Is It Time For Steve Hackett To Stop Revisiting Genesis?

I love the music of Genesis immensely, they have been one of my favorite bands since the early 1980’s. Their music was my introduction to progressive rock. To this day they remain my favorite progressive rock band.

I also love the music of former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. He has established himself as a forward thinking solo artist since leaving Genesis in 1977. During his career he has put together  a discography that is quite impressive. He has explored various genres including progressive rock, classical guitar, world music, blues, pop, hard rock and classical music.

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As a solo artist he has always been one to be in touch with his past. Genesis music has always had a presence in his live shows. For many years Horizons, and sections of Firth Of Fifth, Los Endos and In That Quiet Earth have been pretty constant in his live set lists. Over various tours other Genesis songs have been included as well. Songs such as I Know What I Like, Hairless Heart, Carpet Crawlers, Watcher of the Skies, Fly On A Windshield and Blood On The Rooftops. The latter song was a treat because it was never performed live by Genesis. Steve Hackett’s touring drummer Gary O’Toole does a fantastic job putting his own spin on the lead vocals. From tour to tour there was a nice balance of Genesis songs intermingled with his solo material.

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In 2013 Steve Hackett began his highly successful Genesis Revisited tour. This was a tour that featured a set list that was 99% – 100% Genesis songs. Some shows featured the Steve Hackett song Shadow Of The Hierophant. I believe that the popularity of this tour surprised all involved. What was initially intended to be a one off tour has spilled over two tours later. I understand the reason for the show and I understand it’s popularity. However, I now feel that the music of Genesis Is taking up far too much room in his setlist.

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His last tour was titled Acolyte to Wolflight With Genesis Revisited. It was a tour meant to celebrate the forty year anniversary of his first solo album, Voyage Of The Acolyte. He also had an incredible new album out to promote, Wolflight. He played about five songs from each album and a few highlights from the earlier part of his career. This tour could have been an incredible retrospective of his solo career. Unfortunately the Genesis Revisited section of the show ate up half the set list. Do not misunderstand me, the Genesis Revisited set was absolutely great. The opportunity to hear his incredible band expertly play songs like Get ‘Em Out By Friday, The Cinema Show and Can-Utility And The Coastliners was quite an experience. But as great as it was part of me was imaging a two and a half hour set list spanning Steve Hackett’s solo career.

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His recent tour just started and the timing seems a little odd. He has a new album set for release in March, so I am curious as to why the tour started now. That said, I had the great privilege of seeing one the early shows of the new tour. Steve Hackett and his touring band were incredible as always. But I must say that I left the show slightly disappointed. This was a first for me. I have seen Steve Hackett live several times over the years. I know what a full live set of his solo material sounds like. This most recent show featured too much Genesis! Once again please do not misunderstand me, I love the music of Genesis a great deal. But I also love Steve Hackett’s solo music and I wanted to hear more of it.

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At this point it may be time to leave some of the Genesis songs in the past. This new tour is billed as celebrating the forty year anniversary of the Genesis album Wind And Wuthering. So I was aware of that going in. Hearing a few songs from that classic album was great, along with the song Inside And Out. Inside And Out was recorded during the Wind And Wuthering sessions but it was not released on the album. It was later released on the Spot The Pigeon EP in 1977. I was pleased with the Wind and Wuthering set list, especially Inside And Out. When that portion of the show was over I thought for sure that he would return to playing his solo material. To my surprise the set continued with Dance On A Volcano, The Musical Box, Firth Of Fifth, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight and Los Endos. The band did play sections of Steve Hackett’s songs Myopia and Slogans during Los Endos, but that was it.

I know that there are many fans who will strongly disagree with me. I feel that it is time for Steve Hackett to leave Genesis Revisited in the rearview mirror. This Steve Hackett fan wants to hear more Steve Hackett songs on the next Steve Hackett tour. He left Genesis in 1977 and he has not looked back musically. He has proven himself to be a vital artist who continually pushes himself and his music forward. He proves that with each new album that he releases.  I do not have an issue with Genesis songs in his set list, just the amount. Going forward I would love less Genesis and more Steve Hackett.

