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Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited album cover
3.43 | 367 ratings | 32 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Watcher of the Skies (8:40)
2. Dance on a Volcano (7:28)
3. Valley of the Kings (6:29)
4. Déja Vu (5:53)
5. Firth of Fifth (9:39)
6. For Absent Friends (3:02)
7. Your Own Special Way (4:18)
8. Fountain of Salmacis (9:53)
9. Waiting Room Only (6:53)
10. I Know What I Like (5:37)
11. Los Endos (8:51)

Total Time 76:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Hackett / lead (2,8,10) & backing (1,5) vocals, guitars, percussion (11), harmonica (9), orchestrations (1,4-6,8), producer

- John Wetton / vocals (1,5), bass (5)
- Paul Carrack / vocals (4,7)
- Colin Blunstone / vocals (6)
- Richard MacPhail / backing vocals (7)
- Jeanne Downs / backing vocals (7)
- Richard Wayler / backing vocals (7)
- Julian Colbeck / keyboards (1,2,8)
- Aron Friedman / keyboards (7,10), orchestration (6,7), piano (10), programming (7)
- Roger King / keyboards (4,9-11), orchestration (4,5), programming
- Jerry Peal / keyboards (3), programming (3)
- Ben Fenner / keyboards (5), orchestrations (4-6), programming (1,4,5,8)
- Nick Magnus / keyboards (3), programming (3)
- Tony Levin / bass (1)
- Alphonso Johnson / bass (2,8)
- Pino Palladino / bass (4,11)
- Bill Bruford / drums (1,5), percussion (5)
- Hugo Degenhardt / drums (3,4,9,11)
- Chester Thompson / drums (2,8,11)
- Tarquin Bombast / drums (10)
- 'Spats' King / vibes (10)
- Will Bates / saxophone (2,9,10)
- John Hackett / flute (8)
- Ian McDonald / saxophone (11), flute (11)
- The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Matt Dunkley / orchestral arranger & conductor
- Sanchez-Montoya Chorale (4,9)

Releases information

Artwork: Kim Poor with Lippa Pearce (design)

CD Reef Recordings ‎- SRECD 704 (1996, UK)
CD Guardian ‎- 21943 (1996, US) Entitled "Watcher Of The Skies - Genesis Revisited By Steve Hackett"

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STEVE HACKETT Genesis Revisited ratings distribution

(367 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

STEVE HACKETT Genesis Revisited reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars this is exactly the sort of project that I am very weary of and had this been done by anybody else , this would've been a disaster. I know this starts of as a good nature but this also sometimes veer into weirdness : Own Special Way ???? Are you sure Steve or is it for the ladies in the audience? There are tons of stuff I disagree with here but the ultimate goal was to honour great music .
Review by lor68
4 stars Actually the right score should have to be a bit inferior, but the grandeur of these new arrangements, concerning such immortal classics by GENESIS, except on some tepid songs (fortunately a few ones), makes this album a very interesting issue, along with its fantastic production!! Moreover here is the best version of all time, concerning "Fountain of Salmacis".

Well there are some unlucky choices here, such as the flaw and not useful track "Your own special way" or his usual (talking about his job with GENESIS ) "I know what I like", a commercial number, which nowadays is not interesting nor believable as an hit single. Actually I don't approve it, inside this contest. Instead the absence of the splendid BANK's intro of "Firth of Fifth"-despite of his fantastic guitar solo- here completed with such a great solo stuff and the excellent performance by WETTON as well, represent anyway another example of his versatility, both in the bad and in the good moments of inspiration. The rest however is characterized by some memorable arrangements and skillful performances too (otherwise "Watcher of the Sky" or "Dance on a Volcano" have been always regarded as some of the best tracks ever, although the arrangement of "Fountain of Salmacis" is unbeatable).

I repeat my sentence above: Such fantastic version of "Fountain of Salmacis", in my opinion the best of all time, is alone well worth checking out, but please listen carefully also to all the other arrangements, characterized by the contribution of so many guest stars!!

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Take a little trip back."

If you're going to revisit some of the songs you created with one of the world's greatest rock bands, you might as well do it properly. Hackett does exactly that with this album. He gathers together some of the finest musicians available, with the noticeable exclusion of any of his former band mates but including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The opening "Watcher of the skies" is slightly slower, more majestic, than the "Foxtrot" original. The wonderful introduction sounds even better as the mellotron is accompanied by full orchestra. John Wetton's vocals can make any track sound good, but where he guests on tracks on this album, as he does on "Watcher.." (and "Firth of Fifth") he adds an atmosphere to them which changes their feel completely. Hackett takes on vocal duties himself for "Dance on a volcano", which is a pity really, as it's otherwise superb. He does the same on "Fountain of Salmacis". With so many talented vocalists to hand, such self indulgence is at best unnecessary.

"Firth of fifth" is transformed completely. The intro is a delicate piece of orchestration, while out goes the flute solo and intricate Tony Banks keyboard solo. In comes a completely different precursor to Hackett's famous guitar solo. Just as you're starting to despair and think that Hackett has done the unthinkable and disposed of his finest contribution to the Genesis archive, the sound of his guitar breezes in ever so gently before soaring even more beautifully and to even greater heights.

A couple of the tracks are not really re-visits as such, "Valley of the kings" and "Déjà vu" not being original Genesis tracks. That said, Peter Gabriel apparently started the latter in the 1970's while still with the band, and Paul Carrack's vocals are excellent on the finally finished product. "The waiting room" is nominally the track from "The lamb..", but in reality, it's a completely different piece in the form of a jam with heavy jazz overtones. For me, it doesn't work, and would have been better left off the album altogether. The other tracks are interesting, and at times inspired re-workings, closing with the always excellent "Los endos".

It's easy to question some of the songs Hackett has chosen to "revisit", and there are many others which it would have been good to have seen included, but remember these are his personal choices.

"Watcher of the skies" and "Firth of fifth" are the clear beneficiaries of Hackett's re-interpretations, and it has to be said that some of the others would have been better left alone, but in all, a commendable album indeed.

Review by daveconn
4 stars The task of filling the sky once more with nightmagic fell to STEVE HACKETT, keeper of the flame in spirit if not in name. Long after GENESIS had ceased to be synonymous with progressive music, HACKETT and a troupe of battle-sharpened veterans dusted off the old wonders and infused them with HACKETT's keen sense of the extreme. The exercise might have been perfunctory or profane, but "Watcher of the Skies" steers clear of both, instead reinvigorating the old gems with a new sense of purpose. The result is a reunion of old friends: some look just as you remember them ("Dance on a Volcano"), a few have grown more austere with age ("For Absent Friends"), others you might not recognize at all ("Los Endos"). STEVE HACKETT clearly wasn't just being nostalgic, instead using the GENESIS legacy as a launching point for his own inventions, as if to say "and then there were four again." Anyone who felt that the post-"Abacab" output was product will find their sentiments shared here. As if to underscore the point, HACKETT's treatment of "Your Own Special Way" (featuring Paul Carrack on vocals) gives us a glimpse of what the old catalog might have looked like through the smooth lens of MIKE + THE MECHANICS or PHIL COLLINS.

