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Space Shanty

Space Shanty

1 Jan 1972
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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  • Sample this album
    Title by Artist
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1
9:01
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2
6:35
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3
7:14
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4
9:22
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5
5:33
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6
8:18
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7
by Khan
3:24
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8
4:25
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1972
  • Release Date: 22 May 2008
  • Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 2008 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 53:52
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LK3KHI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,223 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Khan are a very early example of the Canterbury School of progressive rock, best known through bands such as Caravan, Hatfield and the North and National Health. Led by guitarist Steve Hillage who would later join Gong and enjoy a successful solo career, this was his first important group. So it is surprising that his songwriting skills are so matured and developed. Also, his trademark soaring, ecstatic guitar style is also much in evidence here. The combination of that and guest keyboardist Dave Stewart's fuzzy, distorted organ is something really special to behold. The pair would team up again on Hillage's first solo album "Fish Rising", some of the material of which was destined for a potential second Khan album.
"Space Shanty" is full of complex time signatures, highly melodic songwriting and wonderful playing. This is English psychedelic progressive rock at its very best. Inventive, wistful, remarkably fresh sounding without being indulgent or pretentious. Definitely of it's time, but there is still much to admire and enjoy here.
It's clear to see why Hillage became such a star, within Gong and through his late 70's solo albums like "L", "Motivation Radio" and "Green". He is such an individual guitarist and the positivity generated through his singing, lyrics and music is charmingly disarming and so easily draws you in. Half of the tracks are over 7 minutes in length, giving ample room for the band to fully explore and develop musical ideas within the framework of each song. There is something about Dave Stewart when he lets rip on one of his thick, fuzzy organ solos that always makes me smile. He was without doubt one of the best keyboard players of that time.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album when first released and on first hearing I thought "my god what have I bought". But very soon, it became one of my favourite albums. This is the re-released version with extra tracks, so even better, presumably. It is nothing short of brilliant, clever, unbelievable at times; how they managed to write such music and more still remember it all, is a mystery to me. If you like/love Steve Hillage, National Health, Egg, Hatfield etc, I am sure you will love this (in time); it is for me better and more palatable than "Fish Rising" (Stewart & Hillage). Dave Stewart (keyboards) is brill as always. Check it out you won't be disappointed. Enough said!
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Format: Audio CD
They say you should never go back because it often leads to disappointment. Well, in this case they (whoever they are!) are wrong! It has been many years since I had last heard this album, my copy vanishing during a house move. I have my suspicions, but I digress. Anyway, with the release of this re-mastered version it was just too good to miss.

And it has been well worth the wait. All the elements that grew into the later Hillage solo albums and, yes, even System 7, are here in embryonic form, but there is nothing embryonic about Steve's guitar playing. It's tight yet free-flowing, even joyous. The other members of the band shouldn't be overlooked though. Nick Greenwood (bass), Eric Peachey (drums) and Dave Stewart (keyboards) all play their part, and the production is first-class. A lot of current bands could learn a thing or two from this album.

One final comment. Where has "Break the Chains" being hiding all these years? What a little gem! I haven't bought a single in years, but if this was released I'd have to buy it! How about it Decca?
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Format: Audio CD
1972's 'Space Shanty' cradled the interplay of Canterbury scenists guitarist Steve Hillage and future Hatfield & the North keyboard player, Dave Stewart in a virtuoso showcase of blissed-out melodic, space rock that was potently stylish and self-confident. The youthful Hillage's fluid style, harbinger of the famed glissando technique of his later work with Gong, Kevin Ayers and some fine Virgin solo albums, dovetailed with Stewart's nimble and busy organ work across six tracks, every one developed, drilled and honed yet without any loss of enthusiasm nor spontaneity of performance. That bonuses in the unreleased 'Break The Chains' and a markedly different version of the album's 'Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains' in no way lower the quality benchmark set here credits the regard held for Khan's only release. Good then - good now.
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Format: Audio CD
I suppose I was expecting Hawkwind/Space Ritual space rock, but instead got a very tight piece illustrating the extent to which Steve Hillage was ahead of his time bearing in mind this was produced in the very early seventies. Dave Stewart, whom I suppose was in between Egg and Hatfield and the North, excels in what I reckon must be one of the Canterbury's sounds great secrets. I have most albums by the Soft Machine, Caravan, National health etc etc but nice to uncover this little gem in amongst all the heavyweights.
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Format: Audio CD
Personally I've always felt this to be Hillage at his best. It may have something to do with the copious amounts of mind-altering substances that frequently accompanied putting this LP on the scratchy old Decca in the playroom at my parents house. As a teenager guitarist I found this album a mine of cool licks and, as I sit here now, my 12 year old son is grappling with the amazingly smooth hammered-on runs that Hillage executes with blithe ease on this album. Listen carefully and there's some very adept playing and carefully worked out stuff going on - more so, dare I say, than in a lot of his future bands when (I fancy) he'd maybe smoked too many joints to take quite such an intelligent approach to writing. After a Hillage concert in the 70's in Brighton I accosted him backstage eager to know how he'd fingered one of the F sharp riffs in 11/8 off Space Shanty. Through the heavy haze of Red Leb we had a wonderful exchange which I'll never forget - on his beaten up old Strat (with a surprisingly high action). I've never been without this album since. I think the writing on this album is quite sophisticated and inspired. It also really captures a certain time in the seventies perfectly. It has a great feel.
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