Troy T.

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27 thoughts on “Is It Time For Steve Hackett To Stop Revisiting Genesis?

  1. Tony and the rest. I think back how fortune we are to grow up with gifted artist in music. Adrian Belew,Phil Manzera,Tony Levin, John Wetton, Brian Eno,Tony Bonerso,Steve Howe,and Chris Squire. I could go on but time and space would not permit it. Next Friday(March 3’rd) I have the honor and privedge of spending my evening. Sure compositions from his solo stuff and pre-Collins Genesis would be played. My breath will be taken and eyes will be fixed on the fingers of the master. Sorry bout the misspellings of these masters of their craft- my spell checker is not working. 🤔

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  2. Troy, I think they do, but what it comes down to is that Steve has garnered even more popularity because he’s the only one of the five, besides Ant that would love a reunion. Steve is embarassing the Three that don’t want it, want their version to live on, not the one that got them there. It’s very ego driven in that end.

    I would rather Steve go on with his vision-playing certain hits from the early solo days while sneaking one or two in that we didn’t expect, like say, Tigermoth, Racing in A or Narnia! Lol!

    BTW, I read your previous on Beyond the Shrouded Horizon, which I have to tell you, I loved! It’s a complete journey! We get to go in tour with a Steve & Jo as they and the band tour the globe, and they capture the history of these places in complete musical detail-you can’t get much more progressive then that, when the music tells the story and we look in with our ears and our minds!

    Who hears the locomotive crossing the prairies in A Land Called Freedom? Visually, to me the album takes me to places ELP did with Tarkus in that it drags me into the storyline, not that the two are anything alike! Complete 180 actually!

    Keep up the great writing though Troy! It awesome to hear other takes on it and it strengthens our bond as Steve’s fans!

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  3. Troy,

    I understand what your trying to get across, butI think this stands for something else bigger, and much more important.

    You see, I consider Steve to be the Maestro. He has mastered his craft to the point of perfection and no different then the Philharmonic orchestras of our societies, he decides what we hear and its a gift that we get to hear it–especially when he is performing with more precision and skill then the original band did back in the day. Seriously, I think this is Steve’s ability to get the resect he deserves when it was afforded him–like that ridiculous and simply biased documentary, Sum of the Parts. They ignored him and the three remains members of the band did nothing to stick up for him.

    In the best words, it was then, all the gloves came off!

    While this may all sound sacrilegious for most Genesis fans, but the fact is that Steve and Peter both musically transcended the remaining three bandmates by quite a large margin; taking (while stealing a term from Mark Knopfler) “Love Over Gold” and the others; fame and fortune that came with it–as well as the dictatorship/ownership the band had become with themselves when originally it was a shared songwriting credit. This is why there is no full-on reunion, simply because the two who continued to progress in their musical mainstream are the two who chose to leave the band; to draw and color outside the lines.

    One of my favorite Hackett solos is the last minute of “All in a Mouses Night” and you have to struggle to hear Steve’s brilliant melodic and surreal playing throughout the song because the egos within the band were at work–Steve released a solo album that simply was kicking ass on the charts on Great Britain and that, I think caused a “Professional” divide by the one member not on the album and that carried over into the engineering and production of the live album. Steve knew there was no recovery from this, yet he bravely took the step that Peter did.

    So how does this add up? Very simply, its Steve’s way to get more behinds in the seats to afford to self-produce his own works so he can tour and not fade into that good night! I’m all for this, because Steve hasn’t lost his ability to create while having the throngs of fans that didn’t get to see him perform many of these songs with Genesis. He has done this in the most typical Hackett fashion too, with class and dignity!

