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Steve Hackett - Live Archives 70,80,90s CD (album) cover

LIVE ARCHIVES 70,80,90S

Steve Hackett

Eclectic Prog


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Greger
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This review is about the 90's Live CD, Recorded at The Grand, London 8 June 1993, which is taken from the Steve HACKETT's 4 CD box set "Live Archive 70, 80, 90's". Steve HACKETT is probably most known for being a member of GENESIS from 1970-1978, which resulted in 8 classical albums. He was an important part of the GENESIS sound in that period. The fifteen albums he has recorded since his departure with the band is much more interesting than the albums GENESIS has recorded since then. He also formed the band GTR together with YES guitarist Steve HOWE in 1986. They recorded a self-titled platinum selling album and made a successful tour before they disbanded and HACKETT continued his solo career. This CD contains a live recording from June 1993 at The Grand Theatre in London, and it's one part from the special 4 CD box set entitled "Live Archive 70, 80, 90's". It's recorded during Steve's "Guitar Noir Tour". Eight songs out of fourteen are taken from the "Guitar Noir" album. Besides the new material he's also playing six songs from his back catalogue and some GENESIS and GTR songs. His playing is as good as always with lots of energy, skill and originality. The 4 CD box set includes a 40-page color booklet. The three albums not included in this review are up to you to discover.

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#26372)
Posted Friday, January 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Now this is a totally amazing box set... Iimagine following Steve HACKETT and his band of merry men as they trek thru the 70's , 80's and 90's!. This box set contains 3 of Steve's personal most memorable shows. The first 2 CD's are devoted to a complete show from 1978 at Hammersmith Odeon drawing on material from "Spectral Mornings", "Please Don't Touch", "Voyage Of The Acolyte" and even some small GENESIS ditties. Overall the recording is quite sweet considering the age of the archive and was nicely preserved in its entirity, complete with all cheering and encores... basically untouched in its beautiful entirity. Next step is the dark ages of the 80's with an absolute ripper of an evening in Rome Italy. This 3rd CD draws more from "Defector" and "Cured" with drumming by MARILLION's Ian Mosely. Once again Steve's guitar and band sound stunning... My only negative comment is the lack lustre recording on this 80's show... although not badly recorded it does sound slighly less full than the other CD's... The 4th CD is from London's Grand Theatre in 1993 featuring the music and tour of "Guitar Noir" (which I was able to see in Toronto a few years back now!). This is a superbly well recorded live show which captures some of Steve's most wonderful guitar playing and singing you will hear. Being a huge HACKETT fan, I also picked up the 5th CD (not offered in the box set) which also covers 2 shows from the 70's (Steve's favourite excepts). Overall a great box set and it also comes with a little book full of wonderful pictures and nive penmanship of our artist in question... ladies and gentlemen... Steve HACKETT...

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#26373)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
lor68
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Actually the right rate should be "4 stars and an half", but as it represents his career brightly. This box set is the most complete collection of some HACKETT's most famous songs and such instrumental pieces of art music as well, concerning the important career of the most influential guitarist, along with Andy Latimer and Steve HOWE, all over the world prog scene!! This collection - being so wide - can witness the exact shade of meaning concerning HACKETT's several kinds of execution, including also the defects during his performance (usually He's almost perfect technically, but of course his creativity and taste as well are always perfect); but this fact doesn't affect the high quality of the present box set, where you can find immortal classics such as "Please Don't Touch", "Blood on the Rooftops", "Spectral Mornings" (the first 2 discs are taken from a concert in London)while "Jacuzzi" and "Ace of wands" come from a famous gig in Rome on 1981.

The disc concerning the 90's activity of Steve is better recorded, even though the songs-apart from the splendid "Take these pearls" - are less interesting and not always inspiring. It never minds! We forgive Steve for the presence of such tepid songs among several jewels, if you regard such moments as his break of inspiration: for this reason you can notice the duty he must pay, due to the necessary mainstream exigences, as an interlude between a complex part and the following easier section, suitable for the "laity" of prog music.

Highly recommended!! The booklet too...

