SOLSTICE – The Beginners Guide To Solstice 1984-2023 (2023)
If one band could lay claim to the label ‘UK prog’s best kept secret’ then SOLSTICE would surely make the shortlist. The band began life in 1980 as a neo-prog collective and perhaps the most conspicuous change in recent times is the prominence of founder Andy Glass guitar playing establishing him unmistakably as the bands front-man. And whilst his phrasing still contains elements of the Latimer, Hackett and Howe style of old (particularly when he’s playing the melody line) there is now a harder, bluesy edge to his soloing.
SOLSTICE released their first album in 1984, two in the 90s, two in 2010’s and two recently, always, expressing the musical vision of Glass; melody, classy prog structures and elaborated musicianship.
The just released ”The Beginners Guide” provides an introduction to SOLSTICE’s music with a track representing each of their albums from 1984’s ‘Silent Dance’ through to ‘Light Up’ in 2023. Every track has been remastered and the album opens with Steven Wilson (fan of the band) remix of ‘Find Yourself’ taken from the ’84’s album.
“The Beginners Guide To Solstice” properly demonstrate just how far Solstice have come since their ’80s beginnings. Given the near 40 years that separate the recordings and the fact that, with the exception of Glass, the personnel has changed the album still retains a sense of symmetry.
1. Find Yourself (Steven Wilson remix) – taken from Silent Dance 1984
2. Journey – taken from New Life 1992
3. Sacred Run – taken from Circles 1996
4. Solomon’s Bridge – taken from Spirit 2010
5. Warriors – taken from Prophecy 2013
6. A New Day Live – representing Sia 2020
7. Bulbul Tarang Live – representing Light Up 2023
Andy Glass – guitars
Emma Brown – vocals
Clive Bunker – drums
Marc Elton – violin
Craig Sunderland – bass
Jess Holland – vocals
Peter Hemsley – drums
Steven McDaniel – keys
Robin Phillips – bass
Johanna Stroud – vocals
Olivia Armon – vocals
Meg Knightsbridge – vocals
John McGuire – additional vocals