Steve Hackett - 'Genesis Revisited II' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 23, 2013    
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An excellent album.

When Steve Hackett did the first ‘Genesis Revisited’ album a few years ago, I was intrigued to see if he could do anything with what I already regarded as perfection, let alone improve on it. I was very pleased to find that he could, and, in most cases, that he did! So, having taken what I would assume gave him the most scope to play around with the first time, would he be able to do it again with the second batch?

To some extent, I think trying to improve on what Genesis did on their earlier material, apart from more modern technical aspects, is a bit of a poison chalice, and shouldn’t be attempted if you have a nervous disposition. Steve obviously thinks differently, so much so that this collection is a double album, but he hasn’t done here what he did the first time around. No, what he has done here is re-do the songs mainly to their original arrangements. He has been brave, in the fact that he has re-done songs like ‘The Return Of the Giant Hogweed,’ ‘Dancing With The Moonlit Knight,’ ‘Ripples,’ ‘Afterglow’ and the holiest of holies for early Genesis fans ‘Supper’s Ready,’ and he uses numerous different vocalists such as John Wetton (Asia), Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Amanda Lehman, Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), Nik Kershaw and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), who all do very well. And initially, I have to admit being a little disappointed; as I thought what this did was create a ‘Genesis Karaoke’ or ‘Tribute To’ album. It is fun trying to spot the vocalist, particularly as ‘Supper’s Ready’ employs more than one to do the job, (one of whom is Simon Collins, who is Phil’s son). However, on listening to this more and more, I have now come to the conclusion that this is an excellent album, the various voices adding an intriguing freshness to songs that I already considered brilliant.

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There are some obvious differences on here, such as the extended classical guitar on the beginning of ‘Blood On The Rooftops,’ ‘Ripples’ being sung by Amanda Lehmann and the lead guitar at the end of ‘The Lamia,’ but it’s the subtle changes that catch your ears such as the harmony/backing vocals in ‘The Musical Box,’ and the little keyboard additions here and there. There are also four of Steve’s ‘solo’ tracks, all with Genesis connections, which is why they are on here, with ‘A Tower Struck Down’ featuring a manic solo in the second half, and ‘Camino Royale’ becoming seriously Jazzy.

Listening to this collection will please any older Genesis fans as it is still brilliant stuff, and with these versions the songs don’t sound dated at all. This did put a thought into my mind though. What would Steve have done with the bigger Genesis tracks he wasn’t involved in, such as ‘Mama,’ ‘Home By The Sea,’ ‘Tonight, Tonight, Tonight’ or ‘Domino’ for instance? Now there’s an idea.

Andy B

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