Steve Hackett : To Watch The Storms & Wild Orchids : Reviews

Steve Hackett’s Vinyl Re-issues: A Journey Through Progressive Landscapes

Steve Hackett, a name synonymous with progressive rock and an artist that just seems to get better with each passing year has arrived on my turntable again with the first-ever vinyl releases of two of his most diverse albums. As a dedicated fan and fortunate enough to have interviewed Hackett in late 2023 and now again 2024, I’m thrilled to share my thoughts on these remarkable re-issues: “To Watch The Storms” (2003) and “Wild Orchids” (2006).

To Watch The Storms: 2003
First up is “To Watch The Storms,” now a double vinyl album. The quality of these pressings is excellent and both come in Polylined sleeves.

What truly sets this album apart is its diversity. Hackett’s skill in blending metal with classical guitar, orchestral soundscapes, and emotionally charged lyrics is just wonderful. The album is a progressive but also very accessible, weaving through genres like rock, jazz, and funk. It’s an album that grows with each listen.

Wild Orchids: 2006
“Wild Orchids” from 2006 follows suit. This album is an eclectic mix of Exotica, black comedy, social commentary, and fantasy. Hackett’s use of a full orchestra – complete with violins, cellos, trumpets, and oboes – adds a a lovely dimension to the music. This one edges ahead of ‘Storms’ but i love them both.

The gatefold sleeves of both albums are adorned with lyrics and personal notes from Steve Hackett, offering listeners  a glimpse into the creative process and stories behind the tracks. It’s a personal touch that I really like.

A notable mention must go to the packaging. These albums arrive with the vinyl nestled in the center of the gatefold, protecting them from seam splits – a detail that shows the thought and care put into these releases. It’s a delight to see the campaign for better packaging paying off.

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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