Many people count it as one of their favorites. The music is magnificent but there may be an underlying truth here that people cannot bring to the surface of their thinking and express it in words. Beauty and truth are strongly related and this song speaks of a truth that we can feel but not yet quantify - this is perhaps why the song has had such staying power after initially released with only moderate success.
I believe that Gabriel in his first verse:
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
that Solsbury Hill, by being a real place also refers to the "rabbit hole" that Alice falls down in Alice In Wonderland. When we climb up a hill we see more, just as the old expression "going down the rabbit hole" refers. Time is measured by change. Things change when time changes but to say that time stands still is to say that nothing has or is changing. The wind blowing is always a literary reference to something going south.
Our cities are shaped for war making, almost every aspect of civilization as we know it in the West is about war making, this is best explained in The Report From Iron Mountain (you can find free of this on the web). The city light may even be a direct reference to Lucifer. No doubt a highly placed musician such as Gabriel knew of the Luciferians. This hypothesis has its strongest evidence in the last verse, so bear with me.
The above verse goes on:
He was something to observe
Came in close I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information
Just had to trust my imagination
It may be that Gabriel separated from Genesis for political reasons, he is known as a humanitarian and songs such as Red Rain also suggest a political undertone. The Eagle flying out in the night must be a symbolic awakening to a greater truth. Evidence of that greater truth was likely from America because the press was free back then. Many things were happening around that time, the world which we see now was in its early stages of being set up. Humanity was threatened according to the environmentalists. GATT was signed. Soldiers were home from Vietnam and many were awakened to the waste of war (its true purpose). It was a time of political awakening.
The eagle comes in close and he hears a voice. We do not see certain truths until someone points them out to us. The truth is something to observe because it is so radically different to beliefs held common. We have to listen, we have no choice. Events such as the Kennedy assassination and the wars enter our consciousness whether we realize the broad significance right away or not. We trust our imagination when we see the need to look into things from a deeper prospective.
The next verse describes what I had felt and what I think many others felt during their first encounter with the truth - climbing up on Solsbury hill and seeing the product of the city (our civilization, the light of Lucifer)
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Tho' my life was in a rut
Till I thought of what I'd say
which connection I should cut
This verse is mostly self explanatory to anyone in the truth movement except "turning water into wine". I believe this is turning the massive lies and fairy tales provided by the establishment into a few simple, perhaps bitter truths, maybe sweet for some.
I walked right out of the machinery
When we notice certain things we also feel more a part of things and our surroundings. Patriots play a role in the changes we experience while others turn a blind eye as referenced in the verse below:
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
A pirouette is a spin, in the case of ballet dancing the dancer spins to the return position or to "whirl about".
Liberty has turned around to work for government. In government and law there is the maxim that freedom and value is interchangeable. Value is obtained through the loss of freedom for those who take or give up freedom. Government now has freedom that we used to have, freedom in speech (with no responsibility to truth). Our freedoms are being taken away to create more freedom of speech for government. Another example of this would be seat belt laws whos fines result in payment to the banks rather than increased safety awareness as one would expect. The concept of rights being interchanged for value is fundamental to the UCC (see Puff below).
The empty silhouettes refers to the corporate machine that governs us, a corporate entity cannot be a person. Each person is a corporate identity just as the government itself is a corporate entity, sometimes this is referred to as a vessel. In the story Puff The Magic Dragon, the dragon makes reference to Peter Pans shadow that is always getting away from him. It is the shadow government or empty silhouette that is taking over government. It is empty because it is morally empty. Governance must be based on morality to be valid.
The above verse goes on:
I will show them another me
Today I don't need a replacement
There is a way out, of this I am certain, but I have a lot more thinking and research to do. No one understood the way out back during this time.
I believe this is an awakening to a grander truth and to step into it and away from the illusion. Maybe I am a nut.
 What Does Accepted For Value Mean , Byron Beers (available free at Lulu.com)
 Links to other essays at http://en.allexperts.com/q/Gabriel-Peter-464/solsbury-hill-1.htm