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STEVE HACKETT

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Steve Hackett biography
Stephen Richard Hackett - Born February 12th 1950 (Pimlico, London, UK)

GUITAR BASED MUSIC WITH VARIOUS STYLES
(Blues, Classical, Folk, Jazz, New Age and Progressive Rock)


Steve HACKETT needs no introduction. He is definitely one of the major guitarists of this century. Ex-GENESIS, he is now a major force in the domain of music composed for guitar, rock as well as classical. Steve is a complex musician, drawing influence from a wide variety of styles and melding them into super compositions. His music has evolved over the years, and while some of it was not up to the standards that he set with other albums. They are still excellent.

HACKETT joined GENESIS as guitarist in early 1971 and featured across ten albums of their history. He replaced Anthony PHILLIPS, and stayed with the band during their successful mid-70s progressive rock period. I remember once reading that, if GENESIS lost their "brains" when Peter GABRIEL left, then they surely lost their "heart" when Steve left. In a way, it is easy to see how HACKETT was "crowded out" of Genesis in 1977. From "Nursery Crime" in 1971 to the double-live "Seconds Out" in 1977, he created in his solo albums his own style, dominated by his guitars, sometimes very classical or at times furious. His tracks go from a symphonic Progressive style to a more energetic rock.

From the first album "Voyage Of The Acolyte" while he was still with GENESIS to his most recent ones, all are MUSTS. For the most part, all of the compositions on HACKETT's first five solo albums are well-thought-out and impeccably well crafted. I would highly recommend "Voyage of the Acolyte" (missing GENESIS album), "Please Don't Touch" (powerful), his TRADEMARK "Spectral Mornings" (pure magic), "Defector" (another amazing album by Steve), and "Cured" (pop-oriented). This, along with "Time Lapse", "The Unauthorised Biography", "Guitar Noir", "Darktown" and "To Watch The Storms", are the best for people curious about the HACKETT "feel". However I believe these are his bests - it could rightly be called "THE HISTORY OF MUSIC ACCORDING TO STEVE HACKETT." Get them ALL...and HAPPY LISTENING!!!

Discography with GENESIS (1971-1982):
1971 - Nursery Crime
1972 - Foxtrot
1973 - Live
1973 - Selling England By The Pound
1974 - Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
1976 - Wind and Wuthering
1976 - Trick of the Tail
1977 - Second...
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STEVE HACKETT discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STEVE HACKETT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.25 | 1481 ratings
Voyage of the Acolyte
1975
3.60 | 620 ratings
Please Don't Touch!
1978
4.14 | 907 ratings
Spectral Mornings
1979
3.65 | 507 ratings
Defector
1980
2.43 | 332 ratings
Cured
1981
2.95 | 294 ratings
Highly Strung
1982
3.36 | 266 ratings
Bay Of Kings
1983
2.42 | 235 ratings
Till We Have Faces
1984
3.17 | 188 ratings
Momentum
1988
3.29 | 249 ratings
Guitar Noir
1993
2.90 | 153 ratings
Blues with a Feeling
1994
3.44 | 348 ratings
Genesis Revisited
1996
3.61 | 193 ratings
A Midsummer Night's Dream
1997
3.77 | 334 ratings
Darktown
1999
3.43 | 161 ratings
Sketches of Satie (with John Hackett)
2000
2.55 | 147 ratings
Feedback 86
2000
3.77 | 405 ratings
To Watch The Storms
2003
3.59 | 204 ratings
Metamorpheus
2005
3.74 | 336 ratings
Wild Orchids
2006
3.54 | 123 ratings
Tribute
2008
3.67 | 385 ratings
Out of the Tunnel's Mouth
2009
3.85 | 441 ratings
Beyond the Shrouded Horizon
2011
3.90 | 525 ratings
Genesis Revisited II
2012
3.74 | 410 ratings
Wolflight
2015
3.74 | 196 ratings
The Night Siren
2017
3.90 | 304 ratings
At the Edge of Light
2019
3.58 | 53 ratings
Under a Mediterranean Sky
2021
3.94 | 35 ratings
Surrender of Silence
2021

