‘There are many things that I can do now’: New Genesis project allows Steve Hackett to show off new skills

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Steve Hackett says he hears things now in his own playing that compelled him to return once more to classic moments from his 1970s tenure in Genesis.

Hackett, guitarist with Genesis over a the period that began with Nursery Cryme in 1971 and ended with Wind and Wuthering in 1977, is issuing Genesis Revisited II this week — a sweeping, double-album re-examination of 21 favorites featuring Steven Wilson, John Wetton, Neal Morse and Mikael Akerfeldt, among others.

This new project follows 1996’s Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited, and arrives in the wake of the guitarist’s Genesis-themed concert in May at London’s Islington Assembly Hall, called “Past and Present.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! REVIEW: Hackett’s new ‘Genesis Revisited II’ doesn’t just ape the originals; in a few notable instances, these songs – because of their superior performances – have come to feel definitive.]

Certainly, Hackett was involved with Genesis during an interesting moment, beginning as the Peter Gabriel era reached its zenith and covering the early years as drummer Phil Collins took over as frontman.

But none of that quite explains why Hackett has returned, time and time again, to the period.

Turns out, beyond his passion for the originals, Hackett wanted to bring some subsequent ideas and techniques to these mature new versions — in particular, he tells MusicRadar, the classical styles he’s since more fully explored.

“There are many things that I can do now that I couldn’t when we were recording these songs originally,” Hackett says. “The new introduction to “The Chamber Of 32 Doors” on nylon guitar, for instance, music that sounds like a hybrid between jazz and classical and flamenco and is influenced by the work of Rodrigo – said he, grandly! I did an album, (2008’s) Tribute, that had six pieces of Bach on it. It’s quite a workout. Rock guitar is easier: let it be said that no matter how astounding rock guitar sounds, it’s much easier to play one powerchord on an electric guitar. It’s much harder to get that same emotional impact on an audience with a nylon. To get it up and flying you’ve got to put in so much more fuel.”

The very busy Hackett has already released the Squackett collaboration in 2012 with Yes co-founder Chris Squire called A Life Within a Day. That was, of course, his second high-profile intersection with the band: Hackett was also part of the mid-1980s supergroup GTR (known for the No. 14-hit “When the Heart Rules the Mind,” and “The Hunter”) with Yes guitarist Steve Howe.

Hackett issued Out of the Tunnel’s Mouth, his first prog album in three years, in 2009 and followed that with 2011’s Beyond the Shrouded Horizon.

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Genesis Revisited IIBeyond the Shrouded HorizonGenesis Box Set 3 (1970-1975)[13 Disc Set]Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited

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