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#26374)
Posted Thursday, April 01, 2004 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars True Masterpiece Prog Live Act - great shows, great tracks, great musicians, and . crazy audience!

Really sorry for long review, but I just could not help it as this box set deserves detail review because it's a precious set.

Having watched and completely stunned with Steve Hackett "Once Above A Time" DVD, I played back some of Steve's albums including this live archives from my collection. For some of you, you might have known Steve only from his tenure with Genesis and probably still label him with something like "ex Genesis guitarist" and you might not know what his work after he left the band. That's the same case with me when I got the cassettes of his first two albums, I still considered Steve as Genesis guitarist instead of Steve as a solo artist and never played the cassettes intensely. Until one time in a rock show performed by an opening act of Uriah Heep Live in Bandung, Indonesia sometime in 1980, I think. There was a local band that played Steve Hackett's "Ace of Wands" excellently. It strike my mind really - so when I went home I played this song over and over. That's the first love I got with Hackett music. I was hooked with "Voyage ..", "Please Don't Touch", "Spectral Morning" and "Defector". For me, Steve has produced many great prog tunes that I consider now as a classic, such as: "Every Day", "Star of Sirius", "Ace of Wands", "Narnia", "Clocks", "Shadow Of The Hierophant", and many more great tunes.

When this live archives CD came out, I was not really interested to purchase because I thought that I would get some standard version of studio tunes performed live. But, finally I purchased the CD because it was relatively cheap for 4 CDs set and for completing my collection. When I spin the CD, I was stunned with the fact that all 4 CDs contain great show recordings, great performance, great tracks and dynamic nuances indicated by the audience during the show. The four CDs span across live acts in three different venues: Hammersmith Odeon 30/07/79 (CD 1 & CD 2), Castel Sant' Angelo - Rome 13/09/81 (CD 3), and The Grand Theatre - London 08/06/93 (CD 4). As I'm impressed with the contents of all four CDs, each concert deserves detailed review, I think. For those who do not like to read long review, my advise is: get this box set! You will not regret!

Hammersmith Odeon - London 30/06/79 CD 1: 55:32 and CD 2: 56:29.

The band: Steve Hackett (guitars, harmonica and vocals), John Hackett (flutes, guitars, bass pedals), Dick Cadbury (bass and vocals ), John Shearer (drums ) and Pete Hicks (vocals )

The show starts with an ambient keyboard solo performed very soft to give a nuance for the show. It flows seamlessly with "Please Don't Touch" with the mark of dynamic drum sound in a very energetic mood with excellent guitar and keyboard works. The track is best to open the show as it has an uplifting style and it's a classic prog tune. I can hear clearly how Steve guitar plays great sounds and its effects. The next track "Tigermoth" (from "Spectral Morning" album) opens with a classical guitar outfit followed by full music led by guitar work. The track has some segments with quieter passage in avant-garde style. It ends-up with a nice church organ and it continues with my all-time favorite Hackett tracks "Every Day". This track has a simple structure - at the beginning part it seems poppy or straight forward rock song with some quieter passages in Hackett style. True adrenalin-exploding segment occurs when long guitar solo enters the scene. The guitar melody is really wonderful with some complicated fills by Hackett unique style and it goes into higher register notes, combined with flute sound. I usually repeat this track 2 or 3 times because I want to replay this part frequently. Great guitar, Mr. Hackett!

Another classic track "Narnia" (from "Please Don't Touch" album) continues the show in an upbeat tempo. The slow style with eastern music flavor "The Red Flower of Tai Chi" (from "Spectral Morning" album) gives an excellent break on my listening pleasure and it then moves up again to a groundbreaking classic "Ace Of Wands" started with a dazzling drum. The intertwining works of guitar, keyboard and flutes are really good. Oh man . this is a wonderful track performed better in live version! It continues with "Carry On Up The Vicarage" in happy mood because the voice line is performed by children with programmed sounds and effects. Interesting track.

"Etude in A min" - "Blood On The Rooftops" - "Horizons" is an acoustic outfit. The audience seemed longing for this track especially when "Blood On The Rooftops", all of the audience shout and gave applause. It is then continued with "Kim", performed excellently with acoustic guitar, keyboard and flutes. The audience participant becomes really obvious just before and during "The Optigan" - "A Tower Struck Down" (of "Voyage ." album) are performed. A very good track composed in horror mood with variety of styles. CD 1 concludes with a classic prog tune "Spectral Mornings".