Otherwise, HACKETT's visit home is a tasteful balance of reminiscence and rumination, respectful of the original source of inspiration but subversive in its treatment of some of the instrumental passages. In doing so, HACKETT allows us to hear "Firth of Fifth", "Watcher of the Skies", "Fountain of Salmacis" as though for the first time (again), our sense of wonder with the originals rekindled. Some of the ideas are a little silly, from "Waiting Room Only" (which initially sounds like Frank Zappa's "Chrome-Plated Megaphone of Destiny") to the Bonzo ending of "I Know What I Like", but the comic touches mitigate the music's intensity. Lest Genesis fans feel cheated, Hackett adds a new track based on an unused snippet from the "Selling England" sessions ("Deja Vu") and what appears to be a new track, the instrumental "Valley of the Kings." The supporting players are superb: John Wetton suggests a dusky PHIL COLLINS, BILL BRUFORD and CHESTER THOMPSON provide plenty of propulsion, COLIN BLUNSTONE turns in a reverential cameo, and JULIAN COLBECK's approximation of TONY BANKS is right on the money.

I have to admit that, initially, I was put off by the idea of anyone (even HACKETT) tampering with the classics, but those who've been watching Steve over the years know that he has far too much integrity to invoke the old gods without good reason.

Review by Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Imagine that you're a G fan to the core, that you know every chord of every single GENESIS tune by heart, and that your only regret is knowing that you will never, ever be able to hear your old favourites properly recorded. Well, dry your eyes right away and rejoice: your dream has finally come true with "Watcher of the Skies".

My, oh my! What a treat this CD is: the masters' old classics enhanced by a full, modern production, all served à la HACKETT, s'il vous plaît - with a little help from friends Bill Bruford, John Wetton and other equally talented contributors. What a joy to finally hear "Firth of Fifth" and "The Fountain of Salmacis" recorded with pristine modern technology! The only sad point is the lack of TONY BANKS's legendary intro on "Firth". The other flaw worth mentioning (a very tiny one) is the album's overly 'rich' sound. Just about every track on it is powerful and majestic, making it a little heavy to digest at times. But what a performance! It's like rediscovering old friends all over again. Apart from a couple of irrelevant tracks such as "Your Own Special Way" and "I Know What I Like", this album is pure bliss. As I said, a GENESIS fan's dream come true ((( sigh...)))

Review by richardh
4 stars An intersting 'reimagining' of classic Genesis form Steve and a collection of the greatest prog musicians plus the RPO. Track listing: 1. Watcher of the Skies (8:40) NOT A PATCH ON THE ORIGINAL -ABOUT 2/5 2. Dance On A Volcano (7:28) SUPERB INSTRUMENTALLY BUT DODGY VOCAL 3/5 3. Valley Of The Kings (6:29) CLASSIC HACKETT 5/5 4. Déja Vu (5:53) OK BALLAD 3/5 5. Firth of Fifth (9:39) SUPERB ,THE BEST TRACK ON THE WHOLE ALBUM .LOVE IT.STEVE MAKES THIS MORE STATELY AND THE INSTRUMENTAL SECTION IS TO DIE FOR.HACKETT IS THE WORLDS GREATEST GUITARIST AND THIS PROVES IT!! 5/5 6. For Absent Friends (3:02) OK BUT NOTHING SPECIAL 3/5 7. Your Own Special Way (4:18) I LOVE THIS SONG AND THIS A LOVELY TREATMENT OF IT 5/5 8. Fountain of Salmacis (9:53) SECOND BEST TRACK ON THE ALBUM.BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL!! 5/5 9. Waiting Room Only (6:53) HATE THIS...ONE TO SKIP 1/5 10. I Know What I Like (5:37) NOT IMPRESSED BY THIS VERSION AT ALL 2/5 11. Los Endos (8:51) GREAT FINISH AS HACKETT TURNS INTO CARLOS SANTANA! 5/5

Theres about 40 minutes of this that is absolutely essential.There is some filler.Excellent sleevenotes.If you are a Genesis fan you will have it but it miight even convert a few non believers!

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album is Steve's re-interpretation of his tenure with Genesis before he ventured into a successful (my view) solo career. So, it's recommended for early Genesis freaks to have this album. The arrangements are ranging from excellent to masterpiece. Those I consider as true masterpiece are: Firth of Fifth, Los Endos, Dance on Volcano and Fountain of Salmacis.

Firth of Fifth is masterpiece because the rearrangements have been done by creating alternative ways of performing each segment differently. For example, the Tony Banks' piano introduction (that has always killed me whenever I listened to the CD or heard it from ringtones of my progmate's cellular phone) is beautifully replaced with a blend of Xylophone and orchestration work. WOW! It's magnificent man! Whilst the acoustic guitar texture is maintained the same with the original version, the interlude part on flute is replaced by stunning acoustic guitar work. The interlude is also expanded with a sort of avant-garde orchestra and percussive. The original howling guitar solo is strengthened wonderfully with Spanish style music. What a great interlude! Am totally stunned with this one! The bass lines are also great.

The Fountain of Salmacis is also rearranged differently from its original form. The mellotron-based intro is added with acoustic guitar outfit. At first spin I was so disappointed with the vocal line by terrible voice quality of Mr. Hackett. But, when I had another spin I got another perspective that with terrible voice of Steve it still produces great music harmony. So I don't complain his voice anymore. It's a great arrangement.

Dance on A Volcano has been added during intro part with classical and electric guitar outfit and some sound effects. Given this intro, no one would guess that this is the intro part of Dance On A Volcano. The main body of the song is not rearranged that much but it creates another nuance compared to original recording; it's probably due to a kind of growling style vocal performed here. Also, there is slapping bass lines performed during interlude part. At first listen I did not appreciate this song due to vocal style, but it grew with many spins later.

Los Endos is the most exciting track in this album not just because it is performed with high energy but also it has great arrangement. The speedy acoustic guitar work opens the tune followed with great drumming by Steve's best drummer in his solo albums Hugo Degenhardt. Orchestration has been composed in complex style especially during transition pieces, augmented with electric guitar work. The song also projects a world music nuance with the beautiful insertion of percussions in the middle of the track augmented with avant-garde music style.

In addition to above re-interpretation of Genesis Steve also rearranged his own work, ie. Valley of The Kings. This is an interesting outfit as the arrangement has a beautiful nuance of Eastern tuning. It automatically reminds me to the music of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir where it shares similar nuance. Valley of The Kings is a masterpiece track as well.

Listening to this album is really rewarding especially if you have been familiar with Genesis music in the seventies as you will hear another variant of arrangement composed excellently by the guitar maestro, Steve Hackett. Overall rating is 4+ out of 5 stars. I recommend you to purchase the CD. Keep on proggin' .!

Progressively yours,


Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Ok, had anybody else done this album, it would have been a disaster. And yet Steve Hackett seems to pull of his renditions of Genesis numbers with his own flare, sometimes changing parts of songs completely. His choices for backing musicians for this album ranges across the board of prog greats, from Bill Bruford to Ian McDonald, to Chester Thompson and John Wetton. There is a lot to like about this album, but some selections are just confusing as to why he changed them, and some are just really out of place on the album. But in the end, you can't expect to hear the same old songs again, you have to expect some kind of reworking to be done or else it would just be plain boring.

