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Steve Hackett

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Topic: Steve Hackett
Posted By: N-sz
Subject: Steve Hackett
Date Posted: July 09 2012 at 23:51
Hello, I was recently thinking that Steve Hackett's Voyage of the Acolyte is a near masterpiece. What could any of you tell me about his other works? What are they like? It looks like most of his albums throughout his discography are pretty well liked - are many of them similar? They don't necessarily have to be for me to be interested, but I'm just wondering. What are some of the different ones like? Are any of the lower rated ones nice, just not proggy (in other words, are they good, but likely rated low because they aren't progressive rock?)?

You don't necessarily have to answer each question, but just answer what you can or just give me an idea of what his other stuff is like. I like all sorts of stuff, so just reading some little descriptions could give me an idea of what albums I might want to consider buying next. That's right: it could give me an idea of what I might consider.


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Seventy-nine years ago there were three cousins whose names were Rose Marymarsh, Mary Rosemarsh, and Marsh Maryrose.



Replies:
Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 10 2012 at 00:13
Of the all the Hackett albums I've heard only "Voyage" and "Spectral Mornings". The latter isn't quite like the former. The former is more like Genesis, but the latter is more like just Hackett. Quite an ambitious feat. In the credits it says all things are written by Steve. I personally did not like the album so much, although it does have some highlights. While "Voyage" is more on the classical side of things, "Spectral Mornings" is more guitar-oriented and quite diverse in its own way. There's some Japanese koto music, pop rock, a bit of folk, experimentation, electric guitar soloing.

Usually, some reviews on PA can pretty much give you an idea of what an album is like.

Hope you'll like the album.


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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: July 11 2012 at 17:58
"Voyage" and "Spectral Mornings" are grand. "Please Don't Touch" features a diverse line up of vocalists. Steve Walsh does a fine job and although I am not personally a huge Kansas fan, his vocal work on "Please Don't Touch" is simply beyond beautiful and has power like you wouldn't believe. I am not fond of the Richie Havens vocal efforts except for maybe the closing piece of the album where he sings a dark and dreamy Genesis style ballad. I sometimes find myself skipping through the album. "Kim" where Steve is joined by his brother Jon on flute, is one of my favorite Hackett compositions.
 
"Defector" has some essential prog instrumentals that you won't want to miss. However songs like "The Show" are more like basic "Rock" songs with a dance groove. It's a great song, but don't expect the style of "Voyage" to be creeping in there anytime soon. "Cured"..I would steer clear of. Although again...."The Air Conditioned Nightmare" brings me back to those instrumental sections of the early Genesis and the piece is cool. LOL!  Nick Magnus adds in his ideas for song writing and the project along with the drum machine come across very modern 80's mainstream. Songs like "Funny Feeling" sound like mainstream Genesis tunes.


"We Have Faces" is interesting at times and may entertain you a bit more than "Cured". The only letdown for me is a Blues number which has vocals reminiscent of Robert Plant. "Highly Strung" still conveys that 80's rock style although there are some excellent progressive songs throughout the recording. I am not particularly fond of "Walking Through Walls". A fine acoustic album to pick up is "Bay Of Kings". I like the live concert box set which features a show from the "Spectral Mornings" line up....however, the vocalist does not measure up to Steve Walsh and he attempts to cover the Steve Walsh material , only coming across lame in some cases or simply not fitting. Another disc features the 80's band which is very good, however I prefer their concert at the "Reading Festival". I can't recall the drummer's name , but he played with Trace and I like his work. The 90's concert is outstanding! Love the drummer! One of my favorite studio recordings is "Darktown". Very oddball for Steve Hackett. Very unique.


Posted By: N-sz
Date Posted: July 11 2012 at 18:27
Cool, thanks you too. I figured Spectral Mornings would be a highly recommended one, and I'm also a bit intrigued by some of the lesser known ones that you mentioned. I had a feeling "Bay of Kings" might be a good acoustic - maybe easy listening - sort of album, which sounds like something he could do well with. 

Darktown seems like it'd be interesting too. I'm curious to see how his later works are - 90s, 00s.

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Seventy-nine years ago there were three cousins whose names were Rose Marymarsh, Mary Rosemarsh, and Marsh Maryrose.


Posted By: HolyMoly
Date Posted: July 11 2012 at 18:31
Please Don't Touch is my favorite, followed by Spectral Mornings.  Please Don't Touch isn't as overtly "prog" as Voyage of the Acolyte, but it's got some real quality (short) instrumentals and some fine cameo vocals by Steve Walsh and Richie Havens.  I especially love the acoustic, Havens-sung "How Can I", one of my favorite songs.

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Posted By: richardh
Date Posted: July 12 2012 at 01:22
I can't count myself as a massive fan as I only own about 6 of his albums but the one I like the most is To Watch The Storms. At times it is obviously a homage to King Crimson but it does contain a variety of music that I've not really heard on his other albums. The songs are strong and there are some lovely instrumentals especially Wind, Sand and Stars.


Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: July 12 2012 at 06:20
Already plenty of good advice.  I have something like 90% of his studio albums.  An average prog fan will have a hard time topping Voyage.  It's like a long lost old Genesis album without Tony Banks.  Subsequent early albums Steve experiments a lot more being completely out from under the thumb of Genesis.  He kind of jumped the commercial shark with Cured, but I saw him live on that tour.  It's got some good stuff but way too much eh, whatever kind of stuff.

A lot of his later albums are modern classical, which I was beginning to tire of when To Watch The Storms came out.  I had completely missed Darktown, which I think marked a major return to progressive rock for Steve.  I'd send you to TWTS next.  Go for the expanded version which has the very funny bonus track: Marijuana Assassin Of Youth.  He steals the melody from the Batman TV series and a few other assorted songs. 
"You need a haircut and then a degree
Don't you want to start a family
Take a stand and make some real cash
Sell your guitar and throw away your stash"

Also, Steve has put out several good concert DVDs.

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Posted By: Tapfret
Date Posted: July 12 2012 at 11:29
I have Voyage, Defector, Spectral Mornings, and Please Don't touch. Voyage is the only one I listen to consistently. The others are worthy but only partially Prog. I had Highly Strung for briefly but it was dreadful and got traded in.  I also have Tokyo Tapes DVD that has a wacky hybrid line up that includes Joh Wetton, Ian Mcdonald, and Chester Thompson. Its a fun blend of Hackett, Genesis, KC and Asia tunes.


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Posted By: Sagichim
Date Posted: July 12 2012 at 13:18
You can't go wrong with the first four albums, although Please Don't Touch is quite different than the rest, but still I wouldn't miss it.

I would advise you to go with Spectral Mornings it's the logical next step.

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"One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.."


Posted By: Slartibartfast
Date Posted: July 12 2012 at 14:06
Originally posted by Tapfret

I have Voyage, Defector, Spectral Mornings, and Please Don't touch. Voyage is the only one I listen to consistently. The others are worthy but only partially Prog. I had Highly Strung for briefly but it was dreadful and got traded in.  I also have Tokyo Tapes DVD that has a wacky hybrid line up that includes Joh Wetton, Ian Mcdonald, and Chester Thompson. Its a fun blend of Hackett, Genesis, KC and Asia tunes.

^ Don't listen to him. Tongue

But, yeah, Strung was really disappointing never got the CD.  If you think you hate that one you might really hate a few more.  I have TTT on DVD.  Got it first on VHS.  I give it a thumbs up.


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Posted By: wilmon91
Date Posted: July 12 2012 at 15:03

I'm a huge Hackett fan and couldn't resist giving my opinions on his albums, which are quite many so it will be a little lengthy...

 

His first album is one of a kind, and is the most seventies sounding . But it's natural since technology evolves

and the sound changes with the times, and that's the same for all artists.

 

Please Don't Touch (1978)         He uses his freedom of control as a solo artists and invites a lot of guest muscicians, so the resulting album has a variety of styles. Great approach, though its not an album I really love. My favourite song might be the instrumental "The voice of Necam" (which features no guest musician)

 

Spectral Mornings (1979)             One of my favourite albums. His music may not always be incredibly technical and complex, he often uses pretty simple melodies, but some harmonies and how they are expressed is very original. The ending of "Clocks" for example ends on a very specific chord which I have heard him take on acoustic guitar, but it's played with a powerful rock sound , and it feels very unique. Part of his greatness is in those special harmonies which has a very deep character. And also the contrasts between solo instrument passages and parts with full band playing with a big sound.

 
Defector (1980)                               Another great album, slightly darker, a little more introspective and a bit simpler than the previous but still great

 

Cured (1981)                                    A light, happy pop album. As a singer he takes the highest notes he ever has taken. It's a drastic change towards radio friendliness. But there is "A Cradle of Swans", pretty nice acoustic guitar piece and "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare" which would have fit very well on the Defector album.

 
Highly Strung (1982)                        Very marked by 80's sound and has pop characteristics, but it is a nice album. Great pop, "Camino Royale" is the standout track. I also like the use of recurring themes , for example at the end of Cell 151 there is a theme from "Camino Royale" that reappears and in "India Rubber man" there's a theme from "Group Therapy". Some may not like Hacketts vocals, I think his singing works better with more introspective albums rather than the extroverted pop approach, but his singing is a bit toned down compared to "Cured".
 
Bay of Kings (1983)                            One of my favourite albums, just classical acoustic guitar, sometimes accompanied by synth strings or john hackett on flute. At first it sounded to me like pleasant guitar music, but after many listens it became a much deeper experience once you  become more aquainted with the songs. Fantastic.

