Steve Hackett “Live at the Royal Albert Hall” Album Review


Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett recorded a stunning live set at the sold-out Royal Albert Hall in London in october 2013, This is Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited

Originally released in 2014 on CD this concert from the Royal Albert Hall in London finally gets a reissue on 16 bit and 24 digital bit vinyl as 3 LP ‘s or 2 CD’s all pressed from a highly dynamic remaster by Patrick W. Engel. 

Steve Hackett at the age of 70 has had quite a career and not one to rest on his laurels if you check out his discography on Discogs it is quite breathtaking. A highly talented and innovative guitarist and best known for being a member of the classic line up of Genesis beside Peter Gabriel, Mike Rutherford. Tony Banks and Phil Collins in the seventies. Steve Hackett released 6 studio albums,3 live albums,7 singles and 1 EP with them from1972’s Foxtrot to Wind and Wuthering in 1977 when Steve chose to leave because he wanted more autonomy and input. 

He also was the first to release his first solo album way back in 1975 and has continued to release albums under his own name with a decent level of success for many years now right up to his last release in 2019 ‘At the Edge of Light’. A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee in 2010 with the other members of Genesis also. His contributions to any of these classic Genesis albums featured here is by no means small. Selections from these albums kicks off with ‘Dance on a Volcano’ from 1976 Trick of the Tail, ‘Dancing with the Moonlit Knight’ from 1973’s ‘Selling England by the Pound’ right up to ‘Eleventh Earl of Mar’, ‘Blood on the Rooftops’, ‘Afterglow’ ‘Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers’ and ‘In That Quiet Earth’ from Wind and Wuthering from 1977. 

All the albums are represented here with selected tracks including the masterpiece that is ‘The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway’ with ‘Fly on a Windshield’ and ‘The Carpet Crawlers’ performed magnificently by this band of musicians, of course Peter Gabriel’s last album with the band before going solo himself. On stage with Steve Hackett are Roger King on Keyboards, Gary O Toole on Drums and Percussion, Rob Townsend on Saxophone, Flute and Percussion, Lee Pomerov on bass and Nad Sylvan on vocals for the majority of the set and they perform the material with such reverence and love, even going way back to 1971 and Hackett’s first record with Genesis ‘Nursery Cryme’ performing such gems as ‘The Musical Box’, ‘Return of the Giant Hogweed’ and of course Hackett’s best known acoustic piece ‘Horizons’ note for note perfect.

These songs deserve to be heard live and Steve has toured the Genesis set to much success now to many who loved the band back in the day and still do. One of the giant bands of the 1970s it has been cool to be derogatory about progressive rock since the days of punk however for this writer revisiting this material again has been a joy and reminded me how timeless and misrepresented the band were by the music press. 

More in common with early Bowie and also The Sensational Alex Harvey Band in their theatricality and edge than Yes or Pink Floyd, but also the quality of the songs which really drive your imagination to this day. 

Listen without prejudice and you will be rewarded with an album of beautifully written and arranged songs performed by a wonderful bunch of musicians playing them with great authenticity and respect for the originals. 

Take a trip back in time and buy this album and be transported back to to the epic ‘Suppers Ready’ from Foxtrot, ‘Entangled’ and ‘Los Endos’ from ‘A Trick of the Tail’ and a host of other gems and remind yourself why you loved these albums originally. It’s a long way back in time with a lot of music in between however I think you will surprise yourself by how great they still sound. An excellent addition to any serious music fans collection.

Line-Up (on this recording):

  • Steve Hackett / guitar, vocals
  • Roger King / keyboards
  • Gary O’Toole / drums, percussion, vocals
  • Rob Townsend / sax, flute and percussion
  • Lee Pomerov / bass
  • Nad Sylvan / vocals

Special guests:

  • John Wetton / vocals
  • Amanda Lehmann / vocals
  • Ray Wilson / vocals
  • Roine Stolt / guitar

Review by Tim Keppie


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