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Steve Hackett - Spectral Mornings CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

Taken from two broadcasts in Germany during the winter 78/79, this DVD is the ultimate chance that you'll get to see Hackett's best period, just after he left Genesis and made his next two albums, but also capitalizing on his acolyte album still released during his stay in the group. His group is the classic one including Brother John, Nick Magnus, Cadbury on bass and an excellent John Shearer on drums, the only weak link being the vocalist (a permanent recurrence in Hackett's band) Hicks, who's butchers a few tracks, most notably the ones from PDT. The set-list is what you'd expect from a set lasting one hour, and you'd have to show your best, concentrating on Please Don't Touch (fabulous rendition of the title track with Hackett on a black Stratocaster) and Spectral Mornings (title track and the fantastic Clocks & Mons) and of course a few stuff from Acolyte

While the filming is fairly static (IMHO, this is a TV station after all), you still get to see Steve's tricks on hid Gibson (especially the bird chirpings), and most of his great band member's best moves are caught on film, Also caught on film is this weird Optigan (tape being slowed down a d speeded up by Hackett's hand (sort of today's DJ's turntables) plus added some visual effects and illustrations, which don't interrupt and even enhance the Tower Struck Down track, but the misty haze during the great Spectral Mornings is a bit frustrating and not even that much " propos". Hidden in the bonuses are two more tracks from a second broadcast five months later, where Steve tries to get more signing done, but has to use heavy effects in order to do so, even playing with old toys Daevid Allen had some 8 years before him, on the Vicarage track, while the version of Star Of Sirius is relatively different, shedding another light on it.

I don't think it'll be possible to find a better live footage of Hackett's early days, once breed from Bank's gaols. And supreme bonus, inside the Kim guitar instrumental, is Steve's very own Horizon's and two measures of Rooftops, to fill the cup to the brim. After such a review, you wouldn't happen to believe me if I told you to stay away from this piece of would-be junk, right??? Bloosdy well right, you shouldn't...... Runn for before I buy them all.

Report this review (#176908)
Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Nostalgia

I now have as many as six different live concert videos with Steve Hackett (not counting his appearances on Genesis and other band and projects) and the present one, named after the studio album of the same name, is my least favourite one. This is not because it is in any way bad, it is rather that the other ones are so incredibly good! For those who were there and saw Steve and his new backing band in the 70's this DVD might be a powerful incentive for nostalgia or an interesting historical document. But for pure listening/viewing pleasure, Spectral Mornings is clearly inferior.

We have here, apart from Steve himself, his brother John on flutes, Nick Magnus on keyboards, John Shearer on drums, Dik Cadbury on Bass and, finally, Pete Hicks on vocals. They are here captured performing a selection from Steve's first three solo albums. The main feature consists of only seven tracks with a further two tracks making up the "bonus" material. The total running time is, however, over an hour and almost every minute is enjoyable.

This DVD is certainly worth having, but I still insist that if you can do without the nostalgia, you will get a much better experience from one of Hackett's more recent DVD releases. The Tokyo Tapes, Somewhere In South America... - Live In Buenos Aires, Once Above A Time and Horizons are all preferable Prog performances. Hungarian Horizons is a three-man performance of classical guitar.

Good, but only essential as a historical document

Report this review (#178394)
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | Review Permalink

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