 

Till We Have Faces (1984)                 An attempt of fusing pop with brazillian or world music influences, which doesn't work very well. One of his weakest albums 

 

Momentum (1988)                                  His second classical guitar album is every bit as good as the first. Just fantastic.

 

Guitar Noir (1993)                                 His darkest album, with yet a new sound. The atmosphere is sincere and focused, like a melancholic romantic noir atmosphere. Generally an open sound with reverb. There are a few slick rock tracks also as well as the slightly silly "Vampire with a healthy appetite" track. I like the drumming by Hugo Degenhart, which is slick and precise with a treble:y sound, but nice. Really great album.                       

 

Blues With A Feeling (1995)                Blues oriented rock tracks, with a crisp sound. Not great, but I like that romantic track with harmonica. And I like "Big Dallas Sky"which has a big arena rock sound, pretty straightforward, similar to "In The Heart Of The City" or "Lost in your eyes" from "Guitar Noir". Not an important album.

 

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1997)        Classical concept album with an orchestra. Really great. It has a specific atmosphere, sort of positive and dignified, kind of reminding me of Händel. It's style is inspired by earlier classical styles, like Baroque but is very romantic in character.

 

Darktown (1999)                                             Another super great rock oriented album. All tracks are varied and are great. Not that intricate, pretty straightforward but has a lot of character in sound and expression. It has an intimate and focused atmosphere and is just great to listen to from beginning to end.

 

Sketches of Satie (2000)                           Songs of Satie were John Hackett on flute plays the melody and Hackett accompanies on guitar. Very minimal and clean. There are a couple of tracks I really like, but generally I prefer the piano versions.

 

Feedback 86 (2000)                                Pop oriented album, made in 1986 but not released until 2000. Not very good.

 

To Watch the Storms (2003)                   I think this marks a new period were he has a new set of musicians. The feeling of the album is kind of retrospective, playful and entertaining. You don't reach the same depth achieved on earlier albums. As light entertainment it is okay. Some people love this album, I'm not too fond of it.

 

Metamorpheus (2005)                            Classical album with "The underworld orchestra". It was a whikle since I heard it but it is quite good.

 

Wild Orchids (2006)                               His best album from 2000-2012. He fuses the classical side with rock. Some of the songs involved more than hundred channels in the mixing process, so there is a lot going on in the songs. The feeling of the album is like a dark roller coaster ride, it has kind of a halloween atmosphere. You get a lot of music with the special edition, and even if it's a bit uneven, there's still a big amount of good stuff.

 

Tribute (2008)                                             Guitar versions of workd by classical composers. I don't have this, but I've heard it once or twice. Can't say much, but it's a tribute to his influences in classical guitar.

 

Out of the Tunnel's Mouth (2009)         A meager album, only 40 minutes or so, and only 1-2 good songs. It was disappointing.

 

Beyond the Shrouded Horizon (2011)          Better, more ambitious than the previous. A varied album, many different sounds. It has a bit of the style from "A Midsummer Night's Dream"at times, especially on solo acoustic guitar bits. But still not very adventurous when it comes to other things like rhythm, it's mostly a half-time beat with a very large sound, a bit smooth and new agey in character. Not so daring as a whole. But there are a few tracks I really like, and you get a lot of music with the 2CD special edition.



Posted By: Tapfret
Date Posted: July 12 2012 at 15:39
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

Originally posted by Tapfret

I have Voyage, Defector, Spectral Mornings, and Please Don't touch. Voyage is the only one I listen to consistently. The others are worthy but only partially Prog. I had Highly Strung for briefly but it was dreadful and got traded in.  I also have Tokyo Tapes DVD that has a wacky hybrid line up that includes Joh Wetton, Ian Mcdonald, and Chester Thompson. Its a fun blend of Hackett, Genesis, KC and Asia tunes.

^ Don't listen to him. Tongue

But, yeah, Strung was really disappointing never got the CD.  If you think you hate that one you might really hate a few more.  I have TTT on DVD.  Got it first on VHS.  I give it a thumbs up.

You clearly overestimate the possibility that someone may listen to me.


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Posted By: Mirror Image
Date Posted: July 17 2012 at 22:35
Of course, I really like the first couple of Hackett recordings: Voyage of the Acolyte, Please Don't Touch, and Spectral Mornings, but lately I've been really enjoying his later recordings like Out of the Tunnel's Mouth, Darktown, Wild Orchids, and his newest release Beyond the Shrouded Horizon. Great stuff. I haven't heard Live Rails yet. I don't rate his '80s recordings too highly.

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Posted By: N-sz
Date Posted: July 17 2012 at 23:57
Sorry for the late response. Thanks to all of you for your descriptions. They were really interesting and helpful - especially thanks to Wilmon for the huge list!

This definitely gives me a good idea of what albums of his to go for next, and actually this has really made me want to get more of his albums sooner! I feel like there's so much that he could do, whether it's progressive rock, modern classical, calm acoustic guitar music, or whatever, I think it will take a while for me to come to the point where I've heard everything worth hearing by him.