STEVE HACKETT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 76 ratings
Time Lapse
1992
3.92 | 59 ratings
There Are Many Sides To The Night
1994
3.97 | 158 ratings
The Tokyo Tapes
1998
4.51 | 86 ratings
Live Archives 70,80,90s
2000
4.47 | 15 ratings
Somewhere In South America... - Live In Buenos Aires
2002
4.23 | 13 ratings
Hungarian Horizons
2003
4.66 | 13 ratings
Live Archive NEARfest
2003
4.11 | 27 ratings
Live Archive 03
2004
4.29 | 30 ratings
Live Archive 04
2004
3.74 | 25 ratings
Live Archive 05
2005
2.88 | 21 ratings
Live Archive 83
2006
4.31 | 113 ratings
Rails Live
2010
4.53 | 134 ratings
Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith
2013
4.18 | 93 ratings
Genesis Revisited : Live at The Royal Albert Hall
2014
3.78 | 9 ratings
Access All Areas
2014
4.13 | 53 ratings
The Total Experience Live In Liverpool
2016
4.00 | 22 ratings
Summer Storms & Rocking Rivers (with Djabe)
2017
4.24 | 40 ratings
Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham
2018
4.78 | 31 ratings
Genesis Revisited Band & Orchestra: Live at the Royal Festival Hall
2019
4.00 | 21 ratings
Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith
2020

STEVE HACKETT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live!
1992
4.13 | 68 ratings
The Tokyo Tapes
2001
4.29 | 54 ratings
Somewhere In South America... - Live In Buenos Aires
2002
4.02 | 37 ratings
Hungarian Horizons - Live in Budapest
2003
4.05 | 23 ratings
Horizons
2003
4.39 | 87 ratings
Once Above a Time
2004
3.32 | 12 ratings
Live Legends
2004
3.72 | 30 ratings
Spectral Mornings
2005
4.36 | 14 ratings
Estival Jazz Lugano
2009
4.03 | 39 ratings
Live - Fire & Ice
2011
4.26 | 11 ratings
The Bremen Broadcast - Musikladen 8th November 1978
2013

STEVE HACKETT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.88 | 33 ratings
The Unauthorised Biography
1992
4.54 | 13 ratings
Guitare Classique
2001
3.34 | 30 ratings
Genesis Files
2002
3.13 | 29 ratings
Genesis Revisited II: Selection
2013
4.88 | 17 ratings
Premonitions: The Charisma Recordings 1975-1983
2015
4.50 | 10 ratings
Broken Skies Outspread Wings
2018

STEVE HACKETT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.67 | 9 ratings
Ace of Wands
1975
3.86 | 9 ratings
How Can I?
1978
2.59 | 8 ratings
Narnia
1978
3.18 | 15 ratings
Clocks
1979
4.17 | 6 ratings
Every Day
1979
2.08 | 5 ratings
Sentimental Institution
1980
2.16 | 10 ratings
The Show
1980
2.52 | 8 ratings
Hope I Don't Wake
1981
3.00 | 4 ratings
Picture Postcard
1981
2.80 | 16 ratings
Cell 151
1983
4.00 | 7 ratings
A Doll That's Made in Japan
1984
3.80 | 5 ratings
Timeless
1994
3.21 | 9 ratings
Your Own Special Way
1996
3.00 | 4 ratings
Days Of Long Ago
1999
4.33 | 3 ratings
Feedback 86 + Live 90's
2001
5.00 | 3 ratings
Live Recordings 70's, 80's
2001
4.00 | 6 ratings
Brand New
2003
3.25 | 4 ratings
Man In The Long Black Coat
2006
2.37 | 8 ratings
Til These Eyes
2012
3.63 | 10 ratings
Spectral Mornings
2015
4.50 | 6 ratings
Behind the Smoke
2017
2.29 | 5 ratings
When the Heart Rules the Mind
2018

STEVE HACKETT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Surrender of Silence by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.94 | 35 ratings

