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Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.54 | 144 ratings

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Tristan Zaba
5 stars I saw an interview with Steve a little while ago in which he stated that in lieu of a full Genesis reunion (something that will most likely never happen taking into consideration Phil' health problems and Pete's preoccupation) he would like the Genesis revisited collection to stand as the definitive recordings of these songs. While that is without a doubt quite a claim, I believe this CD/DVD set achieves this.

I've always had a lot of mixed emotions regarding the early Genesis recordings up to Peter's departure. Let me just state that I love the music itself to death and really can't get enough of it. However, most of those recordings (or at least large portions of them) in my opinion suffer from sloppy playing and poor production. It always seems like Peter is just slightly exceeding his vocal comfort zone, Phil's drumming isn't providing enough of a rhythmic foundation, etc. I have never had any complaints about Mike Rutherford or Steve Hackett. I also really like Tony Banks, even if he sometimes seems a bit uninspired. Instances like the revolving door of producers on Foxtrot really show and make the album seem like mass confusion. From the first time I listened to that disc I thought "wow, someone needs to do a kickass rerecording of this".

Well, ladies, gentlemen, and those outside the gender binary, said kickass rerecording is here and boy is it a doozy. All these songs, in my opinion, sound exactly as they should when played by outstanding musicians who really know how to execute complex, passionate, and beautiful music. It simply could not be done better, especially in a live setting! The one low point would probably be Nik Kershaw's vocals on The Lamia. He does a good job, but his voice just doesn't suit it. It's like listening to that recording of Dream Theater covering Dark Side of The Moon. I'm also not a huge fan of the Eleventh Earl Of Mar, but that's mainly just because I don't like the piece. The execution is still beautiful.

It is really hard to pick the best parts (as it is all so fantastic), but I would have to say The Musical Box, Supper's Ready, and Los Endos are my favourites. Los Endos is quite a dramatic reworking, but it shows instrumental virtuosity to a degree that almost has to be seen to be believed (good thing there's a DVD). The unison sections between the instruments are so insane it's incredibly hard to even distinguish the individual players on the CD. It almost sounds like one great mega-synth, but no. That is honestly a sax, keyboard, and electric guitar playing together (without a drummer in some sections!!!!). Supper's Ready is just perfect in every way. There's no other way to describe it. As far as The Musical Box goes, I've probably listened to this recording 50 times since I bought the set. It is played with such amazing energy. One of those real "shivers-down-your-spine" performances. I actually love the original recording of that song too, but I don't find it as hard hitting as this.

Again, I almost cannot express the greatness of the performances and overall musicianship on these discs. I also think Steve Hackett was the perfect person to lead this. I find him truly remarkable and he is a great inspiration on my own guitar playing. I've thought for a while that Voyage Of The Acolyte was what Genesis could have sounded like if done properly. It's great to see this music finally get that treatment.

However, no offence to the other members of Genesis from that time period. I think they're all fantastic and cannot express how much I appreciate their contributions to progressive music. It wouldn't be the same without any of them. However, when listening to Chopin's preludes I can almost guarantee I'd rather hear Horowitz play them than Chopin himself. That is what this disc is. This band is the Horowitz to Genesis' Chopin.

Tristan Zaba | 5/5 |


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