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Voyage Of The Acolyte - Wow

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    Posted: August 22 2011 at 03:39
I'd seen Steve Hackett's solo debut Voyage Of The Acolyte mentioned here and there but I wasn't all that interested. I like Foxtrot and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway very much but I wasn't all that excited about tracking down the guitarist's side project. To be honest I've been burnt many times by the recommendations of the Yes/Genesis zombies who dole out heaping helpings of five star ratings to insipid and derivative dad-rock prog and I assumed that would be the case with this album.

But I'm also one of those people who tries to listen to pretty much every acclaimed album eventually and I finally got around to VOTA and I am pleased to announce that I was quite wrong about it. The album's reputation is not based on syrupy Genesis fanboyism as I had feared. It is inventive, interesting and surprising music that still packs a punch to my young ears and I suggest that other people who were reluctant to give it a try do so now. It isn't what you might expect.

I get the impression though that it's the only Hackett album worth bothering with- true?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kotro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 04:24
If I considered his debut his only worthy album I would be missing some of the best music I ever heard. Yes, he has his lesser works (and maybe a couple of complete stinkers), but overall I have come to appreciate his solo work much more than a certain band called Genesis. Some of his work may also require a good couple of listens to really sink in.
 
If you want to explore more and at the same time tread safely, I'd say his current PA page gives a good idea of what to pick - pretty much everything above 3.50 is well-worth it (and I would also add Highly Strung and Guitar Noir, even if they're not as well-rated).
Bigger on the inside.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CCVP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 05:53
Originally posted by Kotro Kotro wrote:

If I considered his debut his only worthy album I would be missing some of the best music I ever heard. Yes, he has his lesser works (and maybe a couple of complete stinkers), but overall I have come to appreciate his solo work much more than a certain band called Genesis. Some of his work may also require a good couple of listens to really sink in.
 
If you want to explore more and at the same time tread safely, I'd say his current PA page gives a good idea of what to pick - pretty much everything above 3.50 is well-worth it (and I would also add Highly Strung and Guitar Noir, even if they're not as well-rated).


Definitely, even though I don't like Highly Stung.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 07:00
Originally posted by Textbook Textbook wrote:



I get the impression though that it's the only Hackett album worth bothering with- true?

You're in trouble, the number of Hackett albums not worth bothering with are few.  His post-Genesis discography is fairly large.  His last string of prog solo albums have been excellent.  He's also put out a few original classical albums.  He does tend to do a mix of song styles on most of his rock albums, so I suspect you'll find tracks here and there do dislike.  I'm going to recommend To Watch The Storms for you next.

Then again you may not like anything else as much as that one.  One of his primary reasons for breaking with Genesis was to do material that wouldn't have been allowed into Genesis.

You may also want to read his new biography and use it as a guide in exploring further.  He gives fairly honest assessments of his albums.


Edited by Slartibartfast - August 22 2011 at 07:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Moogtron III Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 07:33
Personally, I like Please Don't Touch, Spectral Mornings and Defector a lot (his 2nd, 3rd and 4th album). I think Spectral Mornings especially is quite an artistically high moment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 07:51
I like Spectral Mornings more than VOTA and Please Don't Touch has some great tracks too, especially the title track. Hackett went in a different direction from Genesis though with some influence of his former band, obviously....more guitar based (not surprisingly) and more Crimson-like.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 10:27
VOTA is my favorite Genesis related record, i like it even more than Genesis itself
           I have never heard Hackett's other solo efforts, though (not to imply they are not worth it)
             i also love his "Spectral Mornings" dvd (actually, there are a few non VOTA songs which i have heard and like in that)
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 13:35

