'Yes should certainly be in there': Squackett project underscores Rock and Rock Hall of Fame snub

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The well-received recent Squackett collaboration between Yes co-founder Chris Squire and Genesis alum Steve Hackett brought together two of prog rock’s most recognizable musical figures. The pair, though they’d only started working together in the late 2000s, had much in common — from helping shape the genre’s early parameters, to Top 40 success with a more pop-oriented formula in the 1980s.

Hackett, with Genesis Nursery Cryme in 1971 through Wind and Wuthering in 1977, later scored a No. 14 hit in the mid-1980s with GTR and “When the Heart Rules the Mind.” Squire, meanwhile, is the only member to have appeared in all of Yes’ many different lineups, helping the group to its only charttopping smash thus far with “Owner of the Lonely Heart” during the same era.

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Steve Hackett goes in depth on the Squackett collaboration, Bach’s lasting impact — and an enduring love for his old band Genesis.]

The two first worked together on Squire’s 2007 Swiss Choir holiday-themed effort, but fitting in time to complete Squackett’s new Life Within A Day project would take years. Hackett issued Beyond the Shrouded Horizon in September 2011, not long after the Squire-led Yes’ Fly From Here went Top 40.

Even after all of those career intersections, though, what they didn’t have in common was induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hackett, as a member of Genesis, has been so honored. Squire, meanwhile, has seen his band consistently ignored for years.

Hackett, like many fans, can’t understand why: “Yes should certainly be in there because they were a huge influence on us,” Hackett says, in an interview with Guitar World. “It’s only right that they should be.”

A number of protests and letter-writing campaigns have sprung up around the issue of Yes in particular, and prog rock in general, being ignored by the hall’s voters. Hackett applauds those efforts, saying he feels they will one day bear fruit.

“It’s entirely possible, the more people that lobby, the more that’s mentioned,” he says, “then I think it should redress the balance in favor of what we, again, laterally call progressive rock.”

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Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Squackett, Yes and Genesis. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SQUACKETT – A LIFE WITHIN ONE DAY (2012): A sun-filled, surprisingly light-hearted experience, this collaboration between Yes’ Chris Squire and Steve Hackett of Genesis fame is a journey that’s both at peace with what came before, and yet somehow brand new in the way that it combines the sensibilities of both bands without getting bound up in their pasts.

ONE TRACK MIND: YES CO-FOUNDER CHRIS SQUIRE ON “FLY FROM HERE,” “LIFE WITHIN A DAY,” “TEMPUS FUGIT,” OTHERS: Find out what sparked Yes to return to the long-form compositional style of its glory years on 2011’s Fly From Here, and how a failed early 1980s project with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page ultimately led to the inclusion a Squire-sung track on 2001’s Magnification. Squire also talks about the difficulties of returning to music in concert from the underrated Drama album, and how he came to work with Genesis alum Steve Hackett as part of the newly christened Squackett project.

YES – FLY FROM HERE (2011): This album is, in many ways, better than it has any right to be. The band even attempts something it hadn’t in decades — a multi-part thematic suite, and to great effect. As always, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White are compact and versatile, expertly facilitating complicated journeys like “Fly From Here Part III: Madman at the Screens,” which switches back and forth from a crunchy stomp to soaring ambiance. And the new singer acquits himself well.

SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: GUITARIST STEVE HACKETT, FORMERLY OF GENESIS: Hackett, who still nurtures a lasting affinity for classical music, has leapt headlong back into prog rock — putting the finishing touches on a collaboration with Yes co-founder Chris Squire, even as he begins work on an album that will reexamine his celebrated tenure as guitarist with Genesis. Hackett went in depth on the new project with Squire, the guitarist’s celebrated tenure with Genesis, and the sweeping impact of J.S. Bach on his playing style.

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