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree with the previous comment. Perhaps they will be regonized not only for thier instrumental but the extraordinary song writing. People used to criticize Mr. Gabriel for his theatrics, but his imagination is unparalleled to any musician or artist of recent day. Mr. Hackett has a very unique gift for his amazing guitar playing. I wonder if they are truthfully earthlike or some exterteril higher being manefesting in the gift(s)they share with us.

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  4. I grew up with Genesis, starting with wind and wurthing(sorry bout the spelling) The first album I bought was The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I fell in love with Mr. Peter Gabriel at that precious moment. I had a very dear friend who saw that tour. I would pick her brain with every opportunity bout the gift of Mr. Gabriel. I watch Nad and imagine the Genesis days of old. Granted its not the same but I will have the very good fortune of seeing Mr. Hackett live in bout 10 days. So I appreciate Mr. Hackett sharing the songs of old. Sadly a lot of my music heroes have decided to go the other way(they died) I miss John Wetton for example. Thank you Mr. Hackett for sharing your gift. A very loyal fan, Philip🤔

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  5. To me steve always looked unassuming and even uncomfortable fronting his own band. It worked better back in the day, when the drummer and the singer led from the front and steve could just play.

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  6. As a Genesis fan who grew up with the Gabriel and early Collins era, I find Steve Hackett to be the guardian of the early songs and would give him more power to his elbow!

    This time he’s revisiting Wind and Wuthering and some of the classics too. You also get new and old Hackett tracks to boot. What’s not to like?

    As Steve said on stage during the last gig I was at “I play this music because you the fans own it” and he’s right to a considerable degree.

    Keep revisiting Steve and keep bringing Nad and Amanda with you on please.

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  7. Steve can play, whatever he wants, he is at this point clearly the best representative of the Genesis legend. If the writer’s journey with Genesis began in the early 80’s, then he clearly dosent understand Genesis!

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    1. How can you say that Jaime? I began with Abacab in 1981 and than worked my way through the Genesis back catalog. I was not there for the initial releases, but the Gabriel albums have been a part of my life for over 30 years.

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  8. Totally agree with Troy! I love hearing the Genesis songs but its got the point (like this tour) where we only get 7 solo songs, 3 of which are new and never heard before and then its all Genesis. I don’t get how is it billed as Classic Hackett either? Apart from Everyday and The Steppes there’s nothing! Classic Hackett to me are songs from albums like Acolyte, Please Don’t Touch, Defector, Cured, Highly Strung which sadly most are ignored. That said, I’ve always enjoyed the concerts and I’m going to this tour in May but I do feel a bit disappointed.

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    1. I understand. With his history and the recent success of Genesis Revisited it is going to be hard to please everyone. I will still go to future shows, how can I not support one of my favorite musicians.

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  9. To me his band have turned into a glorified Genesis tribute band featuring Steve, sad to say, I cannot watch it because I am not a fan of Nad Sylvan and personally feel he murders most of those songs, especially the Collins era stuff.

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  10. Like some others are saying on here, It must have LOTS to do with how popular it is with Genesis fans, I am 100% certain he would be playing much fewer and smaller places if he just concentrated on his solo stuff.

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  11. I fear it’s monetary ….Hackett plays Hackett, venue rock city Notts for example. Hackett plays genesis royal concert hall Notts or city hall Sheffield. Perhaps I’m just a cynical fan. Love him though whatever or were ever!

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    1. I would agree with you. I just hope that he plays for many years to come. Perhaps he can mix it up a bit more and play smaller venues for his material and larger venues for the Genesis shows.

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  12. He is free to play a set of all his own work. I saw him do that at Borders book store. Once was enough. I will pay to see him play Genesis music. Anything else no. So he can do what he likes.

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  13. Greetings Troy. I’m cross-posting this comment that I left on Facebook:

    I understand where this guy is coming from. I too would love to see/hear a full show of nothing but his origial material. But Steve has to walk a fine line here, meaning that he has to offer up a set list that will likely draw enough people to the shows to make a tour profitable. He not only has to answer to his fans and his own creative juices, but the promoters who sponsor his tours.

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