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Steve Hackett - Time Lapse   CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 77 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Time lapse in Nottingham and New York

Time lapse is a photography technique whereby each frame is captured at a rate much slower than it will be played back. When replayed at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing (thanks Wikipedia). You have probably seen this technique used to show how roadies sets up the equipment before a show, or a flower blooming, or fruit rot, etc. This first official live album by Steve Hackett is probably called Time Lapse because it gathers live recordings from two radically different times and places and puts them together on the same album. Tracks 1-5 and 13-14 were recorded at Central TV Studios, Nottingham in October 1990 while tracks 6-12 were recorded at the Savoy Theater, New York in November 1981. I can say right away that I find the very idea to mix live recordings from two radically different times and places rather strange and I always prefer live albums that represent a single night in an artist's career. Still, this album is full of great live material and had it not been for the fact that there is a live video in existence that features the full Nottingham show without 'time lapses', I probably would have given this Time Lapse album four solid stars.

The live video I'm talking about was originally released on VHS under the title Steve Hackett Live, this is the one that I have and it is fully deserving of four stars. The cover art for this VHS of mine features the very same photograph of Steve as is featured on the Time Lapse album cover as listed here (I have seen other versions too). This concert video has now also been re-released on DVD under the title Horizons with a nice(r) cover by Roger Dean- protégé Rodney Matthews (this is the one listed here on Prog Archives and the one that I have reviewed under the presupposition that it has the exact same contents as the VHS version).

The first five tracks of the video and the Time Lapse album are identical; Camino Royale, Please Don't Touch, Everyday, In That Quiet Earth and Depth Charge. These songs were all recorded in Nottingham with Ian Ellis on bass, Julian Colbeck on keyboards, John Hackett on flutes and Fudge Smith on drums. At this point, however, the Time Lapse album 'lapses' and turns back the clock about 10 years and continues with a series of songs recorded with another line up, in another country. While the video stays in Nottingham in the 90's for Wonderpatch, In The Heart Of The City, Black Light, Horizons, Jacuzzi, Theatre Of Sleep, Jazz Jam, Spectral Mornings and Clocks, the album instead presents the early 80's recordings Jacuzzi, The Steppes, Ace Of Wands, Hope I Don't Wake, The Red Flower Of Tachai Blooms Everywhere, Tigermoth and A Tower Struck Down with the line up of Chas Cronk (Strawbs) on bass, Nick Magnus on keyboards and Ian Mosley (Marillion) on drums. The album then returns to Nottingham once again for Spectral Mornings and Clocks (which again are identical to the video).

I must add that I have not compared the video and the album side by side. But my theory is the following. Tracks 1-5 and 13-14 of the Time Lapse live album are identical to the ones featured on The Steve Hackett Live VHS that I have. Further, this VHS and the DVD called Horizons have identical contents. If this theory is true, I strongly recommend getting the Horizons DVD as it has better cover art and hopefully higher sonic and visual quality compared to the VHS version I have (not that it is worse that most VHS cassettes in those respects). Most importantly, the video does not 'lapse' time like the album does, plus you get the visual aspect that you don't get with an album.

The conclusion of all of this is that while the Nottingham show is indeed very good, Time Lapse is not the best way to get this show and this album is thus not an essential release. If you are interested in the Nottingham show, get the video version. And if you are interested in the New York show, it can probably be had on its own in some form or other too.

However, as I have as many as eight different live releases from Steve Hackett, six of which are videos! I can say that, even if it is very good indeed, the Nottingham show is not the best of the lot. Among the six videos I have, I very highly recommend The Tokyo Tapes, Once Above A Time and Somewhere In South America first, and if you still want more after these get the Nottingham show (i.e. the Horizons DVD) (not to be confused with the acoustic DVD Hungarian Horizons which also is a very good DVD featuring one of Steve's all acoustic performances in the new millennium).

I hope that this review helped to clear up a few things in the confusing (but highly rewarding!) Steve Hackett live catalogue.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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