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Leading on from late-night conversations between Phil Baggaley, Adrian Plass and David Clifton during a tour in the spring of 1995, the idea of putting together a musical presentation on the subject of heaven and eternity was born.
More than a year slipped by, each of them having full work-loads and other commitments, with the result that they were still no further forward! However, a writing session with Ian Blythe in August 1996 gave birth to the title song 'The Golden City' and with the emergence of this track came the spark that seemed to ignite the project. Telephone conversations with Adrian Plass confirmed his interest in the concept, and the fact that he had several pieces of prose and poetry about heaven already written inspired the writing and assembling of new work. Over the next few weeks, with several son-writing sessions taking place in London and Derby with David Clifton and Ian Blythe, the layout and map of the next songs came together very quickly. All the elements were assembled in rough demo form by October 1996. Early spring and summer of 1997 saw the tracking and recording taking shape, with the mixing and mastering completed late in the summer. There was also a special book released as a companion to the project, with artwork and graphics by Steve Rigley.
The comments and reviews on the Amazon website give a hint and a sense of how important this recording still is so many people around the world. Such is the popularity of this album that there may soon be a new manufacture of the recording, along with an anniversary vinyl release. Details will be given on the Little Room news updates
If you have an hour to spare one evening, light the fire, draw the curtains, open a bottle of wine and listen through the whole album in one go. Works well on sunny days and in daylight too, of course.
"Once or twice in a lifetime we have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others, and being a part of this little project has been a true privilege for us all.".
1. Peaceful Shore (Pilgrim's Progress) (02.15)
2. The Golden City (03.55)
3. Creed (01.20)
4. How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place (04.02)
5. River Of Life (Pilgrim's Progress) (00.46)
6. River Of Life (03.21)
7. Heavenly Playground (01.48)
8. The Bells Of The City Rang (01.52)
9. The King Who Remembers My Name (03.31)
10. Safe In Your Harbour (04.05)
11. Welcome Dance (01.06)
12. Cricket (01.16)
13. No Song On Earth (04.37)
14. Heaven (02.33)
15. This Is Your Land (04.18)
16. Arrival At The City (01.38)
17. Journey's End (04.10)
18. This Is Your Land (Reprise) (04.22)
Narrator - Adrian Plass
Lead Vocals - Julie Costello and Mal Pope
Keyboards, loops and drum programming - Mark Edwards
Mandolin, mandola, acoustic and hi-strung guitars - David Clifton
Electric guitar - Neil Costello
Saxophone, flute and whistles - Dave Fitzgerald
Backing Vocals - Ian Blythe, Julie Costello, Carla Hayes, Carl McGregor, David Lyle Morris, Maria Pike, Tracy Riggan, Carol Riley
Elka Organ on River Of Life - Steve Thompson
Produced by Neil Costello and Phil Baggaley
Recorded at Soundfield Studios, Derby and ICC Studio Two, Eastbourne by Neil Costello. Additional engineering by Colin Walker
Mixed by Neil Costello at Soundfield Studios, Derby
Mastered by Denis Blackham at Country Masters
Poetry and prose by Adrian Plass. Quotes from The Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan. All songs written by Phil Baggaley, David Clifton, Ian Blythe, and published by Little Room Music, administered by IQ Music
Artwork by Steve Rigley