CD 2 opens with introductions to the band members. The band then plays Hackett's classic "Star Of Sirius" (from "Voyage ." album) with quiet opening - demonstrating keyboard and guitar fills in mellow style. The music then turns to full stream with bass, drums and other instruments in a faster tempo. The track performed similar with the studio version. An interesting track. The other classic "Shadow Of The Hierophant" that featured Sally Oldfield (vocal) in studio version is now performed nicely with this live record. "Clocks" (from "Spectral Morning" album) is performed dynamically as the audience participate in hand clapping during the tune is played. From the beats that follow the clocks it turns to a medium tempo beat music with stunning guitar in rocking style. It ends up with an excellent drum and percussion solo. An excellent performance! It seemed like this track was intended to close the show . but . the audience give more and more applause to request the band returns on stage. Finally they made to the stage with Genesis tune "I Know What I like".

On Genesis' "I Know What I Like" part, the audience is really getting into much more crazy and more dynamic to participate the show. It's a great audience with thousands people in the crowd, I would say. This tune is suitable to play as "encore" role for the show. The singing style is modified to stimulate much audience participation, bass guitar is played differently combined with improvised drumming. Guitar work is extended and in some part features the "Dancing and The Moonlit Knight" combined with excellent flute sounds and piano / keyboard. It's a great and dynamic live track. The ending part of this track is also modified in such a way that it differs with the original Genesis version but it's nice and dynamic.

The music is then continued with "Wardrobe Boogie" in a great guitar improvisation in boogie style. It seemed, again, audience did not want to leave the venue with this encore. They clapped hands and shout for approx. 3 minutes - and it is not cut-off in this live record (thanks!) that indicates the "true" stage situation during the show - and finally the band came back on stage!!! What a crazy audience man! And Mr. Hackett said "It seem you force us to play another one tonight ." and the audience replied with "Yeaaahhh .!!!". Now the band continues with "Racing In A" (from "Please Don't Touch" album) in relatively long duration (10:15) and "Racing In A Coda" - an acoustic outfit by Hackett.

Even though the sonic quality of CD 1 and 2 is not very good, but it's acceptable for me and the performance and the music are really wonderful!

Castel Sant' Angelo - Rome 13/09/81 - CD 3: 74:50

The band: Steve Hackett (guitars, harmonica and vocals), John Hackett (flutes, guitars and bass pedals), Nick Magnus (keyboards), Chas Cronk (bass and vocals) - usually played with Rick Wakeman and Ian Mosely (drums) - whom later you would know him as permanent member of Marillion replacing Mick Pointer after the performance of Script for A Jester's Tear tour.

As Steve put it in the CD sleeve "And don't forget the crowd. They couldn't have been more enthusiastic - spontaneously bursting into applause for anything that grabbed them, never mind waiting for solos. What I am saying is, that this show was, I think, possibly the best this line-up ever performed". - this is a dynamic live concert.

The CD 3 starts off with a track from an under-rated album "Cured" with an instrumental piece "The Air Conditioned Nightmare" and it continues with another instrumental from "Defector" album called "Jacuzzi". Both tracks receive great applause from the audience. After the opening two tracks, Steve introduces Nick Magnus and continues with third track "Funny Feeling" with vocal line. It's a poppy stuff but it's nice. After this track, Steve continues the communication telling the crowd how he felt at home with some local language.

He then introduce the next feature from "primo album" called "Ace Of Wands". As usual, this is my all-time favorite track of Hackett, it starts with a dynamic drumming. The crowd give applause throughout the performance of this track. This track has been improvised in this live version. Before it continues with "Picture Postcard" which is another pop outfit - Steve does some communication again. The next three tracks are really my all-time favorite "The Steppes" (from "Defector" album), "Every Day" (from "Spectral Mornings" album) and "Overnight Sleeper" (from "cured" album). "The Steppes" is an instrumental piece in a medium tempo, blues based, with an eastern music nuance on guitar and keyboard styles. It's an album opener for Defector album and it's very nice and easy to digest. The guitar solo is stunningly performed here with soft touch on the guitar strings.

