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4.5 out of 5 stars
13
Visionary
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£13.25+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 13 May 2014
Bought this when it came out, after hearing Giltrap playing it live on the BBC ( in fact, if truth be told, recording it to a well-used cassette :)

On CD it is livelier and cleaner, plus it has bonus tracks ( including a more orchestral "demo-style" run through of the main tracks and musical themes, which is revealing and enjoyable in itself ).

A great performer , fantastic music, a bit eighties with some of the keyboards ( or rather synthesisers, the piano-based keyboards are fine ) , but that doesn't detract from the excellent listening experience.

Saw Giltrap live in Newcastle in the late 70s. He played a lot of this and more.. A great, and loud ( for acoustic guitar ) band !

Buy and enjoy.
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on 3 January 2016
Apart from the cover, which I understand that Mr Giltrap was not happy with, a great album for guitar fans.
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on 17 August 2014
Prompt delivery and item as described
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on 19 November 2014
good
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on 6 July 2015
not my cup of tea I'm afraid
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 7 June 2016
Starting out as a UK Folkie on Transatlantic Records in 1968 - virtuoso guitarist Gordon Giltrap (if you'll forgive the pun) 'progressed' into the arena of instrumental Rock with his 1976 "Visionary" album on the ever so slightly odd British record label "The Electric Record Company". A belated 7” single released off the LP in February 1977 called "Lucifer's Cage" with "The Echoing Green" on the B-side (Electric Record Company WOT 11) didn't do much business either.

And on CD – the "Visionary" album's history has been murky too. Along with his popular "Perilous Journey" album from 1977 with "Heartsong" on it (the follow up LP) – there have been varying CD reissues of these titles before. Most have been only 'OK' audiowise, deleted as quickly as they were released and thereafter garnished a rather nasty price tag. Well at last - along comes Cherry Red's subsidiary label ESOTERIC RECORDINGS with a fabulous new remaster from the original tapes, decent presentation and input from the artist, a reasonable price tag and 5 bonus tracks thrown into the bargain. Here are the musical movements...

UK released 29 July 2013 - "Visionary" by GORDON GILTRAP on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2400 (Barcode 5013929450042) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster with five Bonus Tracks and plays out as follows (62:43 minutes).

1. Awakening
2. Robes And Crowns
3. From The Four Winds
4. Lucifer's Cage
5. Revelation
6. The Price Of Experience
7. The Dance Of Albion
8. The Tyger
9. The Echoing Green
10. London
11. Night
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album "Visionary" – released November 1976 in the UK on The Electric Record Company TRIX 2

BONUS TRACKS:
12. Concerto: Movement One
13. Concerto: Movement Two
14. Concerto: Movement Three
15. On Wings Of Hope
16. Visionary (Original Version)
(Tracks 12 to 14 Previously Unreleased - Tracks 15 and 16 first issued 2000)

PASCHAL BYRNE and MARK POWELL have handled the 24-Bit Remastered Audio at The Audio Archiving Company in London and the sound is uniformly wonderful. The instruments are clear and full - not overly loud – with details now popping up everywhere. The 16-page booklet has liner notes by MALCOLM DOME with input from the artist himself and pictures trade paper reviews from "Sounds" and "Melody Maker" of the time. There are also period band photos and adverts for The Gordon Giltrap Band on Tour in the UK. It's tastefully done.

Giltrap described the entire follow up LP "Perilous Journey" in 1977 as “Opus 2” (see separate review) – so I suppose you could call "Visionary" his "Opus 1". Entirely instrumental and Steve Hackett Prog Rock in its structures and sound – "Visionary" opens with the multi-layered acoustic/keyboard assault of "Awakening". It sneaks into your speakers as a fade-in - sounding not unlike English Pastoral Folk music meets Sci Fi. The ELP keyboards and complimentary string arrangements give way to his beautiful and fluid Acoustic playing about half way through and it's here that the Remaster excels in every way. That segues into the lovely meandering of "Robes And Crowns" which feels like Part 2. Its one and half minutes are quickly up and we're then met with a gorgeous madrigal-sounding "From The Four Winds" – the kind of Steve Hackett Acoustic ditty that would have opened a Side on "Foxtrot" in 1972.

It's easy to see why Electric thought the commercial-sounding theme-of-a-non-existent TV program "Lucifer's Cage" might garnish some airplay. About one minute in Giltrap goes into an Acoustic solo that now sounds gorgeous - and that almost YES keyboard break always brings a smile to my face. "Revelation" is a sad and string-laden epic sounding not unlike an Elton John strings-and-piano interlude from "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy" from the preceding year (1975). I love Shirley Roden's vocal contributions towards the end - giving the piece a "Great Gig In The Sky" touch. Two many strings in "The Dance Of Albion" for me – better is his 'Flyde 12-String Acoustic Guitar' playing on the beautifully English "The Tyger" – pretty yet accomplished too. The album ends on the quiet yet uplifting duo of "London" and "Night" – expert strumming, swirling symbols and tasteful synth fills. The whole album feels beautiful like that – instrumental Prog that's been too easily forgotten. Very impressive stuff and easy to hear why it's been a firm fan favourite ever since.

