Hackett, Steve - Wild Orchids (Special Edition)

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Inside Out
Catalog Number: SPV 79170 CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:03:00

Ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett proves to be one of the most unique talents in rock music today. Continuing to push boundaries, and expand horizons (sorry for the pun), Hackett's latest; Wild Orchids taps into many genres of music. An impression is left after listening that Hackett may join the ranks of recent rockers (Roger Waters & Paul McCartney come to mind) and compose a complete orchestral work. Certain pieces of music (or instrumental sections) sound as if they were written for a soundtrack, lots of orchestration and atmosphere ("Transylvanian Express," "To A Close"), and very visual. His love affair with classical music is no secret, as he has released numerous classical guitar recordings. His use of strings and woodwinds on this record (and throughout his career), along with the arrangements, are so strong that it seems his sense of experimentation would eventually lead him to compose a symphonic piece. In particular "She Moves In Memories" is his strongest composition in this regard.

The deluxe edition of Wild Orchids includes 4 extra tracks, and extended liner notes. Steve's guitar has not been tamed; plenty of solos, tones, and textures are contained within. A sitar is used extensively on "Waters Of The Wild," combined with percussion and a few other instruments, it creates a world music/exotic feel. "Set Your Compass" harkens back to that mystical sound that permeated Steve's early solo records; I like how the guitar fades out at the end and the flutes end the song. I do have to admit that the over-processed vocals and vocal effects have been over- utilized. The intriguing music in tracks like "Down Street" has a difficult time shining through the overbearing lead vocals. Make sure to listen, because this particular track features some fantastic playing on guitar, harmonica, and horn interplay at the 5:00 minute mark. Truly taking some strange musical paths, it is one of the most enjoyable tracks on the disc. Fans of Steve's solo classical playing will enjoy "Until The Last Butterfly," and the hand slapping percussive technique used on "Cedars If Lebanon." "Howl" is a moody track with Roger King's jazzy piano playing, combined with Hackett's howling (ha) sustain.

The child-like intro of "A Girl Named Linda" evolves into a jazzy song with piano, guitar and flute being featured. If you are looking for a little blues, try the instrumental "Blue Child." His best rock licks are found on "Ego And Id" which does suffer from the vocal issues mentioned above. The most interesting track is a cover of Bob Dylan's "Man In The Long Black Coat." The laid back acoustic playing, subdued vocal delivery, and heavily sustained lead guitar reminds me of recent material from Andy Latimer and Camel.

Hackett has retained the services of his outstanding band on the last few outings. Pianist Roger King, drummer Gary O'Toole, and Rob Townsend on wind instruments. Brother John Hackett adds flute. It seems the last three studio band releases (Darktown, To Watch The Storms, Wild Orchids) have combined the best of Steve's 70's styles, with his classical leanings, and ongoing search for new and exciting music forms. I continue to be amazed at Hackett's output, on both creative terms and the quality of the music. Let's hope his artistic juices continue to flow.

Transylvanian Express (3:44) / Waters Of The Wild (5:34) / Set Your Compass (3:37) / Down Street (7:33) / A Girl Called Linda (4:44) / Blue Child (4:24) / To A Close (4:48) / Ego And Id (4:08) / Man In The Long Black Coat (5:07) / Cedars Of Lebanon (4:01) / Wolfwork (4:49) / Why (0:47) / She Moves In Memories (5:00) / The Fundamentals Of Brainwashing (3:00) / Howl (4:30) / A Dark Night In Toytown (3:42) / Until The Last Butterfly (2:28)

Steve Hackett - guitars, electric sitar, harmonica, psaltery, optigan, voices
Roger King - keyboards, rhythm guitar
John Hackett - flute
Rob Townsend - saxes, flute, tin whistle, bass clarinet
Gary O'Toole - drums, harmony voices
Nick Magnus - keyboards

The Underworld Orchestra:

Christine Townsend - principal violin, viola
Richard Stewart - cello
Dick Driver - double bass
Colin Clague - trumpet
Chris Redgate - oboe, cor Anglais

Genesis - Nursery Crime (1971)
Genesis - Foxtrot (1972)
Genesis - Live (1973)
Genesis - Selling England By The Pound (1973)
Genesis - Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974)
Voyage Of The Acolyte (1975)
Genesis - Wind And Wuthering (1976)
Genesis - Trick Of The Tail (1976)
Genesis - Seconds Out (1977)
Please Don't Touch (1978)
Spectral Mornings (1979)
Defector (1980)
Cured (1981)
Highly Strung (1983)
Bay Of Kings (1983)
Til We Have Faces (1983)
GTR - GTR (1986)
Momentum (1988)
Genesis - Three Sides Live (1982)
Genesis - Genesis Archive 1967-75 (1988)
Time Lapse (1992)
The Unauthorised Biography (1992)
Guitar Noir (1994)
Blues With A Feeling (1994)
There Are Many Sides To The Night (1994)
A Midsummer's Night Dream (1997)
Watcher Of The Skies: Genesis Revisited (1997)
The Tokyo Tapes (1997)
Darktown (1999)
Genesis - Genesis - Turn It On Again (1999)
Sketches Of Satie (2000) (w/John Hackett)
Feedback '86 (2000)
Genesis - Genesis Archive #2 (2000)
Live Archive 70s 80s 90s (2001)
Live Archive - Newcastle (2001)
To Watch The Storms (2003)
Live Archive NEARfest (2003)
Live Archive 03 (2004)
Live Archive 04 (2004)
Genesis - The Platinum Collection (2004)
Metamorpheus (2005) (w/The Underworld Orchestra)
Live Archive 05 (2005)
Live Archive 83 (2006)
Wild Orchids (2006)
Tribute (2008)
Out Of The Tunnel's Mouth (2010)
Beyond The Shrouded Horizon (2011)
Genesis Revisited II (2012)

Steve Hackett Live (VHS) (1981)
The Tokyo Tapes (DVD) (1998)
Hungarian Horizons - Live In Budapest (DVD) (2003)
Somewhere In South America - Live In Buenos Aires (DVD) (2003)
Once Upon A Time (DVD) (2004)
Spectral Mornings (DVD) (rec 1978; rel 2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: October 31st 2006
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Artist website: www.hackettsongs.com
Hits: 1840
Language: english


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