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http://nickyj.bandcamp.com/" rel="nofollow - My music
Seventy-nine years ago there were three cousins whose names were Rose Marymarsh, Mary Rosemarsh, and Marsh Maryrose.


Posted By: IGotAHaloRoundMyHead
Date Posted: July 19 2012 at 17:35
Never met a Steve Hackett album I didn't like! Such a variety to choose from. His latest release, A Life Within a Day by Squackett (a portmanteau of Squire and Hackett) seems promising!


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 19 2012 at 17:53
I would definitely go with Spectral Mornings.  My favorite of Hackett's output.  The instrumental title track is absolutely killer and so is the song Every Day (could have easily been a Genesis song from Trick or Wind).  The rest of the album is pretty grand too.  You also can't go wrong with any of his last five rock albums (Darktown - very dark and brooding but a masterpiece in its own right, To Watch the Storms, Wild Orchids, and the last two Tunnel's Mouth and Shrouded Horizon having a feel similar to some of his Genesis work and his early solo works).  Last, but not least, Defector is also a pretty cool album and is the follow up to Spectral Mornings, with the same band.  

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Posted By: Mirror Image
Date Posted: July 19 2012 at 22:43
Originally posted by The Doctor

I would definitely go with Spectral Mornings.  My favorite of Hackett's output.  The instrumental title track is absolutely killer and so is the song Every Day (could have easily been a Genesis song from Trick or Wind).  The rest of the album is pretty grand too.  You also can't go wrong with any of his last five rock albums (Darktown - very dark and brooding but a masterpiece in its own right, To Watch the Storms, Wild Orchids, and the last two Tunnel's Mouth and Shrouded Horizon having a feel similar to some of his Genesis work and his early solo works).  Last, but not least, Defector is also a pretty cool album and is the follow up to Spectral Mornings, with the same band.  

I couldn't agree more. Darktown is underrated IMHO. The opening track Omega Metallicus sounds like something that could have been on a Buckethead album! The quick solo Steve did where he just shreds it on guitar was very impressive. Every now and then, Hackett will cut loose like that and it never fails to surprise me. He's certainly one of the greatest guitarists of all-time.


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Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 20 2012 at 01:22
I am a big time Steve Hackett fan. There are a lot of good descriptions and recommendations for studio albums in the other posts, but don't neglect his live work, both CDs and DVDs. His live work is a little more dynamic than his studio creations.

His studio albums are fantastic and combine all sorts of musical styles. He is the quintessential progressive artist in my opinion. A prime example of the variety of musical styles is Spectral Mornings. Someone already mentioned the Japanese Kyoto he played on that album. It also has a pretty hilarious ragtime piece, Ballad of the Decomposing Man. All of the albums are different and very eclectic, so don't be too hasty if you run across an album that doesn't quite turn you on. There are perhaps three different eras to his solo career. The seventies and early eighties, of which the best is, in my opinion, Spectral Mornings. The post GTR eighties and nineties, of which I would call Guitar Noir the best, but don't neglect Momentum for classical guitar and Blues with a Feeling which delves into a different style of blues than what normally gets covered. And then there is the 2000 material, of which To Watch the Storms might be the best (very similar to Spectral Mornings in its range of styles). But the very recent Beyond the Shrouded Horizon might be better still, and it even turned up in a poll as the best progressive album of the year. Disc 2 has some magnificent vocal free guitar work including a rendition of the old Focus piece, Eruption: Tommy, which is absolutely precious. His vocals have gotten much better over time. He just released an album with Chris Squire that highlights some pretty fantastic vocal harmonies. If you want to hear some old Genesis stuff just once in awhile, check out his redo of a number of Genesis songs on the Wather of the Skies album. His vocal on Fountain of Salmacis is astonishingly good. There is supposed to be another album of old Genesis material coming out this year I hear.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 20 2012 at 23:13
The Hackett live DVDs are:

Steve Hackett Spectral Mornings 1978, Live for German TV
Live Legends 1990, Live in Nottingham
Somewhere in South America ... Live at Teatro Coliseo Buenos Aires
Once Above a Time 2004, Live in Budapest
Fire and Ice 2010, Live in London

My very favorite is Once Above a Time. I would recommend this as a good starting point for getting familiar with a lot of his later work, although Fire and Ice should be considered too because it's more current. Same band members in both, though.


Posted By: Mirror Image
Date Posted: July 20 2012 at 23:21
Originally posted by HackettFan



My very favorite is Once Above a Time.

I agree! It's a great concert and catches Hackett in an inspired performance. I haven't watched Fire & Ice yet. How is it? Nice to meet another Hackett fan by the way. Cool


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Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 20 2012 at 23:42
Greetings and same here. I actually was just watching Fire and Ice this evening. You'll like it for sure. Good performance. They do Shadow of the Hierophant which was really magical, and works well with a female bandmember to do the singing. I thought the selection of material in Once Above a Time was better at showcasing the band's talent, but who am I to quibble? Fire and Ice had a really good vibe with them pulling Steven Wilson and later John Wetton on stage to play a number with them.

