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


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.58 | 539 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This, Steve's second solo album, is very, very different from his first. It is a pot pourri of styles, with various guests adding their contributions to his songs. When I first bought this, which was as soon as it came out, I was, at first, slightly disappointed. But, over time, I grew to appreciate its qualities. What it does show, as do all his albums, is his amazing compostional skills. He can turn his hand to various styles, and yet retain that distinctive Hackett touch. 'Narnia' is an excellent opener, with superb 12 string again to the fore, upbeat and cheerful. 'Carry On Up The Vicarage' is the type of Hackett song I love, quirky and funny. It is the sort of song that Genesis themselves used to be good at, listen to 'Harold The Barrel' on Nursery Cryme for comparison. He has a very dry and underrated sense of humour does our friend Mr Hackett! 'Racing In A' used to be one of my least favourites, but is now one of my faves, especially the brilliant acoustic ending. 'Kim' needs no introduction, as it appears on most of his live recordings, and is an integral part of many of his set lists. Nevertheless, this was the first time the track made its appearance - this is the original! 'How Can I?', with Richie Haven's distinctive vocals, is quite un-Hackett like, yet very effective too, with minimal guitar on it. This is another thing I admire about the man, although he is one of the world's guitar giants, he doesn't play on it. If a song needs little, or no guitar, he doesn't add it, just for his ego's sake. 'Hoping Love Will Last' is the nearest he has ever got to smooth soul music. Randy Crawford, who's voice I always liked back then, sings it beautifully, while Steve's guitar flows poignantly in the background. A lovely piece. 'Land Of A Thousand Autumns' & 'Please Don't Touch', which merge into each other, are well known, through his live work, and are excellent instrumentals, whilst 'The Voice Of Necam', with its beautiful, sparse instrumentation, ending in simple yet effective acoustic guitar, is maybe the overlooked gem on here. And finally we have my favourite track, the brilliant 'Icarus Ascending' with Richie Havens again in fine form. This is the equivalent on here of 'Shadow Of The Heirophant' on Voyage Of The Acolyte. It is really lovely. I have the remastered edition with bonus tracks. The first of these is an interesting version of 'Narnia', musically the same but with a different singer, John Perry. This is neither better nor worse than the Steve Walsh version. Walsh has a pleasant, if unremarkable voice, whilst Perry has a more feminine tone to his. Nothing to choose here. Then we have a live version of 'Land Of A Thousand Autumns/Please Don't Touch' which is good but not essential, as the boxed archive set has live versions of these on it. Finally we have an alternate version of Narnia, with the Walsh vocals. This is almost identical to the album version, but with a slightly different ending, that actually ends instead of fading out. Again, not essential. Like all the Hackett remasters, the quality is superior to the original, louder, brighter & clearer. Another must have for Hackett fans.
chessman | 4/5 |


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