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GENESIS REVISITED II

Steve Hackett

Eclectic Prog


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5 stars This is a marked improvement on Genesis Revisited 1 and part of a run of excellent albums from Steve.

Disc 1

In terms of the tracks, there could have been more from the Lamb, such as the title track and perhaps Back in NYC and the sublime Hairless Heart which Steve has covered before, rather than Camino Royale; and it is a shame that he did not strum away on a new version of After the Ordeal from Selling England. But these are only small gripes.

The highlights of the first side of the album for me are The Lamia- Nik Kershaw brilliant and eerie-, Dancing With the Moonlit Knight, Can utility and the Coastliners. Suppers Ready could perhaps have been improved by having one singer only- Fish or John Whetton may have been a better more obvious choice than the ones Steve works with here.

Fly on a Windshield and Broadway Melody are staples of the Hackett live act in any case with Gary O'Toole singing well and the Rutherford bass replicated and surpassed by Lee Pomeroy. I love the intro to the Musical Box and Nad Sylvan is quite a good match to Gabriel.

Please Don't Touch should have been on Wind and Wuthering and remains a brilliant instrumental

Disc 2

Blood on the Rooftops remains with Ripples and Entangled the best three songs of the post Gabriel pre and then ther were three era. Tony Banks always speaks f it but Genesis never performed it live. Once again Gary O'Toole sings well but lacks a little of the Collins sensitivity

The Return of the Giant Hogweed is a little bit of a disappointment and Neal Morse is not suited to the vocals.

Entangled remains a masterpiece, whilst Eleventh Earl of Marr was the best track on side one of W & W with Nad Sylvan singing well again. Ripples is beautifully sung and played whilst the Unquiet Slumbers through to Afterglow is superb. It is a pity Steve cannot bring John Whetton ion tour as well as Nad Sylvan. A Tower Struck Down and Camino Royale are good but not exceptional, whilst Shadow to the Hierophant is simply brilliant abnd Amanda Lehmann surpasses Sally Oldfield

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Send comments to Arragorn1 (BETA) | Report this review (#845193)
Posted Thursday, October 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm going to treat this similarly to how I would treat a live album. In that respect, I won't take marks off for the lack of new material but will judge it purely on how the material we know and love was represented.

This album is fantastic. I have the first Genesis Revisited and this is a massive improvement on that.

This concept is something that I have desired for a long time. I have long since been of the opinion that Yes probably just nudges Genesis as my favourite progressive rock band due to the fact that they have gone on to play their classics for years and the fact that we have readily available live versions of them with modern technology and equipment.

Unfortunately, only three (?) copies of Supper's Ready were in existence until now. The studio version on Foxtrot and a live edition each on Seconds Out and the 1967-1975 boxset. Hackett's interpretation here might just edge them all as my current favourite. Especially with regards to the epic Apocalypse In 9/8 and As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs finale.

So, this album is something of a godsend for those of who have been dying to hear how these magnificent early era Genesis songs would sound rerecorded with modern instrumentation and technology. The result is spectacular.

Hackett's choice of musicians throughout are consistently superb, however, I do have a problem with choice of Nad Sylvan on a few songs. I have nothing against the guy, but I have to say I find his voice difficult to appreciate. I do understand that he sounds quite similar to Peter Gabriel in many ways but there is something about the infliction in his voice that I dislike. I have always struggled to like Agents of Mercy for the same reason. Similarly, although I love Neal Morse and his voice, the choice to have him sing on Return of the Giant Hogweed was an odd one. I know he sang a cover on Translantic's Whirlwind but I imagine there must have been a candidate better suited.

The inclusion of some of Hackett's own solo material was both odd and nice. Especially the new version of Shadow of the Hierophant which has always been my favourite Hackett song. The others I could take or leave.

This is definitely not intended as a negative review, on the contrary, I absolutely adore this album and I anticipate listening to it constantly for weeks and months to come. The album is strong on the whole with few let downs. I'm not going to describe each song but for me the highlights read as: Supper's Ready, The Lamia & Entangled and the let downs: Return of the Giant Hogweed, Afterglow & Hackett solo material (excluding Shadow of the Hierophant).

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Send comments to TrickedTail (BETA) | Report this review (#846062)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a pleasure to hear some of those classics with a new breath of life attached, though some of the vocalists perhaps leave a little to be desired' The fact that modern technology has delivered this take on the originals should be the overriding factor and it does produce in spades.

Additionally the inclusion of some of Hackett's solo projects getting the 'modern' treatment is a great bonus ' but where is 'Spectral Mornings'? But each to their own I suppose ' everyone will have some missing gem'

And is it really sixteen years since that last outing?

With twenty one tracks and the inclusion of 'Supper Ready' that have been set in such a way that the listener is taken on an epic journey; from 'Nursery Cryme' through to 'Wind and Wuthering' with the added solo material. I believe it would be unfair to single out favourites as this would differ from other followers' viewpoints, however most of the tracks have benefited from the 'update' and serve as a beacon (hopefully) for the current generation to aspire to, equally it will allow aforesaid generation to see what all the fuss was all those years ago.

But for those undecided about this venture, clear those preconceptions and enjoy what is arguably Hackett's best outing in many years.

An emphatic 4 star rating.

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Send comments to huge (BETA) | Report this review (#846203)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Sadly, this isn't the same as 'Genesis revisited 1'. Instead of using more of the old Genesis music as a basis for recreating more 'moody' (Steve Hackett flavoured) versions we have ended up with a 'tribute' album!

Artists have been invited to put their take of classic parts of genesis music, but there seems a lack of respect for what I can only describe as those 'precious' moments within the catalogue.

The music involved here will always be a winner. It's 3 stars before we even start! but Steve has failed to take the risk of putting his own slant on what is such reverential material, which is what he did so successfully on 'Revisited 1'.

The peaks and troughs of the original material are 'smoothed' out. The 'arttitude' is lost.

It's likeable, I'll agree, although it's equally frustrating. It acts more as a reminder as to how good the originals were.

A seller, no doubt. But disappointing artistically.

