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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Steve Hackett post Defector - any good?
    Posted: July 18 2015 at 23:57
Hackett bends boundaries.....and expectations.  He puts out such diverse stuff.....and he never stops working and touring....by far the most prolific of the classic prog stable.  There is so much to like, but there are also things I didn't like.....Cured and Feedback 86 are just the tip of the iceberg.  I didn't like Please Don't Touch.....schizophrenic album; I didn't like his blues album.....just didn't seem to fit; I didn't like parts of Spectral Morning.....overproduced. 
 
I love his classical-flavored records.....his Midsummer Night's Dream.....beautiful.  I also dig what he does with the Genesis back catalog....I know some can't stand it, but I love to hear that stuff brought back to life with Steve in a featured setting.  Always wish he was more pronounced in the classic Genesis mix. 
I like to feel the suspense when you're certain you know I am there.....
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2015 at 10:29
Hackett is so eclectic that I don't find any of his albums good or bad all the way through.  I thought "Voyage" was just too Genesis like and "please Don't Touch" quite weak, but since then there's been plenty to enjoy on most albums.  One of my fave "recent" tracks is "Fire on the Moon", but the flipside of that is "Mechanical Bride", which is a godawful tribute to 21st century schizoid man if I ever heard one.  I have been getting into Nick Magnus' solo work which sounds very Hackett and Genesis like at times.  "Children of Another God" and "Hexameron" are probably my favorites of his
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 15 2015 at 09:56
Originally posted by fudgenuts64 fudgenuts64 wrote:

I absolutely love Steve Hackett's solo career. So far, that is. Everything up to Defector is fantastic, with Please Don't Touch being a bit iffy at times, but it's not a cohesive album anyway. I do have Cured, and while the pop influence is clearly there, stuff like The Air Conditioned Nightmare and A Cradle of Swans keeps my interest. Nick Magnus is REALLY good too, and I know he plays on Highly Strung and Till We Have Faces as well. Additionally, I have Bay of Kings and it's quite nice, love it for downtime, but I'm mostly looking for the main studio stuff, not classical guitar or live albums. So the big question is...

How is the stuff from Darktown onwards? Pretty late into his career, but with that said, his good stuff was always the instrumental material. And I have a strong feeling he probably keeps this up still. I'm honestly quite excited for Wolflight despite not knowing any of his newer stuff. Is it worth exploring? Or should I stick with the old stuff?


Since departing Genesis Hackett's solo career has been a musical evolution of varied styles while taking his guitar to yet other realms and dimensions. He has never been shy exploring and experimenting with possibilities always keeping us wondering what's next.

My older favorite - "Spectral Mornings"

After that - "To Watch The Storms" ( For me its arguably his crowning achievement).

Smile


 
- Music is Life, that's why our hearts have beats -
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2015 at 23:26
Love Defector, I think The Steppes is one of his best pieces. For me his studio output wavered after this although I hear his later material got better. Cured, Highly Strung and Till We Have faces was not in the same league as his accoustic album and previous studio work....IMO.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2015 at 10:49
His recent stuff is by far the best he's ever done solo imo. To Watch The Storms is probably my favourite; Wild Orchids is pretty good, Out of the Tunnel's Mouth has a couple of wonderful pieces and a couple of weaker ones. I'm just listening to the newest, which 12 has described as 'like fantasy video game music with a rock feel' which beats my reviewing skills. Probably a little less strong overall, sort of feels like what Voyage Of The Acolyte would be rerecorded as his current level.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2015 at 08:20
Originally posted by verslibre verslibre wrote:

You can't go wrong with Hackett's first four albums, IMO. After that, things get spotty for a bit, but he's recorded loads of great music throughout his career.

Definitely agreed on your first sentence statement.  Also agree with your second sentence, with a caveat:  Have you heard his "feat" solo work on the Gordian Knot album, 'Emergent' - the track, "Some Brighter Thing?"  CD listings say that "...Brighter Thing" features both Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Hackett.  When you hear the track, you will definitely know "which" guitar is Hackett's! (Malmsteen though is not bad).  An amazing hidden gem of Hackett's "feat" talent that most probably do not realize is there.  It also features Bill Bruford on drums.  Buy just the single off of Amazon or Spotify - a "must have" for Hackett (and, even, Bruford) fans...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2015 at 00:13
Since this I've finally gotten around to Highly Strung and Till We Have Faces. First one is pretty iffy - but Hackett to Pieces is awesome. Second one is quite good - still synth pop in places but definitely has that signature sound to it and the songs are generally good. His best lead vocals yet as well.

Edited by fudgenuts64 - June 27 2015 at 00:14
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2015 at 10:05
You can't go wrong with Hackett's first four albums, IMO. After that, things get spotty for a bit, but he's recorded loads of great music throughout his career.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2015 at 00:30
You should check : Guitar Noir, To Watch the Storms, Beyond the Shrouded Horizon

Really digging Wolflight atm, another strong one.

If you enjoy Bay of Kings, go for Momentum and Tribute.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2015 at 19:45
Yeah great album.  Just came up in my rotation as matter of fact.  I've had it for years.   He has other original classical music albums out there as well.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2015 at 14:39
A friend turned me onto Metamorphous recently, so I slipped it into the ol' truck CD player and enjoyed it greatly as I drove around completing chores on a hot summer day. Classical to the point that the listener might think Hackett is doing his take on existing classical pieces. From what I know, it's all his own, and it's a wonder this guy hasn't ventured more into film scoring (to my knowledge, he's done a little TV music with his brother). Gently, exquisitely epic.
"It just has none of the qualities of your work that I find interesting. Abandon [?] it." - Eno
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2015 at 23:10
Interestingly....for such a revered prog guitarist he only has 2 albums over 4 stars, most in the  3-4 star range, and 5 that  rated in the 2 range.
I have the first 4 and as someone mentioned above I still think Voyage is his most accomplished as far as prog rock goes. I have always felt disappointed in his later albums though they do have some nice tracks on them but overall they seem  tame and a bit boring at times.
 
