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Gabriel wrote this song after his departure from the progressive rock band Genesis, of which he is the lead singer since the creation of the band was. The song describes, between the lines, his departure from Genesis. Solsbury Hill was his debut single. It was a top-20 hit in England and reached the top 70 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song has been used in several feature films, for example in the soundtrack to Vanilla Sky from 2001 and 2004 In Good Company . In addition, the song has been covered by several artists, such as Dave Matthews, Erasure, Sarah McLachlan and Saga.
The song consists mainly of a 7/4 rhythm. The last two bars of each chorus are in 4/4.