Watcher of the Skies opens the album, a very faithful rendition of the original, although this time it's more majestic thanks to the augmentation of The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. John Wetton's voice suits the song well, and Tony Levin takes bass duties so that Wetton can focus on his vocal work (his voice has really aged well). Dance On a Volcano is somewhat different from the original, mainly because Hackett uses a voice distorter to make his voice deeper (really takes you away from the original Collins vocal), and it really doesn't fit with the song. Other than that, expect a more majestic version of the original.

Valley of Kings has no real purpose on the album as it isn't really even a Genesis song to begin with, but none the less it's a great instrumental showing off Hackett's guitar expertise. Deja Vu is a song that Gabriel presented to the band during the Selling England by the Pound sessions, but it never saw the light of day. It's nice that Hackett included it onto the set, for it is a really nice song with some great vocal work. Firth of Fifth is the first song that gets some real reworking done to it. The opening is rather solemn, but the song breaks out into that classic riff we all know. Wetton's vocals and bass work are astounding. But the real problem I have is that Hackett cuts out the classic flute solo in exchange for a breakdown that has really nothing to do with the song itself until it returns for his classic solo. A good rendition, but the power of the original is lost. For Absent Friends is one of the better songs on the album, the lush orchestral score really giving the original a boost in power and emotive feeling.

Your Own Special Way is one of the only songs that I feel doesn't fit on the album. First off, Hackett had nothing to do with this song, and secondly, the arrangement here makes it sound like something off of a Backstreet Boys or NSYNC album. Other than that, it's nothing more than playful pop. The longest song on the album is The Fountain of Salmacis, which gets a great treatment, with many added instrumental sections and great guitar and vocal work from Hackett. One of the highlights of the album indeed. Waiting Room Only is a reworking of The Waiting Room off of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. The first 3 minutes of the song sound faithful to the original, but then Hackett gives us a 180 and turns it into a quasi-blues number with many different instruments taking the lead within a 4 minute mainframe. I Know What I Like got the most reworking on the album, it being turned from a playful progressive pop tune to a jazz-lounge doo wop vocal track, with the tempo and the arrangement being totally thrown off as Hackett announces instruments as they take solos. It really is bizarre why he changed the track so much. Los Endos is faithful to the Hackett live version (which features a section from Dancing With the Moonlit Knight). What really threw me off was the tribal percussion section that takes place around the third minute, it doesn't really make sense to have a tribal percussion section in Los Endos, does it? After that, though, the song ends in classic fashion with the riff from Squonk being repeated as virtually every instrument in the song gets a turn playing the main melody.

Overall, this is a good album, not terribly great and not very essential even if you're a Genesis fan. Some may even be outraged at the reworkings, but I find them to be a creative way at changing something that everyone knows. Hackett's arrangements really come out of left-field, but they do (somewhat) work with the songs. If you want to hear Hackett versions of Genesis songs, I recommend you get this, but overall you may just be better off sticking with the original versions. 3/5.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars With Steve Hackett being at the helm I thought i'd give this record a shot, and after many listens I have mixed feelings.The negatives for me are the vocals, I really like Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel's vocals, and so to hear Paul Carrack who I disliked a lot back in the eighties, and John Wetton, who I like, but not doing pop songs, was a real letdown. I prefered Steve's vocals to these two. I also am not a big fan of the orchestral sounds, especially when their sound is used where mellotron was originally used.

The highlight for me was the surprising instrumental "Valley Of The Kings" where Steve Hackett shows his stuff, and he's got a lot of stuff ! Amazing guitar ! "Firth Of Fifth" is also beautifully done.

This album is probably worth checking out for most prog fans, if only to see Hackett's interpretations of some great songs from his past.

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Hackett's aim with this CD was to add "a dimension to the songs that was originally lacking". Well, he has added something to a lot of the songs, but whether it's what he intended is another matter.

There is a stellar line of musicians here - John Weeton (sic), Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, Paul Carrack and more - and it all starts off promisingly with "Watcher of the Skies" with a good vocal from Wetton. Bruford's drums have that ABWH sound to them which detracts a bit, but still a good effort. Unfortunately it's largely downhill from there on. "Dance on a Volcano" features a spoken "vocal" from Hackett which renders the song almost unlistenable for me. "Deja Vu" is quite a nice song, one that Gabriel started around the time of SEBTP and Hackett finished off for this CD. The ever reliable Paul Carrack puts in an excellent vocal here. "For Absent Friends" is given a waltz treatment, "Your Own Special Way" is made even cheesier with some horrible 80's sounding keyboards, "Firth of Fifth" replaces the opening piano section with some tinkly keyboards, which actually works better than you might think, but the instrumental section is changed and not for the better. "The Fountain of Salmacis" is one of the bettter efforts and "Los Endos" is a stirring end to it all, but in between is a truly horrible sort of 1920's reggae version of "I Know What I Like".

Overall, this adds nothing to the originals, although at least the production is better. I can't really see anyone preferring any of these over the Genesis originals.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars Great line up for this album. Probably the best one on a Steve album (although the one featured one "Voyage" was great as well of course).

I guess that only an ex-Genesis band member could have released this album and to be honest, anyone else would have been hammered by doing such a work of which two tracks haven't been recorded by the band : the mighty and mysterious "Valley of the Kings" ("a dream of Steve's about the building of Great Pyramids")as well as "Déjà Vu" even if this one was started by Gabriel during the "Selling England" recordings.

Let's face the truth, the mellow mood is quite explicit why it didn't go further than a demo in those days (even if Steve is distilling a great guitar work in this song).

The other nine parts of this album is a mix of excellent ("Watcher" and "Firth" being two of my three preferred ones) and some less great songs from this wonderful band. Once you get used to John Wetton's voice during "Watcher" it is OK. But the instrumental parts are really shining. I am not as positive about the rendition of "Firth".

The intro from the symphonic orchestra is a big and useless joke. What a poor counterpart of the genuine and great piano opening from Tony. And I can't really bear this middle part, just after the flute passage. These orchestral sounds are IMO totally out of purpose. I am not use to say the following, but frankly to tell that this version is a good one is just nonsense. What a treat for this jewel.

As I'm talking of some "mistakes" here, the version of "Dance On A Vulcano" features a weak intro, non existing in the original and appears to me as a "Vanilla Fudge" cover. By this, I mean that they often created an intro for each of their great cover songs. But it is probably not really necessary for this one. And the "vocals" from Steve here is absolutely awful. I'm sorry, there are no other words.

If ever you would like to get my opinion about a track as "For Absent Friends", I would recommend you my original review for "Nursery Cryme". Whoever might sing. And unlike many reviewers, I liked the original version of "Your Own Special Way" but this syrupy cover, is rather difficult to admit. Press next.

You know, I discovered "Genesis" while I was fourteen. I saw them live while they were five (once), and twice while they were four. This band was my sun each day from the late 1973 to the late 1976. and I mean it. I guess that I am rather an orthodox fan. If you deviate too much from the great original, there is nothing to do. My sentence won't be diplomatically.

Just as for "Dance", there is a short "original" intro for "Salmacis". And just as in "Dance" there are AWFUL vocals featured. Oh boy! How is it possible! Such a great song being massacred! OK, most of this gigantic piece of music is well rendered after this extremely poor start. But still. My perception of this version is that it is waaaaaaaay behind the original (even if the sound quality is better here).

