Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited: Live at Royal Albert Hall (2014)

Certainly, the setting is grandly appropriate, with the Royal Albert Hall’s vaulted opera-house ceilings and sumptuous acoustics. Still, fans of Steve Hackett and Genesis could fairly ask, just months after the release of the guitarist’s well-received Genesis Revisited: Live at Hammersmith, what exactly was the point?

The answer can be found in the ever-more-involving guest vocals of Ray Wilson on “Carpet Crawlers,” the galloping goofiness of “Return of the Giant Hogweed,” the calling sadness of “Ripples” — three of the five songs that appear on the newly released Genesis Revisited: Live at Royal Albert Hall, but not on Hammersmith.

Also new to this collection: “Horizons,” Hackett’s classical solo composition from Foxtrot; and “The Fountains of Salmacis,” which (like “Hogweed”) originally appeared on Nursery Cryme. Missing this time around: “Chamber of 32 Doors,” “Lamia,” “Shadow of the Hierophant,” “Blood on the Rooftops,” “Entangled” and “Eleventh Earl of Mar.”

Sure, much of the rest of this project — right down to the band and guest stars, including Roine Stolt (“Hogweed”) and Amanda Lehmann (“Ripples”) — has become all too familiar. It may only, in the end, be something for completists. But when Genesis Revisited: Live at Royal Albert Hall arrives at these never before heard, still deeply resonant junctures, it feels more than worth the price of admission.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso