Although it has some vocal noises - la la la here and there - the title track of the Pilgrimage album is an early Ash instrumental. Released in September 1971, the album was produced by Derek Lawrence. "The Pilgrim" is the second track on the album, runs to eight and a half minutes, and is a group composition.
In a September 2005 response to a fan, bass player Martin Turner said it was built on bass riffs, the slow section with guitarist Ted Turner's melody on top and then the 7/8 fast section. "I spent hours putting this together and it borrows somewhat from classical music I had studied. Andy did a good job of improvising the guitar over the top, not easy with that time signature".
Turner takes a pride in his back catalogue, and this song is explained in considerable depth in his on-line discography: '"The Pilgrim" had also been tried out on live audiences. Aside from a brief vocal chant from Martin and Andy, it was basically a highly intricate instrumental piece, evolving from a peaceful opening section before changing pace and bursting into an up-tempo 7/4 section based around a Martin Turner bass riff and displaying the guitar skills of Ted Turner and Andy Powell.'
He added: 'I was really into "The Pilgrim" from the standpoint of a musical version of Lord of the Rings...but that was probably just because I was reading the book at the same time that we were putting the tune together. That's what it meant for me, but I don't think it meant that for anyone else in the band.'
Suggestion credit: Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3