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Send comments to sussexbowler (BETA) | Report this review (#851103)
Posted Monday, November 05, 2012 | Review Permalink
1 stars "Poor. Only for completionists" seems to sum this album just about right. It's been roughly ten years since I first stumbled upon Genesis and fell in love with it's 70's output both with and without Gabriel. As many people here on Prog Archives can probably relate, I quickly went off and looked up most the members discography outside of Genesis, only to discover that with the exception of Gabriel, most the members have barely an albums worth of solid material. Hackett, in particular, seems to have spent the bulk of his "solo" career idolizing his work with Genesis as opposed to advancing himself as an artist in his own right. And that brings us to "Genesis Revisited: II."

I don't often review on this site, rather just sit in the back and watch the discussion without participating, but when it comes to this album, and the praise it seems to be getting, I can't help but voice my disgust with this purely on an idealistic album. It makes sense, though, that on a website in dedication to a genre of music that an album that goes to great lengths to recreate some of the most subtle intricacies of one of the genre's most cherished artists catalog, it would receive such high praise. However, this behemoth double disc LP that took nearly half an a year to complete does not contain a single iota of artistic integrity.

This album, rather, is simply karaoke. Steve Hackett has assembled some of the biggest vocalists he could in the prog sphere (Wilson, Akerfeldt), and some not in the prog sphere (Kershaw) to lay their vocals over carbon copies of the original material. The only parts that have been edited are Hackett's own, which are far too slight to have added to the legacy of the original material. The only other edits are slight and contrived in nature, such as adding an acoustic performance of Green Sleeves in front of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" (oh, and guess what instrument they used to introduce "the musical box?").

So that begs the question "why?" Why would Hackett go through such great lengths to put out something of such little artistic value. Here are a few possible answers: the first, that he genuinely loves the material, which seems likely as for the past thirty years at least half of his live sets have been old Genesis songs, and would just like to hear them with fresh production. The second, to remedy the debacle of his first Genesis Revisited album that was panned by fans and critics in the prog sphere as taking too many liberties with the original songs that detracted from them and disappointed most who listened to it. And the third, simply for the coin, as it is expensive to tour, and there is a resurgence of prog fans out there who would pay to hear a redone version of the songs. A fourth possible reason could simply be that Hackett doesn't quite have enough solo material for a new album, but he wants to release something to keep himself busy and keep his name out there. The answer probably is a combination of each of these reasons, and it seems to be working out for him. The album sold well, people seem to enjoy it, and he's planning on touring starting in the spring of next year.

But for someone like me, who always thought that Hackett's career left something to be desired, this feels like a sellout, like a giving up of sorts. Hackett's perpetual re-assertion that the collective work of Genesis was unmatched seems to be something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, that he can never create something nearly as excellent as those half a dozen CD's he participated on in the 70's. And here, once more, he again re-visits the work of his youth with even less ambition and integrity crystallizing his complacency. For completionists only.

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Send comments to Floydian42 (BETA) | Report this review (#857508)
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#858111)
Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012 | Review Permalink
Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Steve can revisit GENESIS as many times as he wants and I will always buy the album

After a wait that seemed eternal, I received my copy of Genesis Revisited II, and even when not as original and fresh as the first one (Seems like Steve wants to preserve the original wizardry with some interesting additions), the quality remains intact and as usual master Hackett offers fantastic new versions of old classics.

The album starts with The Chamber of 32 Doors from the weird The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, I must admit it's not one of my favorite tracks but Nad Sylvan in the vocals does a surprisingly good job, even when her sounds closer to Collins than to Gabriel. As usual Steve adds an incredibly beautiful (even when short) acoustic guitar intro that enhances the mystery of the track. I'm afraid to say it, but I like this version a bit more than the original, and this is something very hard to achieve when performing a Gabriel era GENESIS track.

Horizons brings no surprise because Steve has played this classic song in every concert since the impressive Tokyo Tapes, but the good thing is that no matter how many times I heard it, Horizons remains as beautiful and rewarding as the first occasion I heard it. Evidently one of Steve's favorite children and only he is capable to make it sound always fresh and interesting.

Now, one of my biggest worries was Supper's Ready, because of what it means for most GENESIS fans and also being that it's very hard to find a vocalist with the versatility of Peter Gabriel capable of creating dialogues with himself sounding as several different persons, so Steve did the best possible thing recruiting 5 singers with different characteristics for the seven parts and the result is brilliant:

i.- Lover's Leap was a surprise, I expected to listen the voice of Akerfeldt in harder sections, but he sings the romantic opening and does it incredibly well, he never tries to sound as Peter but still breaks my heart, just brilliant.

ii.- The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man allows us to listen Simon Collins trying to walk on dad's shoes and does it well, even when I would have preferred a vocalist closer to Gabriel, we can't deny that Collins is part of the bands history and sounds very well.

iii.- Conrad Keely is in charge of Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men, I have to admit that this is the first time I heard him, and even when I don't like the initial approach, as the song advances Conrad makes it his song, another great work.

iv.- Michael Akerfeldt returns with How Dare I Be So Beautiful? And again does a great job with a soft melodic section that prepares the listener for what is about to come.

v.- One of my greatest doubts was Willow's Farm, being that the weirdness and humor had to be kept, and Steve takes the lead, this was an unexpected option but proved to be the best, Steve captures the spirit of the song with his own peculiar style.

vi.- Apocalypse in 9/8 (Co-Starring the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet) was another challenge but this time both musical and vocally being that very few singers can imprint the necessary drama, but nothing can be achieved without a keyboardist as skilled as Tony Banks. So without expecting too much started to listen and liked what I heard, after a delicious flute section by John Hackett, Simon Collins does a decent (even when not outstanding) performance, but the band is just brilliant specially Roger King who makes some subtle but interesting changes in the keys'Impressive.

vii.- Francis Dunnery takes the risk of re-creating the emotional As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men's Feet) ,, and even when I never expected display of emotions as in the case of Peter Gabriel, he was not the best choice, being that the voice is correct, but the 'There's an Angel in the sun' section, is really weak.

I haven't talked too much about the music, because it's very close to the original asnd Steve always makes brilliant additions that give a new approach.

