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"Solsbury Hill" is a song by British musician Peter Gabriel about a spiritual experience atop Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England. Gabriel wrote the song after his departure from the progressive rock band Genesis, of which he had been the lead singer since its inception. The song was his debut single. The single was a Top 20 hit in the UK and reached the #68 on theBillboard Hot 100 chart in 1977.[1]

It has been used in a number of movies, for example, in the soundtracks of the 2001 film Vanilla Sky,[2] and the 2004 film In Good Company.[3] Its prevalence has been called "ubiquitous", particularly its inclusion in a satirical re-cut trailer of The Shining.[4] The song has been covered by many artists, including Lou Reedmoe.Dave MatthewsErasureSarah McLachlanSagaand Justin Hines.

The song uses a 7/4 time signature for the vast majority of the song. The last two measures of each chorus are in 4/4.


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit][]

7" UK single (1977)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" – (3:24)
  2. "Moribund The Burgermeister" – (4:17)

7" "Old Gold" single (1982)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" - (3:26)
  2. "Games Without Frontiers" - (3:50)

UK maxi-single (1983, 1988)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" – (3:24)
  2. "Moribund The Burgermeister" – (4:17)
  3. "Solsbury Hill (Full Length Live Version)" – (4:45)

7" European single (1990 re-issue)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" – (4:24)
  2. "Shaking The Tree" – (5:06)

12" UK single (1990 re-issue)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" – (4:22)
  2. "Shaking The Tree" – (5:06)
  3. "Games Without Frontiers (Live)" - (6:06)
"Solsbury Hill (Live)"
Single by Peter Gabriel
from the album Plays Live
B-side "Kiss Of Life (Live)"
Released 1983
Format vinyl record (7")
Genre Folk rockprogressive rock
Length 4:41
Label Geffen Records / Charisma Records

Live Version[edit][]

7" US single (1983)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill (Live)" - (3:58)
  2. "I Go Swimming (Live)" - (4:29)

7" Netherlands single (1983)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill (Live)" - (4:41)
  2. "Kiss Of Life (Live)" - (5:01)

7" US single (1983)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill (Live)" - (3:58)
  2. "Shock The Monkey" - (3:58)
"Solsbury Hill"
Single by Erasure
from the album Other People's Songs
B-side "Tell it to Me"

"Searching" "Ave Maria"

Released 6 January 2003
Format CDDVD
Recorded 2002
Genre Synthpop
Length 3:57
Label Mute
Writer(s) Peter Gabriel
Producer Gareth Jones,


Erasure singles chronology
"Moon & the Sky"


"Solsbury Hill"


"Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)"



Erasure's cover version[edit][]

"Solsbury Hill" was recorded by British synth pop duo Erasure in 2003 for their cover versions album Other People's Songs and released as a single in the UK on 6 January 2003 and in the US on 14 January 2003. The single reached # 10 on the UK chart in January 2003. The track was chosen for the album by Erasure member Vince Clarke. Clarke and singer Andy Bell turned the song into a mid-tempo electronic dance tune, displaying the signature Erasure sound. The only major change made to the structure of the song was the modification of the 7/4 time signature to a more basic 4/4—except for the chorus, which slips back into 7/4 time for one line.

Track listing[edit][]

CD Single #1 (CDMUTE275)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill"
  2. "Tell It To Me"
  3. "Searching"

CD Single #2 (LCDMUTE275)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" (37B Mix)
  2. "Solsbury Hill" (Manhattan Clique Extended Remix)
  3. "Ave Maria"

DVD Single (DVDMUTE275)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" (Radio Mix)
  2. "Video Killed The Radio Star"
  3. "Dr Jeckyll and Mistress Hyde" (Short Film)

U.S. CD Maxi Single (9200-2)[edit][]

  1. "Solsbury Hill" (Radio Mix)
  2. "Solsbury Hill"
  3. "Tell It To Me"
  4. "Searching"
  5. "Video Killed The Radio Star"
  6. "Solsbury Hill" (37B Mix)
  7. "Solsbury Hill" (Manhattan Clique Extended Remix)
  8. "Ave Maria"
  9. "Dr. Jeckyll And Mistress Hyde" (Short Film)

Other cover versions[edit][]

Though not an official cover version, Dream Theater's song Solitary Shell was based on Solsbury Hill in style, though the lyrics are completely of their own creation.