Quality: 4 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4 out of 5
First off, I'm taking a look at the CD-era version of this album, which is completely live. The original issue of the album boasted a side of studio tracks, which have now been ported over to the Open album. Anyway, this is one of those live albums that sort of double as a greatest hits collection. Your favorite track from Hillage's first four albums may very well not appear here, but what's here are still fine tracks. The performances definitely benefit from Hillage's road worn band, and Giraudy's electronics add a nice new dimension to the tracks from the first few albums. The cover of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" is even better here and the "Lunar Music Suite" contains an energetic tear through the always welcome "Om" riff.
The sound quality on this disc is not quite as clear as I'd like, but it is a live album and it is certainly listenable. This is not to rip on the remastering; the Hillage reissues are one of the better sets of reissues I've come across.
When you get right down to it, this isn't a bad place to start if you're unfamiliar with Hillage. Those who are already fans will find a lot to love here as well. As with Green or L, this is about as good as British space rock gets (I have to give the Germans the win in the end).
Steve Hillage - 1979 - Live Herald