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Steve Hackett - Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith CD (album) cover

SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND & SPECTRAL MORNINGS: LIVE AT HAMMERSMITH

Steve Hackett

Eclectic Prog


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4 stars I think I'm going to give a look only to the double CD set, because it's really there where the musical scope of this fantastic live performance is better appreciated.

First a word of warning: "Spectral Mornings", third and possibly best solo studio album by Mr. Hackett, is not played entirely here. Even so, the essential tracks are, and they blend extraordinarily well with materials from his latest, "At The Edge Of Light". After the opening with Steve's live staple Every Day, three compositions from this album show the virtues that have become usual for him: infinite band ductility, amazing guitar craftmanship, and those vocal harmonies so reminiscing of Yes & Steve Howe (listen and compare to Howe's "Love is"). After that, follows the celebration of "Spectral Mornings" where, if I had to choose a cenital point, shines brightly the eponymous track, with a tonal quality closer than ever to the instrumental suite Unquiet Slumbers / In That Quiet Earth, from Genesis' "Wind & Wuthering".

Entering the Genesis set, Mr. Nad Sylvan takes the lead vocal, doing as always a fine job of it, but the band's interplay cease to be as tight & concerned with the originals as in the previous part, making room to some participation of the audience as well, which is good if you are there, but not so much on a recording. Of course, the focal point in the celebration of "Selling England..." is the missing composition Déjà Vu, left aside when the original album was put together. To be fair, this has been played live (and released) before. I'm not meaning that its inclusion here wasn't worthy, on the contrary, I find it very enjoyable.

The ending is also the usual in Steve's concerts: Dance On A Volcano & Los Endos, taken from Genesis' "A Trick Of The Tai", their first studio album with Phil Collins on vocals.

Report this review (#2451492)
Posted Sunday, September 27, 2020 | Review Permalink
rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
3 stars Another year, another Steve Hackett release, another version of Genesis music... This time Craig Brundell is on the drums and not the long time musician of Hackett Gary O'Toole. The Flower kings connection is still there but with Jonas Reingold on bass. So we have two competent players to fill the spot and completer the usual line-up. The first set is the solo material of Hackett with songs from ''Spectral Morning'' and ''At The Edge of Light''.

I was keeping a lot of focus on Robin Townsend playing on flute and sax because the sound of his instruments was placed beautifully in the back of the room by Steven Wilson with another great 5.1 surround mix. Nad Sylvan make his appearance at the end of the first set when the band played the complete SEBP album with a Jazz version of ''I Know What I like''. Then the unfinished song ''Déja Vu'' is played, not a bad song, but not great either.

If you have already many Hackett live releases, this one is not a necessary addition to your collection unless you have a home theater system where you can hear for the first time a good surround mix of a concert from Hackett. 3 stars for the cd and 4 stars for the DVD. (3.5)

Report this review (#2453984)
Posted Monday, October 5, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars My favourite Hackett Genesis tribute. Steve Hackett got excellent band here. The new drum/bass -section does perfect job. Actually every element of this Selling England & Spectral Mornings come so close to perfection (sound mixing included), that no matter how good earlier live blu-rays of Genesis revisited are, this must be among the best, if not best. I have also Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival -lives and comparing those, I would rank Selling England & Spectral Mornings first, Royal Albert second and Royal Festival third best. Royal Albert got almost too much bass. With Royal Festival one have to accept orchestral arrangements, whitch I did not like so much. In selling England & Spectral Morning everything is in very good balance and band plays tight. Highest Recommendations!
Report this review (#2456733)
Posted Saturday, October 17, 2020 | Review Permalink

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