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Info and discography Steve Hillage

Steve Hillage is an English musician who was born on August 2nd, 1951 in Chingford / London. Steve Hillage first became known as the guitarist of the spacerock band Gong. He later concentrated more or less on his solo career.

Hillage played in a blues band as early as the late 1960s with Dave Stewart, among others. After the band broke up, Hillage went to Kent University in Canterbury and got in touch with the Canterbury Caravan scene. Hillage began to write first solo material, but founded the band Khan in 1971. The band toured a lot and released their first album Space Shanty in 1972. The band was dissolved in the late 1972 because the record company obviously had little confidence in the band's music.

Hillage joined Kevin Ayers' band and soon became interested in the music of the band Gong, which he joined after a few sessions. After its founding member Daevid Allen left, Hillage became the central figure of Gong. Hillage had a lasting impact on Gong's sound for three albums. Hillage did not like his central role in the band, he also got along with the planned approach to jazz-rock less well. So he left at the end of 1975 to start his solo career.

Hillage recorded the first solo album Fish Rising with the support of Gong colleagues. The album went well but wasn't extremely successful. Hillage made a name for himself as a result of his participation in Mike Oldfield's orchestral performances of Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge.

Hillage then came into contact with Todd Rundgren, who produced Hillage's second album in the USA. The album L received generally positive reviews. L is Hillage's most successful album, it stayed in the UK charts for 12 weeks and climbed to number 10. Hillage had now earned a good reputation as a technically adept and resourceful guitarist.

With the next album, Motivation Radio, Hillage tried to break away from his hippie image. The songs got shorter and were a little less experimental, the album sounded relatively funky. Motivation Radio was again very well received, but was not quite as successful as L and only came in 28th in the UK. Hillage tried to return a little more to the old sound with the next album Green. The album was not more successful because of that and only reached number 30 in the UK charts.

Overall, Hillage was probably a little dissatisfied with his successes, as the following live album barely made it into the top 30. The problem was that his music was in stark contrast to the punk music of those days. Hillage couldn't score with the following album either, it was overwhelmed by punk and new wave. Hillage himself took a liking to punk, he was enthusiastic about the energy and freedom of punk. In 1978 he took part in a jam session with punk bands as part of a punk concert in Reading. Hillage tried to turn to modern styles on the album Open. His symbiosis couldn't really inspire, however, and the album basically failed.

All in all, things got quieter for the solo artist Hillage. He shifted more to the production of other artists and worked with the Simple Minds or Cock Robin, among others.

In 1990 Hillage got together again with his partner Giraudy and the DJ Alex Paterson to form a kind of ambient dance band. The band System 7 was quite popular in the underground scene in London, but the big success did not materialize. But at least System 7 made seven albums from 1991 to 2004. Hillage later produced, among other things, an ethno musical show named 1,2,3 Soleils. Quite surprisingly, they started working with Gong again in 2006 after Hillage and Giraudy played some old songs as the Steve Hillage Band at the Gong Unconvention in Amsterdam. Hillage once again joined the Original Gong Line-Up at a gig in 2008.


Discography (excerpt)

  • (1975) Fish Rising
  • (1976) L.
  • (1977) Motivation Radio
  • (1978) Green
  • (1979) Live Herald
  • (1979) Rainbow Dome Music
  • (1979) Open
  • (1983) For To Next / And Not Or
  • (1994) BBC Radio 1 Live
  • (2003) Light in the Sky
  • (2004) Live at Deeply Vale Festival 1978 '
  • (2008) Evan Marc & Steve Hillage - Dreamtime Submersible

with system 7

  • System 7 (1991)
  • 777 (1993)
  • Point 3 Fire / Water (1994)
  • Power of Seven (1996)
  • Golden Section (1997)
  • Seventh Wave (2001)
  • Encantado (2004)