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Steve Hackett -  Genesis Revisited CD (album) cover

GENESIS REVISITED

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.36 | 233 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Take a little trip back."

If you're going to revisit some of the songs you created with one of the world's greatest rock bands, you might as well do it properly. Hackett does exactly that with this album. He gathered together some of the finest musicians available, with the noticeable exclusion of any of his former band mates but including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The opening "Watcher of the skies" is slightly slower, more majestic, than the "Foxtrot" original. The wonderful introduction sounds even better as the mellotron is accompanied by full orchestra. John Wetton's vocals can make any track sound good, but where he guests on tracks on this album, as he does on "Watcher.." (and "Firth of Fifth") he adds an atmosphere to them which changes their feel completely. Hackett takes on vocal duties himself for "Dance on a volcano", which is a pity really, as it's otherwise superb. He does the same on "Fountain of Salmacis". With so many talented vocalists to hand, such self indulgence is at best unnecessary.

"Firth of fifth" is transformed completely. The intro is a delicate piece of orchestration, while out goes the flute solo and intricate Tony Banks keyboard solo. In comes a completely different precursor to Hackett's famous guitar solo. Just as you're starting to despair and think that Hackett has done the unthinkable and disposed of his finest contribution to the Genesis archive, the sound of his guitar breezes in ever so gently before soaring even more beautifully and to even greater heights.

A couple of the tracks are not really re-visits as such, "Valley of the kings" and "Déjà vu" not being original Genesis tracks. That said, Peter Gabriel apparently started the latter in the 1970's while still with the band, and Paul Carrack's vocals are excellent on the finally finished product. "The waiting room" is nominally the track from "The lamb..", but in reality, it's a completely different piece in the form of a jam with heavy jazz overtones. For me, it doesn't work, and would have been better left off the album altogether. The other tracks are interesting, and at times inspired re-workings, closing with the always excellent "Los endos".

It's easy to question some of the songs Hackett has chosen to "revisit", and there are many others which it would have been good to have seen included, but remember these are his personal choices.

"Watcher of the skies" and "Firth of fifth" are the clear beneficiaries of Hackett's re-interpretations, and it has to be said that some of the others would have been better left alone, but in all, a commendable album indeed.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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