This has been one of my favourite albums ever since it was released back in 1979.
Much gentler than previous Steve Hillage releases, Rainbow Dome Musick is now regarded as a precursor of what later became known as New Age music. But don't let that put you off if you don't like that kind of thing. This album effortlessly sidesteps all the problems that beset the New Age music of the 80s and beyond. There are none of the vapid sugary tunes or self-conscious effects that gave New Age a bad name. Instead, this is an album of flowing textures and tone-colours that manages to be both gentle and strong.
The album is basically Steve Hillage and his long-time partner Miquette Giraudy, with some additional help on the second track from Rupert Atwill. The music was originally commissioned for the Rainbow Dome in the centre of the Festival of Mind, Body and Spirit at Olympia, London. Hillage later commented that they wanted to create an oasis of peace in what could otherwise become a frantic atmosphere of buying and selling. I didn't experience the music in its original setting, unfortunately, but it definitely succeeds in creating an oasis of peace wherever I've played it over the years. It's equally great for chilled out listening, background music, and for driving.
Garden of Paradise is Miquette's piece, based on a flowing pattern of echoed sequencers (two sequencers passing through the same echo and making long overlapping loops of crystalline sounds), with a slowly rising electric piano line in fifths and beautiful guitar textures from Hillage.
Four Ever Rainbow is Steve's piece, beginning with Miquette's bells and Hillage's Moog and moving into a slowly shifting wash of glissando guitar textures, with delicate echoed synthesiser.
Amazon's description isn't quite right - there aren't any bonus tracks. But this remastered classic is definitely well worth having anyway. And if you do want a bonus in similar style, check out the track `Healing Music' on the `Live Herald' album (in the next batch of Hillage remasters). ** Correction added 26/2/07: Healing Music will be on the remaster of Open, not on Live Herald. The original vinyl double album Live Herald contained a side of studio recordings, which were redistributed onto Open so both albums fit comfortably on CD. The remasters retain this redistribution. **
This album shows how inspired and accomplished the musicians were who came out of the Gong family of bands in the 1970s. Along with fellow Gong member Tim Blake, Hillage and Giraudy were both pioneers of new music and accomplished masters (and mistress :D ) of what they were doing. This music hasn't dated in the slightest since it was released. It's basically timeless.
Review by Andrew (Amazon.co.uk)
- April 1979 - Virgin Records, VR-1, also issued on clear vinyl limited edition. (UK)
- 1979 - Orizzonte, ORL-8346 (Italy)
- 1987 Virgin Records, CDVR-1 (UK)
- 1991 Caroline Blue Plate, CAROL 1803-2 (USA)
- 2007 EMI (Remastered), CDVRX1 (UK and Europe)
- 2007 Toshiba-EMI (Remastered), VJCP-68795 (Japan)
1. Garden Of Paradise (23:15)
2. Four Ever Rainbow (20:30)
It's worth have a listen with Spotify and then buy this album if liked:
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