Shedding light on the past... February 13

Steve Hackett reissues

Steve Hackett reissues

It's great that InsideOut are re-releasing seven albums from my back catalogue, spanning several eras.

The first of them, Till We Have Faces was originally released in 1984 with title borrowed from CS Lewis. Much of it was percussion driven. It had a kind of spontaneous nature - lots of experiments, but essentially a rock guitarist's album.

Shedding light on the past

Shedding light on the past

Guitar Noir was more songs driven and had an introspective feel. I think of it as an album essentially in a minor key. Much of it is built on atmosphere, as in Dark as the Grave which was based on my feelings about my late friend Ralph Bates the actor, although there are moments when the sun breaks out such as Sierra Quemada.

Genesis Revisited speaks for itself with many Genesis favourites reinterpreted, often with orchestra as well as guest stars, friends and musos. I was very proud of it at the time. It's obviously now twinned with Genesis Revisited II. The material I'm about to tour will be from both these albums.

Feedback 86 was made in the wake of GTR although it wasn't released until several years later. I worked on it with Brian May amongst others. With that guitar paring it had a joyous dynamic and saw me working one again with Nick Magnus on keyboards.

Darktown was the most personal album I'd done at the time, exploring a variety of areas. More self expression was coming through. On this re-issue there are three bonus tracks, two of which are blues based. The album also has a romantic side which the track Flame reflects...

On To Watch the Storms I experimented further, for instance with the Optigan played both forwards and backwards on the first two tracks. Some of the cuts were inspired by authors - Dr. Oliver Sachs, Antoine Saint-Exupéry, and Daphne du Maurier. Both a record and a sonic adventure.

Wild Orchids had a more gothic feel. It had some great material which I'm still proud of, such as Howl and Wolfwork. It was always heading towards an orchestra in the wings and some tracks were very complex. There were 212 tracks on Down Street alone! An album full of surprises.

I can see how the atmosphere of the music changed over time. I was determined to go my own way throughout. For me music has always been a journey full of way stations and irresistible backwaters as well as compelling vistas that have sprung from the imagination and kept me sane!