Heartsong

Album: Perilous Journey (1977)
Charted: 21

Songfacts®:

  • Guitarist and session musician Gordon Giltrap's musical career began in the 1960s, when he played the folk scene in London alongside contemporaries such as Bert Jansch and Mike Oldfield.

    Giltrap signed to Transatlantic Records in the late 1960s and released a series of folk albums. In 1976 he released the instrumental LP Visionary, based on the art and poetry of William Blake. The success of this record prompted him to form the Gordon Giltrap Band, which toured extensively in the UK at that time. A follow-up album, Perilous Journey, consolidated his success peaking at #29 in the UK Albums Chart. It also spawned this hit single.
  • Giltrap told the story of the song to Teamrock: "It began with a song I did in the late '60s called 'Starting All Over.' When I lived in London, I began to mess around with it, and stumbled on the riff for what would become 'Heartsong.' I kept working on it, and eventually recorded the guitar part for it. Then we added the rhythm section from Simon Phillips (drums) and John G. Perry (bass)."

    "At the time, I never thought of this as anything other than a jolly little tune, but my producers Rod Edwards and Rodger Hand realized the commercial potential in what we had. The melody really came out when the mini moog part was added, and then Eddie Spence came up with the fast moving synth figure. Edwards and Hand recorded Eddie at half speed, then played it back at normal speed to get the desired effect. That was something they learnt from George Martin."
  • The song was later used as the signature tune of the long-running BBC TV series Holiday.

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