The weakest track from The Lamb is featured on this work :Waiting Room Only is just as weak as the irginal. The only bearable version is the one available on the the live "The Lamb". Press next to this one.

When I heard "I Know What I Like" at the time of release, I immediately liked it (though lots of fans thought that it was too commercial). But to listen to such a poor and reggae-ish version is beyond my capabilities. The grotesque and circus oriented finale is another of the "curiosity". Press next. Fast.

And as far as I'm concerned the fastest we can get to end this torture, the better. And "Los Endos" is another one of the very few acceptable renditions here. It even features some notes of "Dancing Out" and even it is not on par with the original, it is one of the best moment of this strange album.

This work is such a disappointment. I have never understood how Steve could cope with such a tributealbum. If anyone else had signed this album, the zero star rating would have been the majority I guess. I am fully in line with the reiview from Chopper. There is no version superior to the original one. Far from it. Since Steve did it, I will be VERY generous. Two stars.

From an absolute and unbiased HUGE fan of their early work. I can't cope with this one. No way. What have you done to my songs?????

Review by chessman
4 stars This album seems to divide Hackett fans. Some love it, whilst others rate it very lowly. I am one of those who love it. I won't go so far as to say these versions are superior to the original Genesis tracks, but most of them are, in a different way, just as good. For me, the new version of 'Firth Of Fifth' is absolutely tremendous. It sounds like a full scale orchestra in parts. The intro I find very effective, even though it isn't Tony Banks. The famous solo is recreated here with new power and precision. Brilliant stuff. 'Fountain Of Salmacis' is another winner. A great and powerful new version which Steve sings very effectively imo. Likewise, 'Watcher Of The Skies' is presented here in a fabulous, more orchestral version. Of course, Wetton is no Gabriel, but he doesn't do badly here. I also like the new take on 'Your Own Special Way', a track many Genesis fans dislike. This version is almost a cabaret version, but it's very well done indeed. 'Waiting Room Only' is not quite the same, or as good, as the original, but it's still interesting. 'Dance On A Volcano' is another song that sounds very modern now, yet retains its true Genesis atmosphere. Steve sings this one too. The remaining tracks are good, but not quite as good as the ones I have already mentioned. Again, imo of course! The whole album is very interesting and shows these classic songs in a new and modern light. The album cover too is spectacular, and may just be my favourite Hackett cover. All in all, I would say this album is certainly worth a listen or three. If you like Hackett's solo work, especially his more recent recordings, such as 'To Watch The Storms' and 'Wild Orchids' then you should enjoy this album. Production wise it's on a similar level, and the overall quality and diversity are the same. Take a chance and you'll be well rewarded!
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars For absent friends

This album is just what its title implies, Steve Hackett revisiting some old Genesis classics. With the help of an all star cast featuring John Wetton, Ian McDonald, Bill Bruford, Tony Levin, Chester Thompson, Julian Colbeck, Colin Blunstone and many others, Steve tries to recreate the old Genesis magic once more. All of Steve's friends from Genesis are notably absent. The results are often interesting but somewhat mixed. Steve would later take Wetton, McDonald, Thompson and Colbeck with him on tour with far better results as evidenced on the amazing live DVD The Tokyo Tapes where some of the very best moments from this album are performed live together with some of Steve's best solo work and a couple of King Crimson classics thrown in (due to McDonald's presence) as well as an acoustic version of Asia's Heat Of The Moment (due to Wetton's presence).

Just like on that The Tokyo Tapes performance, Genesis Revisited opens with Watcher Of The Skies, originally from Genesis' Foxtrot album. Originally sung by Peter Gabriel, both the Tokyo Tapes version and the Genesis Revisited version were excellently sung by John Wetton whose voice fits this song perfectly. The same thing applies to Firth Of Fifth which is another highlight here. Steve certainly did interesting things with these Genesis classics. Firth Of Fifth, for example, has been given a radically different middle section compared to the original version. I Know What I Like is performed in a Jazz style and includes a kind of Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells parody with spoken introduction of the different instruments! A bit silly, if you ask me!

Other highlights are those tracks sung by Steve himself, like the highly interesting version of Dance On A Volcano from my favourite Genesis album A Trick Of The Tale and Fountain Of Salmacis. Steve sings these somewhat in the style of Darktown to great effect. But like the Darktown album, Genesis Revisited is uneven and inconsistent, even disjointed due the presence of so many different singers.

The song Déjà vu (which is not a Genesis song) is almost an embarrassment for the album and is completely out of place despite a nice guitar solo, and the versions of For Absent Friends and Your Own Special Way are quite awful to my ears and add nothing to the originals. These songs, together with the weird Waiting Room Only, are the album's weakest links. The best songs are Watcher Of The Skies, Dancing On A Volcano, Firth Of Fifth and the eternal Los Endos which is given a fantastic reworking. Also the new (and not Genesis related) instrumental Valley Of The Kings is great and features fantastic electric guitar work from Steve. This instrumental is, however, available on the live DVD Once Above A Time which is another amazing video release from Steve. Indeed, with very few exceptions all of the best moments from this album are featured on different live recordings, most notably The Tokyo Tapes DVD but also the Once Above A Time DVD and the Somewhere In South America DVD which are the recommended sources for Steve Hackett performing Genesis.

If you don't have these amazing live DVDs and all the original Genesis albums from which these songs originally came, get these releases immediately they are all highly recommended! If you do have these DVDs and CDs, you don't really need Genesis Revisited unless you are a serious Genesis and/or Steve Hackett fan and collector. Hence my rating of two stars.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The nostalgia for his old band didn't seem to leave Steve Hackett alone and so Steve finally decided to go back to his origins and, along with a bunch of great guest star musicians, decided to re-record the more instrumentally oriented tracks from Genesis-catalog.

This might have seemed like a dream come true for most Genesis fans but once the results were out I had a very mixed opinion of this final product. I like most of these performances but personally I still like the mixture of great Peter Gabriel lyrics together with the bands music, so I won't be impressed until the classic lineup actually decides to do a real reunion.

Genesis Revisited might not be a terrible release but I lack the feel of a band record which of course isn't what this release is all about. It's great to see so many familiar names behind this release but most of these performances turn out to be criminally underused and what we get here is more like a tribute band type of effort. Good, but non-essential.

**** star songs: Watcher Of The Skies (8:40) Dance On A Volcano (7:28) Déja Vu (5:53) Firth Of Fifth (9:39) Your Own Special Way (4:18) Fountain Of Salmacis (9:53) Waiting Room Only (6:53) Los Endos (8:51)

*** star songs: Valley Of The Kings (6:29) For Absent Friends (3:02)

** star songs: I Know What I Like (5:37)

Total Rating: 3,73

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I consciously avoided this album for several years. I really didn´t fancy anyone, not even mr. Hackett, doing an album of revised Genesis songs. Or any classic stuff for the matter, prog or otherwise. But I also knew that sooner or later I´d have to listen his ´version´ of the stuff he played on so long ago with the band that made him famous. And it wasn´t so bad as I initially thought it would be. In fact, some of the tunes did turn out rather wonderfully. Not the whole CD, of course. After all it is HIS vision, and we may not always agree about the selected material, nor the way he delivered them. But again I should say it was quite better than I expected.

