Ashton began his career as the original lead vocalist for the early 70s UK progressive group Rare Bird (best known for their ‘Sympathy’ hit). In 1974 he left that band to form Headstone, but when success with that group proved more elusive he elected to pursue a solo career. Little fanfare surrounded the release of his two solo albums for 20th Century and Arista Records in the late 70s - with new wave dominating the charts there was little commercial respite for an artist with designs as grand as those of Ashton. Modern Pilgrims, an unexpected 1988 release for new label RCA Records, included futuristic imagery in addition to bombastic hard rock with elaborate arrangements.
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