Hackett, Steve - Darktown

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Camino
Catalog Number: CAMCD17
Format: CD
Total Time: 56:33:00

For those of you who still categorize all of Steve Hackett's solo output under the same label as Voyage Of The Acolyte, you have to agree that Hackett today has very little in common with the young virtuoso of days gone by. Like the title suggests, Darktown holds some dark coils grown inside the obstinate mind of Mr. Hackett himself. Helped out by ex-King Crimson stalwart Ian McDonald (onetime moneymaker with Foreigner, but also poor guy with Fruupp!) and the soul voice of Jim "I Won't Let You Down" Diamond (once half of the world famous PHd), Hackett delivers one hell of an album.

The naive beginnings [of his solo career] have evolved through bluesy detours towards this mature, dark and autobiographical outlook on life. Listen to the heavy bass and the contemporary rhythms in "Omega Metallicus" which has Hackett on the same level as the current King Crimson. Like Andy Latimer [(Camel)], Steve Hackett isn't really a singer, so most of the time he restricts himself to some narration with a heavy voice like in the "Eastern rhythm meets free-jazz" of "Darktown." The love of simplicity and romance is expressed by the acoustic guitar in "Man Overboard," a song which, like so many others before, is based around the big love in Steve's life: Kim Poor. Having met the lady in question once I know that his wonderful music certainly is a personification of her beauty. Apparently her beauty has also been noticed by Jim Diamond who, during "Days Of Long Ago" sort of sings a musical ode to her. Also the Brazilian roots of Poor are apparent in the jazzy, bossa-nova like "Dreaming With Open Eyes" which is also the miraculous re-incarnation of brother John Hackett! The retro feeling goes once step further in "Rise Again" where I note a percussive "soundalike" as in "Los Endos."

Final song "In Memoriam" is a soft, babbling, bluesy dirge backed by a huge mellotron and resulting in a song which could easily have been featured on the first King Crimson album. To emphasize that influence, some bass samples from John Wetton have been used. Sort of back to the beginning! With Darktown Steve Hackett delivers a very contemporary album where his virtuosity, his compositional skills, and his technical ability are highlighted. Without any doubt, the purest, most honest and most powerful Steve Hackett album of all time!

Omega Metallicus (3:48) / Darktown (4:59) / Man Overboard (4:17) / The Golden Age Of Steam (4:09) / Days Of Long Ago (3:23) / Dreaming With Open Eyes (6:54) / Twice Around The Sun (7:15) / Rise Again (4:26) / Jane Austin's Door (6:13) / Darktown Riot (3:10) / In Memoriam (7:59)

Steve Hackett - guitars, ambient harmonica
Sir Douglas Sinclair - bass
Roger King - rhythm, keyboards
Ian McDonald - saxophone
Julian Colbeck - keyboards
Jim Diamond - vocals
Billy Budis - cello, bass
John Hackett - flute
Ben Fenner - Mellotron MKII
Hugo Degenhardt - drums
Aron Friedman - piano, keyboards
John Wetton - bass samples

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: March 12th 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.hackettsongs.com
Hits: 1114
Language: english


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