on November 23, 2003
Steve Hillage plays and sings on this album as if the coming of Utopia depended on blasting the listener's heart wide open. Other reviewers have said plenty about the style of music, to which I can only add that as a guitarist, he seems totally unconcerned with technique; his goal is transparency to the incredibly joyful, optimistic burning spiritual energy he's got to share. He is really a jewel among prog-rock/psych guitarists (and his band here is pretty darn rocking, too). This album is also the epitome of 70s British free-festival type music, so if for example you're a Grateful Dead fan, this will give you a window into the corresponding British scene (totally different in musical form, very similar in underlying ethos).
on June 15, 2004
Green was the 1978 followup to Motivation Radio. This time around, Hillage and Giraudy returned to England (Motivation Radio was recorded in Los Angeles and L was recorded in New York). The original LP was pressed on green vinyl, came with an insert with lyrics to all the songs, a poster with a picture of Hillage himself with that strange symbol on his face, and mountains in the background, and the cover to the album was embossed. 1978 was obviously difficult times for many British bands not willing to hop on the punk bandwagon, but in '78 Hillage managed to stay true to the space rock that he obviously done so well since his days with Gong. What's even more surprising is a good deal of this album has a very strong hippie theme to it (the lyrics dealt with being in spiritual connection with the trees and with nature). "Sea Nature" sounds the most like something off Motivation Radio, reminding me of "Light in the Sky". "Ether Ships" finds Hillage experimenting with delayed guitar. This was the method you heard on Pink Floyd's The Wall (especially "Another Brick in the Wall Part 1") and many of Ozric Tentacles' works (like "Dissolution" off Pungent Effulgent). "Musick of the Trees" is prime example of hippie-oriented lyrics, the subject literally being he's talking to the trees. I especially love those electronic effects near the end. "Unidentified (Flying Being)" is one of those songs dealing with New Age mysticism, of him not wanting his auras messed about. "Leylines Over Glassdom" is another experiment in tape delay, but what's really interesting is none other than Nick Mason of Pink Floyd plays drums here! He also produced the album. It's also interesting to note he produced Gong's Shamal (in which Hillage was credited as a "guest" as he pretty much left the band by that album). "The Glorious Om Riff" is actually just an instrumental version of the theme to "Master Builder" from Gong's You. Ozric Tentacles also happened to play that song live in their early days and it also appeared on their early cassette, Live Ethereal Cereal (1986), which proves how much an impact Green had on the Ozrics. Green might not be the best space rock album out there, but definately you'll want this if you like Gong, solo Hillage, or Ozric Tentacles, for that matter.