I forgot to mention the Tokyo Tapes, although I think someone else made mention of them.


Posted By: Mirror Image
Date Posted: July 20 2012 at 23:48
Originally posted by HackettFan

Greetings and same here. I actually was just watching Fire and Ice this evening. You'll like it for sure. Good performance. They do Shadow of the Hierophant which was really magical, and works well with a female bandmember to do the singing. I thought the selection of material in Once Above a Time was better at showcasing the band's talent, but who am I to quibble? Fire and Ice had a really good vibe with them pulling Steven Wilson and later John Wetton on stage to play a number with them.

I forgot to mention the Tokyo Tapes, although I think someone else made mention of them.

Very cool. Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to check it out. I've recently been on a Hackett kick, I've been enjoying his later albums: Darktown, Wild Orchids, Out of the Tunnel's Mouth, Live Rails, Beyond The Shrouded Horizon, and the collaborative recording with Squire - Squackett which I've enjoyed. What do you think about Darktown? This one seems to slip through the cracks, it's a gem.


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Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 21 2012 at 00:25
Mmm...yes, I just listened to Beyond the Shrouded Horizon this afternoon. It's just terrific. I do think this is his best era altogether. I liked the Squackett album too. He's come a long way as a vocalist, hasn't he? Squackett is not as progressive as the other stuff, but still has lots of musical integrity. I hadn't really warmed up to darktown, but I trust your judgement about it. It's supposed to be a very personal album about his negative experience with school as a youngster, as I understand it. My copy of it unfortunately is out of state (yep, mother's house), so I don't have immediate access to it. I might need to buy another copy.


Posted By: Mirror Image
Date Posted: July 21 2012 at 00:36
Originally posted by HackettFan

Mmm...yes, I just listened to Beyond the Shrouded Horizon this afternoon. It's just terrific. I do think this is his best era altogether. I liked the Squackett album too. He's come a long way as a vocalist, hasn't he? Squackett is not as progressive as the other stuff, but still has lots of musical integrity. I hadn't really warmed up to darktown, but I trust your judgement about it. It's supposed to be a very personal album about his negative experience with school as a youngster, as I understand it. My copy of it unfortunately is out of state (yep, mother's house), so I don't have immediate access to it. I might need to buy another copy.

Yeah, I think Hackett's voice has gotten a lot better, but to be honest I never had a problem with it. I love all the beautiful vocal harmonizing on Beyond the Shrouded Horizon. I thought he did this incredibly well. The music itself is just first-rate Hackett. It has a great mixture of everything that's great about him. Squackett wasn't progressive like many of his other recordings, but I enjoyed it for what it was. That opening title track was a stunner! One of the best openings for an album I've heard in quite some time. The opening of that song, especially the sequencer part reminded of the sequencer part in the Yes song Endless Dream from their album Talk. Anyway, just a point of comparison. Darktown is a fantastic album. I hated the title track of the album, but skip that song and the rest is just great. In Memoriam, in particular, was just gorgeous. I would definitely listen to again if I were you.


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Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 21 2012 at 00:59
Originally posted by Mirror Image


Originally posted by HackettFan

Mmm...yes, I just listened to Beyond the Shrouded Horizon this afternoon. It's just terrific. I do think this is his best era altogether. I liked the Squackett album too. He's come a long way as a vocalist, hasn't he? Squackett is not as progressive as the other stuff, but still has lots of musical integrity. I hadn't really warmed up to darktown, but I trust your judgement about it. It's supposed to be a very personal album about his negative experience with school as a youngster, as I understand it. My copy of it unfortunately is out of state (yep, mother's house), so I don't have immediate access to it. I might need to buy another copy.

Yeah, I think Hackett's voice has gotten a lot better, but to be honest I never had a problem with it. I love all the beautiful vocal harmonizing on Beyond the Shrouded Horizon. I thought he did this incredibly well. The music itself is just first-rate Hackett. It has a great mixture of everything that's great about him. Squackett wasn't progressive like many of his other recordings, but I enjoyed it for what it was. That opening title track was a stunner! One of the best openings for an album I've heard in quite some time. The opening of that song, especially the sequencer part reminded of the sequencer part in the Yes song Endless Dream from their album Talk. Anyway, just a point of comparison. Darktown is a fantastic album. I hated the title track of the album, but skip that song and the rest is just great. In Memoriam, in particular, was just gorgeous. I would definitely listen to again if I were you.


I know what you mean. India Rubber Man, for instance, always brought out my emotions. I think it was always just him building up his own confidence with his voice, and sorting out that he got better results by and large with deeper tones. I agree also about the opening to Squackett. Strong. I'll definitely give Darktown another listen too.