He did show a lot of respect for the tunes and asked several terrifc musicians and singers to help him out. Incredibly, the best ones are two veru well known classic songs: Watcher of The Skies and The Fountain Of Salmacis. Both actually excells the originals in several aspects, believe it or not. The idea of using real orchestra instead of the mellotron works very well here. I also loved the way John Wetton sings on the former. Those two tracks are the real highlights of this album. On others the new versions did not work that well, but are very good anyway (Firth Of Fifth, Los Endos). And some are more interesting than really good: Dance On A Volcano is ok, but those processed vocals ruin it all, while Your Own Special Way becomes a typical 80´s pop song with Paul Carrak singing. There is a very uncharacteristically experimental version of The Waiting Room (here titled The Waiting Room Only) that sounds like one of Frank Zappa´s.

I really have no saying about the two ´original´ songs included: the never released Deja Vu (intended for Selling England...) and Hackett´s own Valley Of The Kings. Both are nice, but a little out of place on this album concept. And I really didn´t like the new bluesy version of I Know What I like. This and The weird The Waiting Room Only are the sole bad tracks of the whole record in my opinion. For Absent Friends became almost unrecognizable, but the orchestral arrangement was great and the song turned into something really good in the end.

Conclusion: a very interesting record. Even in those moments where I did not appreciate the new arrangements, I found this album to be a valid statement and something really worth listening to for any Genesis fan. Steve Hackett did a respectful and captivating work on some of his former band classics. He is surely one of the very few that could pick up such masterpieces and redo them without sounding like a poor copy or a parody. The cover was very inspired too.

If you like Gabriel era Genesis you should check this out.

Rating: 3.5 stars.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Not a cover or a tribute, new fresh versions of old classics

I remember that winter afternoon in 1997 as if it was yesterday, the chain stores sold the CD's at such high prices that I had to search for an alternate store, and found one in a gallery on a not so nice zone called "Galerías Brasil", there I knew a guy in his early 50's who sold official albums at cheaper price, and he called me to see this new wonder, when I reached the store, my first words weer "No, not another damn tribute", but when I saw STEVE HACKETT'S name on the cover, took the risk?I will never regret this moment, because it was an unexpected experience.

The album starts with Watcher of the Skies, the classic opener for Gabriel era concerts, and the Mellotron/Hammond (this time with Mellotron and full orchestra) intro sounded slightly better than the original, it was good but nothing radically new, so when I was about to press the skip button, the sound changed, somehow slower and less heavy, in that moment John Wetton's warm voice took me by surprise.

The guy is not Peter Gabriel and doesn't try to be him (The best possible option when playing other guy's parts is to be different), he sings like himself and really changed my perception of the song, surely is less aggressive, but incredibly warmer. Don't misunderstand me, I love the original version, but always sounded a bit distant and cold, this version is more enjoyable (won't say better, just different) and playful, loved the new approach, a great start.

Now, Dance on a Volcano is one of the best Collins era songs (when he tried to sound like a Gabriel clone), and now Steve tries to sing it, I had to listen it. From the start everything is different, after an absolutely weird and skillful guitar intro by Hackett that enhances the mystery, the familiar sound starts, I couldn't wait to listen Steve in the vocals, and after a section respectful to the original, Steve enters with a vocoder?Yes it's strange, but the new arrangements are so rich that the weirdness almost vanishes. If Bill Bruford was outstanding in the opener, Chester Thompson is superb on this one, making me forget Phill Collins drumming (something hard to achieve). At the end the Mellotron and the subtle guitar additions make this song worth to be listened.

With an intelligent appreciation of the moment, Hackett plays one of his own songs, the ultra-pompous and ambitious Valley of the kings, a moment of rest for the listener who doesn't have to compare it with GENESIS, and is allowed to enjoy it fully. The blend of frantic guitar and orchestra is simply delightful. Great interlude.

The next track is Deja vu a work in progress by Peter Gabriel during the Selling England by the Pound sessions, so even when it has that 70's GENESIS flavor somehow reminiscent of For Absent Friends, we can listen it without remorse or need to compare. The guitar work by Steve is brilliant, and the selection of Paul Carrack in the vocals is the appropriate, at the end reminds me a bit of Steve's solo debut, but with that Tony Banks unique Mellotron. Extremely Beautiful.

Now Firth of fifth is a challenge, and Steve makes it so different that takes the pressure out of the musicians, from the start the replacement of Tony's grand piano for an orchestral and playful intro is a great option, its' clear that this is a different song with a different singer (John Wetton), that respects the original but adds enough changes to make it a completely different version. Before the famous solo, Steve adds a nice acoustic section and then an orchestral passage that leads to what we all were waiting for, Steve Hackett in all his glory, at last the best guitar solo in history (In my opinion of course), simply brilliant, left me breathless for some minutes.

From the start I must say that I always hated For Absent Friends, a cheesy little filler in the magnificent Nursery Cryme to allow Phil Collins make his singing debut in GENESIS, not as bad as the horrendous More Fool Me, but a candidate for the skip button. But Steve caught me by surprise, in first place selecting a great singer as Colin Blunstone from "The Alan Parsons Project" and replacing the band with his guitar and orchestra. I don't know how, but he turned a terrible filler in a highlight of the album?.Sadly Steve Hackett t doesn't make miracles, the next song Your Own Special Way can't be saved, this the only track I never listen from this album, slightly better than the original, but still terribly boring.

But after a bad song comes the best piece of the album, the already fantastic Fountain of Salmacis is resurrected in a totally new and brilliant presentation. In first place an acoustic guitar intro prepares the listener for the beautiful intro (this time orchestral instead of Hammond based), then Steve again with vocoder starts to sing, but then, he leaves all the gadgets and uses his own voice, surprisingly does it pretty well, he's not Peter but does an amazingly good work, adding the voice to his well-known talents. A perfect piece of art from the first to the last note, the best song of the album. The original version is a masterpiece, this one is a masterpiece +.

When I bought the album, hated Waiting Room Only with all my guts, but time has passed and things have changed, and yes, the first half is full of strange sounds, but the second part is more than interesting, in the sleeve notes the author said he tried to capture the spirit of the atonal song with the same name from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and they succeeded.

A re-visit to GENESIS wouldn't be complete without I Know What I Like, the only hit single from Gabriel's era, incredibly after this phrase I admit I don't like the original and even less this sort of Bossa Nova rendition, but I love that Steve dared to do it with him in the vocals, I hate the song, but recognize the brilliance in the idea of doing something knowing that most people will dislike it, because the artist believes in it.

The album is closed by Los Endos, and again Steve manages to make in better than the original, what started as a frenetic track to put a closure to every show, has been turned into a complex track, with a lot of elements GENESIS would had never dared to add. An extra point for using two drummers as Genesis did in the life shows and one more for calling Chester Thompson.

