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Steve Hackett - Time Lapse   CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 75 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Steve Hackett really needed a good live album in 1992. Aside from Momentum (a bunch of classical guitar pieces) and GTR (a pile of unspeakable awfulness), the last the world had heard from Steve was Till We Have Faces in 1984, and the world needed to be reminded that Steve had some really nice material under his belt at this point. This is a 1-CD release taken from two different eras (the beginning and end from 1990 performances, the middle from performances from the Cured tour), but there isn't a sharp distinction between the two halves, and it makes for a good live sampler.

Aside from a single new piece ("Depth Charge," a decent instrumental based around a majestic synth riff, and which would later be renamed "Riding the Colossus"), the material all comes from 1982 or earlier, but that's ok; I wouldn't have minded hearing a random track from Faces, but I can understand not including anything from the acoustic albums, and of course he wasn't going to go out of his way to remind anybody of GTR. I'm a little surprised that a live album with only 14 tracks would include a whopping 5 from Spectral Mornings, but then again that was a great album, and I definitely don't mind hearing material from there again. The title track seems a little odd as a climactic crowd pleaser, but I can understand using it that way, and it sounds fine to me. I'm definitely happy with how the "Every Day" instrumental passage translates into live performance, and it's definitely a lot of fun to have "Clocks" as a closer (especially with the drum solo reduced to almost nothing). I appreciate the renditions of "The Red Flower ..." and "Tigermoth" (drastically shortened, with the song portion eliminated), too.

There are plenty of other attractions, though. I liked "Camino Royale" just fine in its Highly Strung version, but I'm glad I heard this version first, because it's much better. Steve's voice is stronger now than it was when he first recorded the song, and he makes a good choice in allowing there to be some harmonies whenever the chorus is sung; it now sounds fuller and less clunky. Also, the instrumental passage in the middle is great; there's a lengthy sparring between Steve on harmonica and John on flute that should have always been in there, and of course there are nice bits of guitar to flesh it out. Yup, this is one of the main reasons to get this album.

Another main reason is the reworking of "In That Quiet Earth," way back from Wind and Wuthering. The first half of the track is done basically in the same way as it was originally, but whereas the second half of the original featured a goofy mix of "tough" guitars and synths, this version opts for a soft, mystical flute-driven passage in the second half, and it improves things considerably. I like the original version more than I used to, and I definitely like the Genesis Revisited 2 version in context, but this is still my favorite version of the track.

There are nice performances elsewhere, but aside from "Ace of Wands" (from 1981, full of glorious atmosphere and the joy of hearing Steve and his band working so hard to reproduce all of these fun licks) there's no real need to namecheck all of them. Overall, though, while this may not be an essential release (and it's not even his most essential live release), it's still an extremely enjoyable listen for somebody who's heard the first few albums a bunch of times and would like to hear some alternate versions. And really, that's not a bad thing.

tarkus1980 | 4/5 |


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