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Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (23.01.2002)
Steve has had the most unique and fascinating solo career among the various Genesis members. Certainly none of the other guys have put out such a variety of material -- only Anthony Phillips comes anywhere close. One could easily pick out 4 or 5 Hackett songs that scarcely sound like they belong to the same genre, much less the same artist. I hope you'll go on and review more of his albums.
It's not true that the other Genesis members tried to get Steve to stop his solo career to devote more time to the band, however. Steve was indeed unhappy that more of his ideas weren't being used by the band (being particularly annoyed that "Please Don't Touch" was rejected from WIND & WUTHERING while "Wot Gorilla?" was included). But the others just figured he could make all the solo albums he wanted while staying with the band. Of course, that wasn't what Steve wanted. (Ironically, W&W seems to have much more time dedicated to Hackett song ideas than any other Genesis album! What WOULD have satisfied him??)
Side note: I've recently found that at least three early Hackett albums were partially ruined in the transition from LP to CD. To be specific...
PLEASE DON'T TOUCH - "Land Of A Thousand Autumns" ran right into the title track on the LP. On the CD, there is several seconds of silence between them that shouldn't be there.
DEFECTOR - On the CD the last note of "Two Vamps As Guests" (the last track on side 1 of the LP) is rudely interrupted by the beginning of "Jacuzzi".
HIGHLY STRUNG - The CD has a different song order than the LP, which isn't a big deal (the LP sequence being Cell 151 / Give It Away / Camino Royale / Always Somewhere Else / Walking Through Walls / Weightless / Group Therapy / India Rubber Man / Hackett To Pieces). The real problem is that the 5:50 LP version of "Walls" has been replaced by a new 3:25 recording which duplicates almost nothing that was interesting in the original version.
(Oh, and of course the CDs of some early Hackett albums missed all kinds of opportunities for bonus tracks, but that's another story...)
Agree that Hackett is very underrated guitarist. But he's still going today and the only one of the 70's era prog guitarist that still today putting out fresh and exciting prog music. Where are the reviews of his '90's albums Guitar Noir and Darktown -- strong studio releases that are worth discussing here.
For me, Hacketts '70's and '80's period wasn't the time of his best material; like a good wine he's certainly improved with age. Watching the Storms the most recent album easily devours anything from the first two decades of his solo career. Live, Hackett is a revelation. I saw him on the Defector tour and he could hardly interact with the crowd, couldn't sing for toffee and depended pretty much on the band to see him through. I saw him a few months ago and the difference couldn't be more marked - now he dominates the stage, enjoys himself and his playing is...just terrific.
There's no other guitarist in the world able to "mix it" like Hackett. His ability to one minute play outrageous stomp-box "mad" arragements, and then switch instantly to beautiful unaccompanied nylon-strung guitar through just the PA system is completely unique. The sheer enormous range of his repertoire and ability makes attending his live gigs a real nights entertainment. The quality of his current work is such that he can play substantial amounts of his most recent album(s) to an audiance without them demanding the "old stuff". Even so he includes a few choice Genesis selections ('Watcher, Horizons, Firth of Fifth etc.) but without sounding like he's become some sort of one-man tribute band. As regards the Genesis Revisted era, I think he was justified in pursuing it; by then Genesis had near enough completely shut up shop and his willingness to revisit the past with new intepretations was enchainting (but no more than enchanting).
Although we think of Clapton, Page, Beck and Hendrix as the "guitar Gods" I really think Hackett should be up there amongst them. For over three decades now he's been producing memorable music. A general definition of "genuis" is someone who extends their chosen genre to a new level, whether they be an artist, novelist, scientist, musician or General. Hackett's unique playing style and the innovations he has introduced to the playing of the guitar (both electric and nylon-strung) is up amongst those who have stamped their authority on the instrument and added something to it - and they include Robert Fripp, Nick Drake and Allan Holdsworth. I have an electric guitar at home and can play plenty of Page, Beck, Hendirix and particularly Clapton numbers with relative ease, but with Hackett I don't even know were to begin. I believe Hackett can be called a genius, but one whose music remains easily approchable.
Paul Stump <firstname.lastname@example.org> (09.10.2006)
Love the site. The Highly Strung review was devastatingly good.