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Surrender of Silence
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Steve Hackett is very hardworking and creative in pandemic times and after the dreamy and purely acoustic album "Under A Mediterranean Sky" he is now releasing his second and 27th solo work in 2021. On "Surrender Of Silence" you can hear a mixture of Retro Prog , orchestral music and world music. Steve Hackett undertakes a little world tour on this album, which would certainly not be physically easy to do in those times of the pandemic. But Steve Hackett takes listeners around the world. You can hear Indian sounds, the drumming of Africa, a violin from the Balkans or oriental-influenced sounds. In addition, progressive sounds that run through most of the pieces and orchestral passages, gently intoned to bombastic sounding.

The whole thing is underlined by a truly diverse instrumentation. In addition to the more conventional rock instruments, on "Surrender Of Silence" you can also hear instruments that are less at home in rock music such as tar, dutar and dizi. In addition, the orchestral performance already mentioned, fat organ sound, violin, clarinet and saxophone and a guitar that sometimes sounds softly, at other times it rocks out grandiose and almost rampant quickly.

This album sounds incredibly gripping and varied. Of the twenty Steve Hackett works I know, "Surrender Of Silence" has certainly become the most varied record. This is also caused by the singing. Not only Steve Hackett himself can be heard very convincingly on the microphone for me, Nad Sylvan is also involved in the great "The Devil's Cathedral". And for more variety on the vocal side, especially Amanda Lehmann and the singers Durga McBroom and Lorelei McBroom for the title "Wingbeats".

Well, "Surrender Of Silence" certainly doesn't sound uniform, but the eleven tracks in this combination represent a fantastic set of compositions. Rather, this album sounds like new beginning, presented by diversity and optimism. And this applies to the powerful start with "The Obliterati", in which Steve Hackett immediately shows what a great guitarist he still is, right up to the slow and forgiving end of the record "Esperanza". But wait, one number on "Surrender Of Silence" is a bit out of the ordinary in a negative sense. The already mentioned "Wingbeats" sounds catchy, but unfortunately also quite flat. Musical music that this album could have done without. Fortunately, this is the only number that falls short of the other songs on the album.

Conclusion: Steve Hackett's 27th solo album has certainly become one of his most varied records. At the age of 71, Steve Hackett is the only musician from the former "Genesis cosmos" to regularly present his fans with new releases. And this time it was especially worth it with "Surrender Of Silence".

 Surrender of Silence by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.94 | 35 ratings

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Surrender of Silence
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars Steve keeps closing the gap between his both approaches to prog, that's to say, between his 'classical' leanings and his more specifically rock oriented output. In his previous album, he had already melded the contributions of his band with the sounds of orchestra & soloists, but keeping things strictly acoustic. Now, he is taking the next step by adding electric flow and density to the music. Even so, the resultant sound is not defined by the typical band-with-added-orchestra approach, but rather an inextricable fusion of both instrumental forces, with voices contributing specific textures (showing a huge variety of color and presence in the mix). The axeman in Steve is present altogether, for the most part as an 'orchestral' soloist, very concerned with the general tonal balance. Yet, there are moments of pure rock electric magic, like Held In The Shadows and Scorched Earth (which's not a VdGG cover).
 How Can I? by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1978
3.86 | 9 ratings

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How Can I?
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Please Don't Touch! (1978) was Steve Hackett's second solo album, but the first one after he left Genesis. He had felt that as a composer he didn't get room enough in Genesis, and by listening to that album one truly can hear the thrill and joy of doing whatever he wished with all his flourishing musical ideas. The album isn't as well received here as the albums around it. Many listeners say it lacks direction and coherence, but I am personally very fond of it, perhaps helped by the fact I found it from library at the early stage of my diving into the classic 70's prog (I was probably sixteen). One thing I appreciate in it is the well chosen host of American guest vocalists: Steve Walsh of Kansas, and two black vocalists, at the time pretty unknown Randy Crawford (her vocals on the lovely ballad 'Hoping Love Will Last' are absolutely gorgeous) and the longtimer folk/blues/soul singer-songwriter Richie Havens, who sang two songs on Please Don't Touch! This single contains the folkier one of them. According to Wikipedia "the members of Genesis were fans of Havens, and the singer agreed to open for them for their series of concerts at Earls Court, London in 1977. Hackett invited him to dinner at his home, during which he wanted Havens to feature on a song of his."

