Steve Hackett – Foxtrot at Fifty +Join Hackett Highlights : Live In Brighton 2CD / BluRay Review

Steve Hackett’s “Foxtrot at 50”: A Deep Dive into the Album and DVD Review

Steve Hackett’s recent release is the latest in a series where he’s delved into classic Genesis albums. This journey has seen him cover albums like “Selling England by the Pound”, “Seconds Out”, and now, the latest gem, “Foxtrot at 50”. This release also features “Hackett Highlights”, which includes tracks from his solo career, all recorded live in Brighton.

Hackett’s performance is nothing short of mesmerizing. His playing exudes raw emotion, and his melodic lines are a testament to his incredible technical prowess. While many attribute the guitar tapping technique to Eddie Van Halen, it’s worth noting that Eddie was inspired by Steve Hackett’s work from years past. Hackett’s unique style, devoid of a pick and solely reliant on his fingers, draws parallels to the likes of Jeff Beck.

The album kicks off with the “Ace of Wands” and “The Devil’s Cathedral”, a track from his latest album that I sincerely hope he tours with. Other notable tracks include “Spectral Mornings”, “Every Day”, and “Camino Royal”. A special mention goes to “Shadow of the Hierophant”, a track from his debut solo album. Interestingly, he began working on this track during the “Foxtrot” recording sessions, making the two intrinsically linked.

For the first time, we get to experience “Foxtrot” in its entirety, something even Genesis never did. The album also features gems like “Watch of the Skies”, “Timetable”, and the iconic “Supper’s Ready”. The live rendition of “Supper’s Ready” truly stands out, especially Hackett’s guitar solo towards the end. The synergy between the band members is palpable, making it evident that they’re at the pinnacle of their craft.

The package comprises three discs, with no booklet, but the Blu-ray disc more than compensates for it. The ensemble includes Roger King on keyboards, Rob Townsend on saxophone and woodwind, James Reynold on bass guitar, Craig Blundell on drums, and Ned Sylvan on vocals.

One of the standout tracks for me is “Los Endos”. It starts with a riveting drum solo and transitions into a fusion of progressive metal and jazz. The track’s crescendo evokes a vivid imagery of standing atop a hill, overlooking a vast ocean, a sentiment that sends shivers down my spine every time.

In conclusion, Steve Hackett’s “Foxtrot at 50” and “Hackett Highlights Live in Brighton” 2CD and Blu-ray set is an auditory treat. The 5.1 immaculate sound quality ensures an immersive experience, even in standard stereo. I highly recommend this release to all music enthusiasts.

Stay tuned, as I’ll soon be sharing a link to my interview with Steve Hackett, where we delve deeper into this release. Until then, keep the music playing!

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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