H is for Steve Hackett

Thursday 21st February

Steve was originally in Genesis and left about the same time as Peter Gabriel.  And although Peter went on to world-wide fame and super stardom, Steve has just carried on making wonderful inventive and beautiful music ever since.  But though never a front man his influence on that early Genesis sound was no less important.

His albums are so varied that there is almost no definitive Steve Hackett sound.  A brilliant classical guitarist who has released whole acoustic guitar albums he can also produce great heavy sounds, and isn’t averse to drum shock-therapy on some songs.  He also produces some lovely lilting melodies which when you first hear them you can hardly believe that they haven’t been discovered before.  Each new album, and he is incredibly prolific, is a gorgeous surprise.

He also occasionally revisits and re-interprets early Genesis music on some albums, which brings a lovely touch of remembrance and innovation to those old songs.

Steve thought his own voice was too weak, and he was after all in a band with Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, so on the first few albums he had other singers, the most notable being Please Don’t Touch, where amongst others he persuaded the stately Richie Havens and also Randy Crawford to join him.   He does sing on his albums now and his voice is fine.

He obviously has legions of fans because he keeps releasing albums, which never get reviewed in the music press, but still are almost all available on Amazon.  And he still tours, though you have to go to his web-site to find out when and where.

Steve is a great survivor form the Seventies, where so many have crashed and burned, and maybe that is because he has never embraced the rock life-style, and seems very grounded and just wants to make great music.  Also most of his album covers are by his wife Kim Poor, and are just like his music, ethereal and hauntingly beautiful.

Spectral Mornings