One does nothing yet nothing is left undone.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2015 at 05:10
Steve Hackett was the prog saviour during the dark days of 78 - 80.  Then came 'Cured', and although I saw the tour I thought he would go the way of his peers - into commercial nothingness.  However, he came back with 'Highly Strung' which I think is underrated - Cell 151 is a belter, for instance.  I saw the tour as well and thought it was a return to form after 'Cured'.  However, he seemed to disappear after 'Till We Have Faces', not a bad album at all.  I eventually caught up with Steve some 27 years later at the much missed High Voltage festival - it had been a long time!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2015 at 06:38
I haven't heard much from Hackett's solo albums, but I quite enjoy Bay of Kings.

I have heard Darktown and Wild Orchids, but didn't like either of them.


Edited by Imperial Zeppelin - March 17 2015 at 06:39
"Hey there, Dog Man, now I drink from your bowl."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2015 at 03:38
I can vouch for Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth. Admittedly, I gave up on Hackett after Cured - i did try a few after that but wasnt too thrilled by them, received Guitar Noir as a birthday gift at the time of release, has some nice things on it, then more recently acquired the vinyls of Tunnel and Shrouded Horizon, and they're both engaging listens, especially Tunnel (which came with a bonus LP of him and his band doing Genesis tracks !!). You can't go wrong with the SQUACKETT album, either. I love that one too.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2015 at 02:54
Originally posted by TODDLER TODDLER wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

To Watch The Storms is probably my favourite SH album. I also like Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth. I have not heard too much by him I don't like. Never occurred to me there was a cut off point. He's had a great career and its still going strong!
 
 
it's not so much a cut off point as it is an impression left on people who bought Voyage Of The Acolyte in the 70's , impatiently waited for the next album which was Please Don't Touch and realized that it wasn't the same kind of entertainment. That was a real scene and a reaction within it from people who acted as if they were let down by Hackett's choice to record more commercially viable songs. "Hoping Love Will Last" and "Racing In A" were more melodically appealing by far. Voyage contains a few songs, but more hardcore progressive in every aspect and sometimes reminding me of something musically epic, especially with Sally Oldfield singing on the closing track.  It's only natural to seek out Hackett's instrumental music if your bugged out by songwriting or if you're one of those people who was overly disappointed by Mike Oldfield in the 80's when he wrote songs and apparently some people feel a bit cheated if they have to surf through Defector to find the instrumental pieces. I really don't mind. 
 
Thinking about it I didn't start buying Steve Hackett albums until much later , probably it was the classical albums that peaked my interest. I always thought as an artist he was hard to pin down as the instrumental pieces were never the be all and end all. He demonstrated in Genesis that he could write a good song when given the chance with Blood On The Rooftops. Of course Acolyte is understandably a highlight of his solo career.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2015 at 18:01
Guitar Noir is fantastic. Some highlights are his debut with harmonica, the beautiful guitar driven musical piece, Sierra Quemada, Dark as the Grave, and Like an Arrow.

To Watch the Storms is probably his best songwriting ever. Tony Banks ought to give it a listen. My highlights would be the entire track listing.

Out of the Tunnel's Mouth is nice. It has a fast paced prog rockin' instrumental piece called Tubehead. Another nice instrumental of slower pace is Ghost in the Glass. Nomads is something reminiscent of Guitar Noir, starting off gentle and the picking things up toward the second half. Same deal with Emerald and Ash. Anthony Phillips plays 12-string on a couple pieces too.

Wild Orchids is highly recommended. It has a lot of tracks and some real value for your money. Transylvanian Express is an electric instrumental with a lot of quirkiness and original vision. Howl has a lot of Hackett doing his thing with massive sustain and lots of vibrato bar to be followed up with some pretty classy piano.

I really like Beyond the Shrouded Horizon as well. Two Faces of Cairo is an especially nice instrumental with a Middle Eastern flare to it. And disc 2 contains some really iconic guitar lead pieces, Four Winds: East and She Said Maybe. It also has Hackett doing a cover of Focus' Eruption: Tommy.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2015 at 15:55
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

I only have a few Hackett albums, but "Til We Have Faces" is one of them and I can vouch that it's a good album.  It's got some interesting African music ideas on it, if I recall correctly.

Brazilian, because his ex-wife Kim Poor is from Brazilian origin, if I'm not mistaken.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2015 at 11:32
Steve decided to turn back to prog rock more with Darktown.  I enjoy all his studio albums from then forward.  His classical stuff is not too shabby either.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2015 at 11:03
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

To Watch The Storms is probably my favourite SH album. I also like Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth. I have not heard too much by him I don't like. Never occurred to me there was a cut off point. He's had a great career and its still going strong!
 
 
it's not so much a cut off point as it is an impression left on people who bought Voyage Of The Acolyte in the 70's , impatiently waited for the next album which was Please Don't Touch and realized that it wasn't the same kind of entertainment. That was a real scene and a reaction within it from people who acted as if they were let down by Hackett's choice to record more commercially viable songs. "Hoping Love Will Last" and "Racing In A" were more melodically appealing by far. Voyage contains a few songs, but more hardcore progressive in every aspect and sometimes reminding me of something musically epic, especially with Sally Oldfield singing on the closing track.  It's only natural to seek out Hackett's instrumental music if your bugged out by songwriting or if you're one of those people who was overly disappointed by Mike Oldfield in the 80's when he wrote songs and apparently some people feel a bit cheated if they have to surf through Defector to find the instrumental pieces. I really don't mind. 
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