I always thought that The Lamia is one of the most poetic songs in Genesis career, so when I heard the name of Nick Kershaw knew from the start that he was the perfect choice, and was pleased with the result, one of the best moments in the album

Dancing with the Moonlit Knight is another classic and never expected that Francis Dunnery could remotely re-create the 'a capella' section, but after a beautiful guitar intro by Steve, Francis surpassed the expectations I had, maybe a bit nasal but strong and accurate. The double guitar duet between Hackett and Rothery is brilliant and Roger king plays with the Mellotron in that unique way I thought only Banks could make. Another highlight.

Fly On A Windshield is a track that Steve has played lately and always with Gary O'Toole in the drums and vocals, so it was no surprise for me, again impeccable, and perfectly coordinated with Broadway Melody of 1974 being that it's the same formation.

My all-time favorite Genesis song has always been The Musical Box, so any other vocalist except Peter Gabriel would had been a disappointment, but in this case Nad Sylvan was the worst option from the musicians available, extremely nasal and too close to Phil Collins, luckily Steve made those broken musical box sounds at the beginning that lowered the expectations of a faithful version.

The instrumentation is perfect, but the climax of the song ('Touch me, touch me') is simply un-bearable. The music is great; the voice is less than satisfactory, would had loved to listen this song with Michael Akerfeldt.

The best song of Disk one is by far the underrated Can-Utility and the Coastliners with an impeccable Steven Wilson who sings it as if it was the first time, never trying to be anybody else but him, his work is perfect and amazingly supported by Nick Beggs in the bass and Roger King making one of his best performances, never heard a best version of this track apart from the original.

Each time I listen Please Don't Touch I can't believe how GENESIS preferred the decent WOT GORILLA? Instead of this masterpiece, and this is one of the best versions I ever heard with an inspired Steve and a solid O'Toole in the percussion, the perfect closer for an outstanding Disk one.

Disk two begins with Blood On The Rooftops this time with an extra-long and delightful acoustic intro with Gary O'Toole confirming he has always done the best version of this song, his soulful singing is even better than the original, some people claim that the acoustic intro doesn't make sense with the tune, I just don't care, any long acoustic intro by Steve Hackett is always welcomed'Great opening.

I've never been a fan of Neal Morse, and after listening his exaggerated performance of The Return of the Giant Hogweed my impression is confirmed, the guy is not a team man, he wants to be a star and GENESIS music is for a band not for lone rangers. What I do like is the combined guitars of Hackett and Roine Stolt.

Until today I had no idea who Jakko Jakszykis, but after listening his beautiful rendition of Entangled, I will be paying more attention to his name, the guys manages to blend his voice with the marvelous Mellotron to offer us one of the highlights of the album.

Always thought that Wind & Wuthering is the best Collins era release by far, and Eleventh Earl of Mar the best track of this record, well, Hackett's version is almost as good as the original, mainly because Nad Sylvan offers a memorable performance, if I criticized him in The Musical Box I have to praise him in this song because he reminds me of the best Phil Collins I have heard (with some interesting improvisations), amazing cover with a perfect performance by all the band.

The only time I heard a woman singing a GENESIS song was when Heather Findlay gave a lovely performance of Afterglow, now is the turn for the queen of vibrato Amanda Lehmann to try with the warm Ripples and she never disappoints, her approach is aggressive, powerful, totally different to Phil Collins and she hit the nail in the head with an impressive rendition.

It's obvious for me that Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers ' and ... In That Quiet Earth have to be listened together being that this is the only way they make sense, the calmed mystery of the first one is the perfect intro for the apotheosis of the second track, and Steve recreated the magic perfectly with an inspired Roger King who keeps growing, and a solid Gary O'Toole who is always the glue that keeps the band together.

No tribute or cover album is complete without John Wetton, this time he was recruited to sing the dramatic Afterglow and he delighted the fans with one of his best performances ever, if he was good Genesis Revisited I, he is brilliant in Genesis Revisited II, to be honest, I'm not interested in listening another vocalist singing Afterglow, since now this song belongs to good old John since now and forever.

The last three songs are from Steve Hackett's personal discography A Tower Struck Down Camino Royale and Shadow of the Hierophant, the three are outstanding (Specially the third one with Amanda Lehmann), but I won't comment them extensively because Steve can do whatever he wants with them and will never disappoint anybody, being that we are used to the versatility he displays with his own material.

Normally I have very striong problems with the ratings, but in this case it's almost an impossible task, so lets go step by step.

If it wasn't for The Musical Box , I wouldn't hesitate and give the maximum rating possible, so I was tempted to rate Genesis Revisited II with only four stars, but after evaluating Nad Sylvan's amazing cover of Eleventh Earl of Mar and the huge amount of brilliant material provided by Steve and this group of fantastic musicians, I will stay with the 5 stars, that should be 4.5 if the system allowed it.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#859406)
Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Would it be an original album, it would gain a five star rating but considering it's a rehash of old well-known classics, although extremely well done, a four star rating is the maximum rating I'm ready to give. This being said, this album is a must-buy for lovers of both these classic songs and sound clarity. The sound quality is, with no surprises, much better than the original versions.

I won't go into a song by song review, instead I just want to emphasize on the overall quality of the work Mr. Hackett & friends have done here. I think that the choice of singers is excellent and I don't miss Gabriel. I understand it's not the case of everybody but I'm not a nostalgic by nature.

A last point, I think The Return of the Giant Hogweed is very different than the cover version Transatlantic made a few years ago. The version on this album is much closer to the original one. Neal Morse does a great job and his voice is much more restraint here, as is the song. Transatlantic made the choice of doing a more energetic version and they did it for fun. This version is more respectful of the original one. I think both are as good but different.

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Send comments to phillihp (BETA) | Report this review (#868564)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
5 stars Thankfully Steve Hackett has a well deserved reputation for clinical honesty in perpetuating his craft, always truthful to his muse and indifferent to any outward criticism from a genuinely adoring public. He has carved a legendary status that is impressive, so one cannot claim that he is trying to cash in on past glories, quite to the contrary! The man is intelligent, technically unrivaled and continues to create brilliant music whether through his solo work or his many guest appearances, especially lately with the miraculous Kompendium project. He also chooses to surround himself with some the most celebrated artists in prog and beyond (hello Nik Kershaw!), the list is an impressive who's who = Nick Beggs, Francis Dunnery, Roine Stolt, Jakko Jakczyk, Steve Rothery, Mikael Akerfeldt, Nad Sylvan and Steve Wilson. His current band mates have been around for such a long ride, loyalty has its rewards (O'Toole, Townsend, King, Lehmann). Steve Hackett's work keeps getting better and better, this seminal monument to his participation in one of music's greatest achievements, which ended with HIS departure.