Some very very good points made. I must admit that I have to try very hard to imagine the planet inhabited by anyone who would rate To Watch the Storms above the arangements for mellotron and woodwind in the early stuff, or the amazing chromatic chordal work -matchable only by PFM or Mr Sirius or The Enid - on Star of Sirius in the 79-80 live shows, so there is no point in getting into an argument.
here's a test - listen to those three first albums backwards, or run thru it backwards on a minidisc - where are the most complex harmonies, the strangest sidesteps? From 1975 to 1979, that's where.
But here's my own personal silliness - I like Funny Feeling from Cured. Great track. Synth -pop, yes, but it's got a great tune. I don't dislike poppy Hackett (although as per everyone here I think he has too many ideas in his head) but will draw the line at GTR. That's beyond redemption.
But come on someone - let's have more on Steve's relationship with the mellotron!!!
Richard C. Dickison <email@example.com> (25.01.2000)
Voyage Of The Acolyte got me to forgive Steve. Up to this point I really felt there was a lacking in contribution to Genesis. After Selling England By The Pound, that is, but I really believe he was not given a voice. This album really proved that to me. Now when Peter left if they had just listened to Steve, Oh Well. And your right, I did'nt realize it before but the band members are here without old Tony. No wonder, I liked this album so much!!! I still think Spectral Mornings is a better Steve Hackett album, but I will now consider this a better Genesis album. Hee hee. Thanks for pointing that out George.
PS... In Fact let's oficially change my vote for the most under rated Genesis album to (drum roll please) Voyage Of The Acolyte! No Tony Banks!!!, whew hoo!!!!
Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (08.02.2000)
The Genesis records I have pretty much coincide with the "Hackett" era, and, you know, it's no coincidence. In my opinion it was not Pete's departure but Steve's that really hurt them.
Anyway, regarding Voyage: Up to this point Steve probably had neither written lyrics for Genesis nor sung much -- he was the only Genesis member (besides, I think, 2 of the 3 pre-Phil drummers) never credited with backing vocals on their studio albums. Considering that, I think his lyrics & singing here aren't bad. And I think "Hermit" is a darn good song for how simple it is -- he obviously wanted it to be easy to sing. More successful "minimalism", in my book.
My main complaint about this and several other Steve albums is that he let his wife, Kim Poor, paint such ugly covers for them. Voyage and the later Highly Strung & Till We Have Faces have arguably the worst covers of the lot. (The cover to Please Don't Touch isn't bad, though, and I thought the photo -- still by Kim -- on Cured was a nice change.)
Ben Greenstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> (19.10.2000)
A really interesting album. A couple of times, like on "The Hermit," he seems to be trying a little too hard to sound "medival," but the rock songs all work, and "Star Of Sirius" and "Shadow Of The Hierophant" could and should have been on a Genesis album. "Ace Of Wands" is amazing, too. A high 8/10.
Brian D. Sittinger <email@example.com> (12.07.2001)
Again, with the exception of Trespass, all the Genesis records that I have are from the Hackett era. Even when Gabriel left, Steve Hackett could still put his singular stamp on the music (despite efforts to do otherwise...). Maybe he is one big reason I still listen to Trick of the Tail and (parts of) Wind and Wuthering.
What a solo debut! "Ace of Wands" is simply mindblowing, as it starts out agressively, with an easy to hum solo from Steve himself. "Hands of the Priestess" is a beautiful piece - all the instruments are in the right place! "A Tower Struck Down" , though bizarre and agressive, is strangely compelling. Then, the album becomes very mellow for a while. No stinkers, but at times a bit slow. Very relaxing! Then, comes "Shadow of the Hierophant": very majestic and compelling (unique singing experience to say the least) and a great ending truly reminiscent of The Beatles' "I Want You" (I thought so, too!)
How does Steve manage to pull off great lead guitar with only a few notes? Truly, a unique talent. A solid 9 out of 10.
Tony <firstname.lastname@example.org> (23.10.2001)
This was in my opinion an album that Steve like many artists will never be made again if you see what I mean.a one off classic like the debut solo lp from David Gilmore.Its only my opinion but I feel that it cannot be compared with genesis in any way.thanks.
Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (08.02.2000)
I always thought "How Can I" was intriguingly non-Genesis/Hackett-like, although it's also an example of Steve at his lyrical worst. And I like "Hoping Love Will Last" (the singer is Randy Crawford) better than most "real" soul music, just because it's still got Steve's (admittedly disguised) touch to it. And at least its lyrics make sense, unlike many other Steve songs. It seems to me that Steve's vocal tricks on "Vicarage" are due to his not being too sure about his singing, just as with the really simple melody (and semi-heavy effects) on "Hermit". "Icarus" seems kind of problematic to me -- it manages to be genuinely moving in places, but there isn't enough buildup to justify such a long fadeout. (The noodlings after the 2nd verse sound like they're trying to be "buildup", but it just doesn't work.)
Tony <email@example.com> (23.10.2001)
Great album featuring vocalist Ritchie havens.I do feel that the tracks great as they are, with Steve Walsh and Phil ehart sound too much like Kansas.
Brian D. Sittinger <firstname.lastname@example.org> (04.03.2003)
This is one 'strange' album, in the sense of being sandwiched between two albums with Hackett's touch all over the place. I guess he's a bit more subtle with his guitar on this one. Overall, there are no tracks that stand out as proudly as on the two surrounding albums, though the title track (wish that was on Wind and Wuthering, eh?) and "Narnia" come close. I like that effect he gets with his electric guitar toward the end of "Narnia", by the way. I actually prefer the last half of the album over the first half. Of well, a decent effort: 7 out of 10.
Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (08.02.2000)
I think "Every Day" is an awesome song all the way through. And the title track is even more awesome -- never have I heard such emotion in an instrumental piece. "Virgin" is beautiful, too, especially the flute stuff. The only real clunker to my ears is "Tigermoth"; it starts out with such a promisingly ominous theme, but then it gets all stretched out and weakened and finally ends up as an annoying little ditty that's light years away from where the song started. (The short live version on 1992's Time Lapse wisely focuses on the good part.)
It may be worth pointing out that "Decomposing Man" is sung by Steve -- most unexpected indeed given the cautiousness of his two prior vocal workouts.
Brian D. Sittinger <email@example.com> (12.07.2001)
Another solid album from Steve Hackett! Despite the syths at the beginning of "Every Day", the song is still very strong And that's without Steve's awesome solo (check out his well-sustained fading note(s?) near the end of the solo. "The Flowers..." is a great take on Asian music. Nice classical guitar, though hard to hear, in "Lost Time in Cordoba". I agree with Ted Goodwin's comments of "Tigermouth's" lack of cohesiveness. Finally, there is the title track. Emotional beyond words; so what if the theme gets repeated? It's so well-written! Another strong 9 out of 10.
NOTE: The "repetitious" style seems to have its most clear heritage from "In This Quiet Earth..." from Wind and Wuthering. To a slighly lesser extent, "Clocks..." and "Tigermouth" follow this style too. Nevertheless, it works with Steve. As for speed, he does get pretty fast at the beginning of "Tigermouth" (Van Halenesque?).
Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (08.02.2000)
I agree that this is a step down from "Spectral Mornings" in just about every way. But I like "Time To Get Out" in kind of the same way I like the vocal part of "Every Day". I like "The Toast" as well, and never had trouble understanding what it's about. You didn't mention "Leaving" but I like that one too. "Hammer" isn't totally without guitar, but it's a good example of how Steve can sneak his guitar in almost without the listener being aware of it. As far as "Sentimental" goes, well* Steve has tried to make humorous songs at times (never quite successfully, in my opinion), but I think this is the closest thing to a funny song he ever made.
Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (08.02.2000)
I agree that this is probably Steve's weakest album (I haven't heard Genesis Revisited, nor would I really consider it a true "Steve" album, but that's another story). Having more of a tolerance for the synth-pop style than you, I'm most bugged by the pointless lyrics (made worse by being weakly sung) -- a common Steve problem whenever he's tried to get a little more "commercial". Steve was one of three Genesis guys who made the mistake of singing an entire album before they were ready. Anthony Phillips did some very weak singing on Wise After The Event (which had some otherwise potentially good stuff on it), and later sounded much better (possibly the next best of the Genesis boys after Pete & Phil) on the unfortunately synth-pop-driven "Invisible Men". Mike Rutherford tried to make his scratchy voice sound Joe Cocker-esque on "Acting Very Strange", giving us some of the worst Genesis-related vocals ever. Just one song he did later (for a movie soundtrack) shows how much better he could have sounded if he'd waited longer and taken a different approach. (That leaves Tony Banks, who has sung one album plus two later tracks. He doesn't have much of a voice -- not bad when given the right material -- but I've been surprised by how many critics like it.)
