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 Steve Hackett

As always, see anything you like, email me. All boots are listed in chronological order, and all are on Audio CD-R unless I say otherwise. All dates are written in the European style, as in day/month/year. Click on the text links below to scroll directly to the entry you're interested in.

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Retrospective (1975-2004), various official material, studio and live

SHRP 13, 6/10/78 (Gothenburg, Sweden)

SHRP 12, 24/10/78 (Apollo Theatre, Manchester)

Guildford '83, 28/1/83 (Civic Centre, Guildford)

Live in Argentina (Genesis only), 1/7/02 (Teatro Coliseo, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

VIDEO (VHS): Steve Hackett Live ('90) | Peter Gabriel '78/Steve Hackett '02 |

Retrospective (1975-2004)

1-01 '...in that quiet earth.' (live, Central TV Studios, Nottingham, 1/10/90) (3:45)
1-02 Two Vamps as Guests (Defector, 1980)(1:54)
1-03 Jacuzzi (Defector, 1980)(4:36)
1-04 Gnossienne #3 (Sketches of Satie, 2000)(2:24)
1-05 Air-Conditioned Nightmare (Cured, 1981)(4:45)
1-06 Bouree (Momentum, 1988)(1:29)
1-07 Ace of Wands (Voyage of the Acolyte, 1975)(5:23)
1-08 Racing in A (live, 30/6/79, Hammersmith Odeon, London)(1:23)
1-09 Etude in A Minor/Blood on the Rooftops/Horizons (30/6/79)(2:31)
1-10 For Absent Friends (Genesis Revisited, 1997)(3:05)
1-11 Sierra Quemada (Guitar Noir, 1994)(5:05)
1-12 Omega Metallicus (Darktown, 1999)(3:49)
1-13 Notre Dame des Fleurs (Feedback 86, 1986/2000)(3:12)
1-14 A Blue Part of Town (Blues With a Feeling, 1995)(3:03)
1-15 The Toast (Defector, 1980)(6:08)
1-16 Hammer in the Sand (Defector, 1980)(3:09)
1-17 Unidentified song (incomplete)(0:50)

2-01 Always Somewhere Else (live, 8/6/93, Grand Theatre Clapham, London)(6:40)
2-02 Acoustic Medley (including Horizons) (Live Archive 03, 2004)(3:58)
2-03 Kim (Live Archive 03, 2004)(2:41)
2-04 Los Endos (live, 30/6/02, Live Archive NEARfest, 2003)(6:07)
2-05 Watcher of the Skies (live, 30/6/02, Live Archive NEARfest, 2003)(5:18)
2-06 Brand New (To Watch the Storms, 2003)(4:42)
2-07 If You Only Knew (To Watch the Storms, 2003)(2:25)
2-08 The Fountain of Salmacis (Genesis Revisited, 1997)(10:04)
2-09 Spectral Mornings (Spectral Mornings, 1979)(6:37)
2-10 I Talk to the Wind (live, 16-17/12/96, Tokyo--The Tokyo Tapes, 1998)(5:35)
2-11 Wind, Sand and Stars (To Watch the Storms, 2003)(5:03)
2-12 '...in that quiet earth.' (live, The Tokyo Tapes, 1998)(4:02)
2-13 In Memoriam (incomplete)(Darktown, 1999)(7:48)

Type/Quality: Studio, some live (from soundboard?)/Very Good

Comments: A wide-ranging collection of Hackett material, mostly studio, from throughout his career--starting from his first solo album and going all the way to his most recent (at the time of this compilation). I had this collection in one form for a long time, transferred from tape, but was later given a lot more Hackett in the form of CD bonus tracks by the same trader, so I have incorporated it into this collection, making it much fuller and hopefully more enjoyable. The album from which each of the studio tracks comes is written next to the song titles. The live dates are a bit questionable, but hopefully these are correct (and I would say that most likely all of these songs are from officially released recordings--the quality is all good). For instance, the date provided for the first track (1 October 1990) does not seem to correspond with any existing Hackett gig. However I think it may be correct, because this is the time period given for the filming of Steve's live video, which I have in my VHS section and which has a matching version of this song. Tracks 8 and 9 on disc one probably come from Steve's first Live Archive box set covering material from 70s/80s/90s. "Racing in A" was originally on Steve's second album, Please Don't Touch. "Etude" is a Mozart piece. The "Blood..." section is merely a phrase from the opening of the song, but "Horizons" is complete. The three numbers form a nice medley. I was particularly impressed with Steve's acoustic abilities.

The date and venue given for the opening track of the second disc are probably correct--this one likely comes from the "90s" disc of Steve's first Live Archive set. The tracks from Hackett's Live Archive 03 were recorded on his 2003 live tour, but I can't be any more specific than that. The date for the NEARfest tracks should be correct, as it was lifted from Hackett's site. The King Crimson cover "I Talk to the Wind" comes from the official Tokyo Tapes release, which was recorded on the dates listed at Koseinenkin (or Kosei Nenkin?) Hall. Note that the last song on each disc is not quite complete (due to the original tape having been "overbooked," if you take my meaning)--I'm lost as to the name of the last song of disc one as well. Some day I will have a big Hackett fan listen to that and identify it for me, and then I'll feel better. I have a complete live version of "In Memoriam" on VHS, played in 2002.

