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Steve Hackett - Genesis Revisited : Live at The Royal Albert Hall CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.16 | 88 ratings

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3 stars The Genesis Revisited tour was nice and all, but this live album, the second one from the GR tour, is unnecessary overkill. The sound is great (a little bass-heavier than the last one, which is neither good nor bad, just interesting), and all of the performances are just fine, but there's an odd going-through-the-motions vibe to the show, as if the novelty of performing all of these old classics had given way to "Ugh, this tour's just gonna keep going forever isn't it." There are five tracks here that weren't on Hammersmith: "The Carpet Crawlers" (with vocals from Ray Wilson, who doesn't sound horrible here), "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" (basically done the same as on GR II, except with Nad Sylvan singing instead of Neal Morse), "Horizons" (the same as ever and introduced as "agnostic guitar"), "The Fountain of Salmacis" (which sounds nice but doesn't really feel like it matches any of the Genesis studio or live renditions) and "Ripples" (done in a stripped-down version with the classic solo replaced with a brief classical guitar flourish, and with great Amanda Lehmann vocals that make this version a necessity). The concert also makes one significant downgrade from its predecessor: the rendition of "Afterglow," after "Unquiet Slumbers" and "In That Quiet Earth," is done by Sylvan instead of John Wetton, and he sounds pretty wimpy in comparison (what's really strange is that Wetton was around, and he actually sang on "Firth of Fifth" immediately afterwards).

The other performances are great, of course, even if I find myself missing a bunch of the stuff from Hammersmith that was dropped to make room for the "new" stuff here (it's weird to imagine a world in which "Blood on the Rooftops" somehow became overplayed, but I guess it finally happened to Hackett and O'Toole). Every official recording of "Supper's Ready," especially at this late of a date, is a treasure in its own way (Hackett's ending solo goes a little over the top of a little over the top, but I don't mind), and everything here is worth coming back to once in a while even if somebody already has a copy of Hammersmith. And yet, the slight inescapable sense that Hackett had overplayed his hand with the GR tour occupies the album nearly from start to finish, and while that's not a crippling blow, it's enough to make me like this one a smidge less than Hammersmith (which caught this tour in ascent as opposed to its inevitable plateau and decline). If you liked Hammersmith, you may as well get this one too, but you'll probably give it a listen or two and then forget about it.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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