CLEARLIGHT — Clearlight Symphony (review)

CLEARLIGHT — Clearlight Symphony album cover Album · 1975 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Miler72
I bought this album for the Gong connection. Steve Hillage, Tim Blake and Didier Malherbe all appear on the first part. On the second half is Gilbert Artman of Lard Free, along with Christian Boule, and bassist Martin Isaacs. The first part features the Gong musicians, and they pretty much leave the Gong sound at home. Here Cyrille Verdeaux gives a more symphonic approach with his piano playing and tons of Mellotron used throughout, along with the occasional trippy passage. Tim Blake provides spacy synths and while Didier Malherbe is credited here, it's strange I don't hear his sax playing here, but I do hear him on the second part, with the Gibert Artman involvement. This first part is nothing short of incredible. So much comparison has been made of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Honestly I really don't notice that. Certainly some of the guitar playing from Hillage strangely reminds me more of Oldfield's fuzz lead guitar playing that what you usually expect out of him. This has more of a symphonic prog feel, and instruments like a Mellotron is certainly out of the question on a Mike Oldfield album. The second half is a bit more fusion-influenced, with a bit of a Canterbury feel, especially the small amount of Canterbury-like organ. Piano is much more dominant, and as stated before, I notice sax, which means Didier Malherbe must have actually played on this piece and not the part with the Gong members involved. This is certainly a great prog rock album, and the reason it's included in here is the jazz influences found in the music. Highly recommended!
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