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 00:05
Steve Hackett's electric playing with added distortion has a unique sound. He plays rock licks in minor and major keys based off the pentatonic scale, minor scales, and the "Devil's Court" (old name for it), and we've all heard it played on "Larks Tongues In Aspic" part 1. Playing these sort of intervals places his style in the realm of Bob Fripp. He also plays much ethnic scales ..modes  during his electric lead guitar solos. He also does some tapping , but with a guitar pick and sometimes during one or 2 of his melodic solos, the style and sound of Andrew Latimer will come to mind. Francis Lickerish and Stephen Stewart, guitarists with the Enid in the 70's had the electric side to Hackett's playing in their style. Even though they harmonized a bit more , their usage of effects, sliding up the neck, trills, and sometimes signature leads were reminiscent of the Steve Hackett sound and style.
On Classical Guitar he has a very sweet tone that is developed and sophisticated. He is not devoted to playing Classical guitar only. For example...Christopher Parkening, Julian Bream, Liona Boyd are all devoted to practice of the Classical guitar between 12 to 15 hours a day. I believe if Steve Hackett would have devoted his entire practice time and development to just the Classical he would rank amongst the best who are respected in the Classical world. Steve Hackett has the talent and technical ability to be a seasoned Classical player , but he chooses to play prog rock.  


Posted By: Mirror Image
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 00:16
Originally posted by TODDLER

Steve Hackett's electric playing with added distortion has a unique sound. He plays rock licks in minor and major keys based off the pentatonic scale, minor scales, and the "Devil's Court" (old name for it), and we've all heard it played on "Larks Tongues In Aspic" part 1. Playing these sort of intervals places his style in the realm of Bob Fripp. He also plays much ethnic scales ..modes  during his electric lead guitar solos. He also does some tapping , but with a guitar pick and sometimes during one or 2 of his melodic solos, the style and sound of Andrew Latimer will come to mind. Francis Lickerish and Stephen Stewart, guitarists with the Enid in the 70's had the electric side to Hackett's playing in their style. Even though they harmonized a bit more , their usage of effects, sliding up the neck, trills, and sometimes signature leads were reminiscent of the Steve Hackett sound and style.
On Classical Guitar he has a very sweet tone that is developed and sophisticated. He is not devoted to playing Classical guitar only. For example...Christopher Parkening, Julian Bream, Liona Boyd are all devoted to practice of the Classical guitar between 12 to 15 hours a day. I believe if Steve Hackett would have devoted his entire practice time and development to just the Classical he would rank amongst the best who are respected in the Classical world. Steve Hackett has the talent and technical ability to be a seasoned Classical player , but he chooses to play prog rock.  

The thing with Hackett is he doesn't want to settle with one style of guitar playing which I admire greatly. He has such wide array of interests. A lot of the beauty of Hackett's playing also comes from just being subtle. I'm instantly reminded of his guitar playing in Genesis' The Fountain of Salmacis in the quieter sections. Listen closely to the chord voicings he uses. Speaking of guitar techniques, Hackett also uses sweep picking in several solos. I believe he was using sweep picking on electric before any of the shredders like Vai and Malmsteen. 


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Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 00:35
Mirror Image is right about the sweep picking.

Toddler, would you please tell me what the "Devil's Court" is? It's gotta be cool.

I think Steve Hackett is in a good position, producing and distributing his own material. It's allowed him to do what he wants musically more than ever before. He really no longer needs to compromise.


Posted By: Mirror Image
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 00:43
Originally posted by HackettFan

Mirror Image is right about the sweep picking.

Toddler, would you please tell me what the "Devil's Court" is? It's gotta be cool.

I think Steve Hackett is in a good position, producing and distributing his own material. It's allowed him to do what he wants musically more than ever before. He really no longer needs to compromise.

He must be referring to the Devil's Interval (aka tritone).


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Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 02:24
Originally posted by Mirror Image

Originally posted by HackettFan

Mirror Image is right about the sweep picking.

Toddler, would you please tell me what the "Devil's Court" is? It's gotta be cool.

I think Steve Hackett is in a good position, producing and distributing his own material. It's allowed him to do what he wants musically more than ever before. He really no longer needs to compromise.

He must be referring to the Devil's Interval (aka tritone).
 
