Steve Hackett: Genesis Revisited 2

Reverent reworkings of his old band’s golden greats.

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Hackett has certainly made peace with his Genesis past. His first album of remakes and remodels of his former band’s songs came in ’96: this goes further, branching over two discs and well over two hours to cover just about everything anyone could have requested.

Tracks from both the Gabriel era and the early Collins era (from Supper’s Ready to Ripples) mingle together happily in lush arrangements which follow the originals to the letter, except in two departments: the guitarist allows himself more freedom with solos and on fade-outs, which is no bad thing.

Then there are the vocals. While this is a labour of love, there are still spells where a different voice to that you’ve listened to for decades freaks you out and comes across like a well-meaning but wobbly cover version. Not often: in fairness most singers here, obviously fans, play safe and respectful. Among those paying respects are Steven Wilson, Mikael Åkerfeldt, Nik Kershaw (yep), Neal Morse, John Wetton, and Phil’s son Simon Collins.

At moments, you flinch as something so familiar is tinkered with. Overall though, this works wonderfully, like the mother of all re-masters made by an obsessive Genesis-head.

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.