“The Invited Guest“ - Paul Gibbon continues his fascinating examination of the collaborations Steve Hackett has been involved with. Photographs courtesy Sony Records. Interview extracts and other bits and pieces courtesy Alan Hewitt.
Part Four: 1990 -2000 - Rock Against Repatriation to Driver’s Eyes
Sailing/Sailing Instrumental. Released 16th February 1990. (IRS Records EIRSCD)
Both tracks written by Gavin Sutherland (cover of a Rod Stewart song). Produced by Steve Hackett/Co-produced by William Budis and David Yorath.
This was a charitable super-group project formed by Steve to try and raise awareness of and to raise money to help stop the forcible repatriation of the “Boat People” refugees from Hong Kong back to Vietnam.
The single featured a veritable “who’s who” of rock including vocal appearances by: Bonnie Tyler, Jim Diamond, Kurt Smith, Mark King, Judie Tzuke, Steve Hogarth. Kevin Godley, Fish, Ian Sutherland and Justin Hayward. Along with other special guests including : Mike Rutherford, John Hackett, Brian May, Phil Manzanera, Steve Rothery, Pino Palladino, Howard Jones, Nick Magnus and Simon Phillips.
The resulting single reached number 91 in the UK charts on 3rd March 1990. It was the first time that Steve and Mike Rutherford had played together since January 1983. It is also the first project to feature both present and past singers from Marillion.
Guitar Speak III - Various Artists CCSCD 373. Released 10th September 1991
Steve features on the track A Life In Movies. This track was based on a book by Michael Powell called “A Life In Movies” and I would dsescribe the track as a guitar instrumental with Hollywood - style melodrama.
IRS’s No Speak record label was formed in 1988 as an instrumental outlet by Miles Copeland. Whilst musically successful, the label was not financially viable and folded after three years and a meagre nineteen releases.
The CD features ten guitar instrumentals from Hackett, Nils Lofgren, Tom Verlaine, Bob Mould, Adrian Belew, Gary Myrisk, Mick Taylor, Dominic Miller, Robert Fripp and Steve Morse. The guitarists are given the opportunity to display their craft in a state of relative freedom and without commercial pressures.
Mae McKenna - Mirage & Reality. (Released in 1991 on Virgin Japan) (Re-released on 8th September 2000 on Mill Records MRCD014)
Steve appears playing Spanish guitar on the tracks Heart To Heart and Flamenco. Mae has recorded a number of albums and she supported Steve on his Momentum tour in 1988 promoting her Nightfallers album. This 1991 offering is a beautiful fusion of Celtic traditional and contemporary sounds from one of Scotland’s finest singers.
Gandalf - Gallery Of Dreams (Released on Sony Austria ECD 2009)
Steve features on the following tracks: Face In The Mirror/Alone Again/Between Different Worlds/Another Dream/Song Of The Unicorn/Lady Of The Golden Forest/End Of The Rainbow.
This is really a fantastic progressive effort from an Austrian musician called Gandalf. He is a multi-instrumentalist who has produced over thirty albums between 1981 -2011. Gallery Of Dreams was recorded between May and November 1991 and Steve was drafted in as a session musician on this release. I think his involvement went beyond just that of a session guitarist, as his electric and acoustic guitar shine on this epic.
Steve also subsequently performed as guest at one of Gandalf’s gigs which was a 20th anniversary show. He reprised his guitar part on Face In The Mirror. The show was subsequently issued in 2008 as Gandalf & Friends Live In Vienna (Prudence Records 398.6748-2) which also included a live DVD of the concert including Steve’s appearance.
Julian Colbeck with Jonathan Cohen - Back To Bach (Released in 1992 on EG Records EEG 2104-2)
Steve appears on Old Faces At Heaven’s Gate/Faces From Old Photos Rediscovered/Prelude V. He plays acoustic guitar on each of these.
Julian played in bands such as Charlie and Greep. Greep were signed to Charisma Records in the early 1970’s and during the late 1980’s he played support to the Yes boys (ABWH) on their 1989 tour.
Julian started working with Hackett in 1990. He played on the TV special for Central TV studios in Nottingham on 13th September 1990 which was subsequently released as part of the live Timelapse CD. He played on Guitar Noir (1993), Blues With A Feeling (1994), There Are Many Sides To The Night (recorded live in Italy on 1st December 1994) , Genesis Revisited (1996), and The Tokyo Tapes (Recorded live in Japan on 16th - 17th December 1996). The 1996 gigs were his last live gigs with Steve.
In the spring of 1991, Julian stumbled across an old copy of Bach’s Forty Eight Fugues and Preludes, a collection of keyboard pieces written in 1722 “For the benefit and use of musical youth desirous of knowledge” as Bach put it.