The Genesis catalogue is inspired with some masterful performances that have totally rejuvenated pieces that have attained legendary status already back in the 70s and ever since, armed with a cleaner, crisper production and enough variations on the themes to make it often better than the original ('Entangled, Dancing with The Moonlit Knight, Can Utility and the Coastliners, The Chamber of 32 Doors, Eleventh Earl of Mar, Ripples, the majestic ultra-progressive duo of Unquiet Slumbers and its companion piece , ...In the Quiet Earth , Blood on the Rooftops").

The only puzzle here is Neal Morse (never was or will be a fan) who just sucks on "The Return of the Giant Hogweed". Strange as John Wetton does a grand job on "Afterglow", his voice perfect for this kind of super-prog ballad!

"The Musical Box" is one of those classics that just cannot be bettered, period; it's a Gabriel masterpiece and Amen! While "Supper's Ready" has a Broadway feel with 5 different vocalists covering the Gabe's ghostly delivery of sheer magic. Akerfeldt, Simon Collins (Phil's son), Conrad Keely, Dunnery and Hackett himself do great honors to this timeless epic. Bravo!

"Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers?" and ",,, In the Quiet Earth" are the show stoppers here, a grandiose upward vortex of dizzying sounds and stellar playing, quite unparalleled in music history. The originals were brilliant and the reworks, well?.

I must also mention Steve Wilson who shines on both "Can Utility and the Coastliners" vocally and "The Shadow of the Hierophant",on guitar , doing terrific renditions on both counts.

Brilliant time-tested tunes, tastefully modern reworkings, obvious passion and reverence for his craft, lovely packaging and mostly a sense of respect form the guitar man.

Bloody wow! This is a must have collection of Genesis/Hackett classics

5 eternal beginnings

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#883828)
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2012 | Review Permalink
Roland113
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
2 stars So I love Genesis, new, old, blue, bold you name it, I'm a fan. There have often been times that I've thought to myself that I'd love to hear updated versions of some of the old classics, seriously, who wouldn't want to hear Apocalypse in 9/8 with a Heavy Devy (Townsend) style wall of noise holding down the bottom as Clive Nolan soars through the keyboard solos with something other than a forty yer old organ.

Ok, I get it, maybe not everyone has that hope, I did though.

The one thing that I didn't want was a recreation of the original recordings as true to their initial recording as possible. I believe that Phil Collins was considering doing an album recreating fifty's standards note for note. He received a certain amount of ridicule from the prog community for this endeavor. Unfortunately, for me this is the same basic concept, only with better starting music. If I just wanted an updated recording of the music, I'd have bought the original 5.1 remasters that were reissued a few years ago . . . oh wait, I did.

I don't mean to sound terribly bitter, but I was so excited about this release prior to buying it, when it came out, it sounded like another version of the originals rather than a remake. The Mellotron was a fantastic keyboard in its time, it was a pioneering instrument, cutting edge. That was forty years ago. Same with the Hammond B3, it was fantastic and fresh in the heyday of progressive rock, but when today's keyboard players rely almost exclusively on these keyboards it sounds like they haven't moved on in forty years.

We've moved past the electronic toms and Jan Hammer keyboards of the eighties. If this album was to be an updated version of the seventies classics that I love so much, it failed. It wasn't as much an update as it was a rerecording.

Now, with that being said, there are still some highlights. Some of the songs do have additional vocal harmonies which somewhat satisfies my 'time to do something different' twitch. The Musical Box and Eleventh Earl of Mar both have harmonies added by Nad Sylvan that were welcome additions to my ears. In addition, the expanded chorus in Ripples featuring the mixed choir of voices is absolutely beautiful. The addition of the female voices adds a wonderful touch.

I do realize that this album is partially a showcase album designed to create excitement about an upcoming tour of the material with Mr. Hackett's new band. I am excited to see the tour and would even buy a live album from the tour.

In the end though, I have to give this CD a two star rating. While I would give five star ratings to many of the albums that these tracks originally appeared on, this release did not do enough to distinguish itself from the original songs and give it merit on it's own worth.

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Send comments to Roland113 (BETA) | Report this review (#890706)
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars It's a good thing that someone invented the word "recreation". Fear not, we have masters at the helm, because who else should do it than such ensemble of skilled musicians (the best of the best? britain go go). As far as I can tell, these songs are very faithful "updated" versions of the old classics. Of course, there are weaker pieces (as this is compilation album I regularly listen to only about 2/5 of them). The ending section (last 2 minutes) of The Musical Box is a bit weaker than the original. What strikes me though is how similar to Gabriel the vocals are (in SR, DWtMK, TMB especially). Funny thing how Hogweed got recreated by the same Neal Morse not so long ago (Transatlantic, album Whirlwind), but it works.

'fcourse it works, but only if you're rather not preferring the originals. After all, they cannot be replaced and their "old" sound only adds to the experience, right ?

To each its own.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#891905)
Posted Sunday, January 13, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Anybody who listens to this album expecting a genuine sequel to the unique Genesis Revisited will be sorely disappointed. You won't find any Firth of Fifth, Los Endos, or Fountain of Salmacis on here. All of the songs on here are essentially note for note covers. While Hackett does add a little bit of his own material (primarily classical guitar openings) to the originals, you will not be sorely missing out if you already have the original versions of the songs. Despite the note to note cover, there are some songs presented on this double album that give the original's a fresh, modern feel to them.

Due to how many songs there are and that so many of them are note to note covers, I will only be mentioning those that I felt were better (in some sense) to the originals and those which I prefer the originals over the newer version.