Anyway, Steve's singing got a lot better after Cured.
Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (02.03.2000)
Just wanted to note that (1) Steve does all (not just most) of the vocals; (2) Steve & the keyboardist collaborated on several tracks, not just the one; (3) I agree that Steve's vocal on "India Rubber Man" is impressive; and (4) that album cover is AWFUL!!!
Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (05.04.2000)
I don't know that the Hackettmeister really "innovated" anything here, but this album was indeed a gutsy move in the early '80s. (One reviewer who failed to appreciate it essentially accused it of being a load of Muzak.) It took me some time to be able to appreciate the individual songs, but ultimately it was worth it. (Steve's acoustic album MOMENTUM -- originally from 1988, with 17 extra minutes on the CD version -- is substantially more challenging but also rewarding.) "Petropolis" is not a typo -- it's a place name that has some significance to Steve & Kim. My vote for best song: title track.
Some notes on the CD version vs. the original LP: The LP doesn't have the liner notes. The CD has 3 extra songs: "Skye Boat Song", "Tales Of The Riverbank" (both new) and "Time Lapse In Milton Keynes" (re-recording of a song originally released as a non-LP B-side in what was probably a near identical version). And last but not least: the original LP cover design, which otherwise would have been gorgeous, featured an offensive Kim Poor painting of a nude. (Offensive not because it was a nude, but because it was pointlessly UGLY!)
Syl <firstname.lastname@example.org> (20.03.2001)
It is a very nice album. It was a great pace away from the synth style that was consumming his talent and work. There is a transcription of a Vivaldi piece, and 'Horizons' comes from a Bach cello suite.
For the rest, it is from pleasant to moody and catchy. I don't think one has to run after Innovation in that kind of album. First, it is a mythical revival for Steve back to the roots and humble enjoyement. second, when it's good, do not bother to much, especially with classical guitar: not an easy thing to innovate now.
But Hackett is a rather self-taught guitarist, here can be one original spot in his way of playing. Plus, he does not flee in front of some work; I remember M.Knophler (hum correct?) saying that if he composes something too difficult for him, he plays more slowly,etc. Why not trying to increase technique? Hackett walks and learns in the guitar world.He learnt a technical point during the MOMENTUM album for example.
It doesn't mean he has no idea too! Voyage of the Acolyte is wonderful! 'Ace of Wands' is stunning. The pieces with guitar and flute are charmful and 'Shadow of the Hierophant' is gorgeous and a bit pompous ; )
Spectral Morning is excellent. The solo are blessed by the god of Guitar. The self-titled track is the cry you have described. Marvellous, and 'Clocks' is a mesmerizing attack of guitar, drums and synth...
On Defector, I don't like a lot the pop tunes, but the 'Steppes' and even the monster 'Slogans' for example are great.
After comes the period I don't like...until Bay of kings. No lyrics and no voice on this one. All that we want is the MUSIC! But the Album MOMENTUM (1988) is by far superior to Bay of Kings. wooh! Better technique and compositions, you feel that it is more "difficult" for a newbie, but a great "classical" album. Great eternal music, some flute by his brother John and 2 or 3 themes inspired by Old ones: the legendary Bach and Chopin. Momentum is better than the former. I recommend it to you!
He has also recorded an album with the Royal Ph. Orchestra called A Midsummer Night's Dream.It's made of suites for guitar and orchestra, but is not that easy to find because EMI (which have stopped the sells) have the rights and do not want to sell them to Camino Records where Steve is.
You haven't mentionned Guitar Noir on which he definitely began to sing (for me it works, even if he is not a great singer ;o) ). Some very good things like the opening Sierra Quemada with its whirling guitar; and not that good blues-pop tunes. But still a good album.
The last "rock" album is Darktown. some think it's dull and cold. It is a very elaborated album. Some parts are a bit weak, but you have the terrific and bombastic Omega Metallicus (I love it!), the demoniac self-titled theme, solos and The great In Memoriam (requiem-like).The good old prog evolves again.
The Live album TIME LAPSE is a good introduction in my opinion. There is a best of, but you will find a good part of all the great tunes played by the 90s Hackett. And shhhh believe me! After the live rock, the live acoustic! There are Many Sides To The Night represents the classical guitar side. And it's from the same man!