The 5 bonus tracks are pure fan pleasers material - uniformly excellent. The 'Original' version of "Visionary" and "On The Wings Of Hope" first turned up as Bonus Tracks on the December 2000 Voiceprint Records CD Reissue of "Fear Of The Dark" - but the 3-part 'Concerto" is new - a Previously Unreleased piece - and what a bonus it is. Mostly Acoustic Guitar - it's beautifully played and perfectly complimentary to the album. Very cool stuff...

This 2013 Remaster of "Visionary" is a blast - 'so good' to hear this criminally forgotten nugget back in such good shape. Forward looking indeed...

Esoteric Recordings have also issued:
1. Perilous Journey (1977) on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2400
2. Fear Of The Dark (1978) on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2402
3. Live At Oxford – Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2409
4. Ravens And Lullabies (with Rick Wakeman of YES) – Esoteric Recordings EANTCD 1013
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 7 July 2016
Starting out as a UK Folkie on Transatlantic Records in 1968 - virtuoso guitarist Gordon Giltrap (if you'll forgive the pun) 'progressed' into the arena of instrumental Rock with his 1976 "Visionary" album on the ever so slightly odd British record label "The Electric Record Company". A belated 7” single released off the LP in February 1977 called "Lucifer's Cage" with "The Echoing Green" on the B-side (Electric Record Company WOT 11) didn't do much business either.

And on CD – the "Visionary" album's history has been murky too. Along with his popular "Perilous Journey" album from 1977 with "Heartsong" on it (the follow up LP) – there have been varying CD reissues of these titles before. Most have been only 'OK' audiowise, deleted as quickly as they were released and thereafter garnished a rather nasty price tag. Well at last - along comes Cherry Red's subsidiary label ESOTERIC RECORDINGS with a fabulous new remaster from the original tapes, decent presentation and input from the artist, a reasonable price tag and 5 bonus tracks thrown into the bargain. Here are the musical movements...

UK released 29 July 2013 - "Visionary" by GORDON GILTRAP on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2400 (Barcode 5013929450042) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster with five Bonus Tracks and plays out as follows (62:43 minutes).

1. Awakening
2. Robes And Crowns
3. From The Four Winds
4. Lucifer's Cage
5. Revelation
6. The Price Of Experience
7. The Dance Of Albion
8. The Tyger
9. The Echoing Green
10. London
11. Night
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album "Visionary" – released November 1976 in the UK on The Electric Record Company TRIX 2

BONUS TRACKS:
12. Concerto: Movement One
13. Concerto: Movement Two
14. Concerto: Movement Three
15. On Wings Of Hope
16. Visionary (Original Version)
(Tracks 12 to 14 Previously Unreleased - Tracks 15 and 16 first issued 2000)

PASCHAL BYRNE and MARK POWELL have handled the 24-Bit Remastered Audio at The Audio Archiving Company in London and the sound is uniformly wonderful. The instruments are clear and full - not overly loud – with details now popping up everywhere. The 16-page booklet has liner notes by MALCOLM DOME with input from the artist himself and pictures trade paper reviews from "Sounds" and "Melody Maker" of the time. There are also period band photos and adverts for The Gordon Giltrap Band on Tour in the UK. It's tastefully done.

Giltrap described the entire follow up LP "Perilous Journey" in 1977 as “Opus 2” (see separate review) – so I suppose you could call "Visionary" his "Opus 1". Entirely instrumental and Steve Hackett Prog Rock in its structures and sound – "Visionary" opens with the multi-layered acoustic/keyboard assault of "Awakening". It sneaks into your speakers as a fade-in - sounding not unlike English Pastoral Folk music meets Sci Fi. The ELP keyboards and complimentary string arrangements give way to his beautiful and fluid Acoustic playing about half way through and it's here that the Remaster excels in every way. That segues into the lovely meandering of "Robes And Crowns" which feels like Part 2. Its one and half minutes are quickly up and we're then met with a gorgeous madrigal-sounding "From The Four Winds" – the kind of Steve Hackett Acoustic ditty that would have opened a Side on "Foxtrot" in 1972.