The Chamber of 32 Doors would seem like an odd opener; a relatively unknown song from Lamb while the previous GR opened with the classic Watcher of the Skies. The song opens with a short classical guitar melody that gives a mysterious aura before going into the gentle, yet haunting piece. A good way to start the album.

Hackett gives us another classical guitar opening with Dancing With the Moonlit Knight. Surprisingly, it works very well and does not distract from the iconic a cappella opening. The song is able to bring the stellar energy and the tender elegance of this classic to the modern ears. An absolute joy to listen to every time.

The Musical Box, probably one of the most iconic progressive rock (and Genesis) songs, suffers greatly from the choice of vocalist. Nad Sylvan sounds too nasally and whiny and it really distracts from the song, despite how musically great it is. Why did Hackett keep Mikael Akerfeldt in only a couple of suites in Supper's Ready?

Hackett revives an old classic with Please Don't Touch. While I always considered the original to be a classic, it was always awkward to listen to because it would instantly fade into another song. Here, we get to listen to the song in all of it's strange glory without the fear of it segueing into something else.

Blood on the Rooftops is an example of when Hackett's classical guitar openings do not work. It seems tacked on and does not flow into the original opening, which unfortunately seems to bring the whole song down by making it a little too long.

Did you think Return of the Giant Hogweed was an energetic song before? It gets a double dosage of energy with this incarnation. The guitars of Hackett and Roine Stolt pump this song with a dose of energy that was hidden away in the original. At first, I did not enjoy Neal Morse's vocal performance. However, I felt that it matched the songs over the top nature, and quickly found myself enjoying it.

I have always thought one of Genesis' most beautiful songs is Entangled. Hackett brings this gem back and Jakko Jazzyk sings the song with such tenderness. Probably the only song on this album where I would not care if I never heard the original version again.

The interlude between Hackett's guitar and Bank's keyboards is what has alway attracted me to Ripples.... However, Hackett makes the guitar louder during the interlude and diminishes the keyboards, making the magical interlude lose some of its magic.

Another Hackett classic returns with A Tower Struck Down. The rock opening of the song is replaced with a suspenseful string orchestra before turning into the powerful and epic rock piece that the original was.

While Camino Royale is one of my favorite Hackett songs, I can't say that I enjoyed his reworking of this song. The jazz elements he adds to it just don't flow well with the song and distracts from the quirky charm the original song had.

This album is hard for me to rate. I don't think that it is essential or needed (since I'm assuming that if you bought this, you've probably listened to the originals), but I cannot say that you won't be missing out on some fine re-workings of classic pieces.

3.5 stars, but because I can see Hackett's love for these pieces shine through, I'll bump it up to four stars for the official rating.

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Send comments to SpectralHorizons (BETA) | Report this review (#893868)
Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars It seems that this album falls into two camps. The first group are people who want Mr. Hackett to recreate Peter Gabriel's Genesis almost note for note, while adding small touches and cleaning up the sound. The second group wants SH to continue in the vein of the first Genesis Revisited, where SH followed his singular muse and reinterpreted Genesis' songs. Listeners looking for a work like the first Revisited will be disappointed.

Hackett played this set very close to the originals, while the sound is stellar, I just find myself looking to pull out the originals. His choice to use 5 vocalists to cover Supper's Ready was brilliant. But there are many tracks were I don't agree with the vocal choices. With the music being close to the original and the vocals detracting, it feels in many places like a cover band. While the first Revisited had some misses, I applauded the effort and was amazed at some of the interpretations. Here, there isn't much new going on.

By no means is this a bad album and its occasionally very good, I don't see myself playing this one much. I want to give it 4 stars but it falls just short.

3 stars, with the right to add a star later on after some more spins.

***************************************************************************************************************************************

10 months later have found I had to come back and change my original thoughts. I still believe that on most occasions, the originals are better, I find myself playing and enjoying GR II more and more. Definitely a 4 star album

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Send comments to tdfloyd (BETA) | Report this review (#897230)
Posted Monday, January 21, 2013 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The first Genesis Revisited album, which I am yet to review, is a gem, mainly because Hackett added his own unique touches and changes to some old favourites, and previously unreleased tracks as well. So, I was really looking forward to this release. I pre- ordered the cd, which arrived at my house with a signature by the great man himself, so it was worth it just for that. I have listened to this album umpteen times prior to setting down some thoughts, but no matter how many times I listen, I reach the same conclusion, and that is that, whilst you really cannot go wrong with source material as superb as this, all we have here, in reality, is a cover album with knobs on.

It pains me to say this, and I should stress that this does not make it a bad album, far from it. It is just not a special album, and it certainly does not contain the originality of its predecessor, because, with the addition of a few additional acoustic guitar bits, this is, instrumentally, a carbon copy of the originals, albeit with a very deliberate mix which accentuates the guitar bits of a certain Mr Hackett, mainly at the expense of much of the Banks keyboard bits of the originals.

As I said before, the source material is superb, and there is a fair bit of bravery here, in that who would, on any Genesis compilation, include, let alone start an album, with Chamber of 32 Doors? It is a damn good version as well. I would also say that much of the Gabriel era recreations are, in reality, more akin to the Collins era recreations, a la Seconds Out. Again, I stress, I love these. Seconds Out is a masterpiece, and I really enjoy Collins era Genesis. It's just that I do not think that these versions really add anything to the pantheon.

Finest track, by far, is the sublime Blood on the Rooftops, with Gary O'Toole recreating his fine live version on disc. Ripples remains a beautiful piece of music, but Amanda Lehmann, whilst having a lovely voice, does not, to me, come anywhere near recreating that melancholic, yearning, vocal of Collins on the original.

And therein lies the problem. The album has a cast of thousands. My favourite guitarist of modern times, Steven Rothery, appears on the Lamia track, which is, again, a bold statement that the album is designed more for Genesis fans rather than pop passers-by. I, though, would rather that the collaboration was on original material, because, there is a simple fact here. That is that Gabriel and Collins (yes, Collins), were so fantastic and unique, that any attempt to cover them is, really, bound to end up in a poor comparison contest. And that is what we have here, a covers album, albeit one with one of the original protagonists and a host of stellar guests. A cover album, though, nonetheless.