"Every day" receives great applause from the crowd as they clap hands when the song starts to blast the air. It seems they love this classic track. This has made this track more dynamic and lively. With many times this song featured in Hackett live performances, I still enjoy this version. Each version has its own nuance that I love almost all of them. This version has great drumming solo (very short) and some improvised part at the ending session. Well, it all confirms that Steve is better doing solo than as a guitarist of Genesis!

"Overnight Sleeper" opens with an acoustic guitar work followed with dynamic keyboard sounds with great melody. I love the opening part. One of my chief reason on why to buy the "Cured" album which most people under rate it was because of this wonderfully crafted song. In this live version, Steve does perform it with enthusiasm and fulll of energy as the song itself has variety of styles - that is also combining some traditional music with woodwind sounds. Oh man . this track is WONDERFUL!!!

Other three tracks are really Hackett true classics with great compositions: "Slogans" - "A Tower Struck Down" - "Spectral Mornings". Yeah .. another great live performance! "Slogan" is performed really lively and has been improvised to feature extended guitar solo and drumming solo. Really greaaaatttt ..!!! It rocks man ..!! "A Tower Struck Down" is performed lively and continued without break to "Spectral Mornings". It's a killing track man ..

"The Show" (from "Defector" album) is an upbeat tune that can accommodate crowd applause throughout the tune performance on stage. It flows semalessly to the intro of "Clocks" (from "Spectral Mornings" album) that concludes this CD 3.

The Grand Theatre - London 08/06/93 CD 4: 70:54

The band: Steve Hackett (guitars, harmonica and vocals), John Hackett (flutes on "Kim"), Julian Colbeck (keyboards), Doug Sinclair (bass and vocals), Hugo Degenhardt ( drums and vocals).

On top of great performance of CD 4, one thing that stands out clearly with this live performance: the great contribution of Hugo Degenhardt. He is a fantastic drummer! Who is he? Well, for sure I have searched through the nets and I found very minimum info about him. He did contribute to Mark Owen "In Your Own Time" which John McLaughlin contributes as producer. I am keen to know about him because his drumming style is top notch! The other great musician in this line-up is Doug Sinclair (bass). You can see how great his and Hugo's works on track 10 of this CD 4. Both musicians contributed in Steve's "Dark Town" album.

From the start "Medley" where it features Myopia / Los Endos / Imagining / Ace Of Wands / Hackett to Pieces in relatively fast pace - sounds like a jazz rock fusion tune, it's clear how powerful the drumming style of Hugo here. I think, "The Hugo factor" has in a way made a great contribution to the great performance of this CD 4! He sets the powerful and energetic tone of the show, I would say. It's very dynamic!

"Vampyre With A Healthy Appetite" starts off with rocking guitar solo and followed with a medium tempo music that features guitar rhythm and fills. The harmonica takes the lead during interlude followed with bass guitar solo. In "Sierra Quemada" and "Take These Pearls" the band offer mellow and nice instrumental tunes. It continues with a classic track "In The Heart Of The City" - "Walking Away From Rainbows" - "There Are Many Sides To The Night". A tribute to Steve's wife "Kim" is also featured.

"Dark As the Grave" explores acoustic ventures with great sound effects. An interesting song. "Always Somewhere Else" is really a GREAT track that explores the talents of Mr. Hugo Deggenhardt and Mr. Doug Sinclair. Oh man . their dynamic play in this track is really superb! I keep repeating this track because wanting to enjoy more and more . Bravo Hugo! Bravo Doug! Bravo Steve! (who has successfully brought together great musisicians like Hugo and Doug in this wonderful live set!).

"Lost In Your Eyes" is not may favorite but it's OK. But the "Medley: Spectral Mornings / Firth of Fifth /Clocks" - "Cinema Paradiso" and "In That Quiet Earth" are really excellent tracks! They are well positioned to close the show.