The music is quite clever, but I found it hard to engage with. It features Jonathan Cohen, Hackett, John Keble (Spoandau Ballet) on drums and Milton McDonald who also played with Julian as part of the ABWH band.
David Palmer with Steve Hackett - Rock in Symphonic - bootleg live CD recorded at the Vorst Nationale Brussels on 3rd May 1994
Steve performs the following on acoustic guitar: Blood On The Rooftops/Cuckoo Cocoon/In That Quiet Earth/Horizons/Cavalcanti/The Journey/Pierrot.
Steve also appeared at a handful of performances the orchestra promoting Palmer’s recorded interpretations of the music of Genesis, Floyd and Queen etc but he was not a part of the ensemble, having a short solo set which comprised the above tracks.
Steve Hackett and Sonic Obssession - Timeless CD Single (Released in 1994 on WEA Germany 4509-95134-2)
Timeless (Radio Mix)/Timeless (Downtown Mix)/Timeless (Late Nite Mix)
Produced by Steve Hackett and Aron Friedman.
Timeless sounds like a rearranged version of one of those songs from the Guitar Noir sessions. The music was produced for an advertising campaign for a large German travel company called TUI.
Cristiano Prunas - Cippo (Released 1995, in Italy in 2005 SGR 4427-2)
Steve contributes lead guitar to Dove Sei (Where Are You).
This is a really strange affair as Steve does not recall playing on this artists’ album. |He is credited in the booklet that comes with it and it gives thanks to Kudos (Steve’s record label at the time). It also features Alan White from Yes on drums.
A later version (1997) was again recorded by Cristiano with Tanita Tikaram, you can hear and feel Hackett’s guitar work on this version too.
Max Bacon - The Higher You Climb (Released 1995 Now & Then Records NTHEN 23)
Steve features playing guitar on I Know What I Like and All Grown Up.
Max Bacon went on to play with Mike Oldfield after GTR and also was a part of the Phenomena project circa 1987/8. He would later work with Geoff Downes (Yes/Asia) on a project called Rain but it never got past the demo stage. The above album consists of two GTR live numbers from 1986; I Know What I Like and Roundabout alongside two GTR demos; Hungry Warrior and No One Else To Blame and two Rain/Asia demos; The Higher You Climb and Boys From Diamond City. The remaining six tracks were John Young demos for John Wetton that Max was asked to demo. Apparently, Max released the songs without John Young’s knowledge or without properly crediting any of the writers.
John Wetton - Ark Angel (Released 1998 Eagle Records GAS 0000020 EAG)
This was John Wetton’s second solo album after his departure from Asia in 1991. Ark Angel is a sequel to Battle Lines that John had released in 1994. It has a stellar cast that includes Steve Hackett, Robert Fripp, John Young, Tom Lang and Bob Marlette.
Steve’s contribution can be heard on the guitar solo on All Grown Up which had previously seen the light of day on the album by Max Bacon mentioned above and Steve also appears playing harmonica on Nothing Happens For Nothing.
Ian McDonald - Driver’s Eyes (Released 19th July 1999 Camino Records CAMCD18)
What is it about guest artists on solo albums? Ian McDonald had played with King Crimson and Foreigner and needs little introduction here. John Wetton and Ian had played with Hackett as part of the Genesis Revisited album and Tokyo Tapes lineup.
This album was to be released on Steve’s own record label “Camino” in 1999. Highlights would be Lou Gramm on Straight Back To You which could possibly be the best song that Foreigner never did. John Wetton on Forever & Ever is a stunning track and John Waite on You Are A Part of Me, are just some of the stand out tracks on this great album to which Steve’s contributions can be found in the guitar part to Straight Back To You and another harmonica solo on You Are A Part Of Me.
1998, 1999 and 2000 also saw a flurry of Genesis-related activities for which Steve was associated mainly by his presence on the recordings themselves although he did take part at a handful of promotional meetings including an interview and photo shoot at Heathrow Airport on 11th May 1998 where he was reunited with his former bandmates as well as his predecessor in Genesis: Anthony Phillips and pre-Phil Collins drummer; John Silver.
The focus of this activity was the release on 15th June 1998 of the much talked
about Genesis Archive 1967 -75 box set of studio and live recordings covering
the tenure of Peter Gabriel in the band. The resulting four CD set included
previously unheard material from the 1967-70 period alongside most (but not
all) of the era B sides. Most exciting for fans however, was the presence, spread
over three of the discs of a live recording from London’s Rainbow Theatre
in 1973 and a complete (well, almost!) recording from the band’s performance
of The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. This set was limited to 50,000 copies and
the promotional sampler and two CD interview disc set which it also generated
are now highly collectable. The set was released by Virgin Records and reached
the top forty of the UK charts
Genesis - Genesis Archive 1967 -75. Virgin Records CD BOX6
Genesis - Genesis Archive 1967 -75 (10 track sampler) Virgin Records GBOX98
Genesis - Genesis Archive 1967 -75 (Interview Disc 2 CD set) Virgin
The Genesis activity continued into 1999 with the release of Genesis - Turn It On Again The Hits which was released by Virgin Records on 25th October 1999. A compilation of most but not all of the band’s hit singles and mixes from the Collins era of the band on to which rather cynically was attached a re-working of the classic Carpet Crawlers. The presence on this recording of Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel AND Steve led to a flurry of press and fan speculation about a potential reunion of the band.
However, the reality is much more depressing. This version was actually recorded back in 1997 and was intended for inclusion on the first Archive box set as a kind of resume of the band and to effectively tie up any loose ends. The band members recorded their parts separately so no great reunion even of a studio kind ever took place despite assertions in the music press to the contrary. Steve’s thoughts on this release can be read in an interview he gave to TWR at the time of the album’s release although they make for interesting reading here again for those of you who missed them first time round…
“I would like to go on record as saying that I think the article in Classic Rock magazine slightly mis-reported what I said. I said that I thought that the album when I said it ‘is a bit guitar light’ I DIDN’T mean the album, I said the version Of Carpet Crawlers that I played on was because Trevor Horn left off most of my guitar and I think that is probably why I have pathological aversion to producers going anywhere near my work. … You see what happened was that Trevor mixed it and unless you are actually there at the time it is very difficult to control something artistically and this is, in general, why I think reformations are a bad idea. Because people don’t follow it and they can never get the five of them to agree so why bother? They all recorded separately in different places which we did and somebody else mixed it and it becomes entirely corporate….
I was roped into it on the understanding that it was going to be used on the box set so it was going to make more sense as a retrospective that featured Pete and me as well as the other three. They held on to it in order I suspect to give the hit making three man team some connection with their roots. I feel very uncomfortable with it going on an album where it is a cameo appearance at best and most of that is on the cutting room floor…”
Strong words from Steve and not the first time that he has been misrepresented by the music press over the years either and another reason why yours truly always prints EVERY word in a TWR interview as they were spoken - nowt taken out!
For those fans not prepared to shell out their hard earned cash on something which they already had, the Carpet Crawlers remix was also issued as a one track promotional single in the UK and as a single in Germany and both stock and promotional copies are quite easy to find.
Genesis - Turn It On Again: The Hits Virgin Records GENCDX8
Genesis - The Carpet Crawlers 1999 (Radio Edit) Virgin Records CRAWL CDJ 8
The turn of the new century/millennium also saw one more Genesis-related release to which Steve was a major contributor.
This was the second of what had originally been planned as three box sets covering the band’s entire career. Originally this second box set had been planned as a three CD and one CD ROM set but for reasons which are still unclear, the CD ROM idea was quietly shelved. The design of the packaging where there is a gap where the fourth disc/CD ROM must have been planned to appear would seem to indicate that this plan was changed at a very late stage in the proceedings.
Steve’s contribution to this one is mainly in the compositional category with the one exception of a live performance taken from Stafford in 1976 all other Hackett era live tracks are from subsequent performances featuring Daryl Stuermer’s guitar work.
This set was not as well received as its predecessor and it isn’t hard to see why really. The track selection is haphazard rather than following the much more sensible chronological approach of its predecessor giving it the over all feel of something that was rather rushed and not all of the single B sides available for this period get a look in.
Once again, a sampler was issued to promote the set and even here there was a glaring error with a live version of Deep In The Motherlode being listed on the CD artwork but missing from the disc itself!
At about this time, a two CD set was also compiled which would have been of great interest to Genesis fans had it been released. This one featured nearly all of the band’s sessions for the BBC during the 1970 -72 period including their only live session for the In Concert programme. Even in this, there were gaps and omissions and the final session on the disc was actually taken from a bootleg because the master recording couldn’t be located in the BBC archives at the time although thankfully it has been located since safe and sound and has even been broadcast on BBC Radio 6 complete with previously unreleased alternative takes! Only a handful of these were ever pressed up for record company people and band members making this a highly sought after item for collectors.
Genesis - Archive #2 1976 - 1992. Virgin Records CDBOX 7
Genesis - Archive #2 1976 -1992 (Sampler) Virgin Records CDBOXDJ7
The new century has also seen an increase in activity of every kind from Steve and that is where I will leave TWR’s editor to pick up the threads of this story next time round.
Thanks for that Paul. At this rate this feature could run for years! I hope
I will do justice to the subject next time - AH