Thursday, April 10, 2014

It can't get no worse (The Beatles) #158 - 159

Steve Hillage Getting Better/ Palm Trees (Love Guitar) (Virgin, VS 212, 1978)

Steve Hillage It's All Too Much/ Shimmer (Virgin, VS 161, 1976)

Steve Hillage is an English guitarist who loosely connects to the hippy French band Gong and progressive English rock outfit Egg. All appear on the Virgin Records roster.

Haven't heard of 'em? How about The Beatles? Heard of them?

Steve covers a couple of Beatle numbers on these A sides. Of the two, George Harrison's song It's All Too Much seems the most suited to Steve's trippy dream scape guitar style.

It doesn't stray far from the original, even the vocals are Harrisonesque, so I'm not too sure what the point was. Maybe Todd Rundgren suggested it? Who knows.

Getting Better is a strange choice but he mercifully doesn't include the 'beating my woman' verse and he does try for a different approach. Also weirdly it didn't appear on the album Green, although its B side did.

Hidden gems: Shimmer wasn't released on the parent album L but will have been added as a bonus since I'm sure. It's an experimental studio noodling exercise on synths that is fine as a throwaway B side but nothing special.

Palm Trees is much more representative of his meditative approach and vibe and is therefore a true hidden gem. It was produced by Steve and Nick Mason from Pink Floyd fame. I like Nick and I like what he brings to his productions. Gold star standard!

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