One Stage Before

Album: Year Of The Cat (1976)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is another of Stewart's enigmatic songs, this time about reincarnation. One of the standout tracks on his blockbuster Year Of The Cat album, it features a guitar solo by Tim Renwick. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • Stewart explained in a promotional interview CD: "Whenever I'm on a stage, I look at the stage, I look at the floor boards underneath me, and I think about all the feet that have been on them before mine. When I was playing at a theater in London I was thinking how Laurence Olivier or Peter Sellers or any of these people would have stood there and declaimed their speeches, and there I am in their place - it's a phenomenal thought. If you take this back a few hundred generations, what about Romans or Greeks standing in the same place, doing the same thing. We all tread these boards, we all travel, we all turn to dust and people replace us. The essence of that is what forms the song."

Comments: 2

  • Jody from Neillsville“And some of you are harmonies to all the notes I play; Although we may not meet, still you know me well”
    I wonder if I am one of those harmonies who shadow Alistair through the ages. The lyric of “One Stage Before” illustrates the wonderful complexities and multiple levels of the “Year of the Cat.” album It uses musical metaphors (“Others talk in secret keys and transpose all I say”) to meditate on both reincarnation (“It seems to me I’ve been on this stage before”) and the odd relationship that forms between the performer and his audience (“I see those half-familiar faces in the second row, Ghost-like with the footlights in their eyes”), set to a surreal melody, an opiate dream.
  • Gary from Biloxi, MalaysiaThis song has always reminded me of the Vampire Lestat from the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles. If you are familiar with the chronicles, it fits in well with The Vampire Lestat storyline. With the theater and the vampires on stage.
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