So, whilst I marvel still at the music that, to me, exemplifies symphonic progressive rock, whilst my hair stands up when I hear some of those staggering movements, whilst I sing along at the top of my voice, I am left with one thought. It's life Jim, but not as we knew it (pardon the paraphrase).

In fact, as a longstanding fan of Hackett solo material, my absolutely favourite tracks here are the final three, and the ones unfamiliar to most listeners, A Tower Struck Down, Camino Royale, and Shadow of the Hierophant. The former is a cracking instrumental, which has a riff racing along and is in the finest tradition of eclectic Hackett. Camino Royale would sit nicely on any Hackett solo work, and is a nice bluesy track, with commercial sensibilities. The closer is lovely, with Lehmann giving some lovely vocals, and Steven Wilson guesting on guitar, and John Hackett providing a lilting flute.

So, how to rate this? Well, in view of the fact that the material is so good, and the performances so competent, it could really never be anything less than a really good album. However, in this reviewer's opinion, for the masterpieces, go back to those 1970's originals, the ones which are still proudly gathering dust on vinyl in my hall cupboard. In fact, let us be honest here. There is absolutely no artistic merit in releasing this album. It is a pension fund effort.

If we had such a rating, three and a half stars, rounded down to three because it is very good, but by no means as essential as the originals.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#905154)
Posted Saturday, February 02, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Nostalgia for the good old days ...

This album by Steve Hackett is yet another tribute to Genesis and in particular to some songs from their best period. The songs are played with a lot of respect ... but perhaps too much. Compared to the first "Genesis Revisited" (the 1996 tribute album) the reinterpretation of these masterpieces is certainly less bold and experimental, the songs are in fact very similar to the original versions.

Of course the quality of the music is very high, just scroll the titles of the track list, but what needs to be rated in this case it is not the quality of the songs in itself, but rather the quality of their modern reinterpretation, and from this point of view, perhaps you notice the lack of an appropriate innovative spirit.

Some tracks, such as The Musical Box, Blood On The Rooftops and the four songs of "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" are very effective and powerful. Nik Kershaw sings The Lamia with its distinctive timbre that I remember in the '80s when he starred in the charts with singles like "The Riddle" or "I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"; he sings in a quite remarkable way, particularly for the interpretation of the song.

Other tracks are, in my opinion, less successful. Return Of The Giant Hogweed, played along with Transatlantic, is a jumble of harsh sounds and exaggerations (... also typical of Neal Morse). I think the female voice, in Ripples, is out of place. Other tracks, such as Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, Entangled and Can-Utility and the Coastliners, while absolutely listenable, are too similar to the originals to get me excited.

Overall this is a good job, recommended to lovers of Genesis in the early seventies.

Final rating: 6/10. Three Stars.

Best song: The Musical Box..

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Send comments to Dark Nazgul (BETA) | Report this review (#953268)
Posted Friday, May 03, 2013 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars There are plenty of good reasons not to rate this album so highly. Essentially, this is a tribute album, with an army of musicians coming together with one classic member to do a bunch of relatively faithful covers of 70s Genesis numbers (as well as a small handful of Hackett solo numbers that have Genesis connections). With so many of these tracks firmly entrenched in the highest tier of classic prog material, one could very well argue that there isn't a tremendous amount of necessity for this set on the whole, and I'd probably agree with this. And yet, while the set may not be necessary on the whole, it does seems necessary to me in parts, and I get so much enjoyment out of this overall that a grade this high seems reasonable to me. Plus, while I might, in different circumstances, laugh a bit at somebody who made an album like this and say that this reflected a shortage of ideas and was a quick way to grab some cash without coming up with new material, Hackett was in such a solid groove that a suggestion like that seems silly.

As I'm sure was the case with most people who had previously heard Genesis Revisited, the announcement that Hackett was putting together a second compilation of Genesis material filled me with a little dread. I mean, I got used to GR and even learned to really like some of Hackett's reinventions, but there was some really awful material on that album that I just never came around to enjoying. Well, I shouldn't have worried, because Genesis Revisited II is a completely different kind of album. Genesis Revisited was largely about taking classic (and sometimes not classic) Genesis tracks, dismembering them, and using some of the pieces to rebuild the tracks in often borderline unrecognizable manners. In contrast, the general philosophy behind making this album seemed to be that the original versions, for the most part, were essentially just fine the way they were, but maybe could use a little tweaking and polishing and filling out in some spots (in other words, instead of trying to create "alternate" versions, he decided to try and create "definitive" versions). There isn't really any attempt to replicate the vocals of the originals, in either the Gabriel or Collins tracks, but on the instrumental side, the cores of the tracks are very much recognizable, and that alone makes this more palatable for old Genesis fans (who, let's face it, would be the primary market for this album) than Genesis Revisited ever could be.

The first disc, aside from closing with a spirited "Please Don't Touch" (better than the original, largely thanks to better production and some well-place strings), draws entirely from the Gabriel era, and the choices are quite interesting. Nursery Cryme is represented on this disc by "The Musical Box" ("The Return of the Giant Hogweed" is on the second disc), Foxtrot is represented by "Horizons" (basically identical to the original), "Supper's Ready" and "Can-Utility and the Coastliners," England is represented by "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight" (there's no "I Know What I Like" or "Firth of Fifth" here because those were on the first volume) and Lamb is represented by "The Chamber of 32 Doors," "The Lamia" and "Fly on a Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974." Rather than cover all of the attributes of the songs (which greatly overlap with the originals), I'll mention some stand-out details concerning how they are presented on this disc.

Regarding "Supper's Ready," I really admire how (a) Steve avoided the potential cliche of having this end the set, instead sticking it third and treating it as just another great song, and (b) how Steve solves the impossible "the singer simply cannot live up to Gabriel's vocals" problem by having different vocalists in each of the sections (which lends some nice variety). I also really like how, without disturbing the framework of any sections of the piece, Steve makes the guitar significantly more prominent here than in the original; this provides great benefits in the "Ikhnaton and Itsacon," "Apocalypse in 9/8" and "As Sure As Eggs is Eggs" sections. No, this version of "Supper's Ready" is most definitely not better than the original, but parts of it are, and that's an amazing sentence for me to write.

