Broken Skies Outspread Wings

Broken Skies Outspread Wings
Artwork by Roger Dean

Broken Skies Outspread Wings - looking back - August 2018

Looking back over the period 1984 - 2006, there were many twists and turns, phases, and developments on my musical adventures.

Hot on the heels of its predecessor Highly Strung, my album Till We Have Faces followed even more of an individual path, avoiding compliance to commercial pressures. I've always felt the need to explore all the ideas which come into my head, and by that time I realised this was the way forward for my solo projects. On that album in 1984 I enjoyed working with Brazilian percussionists, whilst continuing to follow my own take on rock.

Broken Skies Outspread Wings

The GTR period which followed ('85 - '86) was more commercial, but still involved a progressive approach to guitar via Steve Howe and myself, combining influences from both Genesis and Yes. With the album material that became Feedback '86, I continued to explore exciting guitar combinations - this time with Brian May of Queen.

There was a major shift again with Guitar Noir in the early '90s. I was following a more introspective solo path, whilst exploring the quality and diversity of sound. "Many Sides to the Night" and "Sierra Quemada" remain personal favourites from that album.

With Darktown ('99) the music had more variety and a sharper bite again. I feel that I was coming increasingly into my own, looking into life experience, from dark school memories to a past relationship... Also, there was a new level of variety and experimentation with songs like "Golden Age of Steam" and "Dreaming with Open Eyes". Technology was now opening up magical portals along with a more polished sound, particularly with orchestral samples. But the guitar remained the central thread.

I continued to include an increasing number of genres and approaches with the last two albums of the period, with more technological advances enabling a song like "Downstreet" to have at least 200 Tracks! Also, influences beginning to come in from cultures around the world, were revealed in tracks like "The Silk Road" and "Cedars of Lebanon". Each album had its own vibe though. Whilst To Watch the Storms (2003) had a much lighter feel than Darktown, Wild Orchids (2006) was more Gothic in atmosphere, as my life story continued to influence and move on through the music...

I'm proud of the range of music this box set contains, beautifully re-mastered by Ben Fenner. Roger King has created some amazing 5.1 surround sound mixes on an additional DVD which also features never seen before live video footage by Volker Warncke and Michaela Ix. The Somewhere in South America DVD was filmed in Buenos Aires on a tour I remember well, involving several of the musicians and crew I still work with today. More of my insights are included in the 60 page booklet, along with several rare photos that I hadn't seen for many years and the cover is a beautiful painting by Roger Dean.

This is a trip down memory lane, and I hope you'll enjoy the ride as much as I have...

To pre-order and for more information on this project...

Broken Skies Outspread Wings