Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Khan: Space Shanty 1972


An obscure footnote of early-'70s British art rock, Khan were an English progressive rock band of the Canterbury Scene during 1971-1972.Formed by Steve Hillage from Uriel, the initial line-up was Steve Hillage (guitar), Nick Greenwood (bass guitar, from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown), Dick


Heninghem (organ) and Pip Pyle (percussion). Pyle quickly moved on to Gong and by the time the band played its first gig in June 1971 he had been replaced by Eric Peachey (from Dr. K’s Blues Band). In October 1971 Dick Heninghem left as well, replaced by Dave Stewart for the duration of the album sessions.The album Space Shanty was released in June 1972, followed by a UK tour supporting Caravan, for which Canadian organist Val Stevens joined. The songs on Space Shanty have some of the most emotion-filled and gloriously picturesque lyrics and compositions out of the whole Canterbury scene/sound.

Songs like "Stranded" and "Driving To Amsterdam" attempt atmospheres reminiscent of Uriah Heep's epic ballads (something not often done in a direct and dedicated way in the Canterbury scene - while

Kevin Ayers may be comparable, a key difference is that Hillage's lyrics and compositions aren't detached or ironic).In the summer of 1972, Hillage put together a new version of the band, retaining Peachey but adding Dave Stewart on keyboards and Nigel Griggs on bass. New material was written and rehearsed, and a few live performances took place in September–October 1972, but Decca's refusal to commit to the release of a second album led Hillage to break up the band and join Kevin Ayers's band, then Gong.

Some material on Steve Hillage's first solo album, Fish Rising, was originally planned for Khan's

aborted second album.While in Gong, Hillage continued to write riffs but the larger musical dimension drew more from Daevid Allen's psychedelic lyrics and story concepts. Hillage's solo work also mostly sees him playing within the more typical Canterbury jazz/prog (Caravan etc.), leaving the emotional record Space Shanty to be a fairly unusual 'one-off' type of recording.

Another one of those albums that is a prime example of one of the facets of Canterbury- style prog .

Khan started much sooner than this release and came after Egg , Arzachel/Uriel (early Egg plus Hillage ) and was the first album after Hillage came back from university. They made one album and then he went on to GonG and the solo carreer we are all familiar with. The calm atmosphere is absolutely harmonious between the organ, the guitar and the voice.

The duets between the guitar and the keyboards and even between two guitars are fantastic. It's a

masterpiece of Canterbury Scene. A great music construction inspiration, and we must listen with a good stereo material, because the studio engeneering sound, was made the duets in two different record pists. A beautiful record with songs and music, that we follin in love and whant listen one more time. Beutiful keiboards and beautiful guitar arrangements.

Khan's only shot is the treasure of the Canterbury scene. Flawless. A perfect album, filled with everything that you ever wanted: SCI-FI theme, a cover art that seems to be the ruins of the Space Battleship Yamato, progressive tracks, organ and guitar amazing interplay, Canterbury Jazz + a little bit

of psychedelia, cool lyricis, space pirates, a bearded manly drummer, catchy bass lines... Everybody needs a Space Shanty's copy. The latest CD version includes two bonus tracks and a very interesting booklet, featuring the story of the band and members, curiosities from the Canterbury scene and funny comics. It's symphonic. It's heavy. It's an essential album for any classic rock or progressive collector. Unfortunattely, Khan had a short lifetime, and a short time to record their songs, so you will find a lot of trippy, jams, and Canterbury fusion passages, but no fillers.
Absolutely a masterpiece of progressive rock music


Khan Featuring Steve Hillage And Dave Stewart – Space Shanty
Label: Eclectic Discs – ECLCD 1016
Format:    CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered 2004
Country: UK
Released: 1972   
Genre: Rock
Style: Prog Rock



01. Space Shanty (Inc. The Cobalt Sequence And March Of The Sine Squadrons)   8:59
Written-By – Steve Hillage
02. Stranded (Effervescent Psycho Novelty No. 5)   6:35
Written-By – Steve Hillage
03. Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains   7:14
Written-By – Nick Greenwood, Steve Hillage
04. Driving To Amsterdam   9:22
Written-By – Steve Hillage
05. Stargazers   5:32
Written-By – Steve Hillage
06. Hollow Stone (Escape Of The Space Pirates)   8:16
Written-By – Steve Hillage

Previously Unreleased Bonus Tracks
07. Break The Chains   3:31
Written-By – Nick Greenwood, Steve Hillage
08. Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains (First Version)   4:28
Written-By – Nick Greenwood, Steve Hillage

Line-up / Musicians


Steve Hillage - guitars, vocals
Nick Greenwood - bass, vocals
Eric Peachey - drums
Dave Stewart - organ, piano, (sky)celesta, marimba



We escaped from the city,
Miles and miles we did flee,
Through the endless forest,
To the edge of the sea.
It was as though the world was ours,
Lying on a deserted beach,
Out of reach, out of their reach.

I could see you much clearer,
As we strode by the shore,
All the peace all around us,
Seemed impossibly pure,
And then the sun shone through the clouds,
Touched us with its magnificent beam,
Made us clean, made us feel so clean.


On our island of safety,
From the alien crowd,
Of the city of madness,
Could we really be sure,
That the peace would still remain.
Sealed away from insanity,
We shall see, we shall see

MP3 @ 320 Size: 125 MB
Flac  Size: 355 MB


  1. Спасибо, крутая была команда!

  2. Replies
    1. I'm glad that you like it.It is a great album!