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Steve Hackett - Please Don't Touch! CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.59 | 561 ratings

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4 stars Please Don't Touch! is the second studio album from former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Steve Hackettīs debut solo album Voyage of the Acolyte was recorded while he was still a member of Genesis, and the success of that album ignited Steve Hackettīs interest in a solo career. He stayed on for a couple of more Genesis albums, but then decided it was time to leave to pursue a full solo career. Voyage of the Acolyte is a much praised album here on PA but personally I find it a bit trivial. Please Don't Touch! is a much better album IMO.

Steve Hackettīs beautiful melodic guitar playing ( both acoustic and electric) is really excellent throughout the album but itīs not dominant in all songs. Steve Hackett is not a shredder who canīt give room for other musicians. His compositions are made to sound good as songs and not to showcase his skills which really isnīt surprising if you know his style from the Genesis days.

Steve Hackett has a host of guest musicians on the album. Among others the album features former Frank Zappa members Tom Fowler on bass and Chester Thomson ( also Genesis and weather Report) on drums. Steve Walsh and Phil Ehart of Kansas on vocals and drums respectively and Ritchie Havens and Randy Crawford on vocals. Of course brother John Hackett also helps out this time on flutes, piccolos, bass pedals and keyboards.

The album starts with the beautiful Narnia which has Steve Walsh of Kansas on vocals and itīs hard not to think of Kansas because of Steve Walsh very characteristic vocal. Itīs a beautiful song and a great opener. Carry On Up the Vicarage is a humorous song with some funny distorted vocals from Steve Hackett, but it also has some really beautiful parts. Racing In A again has Steve Walsh of Kansas on vocals. Great song that one. Kim is the first instrumental song on the album and itīs the song on Please Don't Touch! that most reminds me of Voyage of the Acolyte. Note the beautiful flute playing from John Hackett on this song.

Then comes How Can I? with Richie Havens on vocals. Itīs a really heartfelt song, and even though The melody line sounds suspiciously close to The Beatles Across the Universe from Let It Be, How Can I? is still a beautiful song. Hoping Love Will Last with Randy Crawford on vocals took me some time to appreciate mostly because I donīt normally enjoy this kind of soul singing, but I have to surrender and say that this is a good song. Land of a Thousand Autumns is a short interlude like song. beautiful and atmospheric and a great intro to the highlight of the album which is the title track. This is why I live Steve Hackett. Just listen to him playing guitar on this track. Powerful, beautiful and varied. The Voice of Necam is again an atmospheric track before the great finale which is Icarus Ascending. Sung by Richie Havens this is an excellent atmospheric song.

With all those star guests in addition to Steve Hackett himself the musicianship is of course excellent.

The production is fantastic IMO. Soft, pleasant and typical seventies sounding. Not one sign of the eighties has crept into this production even though Please Don't Touch! has a much more modern production than early seventies progressive rock albums.

Please Don't Touch! is not a progressive rock album in the conventional sense of the word and for many years this album collected dust on my shelf because my view on what was progressive and in this case enjoyable was much more conservative than it is today. Luckily I took my time to re-discover this album because itīs an excellent album IMO. 4 stars is well deserved. What a great surprise.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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