‘Fear of the dark’ was the third in a trilogy of albums that Gordon Giltrap recorded for the electric record company between 1976 and 1979. ‘Fear of the dark’ was the culmination of all the ideas and production techniques pioneered in the first two albums,which were ‘visionary’ in 77 and ‘perilous journey’ in 78.’perilous journey’ featured the now Giltrap classic’ heartsong’,which went on to be a major hit single and was nominated for the prestigious Ivor Novello award.
‘Fear of the dark’ was without a doubt the darkest of albums that Giltrap had recorded up until this point,using the base childhood fear of the dark,that for many of us remain well into adulthood.
The themes were taken from Giltrap’s musical roots in the mid 60’s and his mentor Bert Jansch,’roots’ being the perfect example of the Jansch influence, through to the disturbing nightmarish quality of ‘innerdrea’m’ featuring the high female vocal of Shirley Roden in an almost Kate Bushe-esque approach to this 12 string tour de force.
Not all the tracks were as dark as the aforementioned pieces. ‘Fast approaching’ for example was a very exhilarating piece featuring giltrap’s soaring electric guitar over swirling banks of keyboards. ‘Nightrider’ was probably the most relentlessly powerful piece on ‘fear of the dark’ moving forward like a steam train heading to god knows where!
Some of the finest musicians in the business were drafted in to appear on ‘fear of the dark’.one of the worlds finest drummers Simon Phillips was particularly brilliant throughout the album, and his inspired playing took the whole project to another level.a single version of the title track was released as a limited edition picture disc and reached number 48 in the singles charts in 1979.
For the first time in Gordon Giltrap’s career, the record company deemed him worthy of a gatefold sleeve, which of course is a very costly item to produce. All of this was completed by the very powerful image of reflective sunglasses against a stark black background. This image alone would make this one of the most memorable album designs to come out of the late seventies.
‘Fear of the dark’ remains a classic to the present day!