“A fine record with at least one 24-carat irresistible classic in Solsbury Hill” – NME
Having left Genesis the previous summer, Peter’s first solo album arrived in February 1977. He was 26. With legendary producer Bob Ezrin taking charge (the man behind many of the records of Lou Reed, Kiss, Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd), the intention was, despite the presence of King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, to make something more direct and tougher than the flights of fancy he’d often taken off on with Genesis.
Fripp helped Peter expand his horizons; there was experimentation both with electronics and with music from across the globe. And after opening track Moribund The Burgermeister – not a huge step in sound or name from those Genesis days – the clouds part with the bucolic Solsbury Hill. The widescreen, apocalyptic feel of Here Comes The Flood was another hint of what was to come from the solo years, a song about “the flood that drenches the brain, not necessarily the countryside”.
“I really wanted the first record to be different from the stuff that I’d done with Genesis, so we were trying to do things, different styles. There was a variety of songs and arrangements that were consciously trying to provide something different than what I’d done before.
“I’d chosen Bob Ezrin, having met many different producers. He was based in Toronto at the time and we were working in his studio there. There was a selection of people that he’d recommended and some that I’d brought in. I think it really took me three albums to get confidence and find out what I could do that made me different from other people.”