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Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 857 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I own several Hackett recordings from his prodigious output, and it's about time I paid homage to the best of them. Hackett's third solo record sees him getting out from some of the weight of symphonic Genesis stylings and going for a leaner sound, which pays dividends in spades.

Much like Camel after they gave up jazzier rock and focussed on soft, melodic songs on Moonmadness and subsequent recordings, this album is packed with unabashed beauty. Opener Every Day leaps from its classical melody opening into joyous vocals and ends with a truly classic emotionally-charged solo. The Virgin and the Gypsy is an incredible pastoral ballad redolant of the English countryside, with wonderful harmonies, flute and delicate synths (guitar synth?). The Red Flower uses Oriental scales to great effect and heightens the pastoral atmosphere. Things get more aggressive on Clocks/The Angel of Mons, a dramatic, charging instrumental appropriate to its wartime theme. After a slight misstep in the attempt at humour that is The Ballad of the Decomposing Man (not bad but sticks out like a sore thumb from all this lushness), Hackett returns to graceful, melodic themes on Lost in Cordoba and the ominous Tigermoth, finishing with another extended piece of ecstatic melody and chiming guitar in Spectral Mornings.

The songs on this record were thoughtfully put together and driven by great playing and artistic focus. Though Hackett has done much good work since, to me this is a timeless classic and easily one of the greatest records of the late 70s.

Heptade | 5/5 |


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