Yes, a series of notes fingered almost like triads except they are not always sustained as triad chords would be in a melodic piece of music in a major or minor key. They are used extremely in the music of George Crumb and Bernard Hermann. They are heard quite a lot throughout the album "Bitches Brew" by Miles Davis. They did hit the commercial world through old Sci-Fi themes such as "The Outer Limits", "The Twilight Zone" and "One Step Beyond". They have been noodled with in the world of soundtrack music for decades. They are used in "Heavy Metal" music to create a dark and heavy sound and people like Frank Zappa had other plans for them. "Devil's Court" , was a name for it which was possibly made up by jazz and classical musicians who traveled the road. The sound of it (if played creatively), invents mystery and fear to the listener's mind. Now , I am making reference as to what it can produce through Avant-Garde 20th Century compositions. Edgar Varese for example. And especially Bella Bartok's "Piano Concerto No. II. If you were a church musician and Christians heard you practicing the "Devil's Interval", they might cringe, or even take it to heart. It can set off a mysterious and hypnotic vibe to the human ear. That is the reason for it being ...in some cases taylor made and based around a concept film where the average person adapts and gets used to the feeling it gives off because it revolves around a subject or even a play. It is more adaptable that way for a majority of people. A minority of people appreciate it more for it's substance when it is incorporated into a 20th Century Avant-Garde piece. A very haunting sound can be produced with the "Devil's Interval" by stretching across 7 0r 8 frets of the guitar neck while holding down bass notes , sustaining them along with ringing out higher pitched notes around the 12th or 14th fret. a sound mostly heard on piano and haunts the mind. But I guess for some it's like daydreaming.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 09:28
Gracias! This sounds intriguing. I was never any good at making anything out of the diatonic or chromatic scales which this seems to bear some relation to, but I really have to try this.

Early in his career, Steve Hackett would do a lot of things that you couldn't quite tell was a guitar and not a keyboard. It seems to me he does less of that now. In the last couple decades, I think he's gotten more into a guitar as guitar sound and a bit freer too. Do others hear this too?


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 10:41
From Wikipedia..............."Tritones"

Because of that original symbolic association with the devil and it's avoidance, this interval came to heard in Western cultural convention as suggesting an "evil" connotative meaning in music. Today the interval continues to suggest an "oppressive" , "scary" or "evil" sound. However, suggestions that singers were excommunicated or otherwise punished by the Church for invoking this interval are likely fanciful.
 
The interval is used often in the music of Univers Zero and Art Zoyd. Steve Hackett has often in the past...created a dark atmospheric sound in his instrumental compositions by using tri-tones. In the music of Steve Hackett they have been sustained on keyboard and played rapidly on guitar. It creates an interesting soundscape for his music.


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 14:18
Originally posted by HackettFan

Mirror Image is right about the sweep picking.

Toddler, would you please tell me what the "Devil's Court" is? It's gotta be cool.

I think Steve Hackett is in a good position, producing and distributing his own material. It's allowed him to do what he wants musically more than ever before. He really no longer needs to compromise.
 

If you are a guitarist, you should try this  tri-tone related sequence. I can't give you a visual on how they are written on manuscript paper , so I will explain the fingering and positions.
The first note of the pattern is played by placing your 4th finger on the Est string in the 12th fret. This is the E note.
 
2ND note (E flat) of the pattern is played with the middle finger and placed on the E6TH string in the 11th fret.

3rd note (d) is played with the fourth finger on the D string in the 12th fret.

4th note (d flat) is played with the index finger and placed in the 9th fret on the E1st string.

5th note (c) is played with the fourth finger and placed on the B string in the 13th fret.

6TH Note (b) is is played with the index finger and plac ed on the 9th fret on the D string.


7th Note (b flat) is played with the ring finger and placed on the 11th fret on the B string.


8TH NOTE (a) is played with the ring finger and placed on the 12th fret on the A string.


9th Note (a flat) is played with the middle finger and placed on the 11th fret on the A string


10TH NOTE (g) is played with the the ring finger and placed on the 12th fret on the G string


11th note (G flat or F #) is played with the fourth finger and placed on the 14th fret on the E1st string.
 
The next step is to place your index finger in the 9th fret on the G string ...playing the E note, slding it down a half step playing the E flat note and starting the pattern all over again a half step down and so on in the chromatic steps.
 
 
 

 


Posted By: Smurph
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 14:40
That's cool but not to be annoying how is it tritone related? It's a chromatic walk down while jumping the octaves of the notes you are hitting.
 
(Although its a great excercise for string skipping and helping people do strange chormatic runs so I would def recommend doing this as well. :-D)


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wtf


Posted By: HolyMoly
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 15:10
My left hand hurts just reading that.

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Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 20:15
Originally posted by Smurph

That's cool but not to be annoying how is it tritone related? It's a chromatic walk down while jumping the octaves of the notes you are hitting.
 
(Although its a great excercise for string skipping and helping people do strange chormatic runs so I would def recommend doing this as well. :-D)
If it is played with an even tempo and moderate speed
it will sound like a cluster of notes in constant rotation that resemble the tri-tone playing of Bob Fripp. The fingering is similar to the tri-tone patterns Fripp and Hackett have recorded in the past.  Repeat the pattern in 1 position instead of going down half steps. or record it and listen back and see if it doesn't create that sound.


Posted By: DaleHauskins
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 20:50
I'm very very proud of my close dear old friend;truly talented keyboardist Nick Magnus.

