jonny Greene, the book contains hundreds of rare and previously unseen photographs and cuttings. Finally, there are three reproduction promo posters, two lyric booklets, a high quality enamel badge, a 60 page scrap book containing more photographs and cuttings, and a certificate of authenticity signed by Steve Hillage and his creative partner Miquette Giraudy.

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