Well, I must say that the album is not perfect, but despite having a couple of flaws, I admire the bravery of Steve Hackett when he re-created the songs instead of making a tribute that everybody would love but without originality, the album is risky. ambitious and even full of the humor required, I consider Watcher of the Skies - Genesis Revisited a masterpiece and a transcendental piece of art, so 5 stars for me

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars While Steve hadn't quite shunned his Genesis roots to the same extent as Peter Gabriel had in his own solo career, he hadn't exactly allowed himself to revel in his past either. When the nostalgia bug finally bit him in the mid-90s, though, he didn't take half-measures; this album contains 8 covers of recognizable tracks from the band's 70s albums, plus a reinvention of "The Waiting Room" (which is so different from the original that it gets a new title, "Waiting Room Only"), as well as an unfinished obscurity from the Selling England sessions. Far from wanting to do a straight tribute album, though, Steve decided to put enough of his own personal stamp on the material that the album would clearly be a Steve Hackett album; aside from throwing on a totally new track (the instrumental "Valley of the Kings"), the songs are often dramatically transformed from their originals, featuring heavy rearrangements and a list of guest stars ranging from Bill Bruford and John Wetton to the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Honestly, the fact that the songs are transformed from the originals isn't especially surprising to me; let us not forget that one of the main reasons Steve left the band was that he was tired of doing tracks in the same way with the same limited set of instruments and performers, so it makes sense that he'd try to incorporate some variety and a cast of thousands into the mix once he got to put his own personal stamp on the material.

So how is it? Well, I'll start by stating the obvious: this is an easy album to hate if you're coming to it straight from Genesis without acquainting yourself with Steve Hackett's solo career first. The opening "Watcher of the Skies" (with Wetton on vocals, Bill Bruford on drums and Tony Levin on bass) is done pretty faithfully to the original, aside from adding some unexpected electronic bloops and some orchestral bits in the instrumental passages near the end, but there are a lot of changes made to the other tracks, and generally not for the better. The album's biggest overall fault is that, aside from "For Absent Friends" (which is doubled in length and given some heft in the orchestrations, but still isn't a great song) and the closing "Los Endos" (apparently done live and with great bits thrown in like a quote of "Dancing With the Moonlit Knight"), none of the songs on here surpass their counterparts on the original studio albums. At best, these tracks make for interesting alternate versions that can be turned to once in a while, and at worst they're versions that would almost certainly never be considered if one wanted to hear the track in question. In short, for an album clearly targeted at old Genesis fans, this isn't exactly very kind to old Genesis fans.

Personally, I think the album actually leans more heavily towards the first group than the second group. Of the nine familiar tracks, the only two that I would be fine never hearing again are "Waiting Room Only" (which makes for an interesting, noisy experiment but isn't something I can pretend I enjoy) and, surprisingly, "Your Own Special Way" (which reaches its full potential as a schlocky adult-contemporary ballad, and which it had avoided becoming during the Wind and Wuthering sessions). Otherwise, for instance, I can at least find some enjoyment in "I Know What I Like" becoming a lazy reggae-ish shuffle when it's so obvious that it's a bit of a joke (remember, it was performing this track over and over that helped push Steve out of the band), especially in the silly bits in the middle when Steve starts introducing members of his "band" such as "mellotron strings" and "toy piano." It's nowhere near the original, of course, but this track is perfectly enjoyable to me as a silly gag.

The remaining familiar tracks are "Dance on a Volcano," "Firth of Fifth" and "The Fountain of Salmacis," and while none of them boast all of the strengths of their original counterparts, they're all interesting enough for me to want to hear them once in a while. "Dance" sounds like a total mess at first, starting with a lengthy introduction with bluesy-then-shreddy guitar lines over ominous synths before going into the recognizable portion, and then the main portion features distorted vocals and prominent slap bass parts that are nothing like anything in the original. And yet, while I do miss Phil's vocals, I also feel like Phil's vocals weren't one of the great strengths of the original, so while the vocals are somewhat of a step down, they aren't enough to completely subvert the song (which adds interesting touches and sounds less bland in the ending "lava overflowing" parts than the original did with Tony Banks leading the way). "Firth of Fifth" tinkers with one of the most perfectly constructed and perfectly arranaged pieces in prog history, so of course the mid-section, which strips out the flute and adds some eyebrow-raising twists (the synth/percussion battle is a little silly and doesn't fit in perfectly), won't be as pristine as in the original. And yet, I kinda like replacing the flute with classical guitar, and I like the glockenspiel in place of the grand piano, and there's still great guitar (taking the original part and reworking it in various ways), and dang it getting to 70% of perfection is still ok by me. And as for "The Fountain of Salmacis," while Steve's vocals (distorted and not) are nowhere near what Peter's were in the original (or even Phil's in the Three Sides Live version), I find myself drawn by all of the dancing flute parts in the quieter moments, and I don't especially mind the increased presence of Steve's guitar, and I like that the baseball organ keyboards in one of the breaks (really the only thing in the track that I disliked in the original) are gone. Again, it's not quite up to snuff, but I like this about 75% as much as the original, so that makes for a perfectly pleasant addition to my listening collection.

If there's a significant weak point in the album beyond "Waiting Room Only," "Your Own Special Way" and some small details here and there in tracks I've mentioned, it's in the two "new" tracks. The Selling England-era rarity, "Deja Vu," was originally worked on by Peter and Steve, but it's pretty clear why it didn't make it onto England. Paul Carrack (who also does the "Special Way" vocals) does his best imitation of Genesis-era Peter, but there isn't much in the way of vocals to speak of, and the track goes through long stretches of guitar parts that aren't especially inspired (with various other tacky arrangements thrown in here and there). And finally, "Valley of the Kings" doesn't speak highly for Steve's ability with instrumentals during this period; one of the synth lines near the beginning could have made for a useful portion of a good instrumental, but the bulk of the track is a bunch of underinspired guitar and overly pompous synth parts over a robotic beat, which is a problem for a track that lasts 6:30. This track is one of my least favorite Hackett pieces ever, on par with the worst stuff from his 80s synth pop albums, and it definitely hurts the album.

Despite the various weaknesses the album may have, I can still give it a *** rating without too much difficulty. As I said earlier, there are no tracks here that I prefer to their originals (whereas on Genesis Revisited II there are a few instances where I prefer those versions to the originals), and if somebody wants to find a potentially crippling weakness in every track they can, but most of these tracks have so much goodness at their cores that I can't let deviation in relatively small details completely derail my enjoyment. I'd only recommend about half of the album, but if you can find it cheap it's definitely worth a listen. Just make sure your expectations are set appropriately.

Review by Chicapah
3 stars I fell in love with Genesis in '75 when I was introduced to "Selling England by the Pound." I immediately acquired vinyl copies of what I'd missed along the way and eagerly saturated my ears with the innovative, eclectic progressiveness that is the group's eternal legacy. Although I was a dedicated and jealous Yes freak I was instantly intrigued by their unique blend of folk, jazz and rock coupled with Peter Gabriel's alluring strangeness that made them stand out from all other bands in existence. However, the sole monkey wrench in their aural art was the thin, almost amateurish sound quality of their albums that I found cruelly distracting if not downright criminal. For the life of me I couldn't understand why their music didn't have the stunning high fidelity that made the material by Yes and ELP leap out from my speakers and engulf me in soundscapes that were darn near rapturous. Evidently there's not much that can be done to change the fundamental recordings that populate "Nursery Cryme," "Foxtrot," "SEBTP" and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" because even the most recent re-mastered CDs have failed to make drastic improvements in their overall presentation.