Now I could take time and discuss my impressions of all this music, but that would take up a lot of space. Hackett's career has been rather varied, and his range of sound is wide, so swallowing this whole collection in one sitting is a bit of an effort (perhaps there is no such thing as "Hackett for beginners"). Fortunately I was already familiar with some of the songs. I was rather disappointed with "For Absent Friends," but the other Genesis covers were quite nice--bits of "Salmacis" were quite beautiful, though I don't think the vocal parts were done very well. If this collection shows one thing it's that Steve functions better in instrumental mode. Vocals have always been his weak point. I think he's far too self-conscious about them, and seems to add effects to his voice to try to cover it up and mask it, when really it sounds much better when he just sings. There's a particularly inexplicable example of this in the first lines of "Salmacis"--he starts out with this deep, growly sound and then eventually breaks into normal singing and doesn't go back. It doesn't make any sense and sounds stupid. My favorite songs at this point are those steeped deepest in classical flavors.

I will say that after I expanded this collection with the extra random CD tracks I was given, I gave it another listen and enjoyed listening to it quite a bit.

This is not a particularly tradeable collection, first of all because it seems to be entirely made up of officially released material; and also because everyone who wants Hackett probably already has most of this material already--and would, at any event, prefer a whole album to just a few songs from each. Listing this retrospective was more for my own edification.

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Comments: At the Konserthuset (or the Scandinavium) in Gothenburg, Sweden, this is an audience recording from Steve's first solo tour. I have this in compressed form (APE files) on a DVD, and have the audio tracks ready to burn on my hard drive. I have never actually listened to the show--however, if you would like this show, I will trade it to you. I also have artwork files, and track info on request.

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Comments: At the Apollo in Manchester, this is an audience recording from Steve's first solo tour. I have FLAC files and have also converted this one to audio files, so I can give you either. I can provide track info on request, but of course Simon's The Movement already has it.

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Guildford '83


1-01 The Steppes (5:48)
1-02 Funny Feeling (6:31)
1-03 Jacuzzi (4:41)
1-04 Hackett to Pieces (3:36)
1-05 Every Day (6:47)
1-06 A Tower Struck Down (3:45)
1-07 Spectral Mornings (5:15)
1-08 Acoustic Set (2:08)
1-09 Kim (2:23)
1-10 Overnight Sleeper (4:12)

2-1 The Show (4:53)
2-2 Clocks (4:32)
2-3 Here Comes the Flood (Peter Gabriel) (4:17)
2-4 Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel) (4:50)
2-5 Reach Out (I'll Be There) (Peter Gabriel/Mike Rutherford) (4:22)
2-6 I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) (PG/MR) (5:46)
2-7 Slogans (5:29)

Type/Quality: Audience/Fair-Good

Comments: At the Civic Centre in Guildford. The Movement refers to this as part of Hackett's "Highly Strung" tour, but in fact it was really a special charity concert a few months before the tour proper kicked off. I know very little of Hackett's material (clearly), and the main reason I got this show was because of the interesting "guests" who play at the end of the gig: first Peter Gabriel and then Mike Rutherford take the stage with Steve. It sounds as if it's just Peter by himself for "Flood," and Pete being backed by Steve's band for "Solsbury Hill." Mike is definitely there for "Reach Out" and may also be there for the previous song. Interesting that they do "Reach Out," which I think may have been part of Pete's very early solo set lists, but had not yet been picked up by Genesis for their oldies "Turn It on Again" medley. The "I Know What I Like" Steve warns is very unrehearsed, but it sounds OK to me. Apart from the unrehearsed quality of the numbers is the fact that Peter's microphone malfunctions at about the last verse of "Solsbury Hill" and into "Reach Out," so that it is very difficult to hear him. He is eventually given a new mic and the audience cheers. It's always nice to hear these reunions (this is actually only a few months after the famous "Six of the Best" concert).

There is unfortunately one major problem with this entire recording, which I acquired from the person who recorded it: the tape seems to have speed fluctuations which result in a sickly variation in key that at times is almost painful to listen to. Other than that the sound is not that bad and it is easy to hear all of Steve's intros, awkward though they may be compared to Phil's banter.

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Live in Argentina (Genesis only)


1 Watcher of the Skies (intro and ending, instrumental)(5:15)
2 Hairless Heart (2:44)
3 Firth of Fifth (instrumental section)(3:14)
4 Horizons (2:06)
5 Los Endos (5:37)

Type/Quality: Video/Very Good-Excellent

Comments: This is a very small portion of Steve's live material from his recent tour of South America--in fact, only the Genesis songs. The tape I took this from was labeled as Argentina 2002. I theorize that the high quality of this material must mean that it was taken from Steve's video release of his South American tour, called Somewhere in South America--which happens to come entirely from a gig in Buenos Aires, Argentina (according to info found on stevehackett.com). The correct venue is I believe the Teatro Coliseo. Steve's band does a pretty good job with these Genesis staples, including a very nice piano intro for "Watcher" which leads right into the ending section of the song. FoF was surprisingly short--I was surprised that Steve didn't take more time to revel in the solo section, though I suppose since he had so many other opportunities for guitar-playing elsewhere in the show, he didn't feel a pressing need to showcase it here. "Horizons" is, as always, beautiful. "Los Endos" is probably the song that features the biggest face lift. The arrangement has been changed, and chunks of the composition seem to have been removed--Steve has also taken the opportunity to insert his favorite lick from "Moonlit Knight" in there. See my video section for a nearly complete video recording of one of Steve's '02 concerts.

Here's the line-up of the band: Roger King, keyboards; Gary O'Toole, drums; Terry Gregory, bass; Rob Townsend, sax and flute. I think they have a guitarist, too... ;)

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