Regarding "The Lamia," this one impressed me enough to be one of my two favorites on the album, which involves some stiff competition. The vocal performance by Nik Kershaw (his only vocal of the album) on this piece is absolutely beautiful, the great atmosphere of the original is fully preserved and even enhanced, and Hackett's guitar part at the end just kills.

Regarding "Fly on a Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974," this one is performed in a manner similar to how it was done on the Live Rails album, with drummer Gary O'Toole on vocals, though this time there are vocals in both the "Fly" and "Broadway" sections. One addition I really like is how, when Gary sings the line, "There's a smell of peach blossom and bitter almond," the word "bitter" gets repeated and slowly faded out as Gary continues singing the rest of the track.

Regarding "Can-Utility and the Coastliners," I never really liked this song that much on Foxtrot, but I like it so much here that I'd stick it as my 3rd favorite track on this set. Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree fame (and Making Old Prog Albums Sound Awesome In Remasters fame) contributes a way better vocal for this song than Peter did (Peter's a better vocalist, obviously, but this might have been a song where Collins should have been on vocals in the original), and despite all of the instrumental parts being basically the same as before, the production makes them sound way better here than on Foxtrot. Keyboard parts that sounded tacky to me before sound beautiful here, the guitar tone sounds better, the guitar part in the final main instrumental passage actually sounds finished, and overall this is clearly the definitive version.

The second disc, aside from the aforementioned "Hogweed" (which is basically like the original, just with the guitar a little more prominent), comes from the Collins years, before rounding out with three old Hackett solo numbers for good measure. Some selected thoughts are as follows:

Regarding "Blood on the Rooftops," Hackett prefaces this with a lengthy classical guitar bit on top of the bit that was already there, and while this might be overkill, I don't really mind it. Gary O'Toole once again provides a nice vocal, and I like the fact that his voice cracks a bit at the end and they decided to leave it in. Sterile perfection is overrated.

Regarding "Eleventh Earl of Mar," this is basically the same track as the one that opened Wind, and yet it sounds better in every way, from the better and clearer vocal performance (Nad Sylvan basically sounds like young Collins but improved), to the cleaner balance between guitars and keyboards (which are still plenty prominent, mind you), to the overall greater liveliness of Steve's guitar (there's an up-and-down-the-fretboard whoosh just before the final "Daddy!" that gives a great rush of energy). A naysayer might complain that this version, by removing some of the murk of the Wind sound, removes some of the mystery and atmosphere of the piece, but I think the music sounds plenty mysterious and atmospheric here while also sounding clearer.

Regarding "Ripples," Amanda Lehmann puts in a great vocal performance, and the mid- song instrumental section, after I've spent so much time lamenting the off-kilter balance between the guitar and the keys in the original, gets the balance exactly where I would want to be. There had been plenty of good live versions of "Ripples" (some from legitimate recordings, others not) through the years from Genesis, with a good balance between the guitars and the keys, but all of them had featured Steurmer on guitar, and it's absolutely cathartic for me to have what feels like a finished version with Steve on guitar.

Regarding "Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers ...," "...In That Quiet Earth" and "Afterglow," these tracks are, in my opinion, the main reason to get this album. On Wind, these three tracks never quite worked for me the way I know they do for other people; I ended up fully appreciating "Afterglow" only after I started thinking of it as the capstone to the "In the Cage" medley (and this appreciation only somewhat extended to the studio version), and the instrumental tracks in this sequence, at best, struck me as having interesting ideas scattered about but not pulling them all together in an interesting enough manner. Well, this album creates a medley that destroys the original. "Unquiet" is essentially the same as before, but parts are made louder and stronger that need to be louder and stronger, and while some may once again complain about the loss of some murk, I find that a little more clarity actually enhances the atmosphere of this track. "In That Quiet Earth" ROARS in a way the original didn't, and while it follows the basic script of the original, all of the parts have more power, and the presence of some saxophone near the end breaks up some of the monotony in the arrangement that hurt the original. As for "Afterglow," I've always felt that Collins did a poor job on this song (as on most songs on Wind, excluding "Blood on the Rooftops"), but it's still a little shocking to me that a 60+ John Wetton would sound so much better suited for this song than the young Collins did (Collins, to his credit, got a lot better with it in live performance). Wetton gives an oomph to the song that the original just didn't have, and I find myself singing along to Banks' "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" knock-off (don't laugh, Banks has admitted this himself) freely, whereas I always felt silly singing with it in the original version.

Regarding "A Tower Struck Down," people won't pay too much attention to this (it's included because Rutherford and Collins played on the original), but this is the best version of the track available. Other versions tended to sound a little wimpier and goofier than they should have given the guitar riffs, but this version puts special emphasis on the hard rock aspects of the piece, hardening up the guitar tone and laying down a strong beat, and the song sounds better for it.

Regarding "Camino Royale," Steve's rationale for putting this on the collection is a little silly (it has no Genesis connection except for its genesis in a dream where Steve heard Genesis singing the chorus), but it's better than the original studio version, so I don't mind it. The main improvement is in Steve's singing, which sounded very unconvincing when singing the chorus originally but now sounds smooth and in control, and the jazzy instrumental break is fun too. The Time Lapse version is the definitive version to me, but I like this one a lot.

Regarding the closing "Shadow of the Hierophant," I really like the choice to make this the closer. It's done very much the same as in the original, and the only major difference is that there's a bit of sax in the extended coda, but the steamroller effect of the coda is still in full force, and I'd rate this as the equal of the great original.

Now, I didn't mention everything, and not everything I didn't mention is super, and even with all of the nice things I've said about these tracks and all of the definitive versions, the amount of creativity that went into the various tweaks and new features is ultimately dwarfed by the creativity that went into creating the originals. For my inner prog fan, though, being able to rediscover so many old favorites through this album is pure joy, and a high rating must necessarily follow. Any fan of 70s Genesis should buy this, and if the few solo tracks bring you into the world of solo Hackett, so much the better.

