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Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited II CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.90 | 526 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars I've always blown kind of hot and cold with Hacketts solo work and tend to rate some of it very highly and some of it as complete throwaway rubbish. For me his finest solo moments were on Please don't touch and Spectral Mornings, although I'll admit that I thought some of the production on the latter was a bit lacking, particularly on the title track which seemed to have a certain amount of unwanted distortion/noise associated with it somewhere in the mix...Anyone else noticed that...?

However, I digress.....this album, which can't be called solo work as it involved all the previous members of Genesis at the writing stage and on the originals, is a re-working of some of their much loved favourites and is kind of OK but a bit disappointing in the vocal sense. This is a purely personal issue for me as I always struggle with hearing old songs which I've loved for many years being re-done as what amounts to cover versions : the instrumentation can be as near perfect and close to the original as possible but I generally feel let down by vocal performances which are usually - IMHO - vastly inferior to the original. This album is no exception. The vocals are OK throughout but no more than that.

Lets take Ripples as an example : Amanda lehman ( can't help but wonder why Hackett thinks she's so good exactly..?? ) isn't by any stretch of the imagination a great vocalist but she does a reasonable (ish) job on this, undoubtedly with the help of pitch correction and various other bits and pieces of studio wizardry. Compare the album version with any of the live youtube versions out there from the tour however and the song gets murdered every time.

Now lets look at the Genesis version(s) of Ripples : the original version was on Trick of the Tail and sounds as it should because it's the original version of course. I saw Genesis perform this live on the Duke tour in 1980 (2 nights at Glasgow Apollo) and both times it brought a tear to my eye. Check out the Live in Rome version in 2007 too - OK, so it sounded like the key had been changed to accomodate Phils decreased vocal range and it was a slightly shorter version, but you know, it STILL sent a shiver down my spine and brought a tear to my eye.

Now quickly go back and have a look at Lehmans performance of it at the Albert Hall and you will surely cringe and weep. D'you get what I'm trying illustrate here..? The point is that if the vocals are weak then the song is going to be a whole lot less than it should be regardless of how spectacular the music is, and that's the case with this whole album. It's quite good but just not brilliant for that single reason.

In conclusion I would give Hackett five stars for his efforts in keeping these old songs alive and for giving so many of us the chance to see them being performed live again (although I personally didn't go to any of the shows), but I can only give him 1 star for his choice of vocalists, and that counts for most his solo career with the exception of Please don't Touch when he was switched on enough to use decent vocalists of the calibre of Randy Crawford and Steve Walsh.

A bit disappointing. 2 stars overall.

LunarSea | 2/5 |


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