Thusly, for decades I've often wondered what the colossal impact their magnificent songs and epic tracks would've had on me and the rest of the world at large had the group been able to retain the services of someone like Eddie Offord who could've efficiently captured their magic on analog tape. In 1996 the guitarist that was a member of the band during their most creative period, Steve Hackett, released "Genesis Revisited" and I felt that perhaps my dream had come true. He'd taken some of their most beloved tunes and re-recorded them with the help of a host of very talented musicians in order to showcase them in the glorious auditory Technicolor that late 20th century state of the art studio equipment and techniques offered. But once again I was reminded of the truth imbedded in the phrase "be careful what you wish for." I'm not condemning this disk as an utter disappointment. Not at all. Steve did his level best to upgrade the songs he picked out for the album and I have no complaint whatsoever about the way the CD sounds. It has all the rich tones and depth that's missing in the aforementioned classic LPs. Yet it makes me appreciate the undiluted energy and raw excitement that Genesis' early recordings contain in spite of their anemic audio resonance. No matter the shortcomings, their genius was not to be denied. It's painfully obvious that you can only catch lightning in a jar one time and then that golden moment is lost forever.

Hackett wisely begins his labor of love with the stupendous "Watcher of the Skies," employing a cast of skilled synthesizer wizards and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to punch up the awesome intro. The cavernous atmosphere they establish is very impressive, adding a wider dimension to this excellent composition. Of course, it doesn't hurt having John Wetton's proggy voice, Bill Bruford's inimitable drumming and Tony Levin's bass guitar acumen included. They do a terrific job. At this juncture I was ecstatic, thinking that the entire "Genesis Revisited" was going to be a godsend to this aging fan's ears. "Dance on a Volcano" is next and, with the rhythm section of Chester Thompson on drums and Alfonso Johnson on bass being on board, I was braced to be blown away. I adore the huge aura Steve erects for this cut but I'm not too crazy about Hackett's electronically enhanced vocals. I appreciate his attempt to offer an alternative vision of how the song should be portrayed but, alas, it comes up short in comparison to its gargantuan debut found on the sublime "Trick of the Tail." From there he segues into a new and rather heavy-handed instrumental, "Valley of the Kings," that's firmly grounded by Hugo Degenhardt's solid drumming. Steve's spirited guitar playing throughout is top-notch and a treat to hear. He's right up there with Jeff Beck as far as conjuring amazing quirks and feedback out of his guitar. "Déjà vu" follows, a tune that Hackett and Gabriel were working on during the band's preparation for "SEBTP" but didn't finish in time. Paul Carrack's unmistakable voice is perfect for this lovely number and he does it full justice. The lush symphonic score is a wonderful surprise, as well. "Firth of Fifth" is one of my all-time favorites and I couldn't wait to see what Steve did with it. First of all he smartly utilized the presence of Bill and John to lay down a killer track. In addition he didn't succumb to the temptation to try and duplicate Tony Banks' brilliant grand piano overture that so magnificently dignified the original version but opted to let the synth crew serve up a respectable alternative. Wetton's singing style is suitably haunting for this epic but it's Hackett's classical guitar work at the beginning of the second movement that grabs my attention most. After that Bruford's hot percussion and a stunning orchestral score soar aloft while Steve's extended guitar ride is passionate and moving.

"For Absent Friends" is okay as a change of pace. Colin Blunstone sings it well enough and the symphony is an elegant touch. All in all it's a sweet rendition of one of the group's prettier numbers. I'm not sure what Hackett was aiming to accomplish by completely overhauling Mike Rutherford's "Your Own Special Way" but he went too far off the prog reservation with it. It sports a prominent modern R&B groove for Carrack's soulful vocal to ride atop but the track is so overproduced that it gets lost in the fog. It's not unlistenable but it doesn't come close to capturing the simple innocence the original on the extraordinary "Wind and Wuthering" possesses. "The Fountain of Salmacis" fares much better. The duo of Thompson and Johnson rumbling underneath the surface lays down an imposing foundation but it's Steve's classical guitar intro segment that impresses most. Why Hackett insisted on doing the tricky singing chores is beyond me but at least he doesn't destroy the ambience. Gotta hand it to him, though. This is an odd and very complex piece of progressive rock to pull off but he makes it admirably worth any progger's while to sit through repeatedly. "Waiting Room Only" is the low point. The Sanchez/Montoya Chorale, harmonica and sax along with a variety of weird effects and sound bites contribute to this experimental seven-minutes of barely-tolerable madness and bluesy instrumental interludes. Of all the fine songs on "Lamb" this was his choice? Hmm. His take on the iconic "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" follows. He bestows upon it a jazzy swing groove that's definitely novel and all but not captivating or charming in the least. Unfortunately he doesn't do it any favors by trying to inject a big dose of British humor into the proceedings, either. The group's first hit song deserves better. Steve goes out with a bang, though. "Los Endos" features Chester and Hugo kicking tail on their respective drum kits with Pino Palladino doing bass guitar duties. The challenging, fusion-like arrangement (especially in the early going) is tight and spectacularly rendered although Ian McDonald's sax and flute contributions are woefully underemphasized in the mix.

I'm glad Steve took it upon himself to try to make amends for the inexcusable engineering flaws that crippled the recordings of some of Genesis' most earth-shaking tunes in the era preceding Peter Gabriel's departure to go climb up Solsbury Hill alone. This endeavor was something that had to be done sooner or later and who better to give it a go than one of the guys who was there when it all went down. While it doesn't totally right the tragic wrongs that marred the otherwise brilliant "Nursery Cryme" and its brothers, Mr. Hackett does deserve a modicum of gratitude from all Genesis fanatics for making the effort. I reckon if Phil, Tony, Mike and Peter had joined him on this project it might have been a prog rock event equivalent to the moon landing but speculation is cheap and plentiful. I might as well chase the wind. As it is, though its appeal is understandably limited to charter members of the Genesis brigade, it earns my highest 3-star rating. Fine job, Steve. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars A great idea for one from "within the fold" to go back and revisit old musics--and an admirable job attracting top notch musicians to the project for these reinterpretations. I have to admit that I like the songs that Steve has chosen to re-interpret more closely to the originals better than his re-stylized versions, and his versions of "Dance on a Volcano" "Los Endos" and "Fountain of Salmacis" are as good as, maybe even better than, the originals--especially due to the fantastic sound engineering. I also love Steve's liner notes for each song. And kudos to Steve that he was able to earn the participation of luminaries like Bill Bruford, Chester Thompson, Tony Levin, Colin Blunstone, John Wetton, Paul Carrack, Ian MacDonald, Alphonso Johnson, Pino Palladino, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra!
Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nº 337

"Genesis Revisited" is the twelfth studio album of Steve Hackett and was released in 1996. It's a very different studio album because basically it has new versions of original songs of Genesis and isn't made of new compositions of him.