'How Can I?' is an acoustic and rather simple song, but exactly for that reason it functions so brilliantly amidst more adventurous stuff. Havens' warm and raspy voice fits into it so perfectly that it's hard to imagine being sung by anyone else. On the B side is the instrumental track 'Kim' also taken from the album. It features Steve on acoustic guitar and his brother John on flute. The piece was named after Steve's beloved Kim Poor who also made the cover designs for his albums. It was clearly inspired by Erik Satie's music, especially by 'Gymnopedie No. 1' which it actually resembles a lot. Much later the brothers made a whole album of Satie's music called Sketches of Satie.

A lovely single altogether!

 Voyage of the Acolyte by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 1481 ratings

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Voyage of the Acolyte
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by Sheep

4 stars While still in Genesis, Steve Hackett recorded his debut studio album, namely "Voyage of the Acolyte". This is a gorgeous album that any Genesis or Steve Hackett fan should listen to, or even anyone who simply loves symphonic prog, mainly instrumental prog in this case. Side one consists of five shorter songs, all of which are instrumental except for the fifth and final track of the side. Side two is two longer tracks with vocals binded by a short instrumental interlude between the two longer tracks.

Now let's take a look at each individual song!

1. Ace of Wands: This is a fantastic opener. Bombastic opener with fantastic guitar work by Hackett. No low points in this song, easily one of the best songs on the album. 9/10

2. Hands of the Priestess pt.1: This is a beautiful way to follow up the much heavier opener. This flute and acoustic guitar driven track slows down the mood and is a perfect song to follow up the great opener. 8/10

3. A Tower Struck Down: This track opens up very hauntingly and is overall a very cool song. One of the weaker songs on the album overall but still a fantastic song that deserves to be on this incredible album. 7.5/10

4. Hands of the Priestess pt.2: This is not surprisingly very similar to the second song on the album but just much shorter. This track certainly acts just as a interlude between what came before and what follows. 4/5

5. The Hermit: This is the first song with vocals and the only one where Steve himself does the vocals. I quite enjoy his vocals here and think this is a very strong song. 8.5/10

6. Star of Sirius: What a fantastic way to open up side 2 of the vinyl. This is a fabulous song that essentially sounds like a Genesis song as it has Phil Collins on vocals and of course Steve Hackett's signature guitar sound. I do think Phil's vocals are a bit off at time but still a highlight of the record for sure. 9/10

7. The Lovers: This is a cute little interlude. Nothing special but nothing wrong with it. It has one main job which is binding together Star of Sirius and the epic closer, which it does beautifully in my opinion. 4/5

8. Shadow of the Hierophant: From the first two seconds of this song playing you can hear that it is going to be fantastic. Vocals from Sally Oldfield kick in after a short introduction and are easily the best vocals on the entire record. Simply beautiful. This same general structure repeats two more times with the guitar introduction repeating and two new verses coming in. After this the song slows down for a while and starts the beginning of the end. The second half of this song is one of the most incredible playouts in music. Period. Incredible guitar work from Steve Hackett and drums and pass pedals build up more and more as the song goes on, sending shivers up and down anyone's spines. A perfect song and one of my all time favorite songs of any genre by any artist. 11/11

Overall this is a fantastic record that is worth buying for Shadow of the Hierophant alone. The openers of each side of the vinyl are fantastic as well and the record does not have any clear weak points. A strong 4/5 for sure.

 Highly Strung by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.95 | 294 ratings

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Highly Strung
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

2 stars 'Highly Strung' is the sixth solo studio album by guitar extraordinaire Steve Hackett, released in April of 1983. It also happens to be his last one on the label Charisma, which hints at the fact that the times around the creation of this recording were a bit harsh, with Hackett being pressurized and the label interfering into his creation process, also disagreeing on some of the decisions he had taken. Interestingly, this is the album on which Ian Mosley plays, who would join Marillion a year later for the release of 'Fugazi', a completely different album from this Hackett one.

