Stive Hackett

Stive Hackett

One of the most recognized guitarists of the twentieth century
Date of Birth: 12.02.1950
Country: Great Britain

Content:
  1. Steve Hackett: Biography
  2. The Genesis Years

Steve Hackett: Biography

The Genesis Years

Steve Hackett, one of the most acclaimed guitarists of the 20th century, is widely known for his prominent role in the leading art-rock band of the 70s, Genesis. However, not all fans of the genre are aware that after leaving the band, Steve continued to release highly interesting solo works. Before joining Genesis in 1971, Hackett, who had a classical guitar education, played in three bands: Canterbury Glass, Sarabande, and Quiet World. He joined Quiet World in 1970, and the band released their only album, "The Road," on the Dawn Records label. The album was accompanied by the single "Love is Walking." Hackett replaced the equally talented guitarist Anthony Phillips in Genesis, which marked the end of the formation of the signature Genesis style. In 1975, two years before leaving Genesis, Hackett released his debut solo album, "Voyage of the Acolyte," which many still consider his best work. The album featured members of Genesis, including drummer and vocalist Phil Collins, and bassist Mike Rutherford. Other musicians who contributed to the album included Hackett's brother, flutist John Hackett, keyboardist John Acock, violinist Nigel Warren-Green, and vocalist Sally Oldfield. This symphonic-prog album doesn't have any weak tracks, but one of the highlights is the almost epic piece "Shadow of Hierophant," featuring a magnificent performance by Sally Oldfield. It is worth mentioning that Hackett's debut album has been widely regarded as "the best Genesis album that was never recorded!"
The Solo Years

Stive Hackett

In 1977, Steve left Genesis, and in 1978, his second album, "Please Don't Touch," was released. Once again, the accompanying lineup was stellar, including vocalist Steve Walsh and drummer Phil Ehart from Kansas, renowned violinist Graham Smith from Van Der Graaf Generator, and bassist Tom Fowler from Frank Zappa's band. Despite the involvement of many exceptional musicians, this work did not have the same magical impact on listeners as his debut album. While the album had a touch of psychedelia, its overall sound was softer and more measured, and it contained a few standout tracks but was generally considered inferior to "Voyage of the Acolyte." During the tour in support of "Please Don't Touch," Hackett established a band lineup that remained constant for several years: Pete Hicks on vocals, John Shearer on drums, and his brother John Hackett on flute and bass pedals. This lineup also participated in the recording of Hackett's next album, "Spectral Mornings," which featured compositions written during the previous tour. Considered a masterpiece, "Spectral Mornings" showcased Hackett's hypnotic and expressive playing. The album's weakest point was its vocals, which had always been a challenge for Hackett. Eventually, he became the main vocalist on his later albums. In 1979, after an extensive tour in support of "Spectral Mornings," Hackett performed at the Reading Festival. Following that, he released his next album, "Defector," in 1980. The album, dedicated to people trying to escape East Berlin during its division, had a dark and psychologically heavy atmosphere. It is considered one of Hackett's best works, with standout tracks like "The Steppes," "Time to Get Out," and "Hammer in the Sand." However, his next album, "Cured," released in 1981, was considered his weakest work. The album was criticized for its use of drum machines and its attempt to cater to pop music fans. Despite this, it led to Hackett's longest concert tour. During this tour, Ian Mosley, who would later become Marillion's drummer, joined the band. In 1982, Hackett organized a performance at the Guildford Civic Centre to support Tadworth Children's Hospital, where he was joined by his former Genesis bandmates Mike Rutherford and Peter Gabriel. In early 1983, Hackett released the single "Cell 151," which preceded his next album, "Highly Strung." Both the single and the album were commercially successful, with "Highly Strung" becoming his best-selling album since "Spectral Mornings." Shortly after the tour in support of "Highly Strung," Hackett released the album "Bay of Kings." While both albums may not be of great interest to progressive rock fans and fans of his early work, the album "Till We Have Faces," recorded in 1984 with Brazilian musicians, stands out with its use of ethnic percussion and national motifs. Despite receiving a lukewarm reception from critics, it remains an intriguing album for lovers of serious music.
The Later Years

Stive Hackett

For several years, Hackett did not engage in any concert activity. In 1986, he performed with Marillion at the Hammersmith Odeon, covering the Genesis song "I Know What I Like." In the same year, Hackett and Steve Howe, another iconic guitarist from Yes, formed the short-lived project GTR. GTR released one album, accompanied by the commercially successful single "When The Heart Rules The Mind." However, many art-rock fans consider GTR as one of the biggest disappointments of the 80s, as they expected something more extraordinary from two highly acclaimed guitarists rather than the unremarkable pop-rock sound. In spring 1988, Hackett released the acoustic album "Momentum," followed by a rock album that involved musicians such as Chris Thompson, Brian May, Bonnie Tyler, Ian Mosley, and Pete Trewavas from Marillion. However, the album, titled "Feedback," was not released until 2000 due to legal issues. In 1992, Virgin Records released "The Unauthorised Biography," a compilation album of Hackett's best works, which included two new compositions: "Don't Fall Away From Me" and "Prayers And Dreams." This was followed by the release of the live album "Time Lapse" in 1992, featuring recordings from 1981 and 1990. In May 1993, Hackett released one of his strongest albums, "Guitar Noir," which captivated listeners with its dark and expressive compositions. In August 1994, he released the blues album "Blues With a Feeling," showcasing his skills as a bluesman. In 1995, the live album "There Are Many Sides To The Night" was released, featuring acoustic performances with keyboardist Julian Colbeck. In the same year, Hackett paid tribute to Genesis with the album "Genesis Revisited," reinterpreting his favorite compositions from the band's catalog. The album featured guest musicians such as bassist and vocalist John Wetton, drummer Bill Bruford, bassist Tony Levin, keyboardist Nick Magnus, and saxophonist Ian McDonald. In 1997, Hackett performed a series of concerts in Japan with a lineup featuring John Wetton, Ian McDonald, Chester Thompson, and Julian Colbeck. The performances were documented on the magnificent live album "The Tokyo Tapes." In the same year, Hackett released the album "A Midsummer Night's Dream," recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, inspired by Shakespeare's works. In 1999, he released the excellent studio album "Darktown," which showcased his ability to stay relevant with its use of loops and programmed drum machines. The album had a darker overall tone and included several outstanding guitar compositions. In June 2009, Hackett announced the recording of a new solo album, "Out of the Tunnel's Mouth," featuring numerous guest musicians, including former Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips and Yes bassist Chris Squire. The album was released in October 2009 after a brief delay due to legal issues. In 2011, Hackett released the album "Beyond the Shrouded Horizon" and embarked on a tour in support of the album. He also formed the project Squackett with Chris Squire, and their debut album, "A Life Within A Day," was released in May 2012. In addition to his original works, Hackett recorded tribute albums featuring music from his former band Genesis. In 1996, he released "Genesis Revisited," featuring numerous guest musicians, mostly from the progressive rock world, performing the band's most famous compositions. In October 2012, he released another tribute album, "Genesis Revisited II," featuring classic Genesis compositions from the Gabriel era (1971-1974) as well as later works from 1975-1976 (before Hackett's departure from the band).

Stive Hackett

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