"Genesis Revisited" has eleven tracks. The first track "Watcher Of The Skies" was a song originally released on "Foxtrot". Despite be relatively close to the original version, it's more majestic, energetic and powerful than the original. That reminds me the live version performed on his live album "The Tokyo Tapes". It's worth mention the great performance of John Wetton on vocals. He has one of my favourite voices. This is a great version, as good as, or even better, than the original version. It represents one of the highest moments on the album. The second track "Dance On A Volcano" was a song originally released on "A Trick Of The Tail". It's different from the original version with a beginning completely different. The vocals on the song are performed by Steve Hackett with a distorted voice. Steve Hackett's option of using his voice on the song isn't consensual, because we all know that he hasn't a good voice. However, I personally like of the two versions of the song. The third track "Valley Of The Kings" isn't a Genesis' song. This is a song of Steve Hackett's catalogue. Personally, this is one of my favourite songs of Steve Hackett and the rearrangement of this song is fantastic. This track represents also one of the highest moments on the album. The fourth track "Déja Vu" isn't also a Genesis' song. It's a song originally started by Peter Gabriel and finished by Steve Hackett. It's a beautiful ballad sung by Paul Carrack, with a nice guitar solo and it's well played. However, this isn't for sure one of the highest moments on the album. The fifth track "Firth Of Fifth" was a song originally released on "Selling England By The Pound". But, this is a version completely transformed. The rearrangements are very deep and have been done to create alternative ways of performing each segment differently on the song, for example, the replace of the flute on the interlude part, by acoustic guitar. Once more we have the fantastic voice of John Wetton and an orchestration absolutely irreproachable. This represents also one of the highest moments on the album. The sixth track "For Absent Friends" was a song originally released on "Nursery Cryme". As I wrote before, when I reviewed "Nursery Cryme", this is, in my opinion, the weakest song on that album, but it seems that Steve Hackett hasn't the same opinion. This song is fortunately and substantially modified and it's better than the original version. It sounds very Baroque, which make this song very nice and enjoyable to hear. The seventh track "Your Own Special Way" was a song originally released on "Wind And Wuthering". Once more, I have the same opinion of "For Absent Friends". As also I wrote before, when I reviewed "Wind And Wuthering", it's the weakest song on that album and despite be written by Mike Rutherford, looks like more a song of Phil Collins. Despite be better than the original version, it isn't for sure one of the highest moments on this album too. The eighth track "Fountain Of Salmacis" was a song originally released on "Nursery Cryme". This always was one of my favourite Genesis' songs and represents another highest moment on this album. It's also rearranged differently from its original form but once more we are in presence of a great version of the original song. Again we have Steve Hackett singing on the album and once more, the option of use his voice isn't consensual, but on this case it fits very well. The ninth track "Waiting Room Only" was a song originally released on "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway". However, this is a completely different piece, in its form. Sincerely, I don't like this version of the song, and for my taste, it doesn't works truly very well. The tenth track "I Know What I Like" was a song originally released on "Selling England By The Pound". This is another song completely modified and also sung by Steve Hackett. Personally, I don't dislike of this version of this song, but sincerely I prefer the original version, despite I consider it too much commercial and the weakest song on "Selling England By The Pound". The eleventh track "Los Endos" was a song originally released on "A Trick Of The Tail". It's also a magnificent version of the original song, substantially modified by him and superiorly performed by all musicians who participated on the song. This is another highest moment on the album that closes fantastically this very special album, which is also usual for Genesis to close their usual live shows.

Conclusion: "Genesis Revisited" is a very personal work of Steve Hackett. We can question the need of revisit some of the old Genesis' songs, the choice of the songs chosen by him and even the changes made by him. However, I think an artist must be free to do what he wants, especially Steve Hackett which is one of the writers of the songs and he was also, in my humble opinion, aware of the risks he was running. Globally and despite some controversial options made by him, I think he made a fantastic job and "Genesis Revisited" deserves to be rated with 4 stars and be considered an excellent addition for Genesis/Hackett's fans. It's always a pleasure to me revisit Genesis through the eyes of Hackett.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars Many times I find tribute albums to be anoying. Likewise re-recordings by a group of their earlier work to me is just lazy. However, when I first heard this album I was quite pleasently surprised at the quality found on this disc. The fact that Hackett includes a new "old" song, Valley of the Kin ... (read more)

Report this review (#904099) | Posted by wehpanzer | Friday, February 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I would like to describe this album in a few words...its a masterpice...Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is incredible...7 of 11 songs are perfect...can't stop playing this album for 10 years... I would like to quit 4 songs out of tracklist: 4. Déja Vu (5:53) 7. Your Own Special Way (4:18) 9. ... (read more)

Report this review (#241441) | Posted by Rashly | Friday, September 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you enjoy the mix of orchestration with song that Steve employs in Wild Orchids then you should enjoy this album. The revised versions are very interesting and the vocals by Wetton among others are first rate. Highly recommended. ... (read more)

Report this review (#99911) | Posted by | Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I find this record average... I don't like steve hackett's voice at all... I think Genesis studio originals are better... I like some of the musical modifications they did to the all time favorite genesis songs, but most of em make the song worse IMO... for example... I don't like the intro to F ... (read more)

Report this review (#99906) | Posted by AcostaFulano | Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I bought this on a recommendation from a friend. Listened to it a few times to give it a chance and then put it away somewhere. I'm not sure I can remember exactly where and to be honest I don't really care. I can't see anything to recommend it. Firth of Fifth isn't bad and "Your Own Special ... (read more)

Report this review (#99904) | Posted by zedkatz | Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars In the late nineties Steve Hackett conceived of the idea of re-interpreting some Genesis songs. He recruited a stellar cast, including John Wetton, Bill Bruford and Paul Carrack to help but the results are definitely mixed. One or two tracks benefit from this reworking but some, like The Fount ... (read more)

Report this review (#52127) | Posted by jimpetrie2000 | Monday, October 17, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5 - just short of masterpiece. It is a wonderful rendition of old classics, just for those people who can never get enough Genesis. The versions are darker, softer and heavier sometimes, but in general true to the spirit of the originals. I particularly like the low, dark voice on "Dance On ... (read more)

Report this review (#26223) | Posted by | Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

1 stars There is no accounting for taste. To mine, this is an utter waste. None of the the interpretations exceeds or even approaches the character and beauty of the originals. As a former professional house painter, I recall the advice given me by my first and only instructor. Apply the paint, brush it ... (read more)

Report this review (#26221) | Posted by | Thursday, March 10, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A very interesting take on Hackett-era Genesis tunes, affectionately reorchestrated by a man who was there for the originals! Steve Hackett assembles some weighty prog-rock names (Bruford, Levin, Wetton, etc) and gives these epics a 90's treatment. Some tracks are significantly revised (e.g. ... (read more)

Report this review (#26219) | Posted by | Saturday, November 13, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Interesting album for all Genesis fans. Hackett's new arrangements of the songs are keeping the prog-rock line, but also daring enough. The best track is probably Fountain Of Salmacis, which is REALLY improved, however unbelieavably it may sound to say so. Dance On A Volcano is quite radical w ... (read more)

Report this review (#26217) | Posted by | Saturday, September 11, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Close your eyes and imagine : Steve Hackett never leaved Genesis and Tony Banks gave him more musical space and influences. Imagine at the light of Steve Hackett's solo albums. Imagine Phil Collins only as a drummer and a singer...Anyway "Watcher of the Skies" shows us possible ways. ... (read more)

Report this review (#26207) | Posted by Tauhd Zaïa | Monday, March 29, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars If you like the idea of some seventies Genesis songs being re-recorded with different personnel (bar S.H. obviously) and given a nineties sheen with the biggest sound recording technology can offer, you'll love this. Watcher works really well with John Wetton on vocal, I always liked his warm voice ... (read more)

Report this review (#26210) | Posted by Jools | Thursday, March 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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