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Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings CD (album) cover

SPECTRAL MORNINGS

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

4.16 | 564 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have a hard time judging Steve Hackettīs albums. He is one of my fave guitarrists around and Genesis owns a lot to him to make up their wonderful and unique style in the early 70īs. However, in terms of solo work, he never seems to find the right formula to make them as remarkable as what he has done when he was in a group. Possibly, thatīs the reason why he did try to put a group together when he decided to record his third (and probably best) solo efford. So there are no star guest of any kind here. And he was clearly in his best form. And still he managed to spoil the overall effect with some strange, whimsy tunes. Fortunatly those moments are more then compensate with other electrifying ones.

Side a of the old vinyl is really excellent: Every day and The Virgin And The Gypsy are among his best songs ever. The former is trulyīGenesisī like tune that reminds me a lot of Wind & Wuthering. The latter is a fine acoustic song with a strong chorus. The short instrumental The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere sounds very japanese and it is a nice break before the next track, Clocks (The Angel Of Mons), another instrumental one that is good, but I never really would label as one of his greatest ones as so many other reviewers did (Phil Collins could have done wonders with the drums here). On the other side, The Ballad Of The Decomposing Man is simply bad. Its humor fails to arouse me. One reviewer claims it is his ībrazilian influence`, but this mistaken song is really a calypso (a caribbean rhythm, not brazilian), complete with steel drum solo and has nothing to do with the rest of the album. A real dud.

Lost Time In Cordoba is a nice acoustic piece for guitar and flute that has its moments, but in the end itīs not very outstanding. Firefly is another weak song, with the same old twisted humor that lacks any depth or musical background to boot. It starts quite promising but thatīs really all. Side b is ultimately saved by the title song, a real fine symphonic opus that I love very much. My remastered CD version has several bonus tracks: most of them are alternate mixes of the original albums (which I find them quite useless, since they all sound pretty equal to the original ones). Only the acoustic medley Live Acoustic Set is really a worth addition to the album, while The Caretaker is nothing but a track with sounds that may be an inside joke (which I didnīt get it. Did anyone?).

Conclusion: with all its faults I still find Spectral Mornings to be Hackettīs best solo album thus far. The good stuff is simply brilliant and enough to warrant this album 4 stars. An excellent addition to any prog rock music colletion.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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