Being released in 1983, 'Highly Strung' carries strongly what I consider the typical (and probably stereotypical) sound of an 80s art pop/progressive pop mediocre recording - the pathetic synth sounds, the arena-flavored drum beats, the boring songwriting, the predictable song structures, and all these little details that just make an album less and less interesting. In spite of all these flaws, it has to be noted that the guitar playing is, as it could be expected, truly delicious. Steve Hackett, despite trying to write a prog pop album that would eventually hit the charts and make him an international star, still preserves his right to play some fantastic and enjoyable guitars - absolutely the best aspect of this album.

However, the songwriting is weak, the songs are generally generic, and the few ones that would eventually have to stand out are the instrumentals, these being 'Always Somewhere Else' and 'Group Therapy' (maybe hinting at the good old Genesis days?); I would also say the opening track 'Camino Royale' is pleasant to hear a couple of times. Alongside Steve Hackett and Ian Mosley, this record also features another prominent member of the group, the keyboard player and producer Nick Magnus.

Going back to Genesis, one could come to the conclusion that there is a bit of a competition between Hackett and his old band, which by the way, were not doing at the time too inspiring music either, but were certainly more successful; Hence, this poppier direction. However, in my humble opinion, this style does not fit the majestic guitarist that Hackett is, but after achieving everything musically in the 70s, it should come as no surprise that the quality of the music goes gradually down.

 Voyage of the Acolyte by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 1481 ratings

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Voyage of the Acolyte
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars The delicate balances that have animated the history of Genesis go through a decidedly turbulent period in 1975: the abandonment of Peter Gabriel slowly changes the roles within the formation and the personalities of the other musicians adapt to them. In the same year, Steve Hackett, despite being still in the group, devoted himself to the production of the first solo album. In fact, we are talking about the wonderful Voyage of the Acolyte, a debut with a bang for a guitarist of pure class. The platter considered today, however, is not a simple display of musical poetry, but is the result of a long work and a rather particular psychological condition. The historic guitarist began the first drafts of some compositions already in the period of Foxtrot (1972) and with the passing of the years - especially in the crucial 1975 - the brilliance of a deeply intimate work was consolidated. In recent times within Genesis, many of Hackett's ideas were discarded or sidelined, as the group was taking a different path from the one that made them famous. This situation led the English guitarist to accumulate a lot of material for his own solo repertoire, in addition to the ever more pressing desire to be able to give space to his "voice". The light emanating from this title, as well as its strength, comes precisely from the sense of freedom felt and from the conditions that were consumed for a long period of time before its release. Voyage of the Acolyte is also enriched by the presence of the Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford: it is no coincidence that the only one who did not participate in the project was keyboardist Tony Banks, who took the reins of Genesis after Gabriel's departure and had various stylistic disagreements with Hackett.

"Ace of wands" opens the disc imperiously, without warning, with a furious introduction to drums by Phil Collins (here in a state of grace). The piece goes through various mood swings (all naturally marked by the guitarist's non- ordinary technique), finally approaching a certain form of Jazz-prog dear to the Camels. John Hackett immediately proves to be more gifted than Gabriel on the flute, his forays will therefore be present throughout the concept. "Hands of the priestess" is a delicate instrumental divided into two parts, where the acoustic guitars and the flute duet amiably, creating a magical and fascinating background, yet mysterious at the same time. However, there is no lack of darker atmospheres, and the subsequent "A tower struck down" is the proof of this. The lion's share is played by Mike Rutherford's aggressive bass, but Collins and Hackett are no less (finally free from the rigid structures of the Genesis brand), creating an unusual, powerful, in its own way schizoid composition. The march of war is then suddenly broken by an ambiguous and mysterious chorus. The effect is unexpected and alienating.

