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Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited II CD (album) cover

GENESIS REVISITED II

Steve Hackett

 

Eclectic Prog

3.85 | 381 ratings

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progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I had been interested in this album since I first heard the announcement of it. I admired Steve's reinterpretations from his previous re-makes of Genesis songs on the 1996 release of Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited. That album was a mixed bag where some songs worked and others failed (sometimes miserably).

On Genesis Revisited II, Steve seems to take a different approach and that would be to preserve the essence and energy of the original composition. As such, nearly all of the songs on this 2-disc set sound quite like their originals, albeit with more modern recording and mixing technology. They are almost entirely note-for-note covers of the originals. Where there is a difference is how the instruments are mixed differently from the originals and the addition of "flourishes" in many places, notably as intros or during solos. One of the biggest differences is that the guitar is more front and center and the keyboards and drums are less dominant. So, at first listen, one immediately is struck by how close to the originals the song is played. If you listen more closely, you should see that this reinterpretation is more with how the instruments relate to each other. I'm particularly impressed with the usage of piano in a number of the songs.

The best thing this collection has going for itself is the selection. This is the cream of the crop from Genesis' most important period in their history, the 1972-1977 period. With choices like Supper's Ready (and not selections, but the entire song!), Dancing with the Moonlit Knight, Fly on a Windshield, The Musical Box, Can-Utility and the Coastliners, The Return of the Giant Hogweed, Eleventh Earl of Mar, and the Unquiet Slumbers epic, Hackett pretty much picked the "proggiest" stuff. He even included a couple of numbers from his early solo career. Since the collection is so large (nearly 145 minutes!), it's bound to have a couple low points (like Horizons, Ripples, and Camino Royale), but the other material surely makes up for it.

And what a guest roster! Including Hackett, 28 individuals performed on this, either as musicians or guest vocalists. Some of the highlights include Francis Dunnery, John Hackett, John Wetton, Mikael Akerfeldt, Nad Sylvan, Nik Kershaw, Roine Stolt, Steve Rothery, Neal Morse, Nick Beggs, Steven Wilson, Jakko Jakszyk, and Simon Collins (Phil's son).

Perhaps the album might sound better with Phil and Tony performing their respective parts, but then this would just be Genesis rehashing their old stuff. I think Steve's versions are nearly as good as the originals, and in some cases sound better (like The Chamber of 32 Doors, Blood on the Rooftops, and Dancing with the Moonlit Knight).

I'm really impressed with Steve's job here. This one will be getting a lot of playing time in the CD player. Five stars.

progaardvark | 5/5 |

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