Hit-Songwriter Albums from the Lost and Found (Part 1): In the House of Stone and Light

by Jeff Fiedler

Albums from the Lost & Found is a regular feature on thegreatalbums.com in which contributor Jeff Fiedler reviews and helps us rediscover great pop albums that seem to have been lost to time.

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To more casual music fans, Martin Page probably seemed like an industry newcomer by the release of his first solo album, but he was anything but, in fact. The British-born songwriter had first found his way onto the charts as a member of the early-‘80s synth-pop band Q-Feel, who scored a minor Hot 100 hit with “Dancing in Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop),” before focusing his attention on writing material for other artists, a move which paid off in a very big way for Page.

His first Top 40 success as a songwriter was as the co-writer of the Kim Carnes hit “Invisible Hands,” but greater hits were still to come. “These Dreams,” penned with former Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin, was originally pitched to Stevie Nicks for Rock a Little and turned down, but veteran rock band Heart would pick up the tune and take it all the way to Number One, scoring their first-ever chart-topper in the process. Taupin and Page would land their second chart-topper as a songwriting duo when Starship recorded “We Built This City.” Page would also write an additional smash hit for Starship in 1989’s “It’s Not Enough” and a pair of Top 40 hits for British duo Go West, “Faithful” and the Pretty Woman soundtrack cut “King of Wishful Thinking.”

It wasn’t until 1993’s excellent In the House of Stone and Light that Page finally made his solo debut as a performer, and the album even gave him a Top 40 hit of his very own in the world-music-tinged title cut, a sophisticated slice of pop/rock [reportedly inspired by a visit to the Grand Canyon and featuring guest appearances from the legendary Robbie Robertson (The Band) on guitar and R&B singer Brenda Russell on background vocals] that topped the Adult Contemporary charts and rocketed all the way to #14 on the Hot 100.

Strangely, nothing else from the disc followed the title cut into the Top 40, but it wasn’t for lack of fine candidates, especially “Keeper of the Flame” (one of three cuts – “The Door” and “In My Room” being the other two – to feature appearances from Page’s former Q-Feel bandmates Brian Fairweather and Trevor Thorton) and the lovely adult-contemporary balladry of “Light in Your Heart,” one of three cuts featuring one of the most famous drummers in all of rock music, Phil Collins, behind the kit. [Collins also plays on “Shape the Invisible” and “I Was Made for You.”]

Jack Hues of Wang Chung (“Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” “Let’s Go!,” “Dance Hall Days”) lends his vocal, guitar, and keyboard talents to “Monkey in My Dreams,” “The Door,” and “Broken Stairway,” respectively, while former Tears for Fears guitarist Neil Taylor (best known for providing the solo that closes “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”) sits in on each of the ten cuts here.  

Surprisingly, Page wouldn’t resurface on disc as a solo performer until 2008, when he issued the self-released In the Temple of the Muse. He’s since put out two more self-released affairs, 2012’s A Temper of Peace and 2015’s Hotel of the Two Worlds, but, sadly, none of his three post-‘90s albums have charted on the Top 200.