"The Hermit" (sung by Steve himself) and "Star of Sirius" (sung by Phil Collins) return to more purely progressive themes. The first is a wonderful ballad for acoustic guitar, to which the flute is added later. Steve's voice here isn't at its best yet, but the dreamy aura the music paints makes us immediately immerse in the spirit of the song. "Star of Sirus" (perhaps due to Phil Collins' voice) is a forerunner of that fairy-tale and dreamy streak that we will hear on "A trick of the tail" the following year. The start is delicate, once again entrusted to the voice and the 12 strings. The second part is instead more lively, with tempo changes and incisive solos on the electric guitar of the London musician. "The lovers" is the usual acoustic sketch that serves as an introduction to the longest and most complex track on the album: "Shadow of the Hierophant". The song in question is among the most famous of Hackett (if not the most famous) and is certainly not inferior to more celebrated episodes, such as "Firth of fifth" or "The fountain of Salamacis". The first few minutes are entrusted to the wonderful voice of Sally Oldfield (sister of the much more famous Mike) who leads us by the hand in a world populated by ladies and knights, where "honor counted much more than a man's life". However, the structure of the suite (almost 12 minutes long) foresees a decisive change, following a slow ticking that sounds hypnotic and premonitory. The instruments then are heard at first distant, almost timid, and then increase in power and skill, creating a powerful and distressing gait (the King Crimson do not appear very distant). Hackett is as usual brilliant and vaguely Frippian, while Collins seems to take on another identity, in his changing register and infusing that jazzy rhythm into the composition.

Voyage of the Acolyte is a structured and complex platter, which, even though it fished out the typical sound of Genesis, does not remain a slave to it. Although it is the guitarist who leads the pieces, there is never a form of self- centeredness, indeed Hackett's ability to manage an extremely varied and complex songwriting is highlighted. The musicians who accompany him offer performances of incredible quality, from Phil Collins on drums to his brother John Hackett on the flute, who is one of the protagonists of the disc. In the heyday of progressive, Voyage of the Acolyte is another fundamental and brilliant spark of pure poetry and music, and is the mirror of that flicker that will then fail in Genesis two years later. Forty years later, with hindsight, it seems that Hackett's initiatory journey is not yet over: we just have to rejoice, hoping that this will happen as late as possible, because incredibly despite the passage of time, the acolyte continues to have things to say and discover.

 Under a Mediterranean Sky by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.58 | 53 ratings

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Under a Mediterranean Sky
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

4 stars As you probably know, there are not only one, but at least two Steves: the prog rocker supported by his full-blown band, and the classical leaned musician who experiments with the fusion of orchestral ensambles and acoustic (nylon & steel stringed) guitars. The last Steve delivered this album, in which his sonic palette is broadened as to include also antique & ethnic instruments from the mediterranean orb, and instrumental contributions by the extraordinary guest players, including his brother John.

Needless to say that this is music tinged by the history and cultural variety of the Mediterranean shores. However, there's no need to fear that the ethnic element surpasses the progressive conception of the themes. That delicate balance is not to be missed on this lovely record: listen, for example, The Dervish and the Djin, which commences with a solo performance by the most exotic instrument, only to give way for the entry of the great orchestral arrangement, reaching a fantastic peak with the marvellous sax solo on top of all that.

Not to be missed, if you love this sort of instrumental affair.

 The Tokyo Tapes by HACKETT, STEVE album cover DVD/Video, 2001
4.13 | 68 ratings

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The Tokyo Tapes
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 387

"The Tokyo Tapes" is a DVD of Steve Hackett and was released in 2001. This is the twin brother of his double live album, with the same name, and released three years before. It contains, precisely, the same seventeen live tracks of the double CD plus eighteen minutes of bonus rehearsal footage and the personal biographies of this band's line up. It was compiled from two live concerts that were recorded at Koseinenkin Hall in Tokyo, Japan on December 1996.

The line up on "The Tokyo Tapes" features, besides the ex-Genesis' guitarist, Steve Hackett, a truly progressive super rock group with the vocalist and bassist John Wetton from King Crimson, UK and Asia, the drummer Chester Thompson from Weather Report, Frank Zappa and Genesis live, the multi instrumentalist Ian McDonald from King Crimson and Foreigner, and the former professional keyboardist Julian Colbeck which worked with the Yes' super group Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman & Howe and that usually works with Steve Hackett on many of his live shows.