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Send comments to tarkus1980 (BETA) | Report this review (#982992)
Posted Thursday, June 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Better than the first Genesis Revisited album, but not as good as Genesis Revisited: Live At Hammersmith

In the mid 1990's Steve Hackett revisited his Genesis days the first time around (in the studio), resulting in the interesting, but disjointed Genesis Revisited album in 1996. 2012 sees him revisiting Genesis a second time with this follow-up: Genesis Revisited II. While the first Genesis Revisited album was a single disc featuring remakes of nine classic Genesis songs plus two new instrumentals, Genesis Revisited II is a double album carrying no less than a further 17 Genesis classics plus four remakes of tunes from Hackett's early solo albums. There is no overlap between the two albums, which is a testament to the impressive wealth of excellent material Steve had to draw on in the Genesis catalogue from his days in the band (from 1971's Nursery Cryme to 1976's Wind And Wuthering).

Like with the first Genesis Revisited album, Hackett is joined by a plethora of more or less well-known guest stars. Among the most famous ones is John Wetton who appears on both albums. Other familiar names include Steve Rothery, Francis Dunnery, Neal Morse, and several others. Members of Hackett's own band, past and present, that help out here, include Nick Magnus and Steve's brother John Hackett. Apart from Steve himself, no other Genesis members appear here.

Just like the first Genesis Revisited album was followed by a tour and a live recording (the excellent Tokyo Tapes), so too was Genesis Revisited II (as documented on the recently released Genesis Revisited: Live At Hammersmith). In both cases, the live recording is better than the respective studio recording. The songs present here that are not also featured on the Live At Hammersmith album are The Return Of The Giant Hogweed, Can Utility And The Coastliners, Horizons, Ripples, and the Hackett solo numbers Please Don't Touch, A Tower Struck Down, and Camino Royale. Included on both this album and on Live At Hammersmith are full versions of The Musical Box, Supper's Ready (here preceded by Horizons as on the original studio album), Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, The Chamber Of 32 Doors, The Lamia, Fly On A Windshield/Broadway Melody of 1974, Entangled, Blood On The Rooftops, Eleventh Earl Of Mar, Unquiet Slumbers For The Sleepers/In That Quiet Earth/Afterglow, and, from Steve's solo career, Shadow Of The Hierophant. This very nicely represents Steve's days in Genesis (and the early days as a solo artist). With Wind And Wuthering being (probably) my favourite Genesis album, I'm especially glad to see so many terrific selections from that particular album.

With the Collins/Banks/Rutherford line-up of Genesis (backed up by Daryl Stuermer and Chester Thompson in the live arena) focusing almost exclusively on 80's and 90's material, and Peter Gabriel never performing any Genesis songs live, (and don't hold your breath for a reunion of the five-man-line-up), Steve Hackett is the only one who faithfully carries the legacy of classic Genesis onward. And he has been doing that very well indeed for many years and there is no sign of him slowing down.

This second instalment is a lot better than Hackett's first Genesis Revisited album, though personally I prefer the live version. For a fan of Genesis and Steve Hackett like me, Genesis Revisited II is a very enjoyable listen indeed. However, I suspect that the average Prog fan will be satisfied with the original Genesis albums on which these tunes first appeared. Unlike those classics, this one--good though it is--is not an essential addition.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#1086830)
Posted Sunday, December 08, 2013 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Degabrieling Genesis ...

Ah ...it has been so long for me not writing a prog review for this site due to unbelievable workload in my professional life - it's a good problem to have, actually ... And this one by Steve Hackett has been one of albums regularly played during my work and sipping a cup of black coffee ....what a life! How can you afford a life without prog music surrounding you? Even I keep proggin' during my cycling to work on daily basis. But no time to write one until tonight when I need a break after a long hours of work preparing next week busy agenda. But i enjoy it very much ...because I have prog in my blood!

OK ...let's get started with this Genesis Revisited II. First off, I always enjoy any album Steve has produced including this one. I think he is a great composer and not just a great guitar player. And for this one I wan to look at three aspects. First is on the selection of songs for this 2-CD album. Second, on the composition or rearrangement (if any) related to this one and third, how the guitar retouching by Hackett works with this album.

In terms of selection of songs I have to admit that all of them are excellent tracks with the whole tenure of Steve with Genesis until he left after Wind and Wuthering plus four tracks from his solo work. It's excellent! As you know, avid Genesis fans usually categorizing the bands into two era: Gabriel era and without Gabriel. For me personally, the determining factor is Steve Hackett as I do enjoy two albums after Gabriel left: A Trick of The Tail and Wind & Wuthering. So ..no problems Gabriel left the band as long as Steve is still with Genesis. It proved when Steve left the music has completely changed as no longer howling guitar sounds exist. I do not mean also that I do not enjoy Trespass with Anthony Phillips but I just want to emphasize that the existence of Steve is key in Genesis. So I can put four stars actually on selection of songs.

On the composition or rearrangements of the music, I feel dissatisfied as all songs are in its original composition; only some guitar retouching here and there. Why Steve did like this? Why he did not take lessons from his Revisited I which was really excellent as he rearranged the song like Firth of Fifth wonderfully? Or ...did he ever learn from The Fower Kings who covered Cinema Show better from its original form? In this record everything is exactly the same. What is different is that for those Gabriel fan might say that this is a de-Gabriel-ing Genesis as tracks during Gabriel era are sung by others. Yes there are great songs here like Supper's Ready, The Return of Giant Hogweed, The Chamber of 32 Doors, Can Utility and the Coastliners , Entangle, Fly on a Windshield, Blood on The Rooftops. Wow! They sound like Genesis but then what without rearrangement? Why not better listening to the original album of Genesis?

Maybe the reason for listening this album is the guitar retouch (a bit) by Hackett. The sound of guitar is now much more apparent than the original version and I enjoy it. I think I love Steve's guitar playing and they all sound great here with this Revisited II album. In some part like Blood on Rooftops he added some bars of acoustic guitar as well. The solo work like Camino Royale, Please Dont Touch etc sound better here than the original version.

I think this is still a good and enjoyable album - like listening to Genesis compilation PLUS (four solo tracks). Actually Steve can do more with rearrangements of the songs. Keep on proggin' ....!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#1160995)
Posted Sunday, April 13, 2014 | Review Permalink

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