Exposé Online banner

Steve Hillage — L
(Caroline CAROL 1801-2, 1976/1994, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-11-30

L Cover art

L was my first Hillage record when I was much younger, and I didn't catch on to it as fast as I did with Fish Rising, which in some ways was really the Gong album after You. While I've always liked L it wasn't really until the Rockpalast 1977 show started circulating that I really started to appreciate the material more — after all the band assembled for that tour was really quite impressive, and the way they played things was a little different than the way Utopia played it on the album, and it opened it up a lot to me. Second, I've really never grown into "Hurdy Gurdy Man;" however, the rest of the album is now so much to my liking that I'm now thinking of L as a true classic. Two songs on this are true favorites of mine. First, "Hurdy Gurdy Glissando," which has to be one of the most positivity-inducing pieces of music out there, especially with its long glissy build up and the "cuz it makes you feel good" lyrics, not to mention the way it builds up to guitar nirvana. Second, probably one of the most powerful, spiritual, short tracks ever written with "Om Nava Shivaya," which juxtaposes devotional music with passionate guitar playing. It devastates me every time I hear it. "Lunar Musick Suite" I've loved from the beginning. Apparently it dates back to Khan, but it also shows up in Gong sets in the You to Shamal transitional era. It took me a while to warm up to "It's All Too Much," but after going back and giving the Beatles version some listens, I returned thinking this was a rather worthy cover — after all if you start with strong material your chances of success are going to be high and it is in a perfect place as the album closer. Overall, in the context of the Searching for the Spark box getting to experience the arc of this work in context has made me appreciate this music all the much more. It stands out as a vibrant source of love and light with conscious lyrics that remained consistent in an era where a great deal of music was moving in a completely different direction.


Filed under: Reissues, 1994 releases, 1976 recordings

Related artist(s): Roger Powell, Steve Hillage / System 7

Latest news

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - A Bead to a Small Mouth – Each track on this compilation integrates spoken text and sound manipulation, with results both mysterious and captivating. On "A New Dress" Nurse with Wound layers shifting, hypnotic metallic tones...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues