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Porcupine Tree

Though he initially came to wider attention (at least in the U.K.) with No-Man, his long-running collaboration with Tim Bowness throughout the '90s, singer/guitarist Steven Wilson gained as much of a reputation for Porcupine Tree. Embracing and exploring prog rock inspirations while always keeping an ear out for newer musical connections, thus sidestepping the pointless revivalism of many of the band's peers, Porcupine Tree has created some noteworthy albums and songs over the years, continuing full-strength into the new millennium.

The group itself was just Wilson at the start. Born in London in 1967, he was too young to participate in the first full flush of psychedelic and experimental rock music, but swiftly made up for lost time, turning out to be a talented musical prodigy. Having learned guitar and keyboards at a young age, he contributed to work by underground prog outfits of the early '80s such as Altamont and Karma, while continuing his own musical growth and exploration. 1987 saw the founding of both No-Man and Porcupine Tree, the latter actually starting as a joke between Wilson and a friend about a legendary lost '70s group. Elaborate discographies and other material were created à la Spinal Tap, while Wilson himself created a slew of music meant to be the band's lost recordings. In a humorous twist of fate, two tapes of this material ended up in the hands of other folks interested in hearing more from Wilson, who ended up collating the best tracks for Porcupine Tree's real debut album on Delerium Records, On the Sunday of Life, in 1992. Those songs having been something of a nostalgia exercise, Wilson aimed for a more contemporary approach on his follow-up release -- the extended single "Voyage 34," with a clear debt to ambient techno jokesters the Orb.

Up the Downstair, Porcupine Tree's next full album, found Wilson coming fully into his own, creating a majestic, sweeping album that took the prog inspirations of the past fully into a realm of mysterious hush and beauty as much as full-on rock charge. Two collaborators on other projects, bassist Colin Edwin and keyboardist Richard Barbieri, the latter one of the core members of early-'80s pop art geniuses Japan, guested on the album. Later that year, the two formally joined Porcupine Tree, along with drummer Chris Maitland, establishing a four-piece lineup.

The first release by the new version of the group, The Sky Moves Sideways, was actually something of a transitional affair, a number of the songs still being Wilson solo compositions and performances. A slew of fine songs stood out regardless, notably "Moonloop," but the bandmembers themselves considered the quartet's true debut to be 1996's Signify, another stunning step forward for the Porcupine Tree sound, with new highlights everywhere, including the epic blast of the title track itself. A nice nod to the past came that year with the vinyl-only Spiral Circus album, featuring selections from the first three performances of the four-piece lineup in 1993, while 1997's Coma Divine featured live recordings from the Rome stop on the Signify tour. By this time, Porcupine Tree's reputation had spread throughout Europe and elsewhere, including an increasing cult following in America.

A friendly parting from Delerium led Porcupine Tree to Snapper/K-Scope, which released 1999's Stupid Dream, notable for its stronger song focus and slightly more accessible feel all around. The band's reputation and fan base continued to grow, with another album, Lightbulb Sun, taking its bow in 2000. Porcupine Tree continued to tour and plan ahead for both new recordings and reissues of older, rarer material, the first of which surfaced in May 2001, titled Recordings. Various unreleased cuts from the Stupid Dream and Lightbulb Sun sessions as well as a few B-sides were included. They spent the rest of the year putting together Stars Die: The Delerium Years '91-97, a box set that looks at their catalog from 1991 to 1997. Many more unreleased and rare tracks found their way onto the set, and the album finally came out in late autumn 2001. Drummer Chris Maitland left the band in March of 2002, but luckily, Gavin Harrison was available to take his place. A year later, In Absentia was released, followed by Warszawa and Deadwing in 2005. Up the Downstair was reissued that same year, complete with a bonus disc of the band's 1994 EP Staircase Infinities. Porcupine Tree did some sporadic touring in summer 2006 before fall dates were completed around the U.K., Europe, and the United States. Around the same time, Stupid Dream was reissued with bonus material. In 2007, the band released their ninth studio LP, a loose concept album with an underlying theme of escapism in the 21st century, aptly named Fear of a Blank Planet (not to be confused with the similarly titled Public Enemy classic). The following year, the band released the mini-album Nil Recurring, which consisted of tracks written during the recording of Fear of a Blank Planet. In 2009, the group released Incident, which was comprised of a single long song that featured many different movements, as well as a handful of shorter compositions that close the album. The double-live album, Octane Twisted, followed in 2012. ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

