The timing of this series could not be more apposite. With the completion at last of the re-mastering of Steve's first four solo albums replete with "extra" tracks, this series will act as a nice albeit unofficial compliment to those albums. Compiled by an unknown group of fans; this series of six discs covers practically all aspects of Steve's solo career from 1978 onwards, with many tracks which are now practically impossible to find unless you are prepared to fork out silly money to obtain them.
The series is organised along chronological lines and so the first disc takes up the story with the release of Please Don't Touch in 1978 and is basically a compilation of all the various live and studio B sides to the singles from that album through to 1983's Highly Strung album. There are also a couple of rarities such as the US only extended version of Walking Through Walls and the unusual Brazilian 7" single from 1983 which features a Steve Hackett produced vocal version of Paint It Black by Steve's good lady Kim Poor!
Volume Two continues the story with an entertaining and at times amusing mix of further single tracks, re-mixes and the story broadens to include the first of Steve's collaborations with other artists. Yes, here are such rarities as Steve's appearance on the Eddie Hardin & Friends version of Wind In The Willows, two highly amusing tracks from the all-star Box Of Frogs album featuring the late Ian Dury, and Steve's contribution to Mae McKenna's "Flamenco" album.
The third volume moves us into the 1990's with further examples of Steve's collaborative efforts including the marvellous tracks from Gandalf's "Gallery Of Dreams" album and Julian Colbeck's "Back To Bach" project as well as some genuinely collectable Hackett gems from the Feedback and Guitar Noir albums.
Volume Four rounds up the plethora of bonus tracks from the Darktown and To Watch The Storms albums along with further collaborations with Ian MacDonald and John Wetton and the unlikely appearance of Steve on a "disco" single by Sonic Obsession which is actually very enjoyable! Here also are the original versions of some of the tracks which recently surfaced as part of the Metamorpheus album in their original setting as part of the soundtrack for the excellent Outwitting Hitler documentary.
The compilers of this series are to be applauded for bringing this material to dedicated Hackett fans. Some of these tracks are have now appeared on the re-issue of their respective albums but there is still much here that is out of reach for average Hacketteers and some of the tracks featured I had not heard myself and in a couple of cases I had never even heard about! All in all an excellent resume of the more obscure sides of our hero and one which any fan of Steve's will enjoy immensely.
|Hackett Rarities Volume 1
(7" single Remix)
Hackett Rarities Volume 2
1. A Doll That's Made in Japan (7" Single edit)
|Hackett Rarities Volume 3
Hackett Rarities Volume 4
1. The Well At The World's End
Details of Volumes 5 and 6 of this series were not available at the time of publication.