Nick and Steve have been revisiting the old days lately...and they've  just recorded a new beefed-up version of "Camino Royale" for his upcoming Genesis Revisited II album.

(Nick and I became long time friends years ago via our mutual English producer friend John Acock who produced & mixed Lucerne central Switzerland's progressive rock band Flame Dream of which I was the guitarist in the band.) http://wnew.radio.com/2011/07/04/the-producers-john-acock/" rel="nofollow - http://wnew.radio.com/2011/07/04/the-producers-john-acock/

Ich wönsche allne en glöckliche und sunnige July und positive sunny summer 2012

Tschüüüüsssss & ciao.



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Dale Hauskins
L.A.Californian guitarist
http://www.musicianspage.com/musicians/DaleHauskins" rel="nofollow - http://www.musicianspage.com/musicians/DaleHauskins


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 21:02
Originally posted by TODDLER

Originally posted by Smurph

That's cool but not to be annoying how is it tritone related? It's a chromatic walk down while jumping the octaves of the notes you are hitting.
 

(Although its a great excercise for string skipping and helping people do strange chormatic runs so I would def recommend doing this as well. :-D)



If it is played with an even tempo and moderate speed
it will sound like a cluster of notes in constant rotation that resemble the tri-tone playing of Bob Fripp. The fingering is similar to the tri-tone patterns Fripp and Hackett have recorded in the past.  Repeat the pattern in 1 position instead of going down half steps. or record it and listen back and see if it doesn't create that sound.


I'll try it. What I gathered about it in Wikipedia, there's a strict interpretation of the tritones that includes only the tritones and a loose interpretation that includes the half steps in between, yielding essentially half of the chromatic scale. I'm guessing that the tritones in the loose interpretation are supposed to function as more important notes like the root note and perfect fifth in other scales. Is that right?

It's interesting bringIng Fripp into this because Hackett was supposed to have been influenced by him and King Crimson early on, but I have trouble hearing much of any Fripp in Hackett's playing. On rare occasion sure, but quite rare it seems to me perhaps.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 21:08
Originally posted by DaleHauskins

I'm very very proud of my close dear old friend;truly talented keyboardist Nick Magnus.Nick and Steve have been revisiting the old days lately...and they've  just recorded a new beefed-up version of "Camino Royale" for his upcoming Genesis Revisited II album.(Nick and I became long time friends years ago via our mutual English producer friend John Acock who produced & mixed Lucerne central Switzerland's progressive rock band Flame Dream of which I was the guitarist in the band.)<font face="Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="3">Ich wönsche allne en glöckliche und sunnige July und positive sunny summer 2012Tschüüüüsssss & ciao.



I don't quite understand. Camino Royale is from his solo work. Hmm... One thing I heard because I put myself on the Hackettsongs e-mail list is that Genesis Revisited II is supposed to be a double album.


Posted By: Raccoon
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 21:10
If you want easy listening, you head over to ol' Anthony Phillips. Nearly every album of his is amazing. But regarding Steve Hackett, Spectral Mornings is the way to go. The Ballad Of The Decomposing Man is a classic and MUST HAVE.


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 23 2012 at 22:09
Originally posted by Raccoon

If you want easy listening, you head over to ol' Anthony Phillips. Nearly every album of his is amazing. But regarding Steve Hackett, Spectral Mornings is the way to go. The Ballad Of The Decomposing Man is a classic and MUST HAVE.



So true about Anthony Phillips. He played 12 sting, by the way, on a couple of songs for Hackett on Out of the Tunnel's Mouth, you may already know. And yeah, I get such a chuckle just thinking about Ballad of the Decomposing Man.


Posted By: N-sz
Date Posted: July 24 2012 at 15:56
I'm glad to see that this thread has sparked some interesting discussion! I don't know a ton about music theory, but I enjoyed reading about it.

Originally posted by Raccoon

If you want easy listening, you head over to ol' Anthony Phillips. Nearly every album of his is amazing. But regarding Steve Hackett, Spectral Mornings is the way to go. The Ballad Of The Decomposing Man is a classic and MUST HAVE.

Oh yeah, Anthony Phillips! I bet you're right. I haven't listened to much of him yet, but I've been interested in finding some of his music.


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Seventy-nine years ago there were three cousins whose names were Rose Marymarsh, Mary Rosemarsh, and Marsh Maryrose.


Posted By: TODDLER
Date Posted: July 25 2012 at 10:57
I remember seeing Steve Hackett live on the "Darktown" tour. They were amazing that night! The audience was full of screaming hounding people who were relentless. All through the night people screamed .."Hey Steve!"  "You blow away Genesis!" "You make them look sick!"  Steve Hackett wore a pair of sunglasses through the entire show and at one point before starting a piece, he stared at the audience allowing his glasses to slowly slide down his nose. They screamed relentlessly as he glanced around the room saying nothing for a whole of 3 minutes. I would love to know what he was thinking. I was cracking up trying to imagine what was on his mind.



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