vfs2
Saw the shortened set of the raven that refused to sing in Albany in September it was amazing
The posted lyrics are so inaccurate, I wish I could fix it. Otherwise anything Steven Wilson touches is priceless.
They sound very spacy.
mochaandbone
MUST READ THIS!!!! I'd just like to say to all you people posting these comments saying your gonna die or date your crush are not true. You will not actually die or fall in love. Trust me it's only a joke and I can't believe people are desperate enough to do that. I read one and didn't die..... I mean really people are so stupid out there!!! Someone just started it to freak people out. So can you please just chill out and stop? Repost to get word round
kuklamj
Saw porcupine tree twice in concert! Phenominal!
Been a major progressive fan since the early 70’s, with PT being my all time favorite. Absolutely amazing
Wilson, and group. impossibly good. King Crimson in the here and know. What a tribute to some of the finest indestructib l e progressive rock in perfect form.
Immaculate
The greatest single center band in the world, Wilson is quite the genius ; Damn fine music...
cruz.priscil a
Impossible not to like!!!!
james.caslin
Grabbed a CD a long time ago because i liked the name, WOW !!! LUV LUV LUV PT The best and most played music I own!!! Always a Psychadelic fan, prog bands of the 60's and 70's were all I listened to while in the ARMY, that's when I found a HAWKWIND album. I bought that cause I liked the cover art if you should take a listen to a song or two, you won't be sorry. Roots Psychadelia like PF's Meddle and obscured.
chrisdoug394 8
My favorite bands are Reagan Youth who went Psychadelic jus before Dave's suicide, The Black Angels, Acid Mothers Temple, and In Gowen Ring. I also like The Butthole Surfers and Bobby McFerrin. And I love PT : )
i remember reading a delerium music catalogue going all ape over pt -- took the plunge on the sky moves sideways and just got 100% into them - bought the cd's, traded for concert tapes, saw them @ progscape... i thought went a little nu-metal post signify but is returning to a more proggish vibe.
I love the resurgence of progressive into popular music... I have much less fear switching on the radio anymore.
This band PT 'The Full Package' great musicians! This is rock n roll! In my blood....
wjackson5
just discovered PT about 3 years ago. Absolutely amazing.
If you like this band you will like riverside
Steven Wilson-the only real true artist out there right now...very sad where music is now-it will get worse as well
I LOVE THEM>
thomas.capit o
One of the best bands, lyrically, musically, the whole package...
Great band, very Progressive Rock! :)
Taking no Prisoners, great job!
Beautiful, scary, sad, exuberant,gr o o v y , t r i p p y , melancholy,p o w e r f u l . . . . . . . P T .
Great Band. Unique!
PT / Steven Wilson have saved my audiophile soul. Check out Raven who refused to sing... the best progressive album I've ever heard in my life.
In Absentia was the first album I bought. .been a major fan ever since Steven Wilson is a genious. ..
Great sound and creativity
Love love love. Glass Arm Shattering is my jam!
binojmatthew
Gavin Harrison the current drummer for PT is phenomenal!! !
Nice.. :)
mlmellon
Awesome band!! Thank you!! ❤
tjj812
If you like great guitar playing this band is for you.
Perfect! PT started out as a one-person project and grew into one of the most interesting bands in 22 years.
This band never ceases to amaze me. It has just the right balance Grit and Groove.
@mirigalavur s o I'd agree with that on Awake and Train of Thought and some parts of Black Clouds and Silver Linings, but LaBrie can actually sound good sometimes too. Just not when he's trying too hard to be Megadeath/Me t a l l i c a . Which is too often.
Omg this band is awesome i love it
If you like Porcupine Tree, don't listen to Dream Theater, as LaBrie will destroy your eardrums and leave you wondering why you listen to Prog.
Porcupine tree is amazing... its like they found a perfect sound in between Pink Floyd and Tool
Dream Theater is another band you might like if you like these guys.
I've been looking for some new music for awhile. ran across this bands name in a blog. I've listened to three of their songs now and I'm totally hooked! What is wrong with American radio stations? The best band I've never heard of. Will be buying their cds if I can find them in the US.
Richard, about airplay in America, the USA has fallen way behind on playing anything other than absolute crap on the radio. There are no real radio stations any more. All you hear now on the radio is what the corporate media weenies want you to hear to market their ever expanding volume of lame social mush. Does anyone remember when you could listen to a radio station, relate the the DJ who actually had a say in what he played and be pleasantly surprised by something new and original?
I am new to Porcupine tree but I am already very impressed with their work. Every once in a while you stumble across something special, these guys are definitely unique, no wonder they have a strong cult following.
what a farout band - from the first time i heard this group i fell in love with there music - too bad they donot get much air play in america - everybody is too busy listening to pre fab stuff to listen to any real music - steve wilson is working with some of the old school prog guys now - ian anderson - steve hackett - they know good talen when they see and hear it - thank god
kvons1
Rather obscure group, but decent tune. Radio Active Toy --another good one.
will.rappapo r t
And you just have to love King Lerxst on Wedding Nails!
If you love Porcupine Tree, I'm fairly certain you'll also like, Abigail's Ghost, Riverside, RPWL, Gazpacho, Katatonia, Opeth (as some already mentioned), Magic Pie, and Vienna Circle. There are similarities and differences, of course, but Abigail's Ghost in particular sounds very much like PT on certain songs.
I agree with mabrennan0 about Lawrence. Let me give you a hint, Lawrence. The next time you want to trash someone else's talents maybe you should run your statements through a grammar check. Your complete lack of understandin g of the English language speaks volumes to the ignorance mabrennan0 points out.

It is plain, not plane.
Sucks, not suck.
I'm sure Wilson would like his proper noun name capitalized.
Ge D D y Lee.
It's break, not brake.

To repeat, you are an idiot.
mabrennan0
My god lawrence, you're an idiot. First off, you should be b**ch slapped for disrespectin g the prog rock pioneers, let alone three extremely talented musicians. I like PT alot, but where do you think some of Wilsons style comes from? Again, I refer to You're an idiot. Just to clarify things, It would be Wilson licking the sweat off of Lee's, Lifesons, and Perts balls and would consider himself privileged to do so. Again I say you're an idiot and have no musical intelligence . . . . d u m b a s s
joenap999
Rush had good musicality, neil peart very good. BUT, PT!!!> is the the Beatles of the new Millenium, saw PT in LA 2 years ago, EK-Sell-enT> > >
swjonesmi
Great band!
@Lawrence Geddy Lee s**ts PT for breakfast man. get a life.
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