The set list of "The Tokyo Tapes" includes many Genesis' songs, as well as several songs taken from Steve Hackett's solo archive. The original Genesis' songs performed live are six: "Watcher Of The Skies", "Firth Of Fifth", "Horizons", "In That Quiet Earth", "Los Endos" and "I Know What I Like". These songs were originally released on some Genesis' studio albums, such as, "Foxtrot", "Selling England By The Pound", "A Trick Of The Tail" and "Wind And Wuthering". The original Hackett's songs performed live are seven: "Riding The Colossus", "Camino Royal", "Walking Away From Rainbows", "Vampyre With A Healthy Appetite", "Shadow Of The Hierophant" and "Black Light". These songs were originally released on various Hackett's studio albums, such as, "Voyage Of The Acolyte", "Highly Strung", "Bay Of Kings" and "Guitar Noire". This DVD also contains some other several songs written and released by some other several bands and artists. So, we have "Battlelines" which is a composition by (Wetton/Marlette/Mitchell) from John Wetton's studio album "Battle Lines", "The Court Of The Crimson King" which is a composition by (McDonald/Sinfield) from King Crimson's album "In The Court Of The Crimson King", "Heat Of The Moment" which is a composition by (Wetton/Downes) from Asia's eponymous debut studio album "Asia" and "I Talk To The Wind" which is another composition from King Crimson's debut studio album "In The Court Of The Crimson King", also by (McDonald/Sinfield).

Most of these songs are performed differently from the original studio versions, with other arrangements and with some extended instrumental sections. The Genesis classics "Watcher Of The Skies", "Firth Of Fifth", are completed with a monstrous Hacket's guitar solo, "In That Quiet Earth", "Los Endos", and "I Know What I Like" are played with renewed vigour, with John Wetton handling most of the lead vocals. John Wetton also covers his song "Battlelines" and an acoustic version of Asia's hit "Heat Of The Moment". King Crimson's fans will revel in the inclusion of "The Court Of The Crimson King" and "I Talk To The Wind", which features some great flute playing and Mellotron sounds from Ian McDonald. Steve Hackett also covers a bunch of tunes from his many solo albums. The highlights are, maybe, "Riding The Colossus", "Shadow Of The Hierophant", and the lovely track "Walking Away From Rainbows". Steve Hackett on this live show exhibits is in fine form, displaying his unique talents, on both electric and acoustic guitars throughout.

The DVD recreates the entire performance providing a rare opportunity to view great vintage material. The stage setting is very spacious with, from left to right, Colbeck, Hackett, Wetton and McDonald, positioned stage front, and Thompson centrally located behind the guitarist and bassist. The stage backdrop and lighting here are economical but effective, a true reminiscent of Genesis' shows from the early 70's. A good deal of the footage is shot from the audience's view point although the onstage cameras ensure that individual solos and Thompson in particular, are not overlooked, really.

Conclusion: When I reviewed the CD version of "The Tokyo Tapes", which was actually one of my first reviews on Progarchives, I wrote that "The Tokyo Tapes" is one of my all time favourite live albums. The same goes with its video version. This is an excellent live show made by Steve Hackett, which always was one of my favourite guitarists and progressive musicians. It has some of my favourite songs recorded on some of my favourite albums by some of my favourite bands. It's superiorly performed by some of the best and my favourite musicians too. This is a winner DVD, really. Considering that there isn't enough progressive rock music represented in the DVD format, this is a must have for any fan of this genre. Here you have an excellent souvenir of a fine performance that comes highly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Live, 2020
4.00 | 21 ratings

BUY
Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by Muumi

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!
 Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith by HACKETT, STEVE album cover Live, 2020
4.00 | 21 ratings

BUY
Selling England by the Pound & Spectral Mornings: Live at Hammersmith
Steve Hackett Eclectic Prog

Review by 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)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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