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Down On The Road By The Beach Vinyl LP

Be With RecordsSKU lp-10849

Japan-only ethereal tropical guitar rarity, inc'l photography book
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  • Lab Overview
  • 🔊Tracklist
  • Review & Q+A

Lab Overview

Steve Hiett was an English photographer, musician, artist, and graphic designer. His initial interest was in painting, but he switched to graphic design and photography in 1959. After school, he joined a psyche-pop band named Pyramid, this time on the road leading to him photographing the likes of Jimi Hendrix backstage throughout the 70’s. He settled on his signature style of photography in the 80’s, which feature over-saturated colors, unique framing, and strong flash. It was during this period of time that he released a solo guitar album and accompanying photo book titled Down On The Road By The Beach, but it was available exclusively in Japan and has remained quite obscure since. The album is inspired by the color “blue”, which the liner notes describe as “color and a psychological concept.” He says, “I just loved writing music and playing guitar. When all that came to a close for various reasons, I still took my guitar with me where ever I went. In the 80’s I made a guitar album in Japan and also played on some French TV commercials and actually had a hit on a record in France by the singer Valli which I co-produced and played guitar on. I am still working at playing guitar and writing music.” The LP features appearances from Japanese New Wave group The Moonriders, and is a heady combination of ambient pop and smooth jazz. It splits the difference between the acoustic experimentation of the Durutti Column, the guitar worship of MBV, and the electronic ambience of Washed Out, resulting in a record that is both of its time and wildly ahead of it. “Never Find A Girl” is layers of jangle with hazy vocals, “By The Pool” is heavily affected electric strums and dramatic keys. “In The Shade” is Carpenter-esque electronic textures with kaleidoscopic guitar. This album is a true obscurity, with used copies costing over $200 on discogs. This album is packaged in a gatefold sleeve, and includes a 12x12 book of photography. Highly recommended.

  • black vinyl pressing
  • gatefold sleeve
  • includes 12x12 booklet of photographs and liner notes
  • first time available on any format in the US or Europe
  • limited edition
  • also available: Steve Hiett: Girls In The Grass Vinyl LP
  • music label: Be With Music 2019
reviewed by HOCKNEY NIGHT 09/2019
UPC: 4251648413356


Review & Q+A

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