Newcastle City Hall - 26/10/79 & Hammersmith Odeon London - 30/10/78 [bonus-disc]

Well so sorry . I can not review this CD as I did not order through Steve's website (poor me .) but I'm sure it's another great show with crazy audience, especially those in Hammersmith!

OVERALL RECOMMENDATION

Before I make my final recommendation, I would emphasize on the sonic quality first. I would say the sonic quality is not excellent but it's okay to my ears. On ten-scale system, I would put overall sonic quality rate is 6.5 out of 10 - with exception to CD 4: 8 out of 10. But, considering that this is a live archives and I still can grab the music in pretty detail manner, I have excluded the sonic quality in my overall recommendation. So, my final rating is 4 ¾ out of 5 stars. You are the final judge on your purchase decision. If you love Hackett era of Genesis, I would be pretty damn sure you would love this live archives. On top of music, the 40-page booklet is really nice as your prog reference. Long live Hackett!! Keep on progging!!!

Yours progressively,

GW - Indonesia.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#26375)
Posted Sunday, January 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Sorry to be a bore, but this is an absolute classic. I can take or leave the 1993 set, and maybe a set from the 1980 tour - when Steve was quite a good MC - could have been included in lieu of the Newcastle outing, and maybe Reading 81 would have been better than the Rome show. But the rest is just untouchably brilliant. The sound the band whip up on the opening Please Don't Touch from Hammersmith, esp in the reprise, is just unallowably good. Whatever happened to Pete Hicks? I'm loth to propel this set towards the magic 5 star average, but I'll do it anyway. Hackett fans should kill to get a copy, all other prog fans with a pulse should at least check it out. Those with a regular income should simply cancel everything and acquire it.

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Send comments to Paul Stump (BETA) | Report this review (#94656)
Posted Sunday, October 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hackett's steady release of archived live material begins here, with a comprehensive look into each decade of his solo career thus far. The first two discs is the whole of a concert recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon at the height of the Spectral Mornings tour in 1978. The third disc was recorded in Rome in 1981, and the fourth and final disc was recorded in London in 1993. Throughout the different times, line-ups, and styles Hackett was trying to achieve, one can hear a clear progression in sound and in terms of what he wanted to achieve in the live foray. While it's not perfect, it comes very close to it, right down to the magnificent packaging which is comes in.

What could be the problem with four discs of unaltered, raw live material from one of progressive rock's greatest guitarists, you may ask? Well, for starters, the first two discs are plagued with less than stellar audio quality. However, for the most part the setlist makes up for that with a great look at Hackett nearing his creative peak in the 70s and backed by a cohesive and rollicking live band featuring such talents as his brother John Hackett. The setlist, which focuses on his first three solo albums and a few peeks into the Genesis vault (such as a teaser classical guitar snippet of Blood on the Rooftops prior to Horizons), is well conceived and offers a lot of room for the musician's to breathe. Highlights include the extended versions of Star of Sirius and Racing in A on the second disc, which are filled with great guitar licks from Hackett and the contancy of the backing band.

The disc from the 80s shows Hackett in a different light. No longer is he extended pieces with lavish guitar solos, but he's becoming more concise and to the point musically. Although not everybody's favorite era of Hackett's solo career, this disc has a pretty solid setlist that explores some of Hackett's best instrumentals and some of his more streamlined pop songs. Drummer Ian Mosley (of later Marillion fame) is a dream on this disc and while his skills had not yet fully grown, there is a certain magic in listening to him drumming in one of his first major outfits.

The final disc comes from the Guitar Noir era and finds Hackett keeping that streamlined and concise live aspect. The overall sound of this disc is probably the best on the collection, but the setlist leaves much to be desired. Guitar Noir wasn't the best of albums from Hackett (but by no means was bad), and the major focal point of this live disc is of that album, although In That Quiet Earth and the medley towards the end certainly are a treat that can only be found on this disc.

In the end, I guess it really comes down to whether you like live albums or not and are a fan of Hackett's solo work. Those expecting to find loads of Genesis material be warned that while there is some, the main focus of this collection is on Hackett's diverse and eclectic solo material. Despite that, there's a lot to love about this set and it can offer hours of listening joy. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#108626)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink

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