It's easy to see why Electric thought the commercial-sounding theme-of-a-non-existent TV program "Lucifer's Cage" might garnish some airplay. About one minute in Giltrap goes into an Acoustic solo that now sounds gorgeous - and that almost YES keyboard break always brings a smile to my face. "Revelation" is a sad and string-laden epic sounding not unlike an Elton John strings-and-piano interlude from "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy" from the preceding year (1975). I love Shirley Roden's vocal contributions towards the end - giving the piece a "Great Gig In The Sky" touch. Two many strings in "The Dance Of Albion" for me – better is his 'Flyde 12-String Acoustic Guitar' playing on the beautifully English "The Tyger" – pretty yet accomplished too. The album ends on the quiet yet uplifting duo of "London" and "Night" – expert strumming, swirling symbols and tasteful synth fills. The whole album feels beautiful like that – instrumental Prog that's been too easily forgotten. Very impressive stuff and easy to hear why it's been a firm fan favourite ever since.

The 5 bonus tracks are pure fan pleasers material - uniformly excellent. The 'Original' version of "Visionary" and "On The Wings Of Hope" first turned up as Bonus Tracks on the December 2000 Voiceprint Records CD Reissue of "Fear Of The Dark" - but the 3-part 'Concerto" is new - a Previously Unreleased piece - and what a bonus it is. Mostly Acoustic Guitar - it's beautifully played and perfectly complimentary to the album. Very cool stuff...

This 2013 Remaster of "Visionary" is a blast - 'so good' to hear this criminally forgotten nugget back in such good shape. Forward looking indeed...

Esoteric Recordings have also issued:
1. Perilous Journey (1977) on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2400
2. Fear Of The Dark (1978) on Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2402
3. Live At Oxford – Esoteric Recordings ECLEC 2409
4. Ravens And Lullabies (with Rick Wakeman of YES) – Esoteric Recordings EANTCD 1013
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on 27 February 2005
This album was originally released as around 30 mins worth(that's up to and including track 11, and I urge you to treat that as a separate entity.
Don't ignore the extra tracks, we'll return there in a moment. The idea was a series of music paintings exploring the canvasses of William Blake. If that sounds heavy, it could get worse-most intellectuals(not me-haven't the IQ!!) consider Blake to be the only true English mystic ever!
However, Giltrap's guitar virtuosity and the accompanying sweeping synth-dominated backing tracks hit the right note every time. Each track is memorable, they run together somehow AND every time you are guided into the start of the spiritual pathways in Blake's forest of the night.
There, however, you are left with your imagination and that's how the album succeeds-giving you the initial insight only, but enough of a key to want to unlock the door further. Unlike Huxley, you won't need mescalin to do it, either!
The extra tracks, the first 2 anyway, just don't fit in with the album as it originated or developed. This is in spite of Jerusalem being the first thing most people associate now with Blake, or perhaps because of it-don't always do the obvious, it seems-and here Giltrap was correct.
But beware the last track-Visionary original version WILL surprise you-it's the Unplugged/Acoustic/Demo version of the whole resulting album. See how refined the raw seed became before it blossomed into the final work of genius that is Visionary and realise this is one of the most criminally-neglected albums of all time.
I'm not one for encouraging criminality in any body, so please salve your conscience, end this scandal, buy it now and savour genius again.
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on 15 November 2009
When I listen to albums like this, it breaks my heart to see how much the standard of contemporary English music has dropped, no, plummeted in the last two decades. Could you imagine somebody with this magnitude of talent appearing on X-Factor? I seriously don't think so. You can keep all the Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey and boy band clones, give me this album anyday. Thankfully Gordon is still performing today and it's reassuring to know that people of his musical calibre are still around. Please don't disappear Gordon - we need people like you to reassure us that there is still true musical talent in this country. Every time I hear this album it lifts me from the dirge and crass of the modern musical trends.
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on 19 November 2007
I first bought this album when it came out on record back in the late 70s and was absolutely mesmerised by his playing. Plus, all the tunes were so melodic yet haunting that I would listen to the album over and over again, soothing my teenage angst. Then, someone borrowed it from me and I never got it back. I searched all over the shops but alas, the record was no longer on sale and I was gutted. Years went by, I got married, got on with life until Amazon came along. I thought I'd just check to see if they had it and there is was! I could not believe my eyes. I immediately ordered 2 CDs, one for a friend.

Just listening to his playing brought back so many memories, and all the reasons why I love this album. Gordon's playing is just terrific. And unlike the reviewer from Spain, I could feel all the emotions he put into his playing and music. Gordon took me on a journey of Blake and his world and visions, and I've never left. Stranded for a few years, perhaps, but never left.

If you have to buy the one definitive guitar album, this has to be it. You'll never regret it but remember this. Never, ever lend it to anyone unless you're sure you'll get it back!
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