Voyage of the Acolyte is a special moment in his career. I love Sally Oldfield. From that point on I bought almost everything released and I used to surf through tracks. Fine music on those releases no doubt. Although I did grow tired of songs like 'The Show' which sounded like commercial Genesis to me. Bay of Kings is a nice acoustic effort. I used to bounce back and forth between Hackett and Anthony Phillips releases. Owning everything by the 2 ....I came to the conclusion that Voyage was Hackett's best release and Tarka was the best from Phillips. I've been collecting their titles since 77" so I'm a little burned out. My greatest experience with Voyage was watching Genesis at the Spectrum during the Wind and Wuthering tour where they jammed a few excerpts from Voyage. It was confusing because I had thought they were anti-Hackett at that time and here they were on stage playing some short excerpts from Voyage. They may have been experimenting with the idea for a couple of shows and quickly decided against it. I was lucky to have been there to hear it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghost_of_morphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 14:32
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

I like Spectral Mornings more than VOTA and Please Don't Touch has some great tracks too, especially the title track. Hackett went in a different direction from Genesis though with some influence of his former band, obviously....more guitar based (not surprisingly) and more Crimson-like.    
Spectral Mornings is one of the best prog releases ever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alitare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 14:53
There are three, count 'em, three. There are THREE albums from the 'Genesis' crew that I'd give five stars to. ONLY three. By Genesis crew I mean any album ever released by anyone who was ever a major part in Genesis. No, it's not Foxtrot or Nursery Cryme or Trick of the Tale or whatever.

It's Selling England by the Pound in third place.
Peter Gabriel's "Melt" in second place.
And Steve Hackett's Voyage of the Acolyte in first. 
He gave her his town house and his racing horses. Each meal she ate was a dozen courses. She had a million dollars worth of nickels and dimes. She sat around and counted them all a million times.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fxdregs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 14:57
SH has put out some really great records
Some that come to mind
VOTA
Please Don't Touch (first time i'd heard Steve Walsh sing outside of Kansas)
Spectral Mornings
Guitar Noir
and more
 
Some DVDs really worth checking out too.
The Tokyo Tapes  is a very good one.
A  superb cast. Steve with John Wetton, Ian McDonald, Chester Thompson
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wjohnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 15:56
I've always thought he produced some great songs but patchy albums - he seems unable or unwilling to create an album with a sustained mood and has a bit of a tendency to drop in clangers or ill-advised joke songs  (much like my view of genesis),
On that basis VOTA is probably the strongest of his albums; though Spectral Mornings remains my single favourite track.

I saw him perform an acoustic concert with his brother on flute in a church hall way back in the early 80s. It was simply wonderful. After three encores he ran out of songs and had to play one again.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wilmon91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 16:29
He is fantastic. If I would describe his music with one word it would be romantic.
 
The best stuff::
 
Voyage of the Acolyte (1975)

Spectral Mornings (1979)

Defector (1980) 

Bay of Kings (1983) - classical

Momentum (1988) - classical

Guitar Noir (1993)

A Midsummer Night's Dream  (1997) - classical with orchestra
Darktown (1999)
 
And then there's...the rest.
 
But I also think Tony Banks - A Curious feeling is great and Mike Rutherfords Smallcreeps Day is really nice.
A Curious Feeling was an album that grew on me in a surprising way...it was just okay at first.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 16:51
I think I'll get this Spectral Mornings and leave it at that for now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 17:50
Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

VOTA is my favorite Genesis related record, i like it even more than Genesis itself.  I want to bear its children.
Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lark the Starless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 18:09
One of my favorite albums ever, personally.

I've yet to check out his other solo releases, but I will soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 19:43
Spectral Mornings is definitely worth investigating. Defector is also lovely, but probably not as good as SM (at least IMO). His recent strech of albums has been top notch as well with To Watch The Storms and Wild Orchids being my favorites.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 20:05
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

VOTA is my favorite Genesis related record, i like it even more than Genesis itself.  I want to bear its children.
Tongue
^LOL 
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghost_of_morphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 20:48
Originally posted by Textbook Textbook wrote:

I think I'll get this Spectral Mornings and leave it at that for now.
Oh, you will like Please Don't Touch too, it's just a bit spotty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2011 at 22:08
thinking of getting Spectral Mornings, myself
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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