I usually find difficult to enjoy those great guitarists (you review Jeff Beck on your site): it often appears dull, or repetitive or uninspired or "for Technique only" (with of course exceptions! Don't flame me). But Hackett produces very emotive pieces. His guitar really talks and cries and flies, with feeling.
One more thing, sometimes Hackett's work is an echo from older ones like Ravel you noticed, or Bach, 'Shadow of the Hierophant' and 'In Memoriam' (the intro...) evokes the early King Crimson (ex:Epitaph) ... but hey well known bands made some or many classic (blues) cover that work very well. So it is not a mistake at all. It's always subtle or well treated.I don't think Hackett is overrated, but I truly recognize part of his work is not that good at all (See Cured Highly Strung etc).
Ted Goodwin <Ftg3plus4@cs.com> (10.04.2000)
I'd say this may be Steve's best album, though a lot of people would probably put VOYAGE and/or SPECTRAL ahead of it. (Oddly, it's the only prior album not drawn from for Steve's live TIME LAPSE and THERE ARE MANY SIDES TO THE NIGHT, which BTW are possibly the 2 most dissimilar live albums ever made by the same rock artist.) At any rate, it's a great piece of work that's vastly unappreciated and sometimes even slammed.
I hate the album cover -- it's ugly and communicates absolutely nothing about the album. (Nor does the title, for that matter.) The songs themselves paint much better pictures than this.
I didn't realize Peter G. was ahead of Steve in the "world music" thing. But I know the Brazilian percussive stuff on FACES was years ahead of Paul Simon's (unjustly) acclaimed work in the same vein. I heard a little of it, and it sounded like he used the same musicians as on FACES and they just replayed what they'd played for Steve!
This may not be the best album by Steve-the-guitarist, but it's probably the best by Steve-the-singer. I don't hear the "Sting" sound on "Myopia", but I do hear it in "Gulf". I also hear the Morrison similarity on "Duel". (It's nice to hear Steve singing in his natural range after all the straining on CURED -- man, did he come a long way in 3 years!). I also hear just a touch of Robert Plant on "Let Me Count The Ways", believe it or not. "Doll" has the best vocal, though. I beg to differ about the vocal part on "What's My Name" being inessential -- that spooky chorus rules!
I just recently got my hands on a CD copy (having had the LP since it was new) and wanted to note that: (1) The original LP had a different sequence (Duel / Matilda / Let / Doll // Myopia / What's / Rio / Taking / When ) that, to me, makes more sense. ("What's My Name" strikes me as an odd choice for a CD opening track.) Technically, it's the original version that I consider Steve's "best album". (The bonus tracks are all right, although "Gulf" ends up really meandering.) (2) "Matilda Smith-Williams" is very different on LP vs. CD. The LP version has a solo lead vocal, with almost no backing vocals, and instead of the chords & melodies in the middle percussion part there's kind of an atonal guitar solo. A completist (a species which Mr. Hackett seems bent on giving a hard time to) would want both versions. I can't say I prefer one over the other.
P.S. - Just found out that the CD bonus tracks ('Gulf', 'Stadiums') were recorded for a 1986 album that didn't get released then, but has now become available (as an enhanced CD, but otherwise in its originally intended form) at S.H.'s official site.
Barbara Kirk <Barbara@kirk52.fsnet.co.uk> (08.01.2006)
The sleeve painting was also used in the 'Genesis Lyrics' book under the title, 'Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats'. I always felt cheated by this sleeve and also Snapper's 'The Genesis Files', which uses her illustration for 'More Fool Me' from the same book.
F. T. Goodwin <email@example.com> (19.01.2006)
Not only is this not a very good album, but most of it turns out to be somewhat recycled. Song by song comments:
(1) Cassandra: A different version of this was released as an unlisted track on the original (nonremastered) version of GUITAR NOIR (1993). It has lesser vocals (by Steve) but a better song structure.
(2) Prizefighters: A live GTR version of this was released on GTR's KING BISCUIT FLOWER HOUR (1997). I totally agree with your assessment of the FB'86 version; the GTR version is a little better (probably because there's no Bonnie Tyler).
(3) Slot Machine: Unique to this album. I like this better than you do.
(4) Stadiums Of The Damned: Bonus track on the TILL WE HAVE FACES CD, as you noted. Sounds a lot better to me after the preceding three tracks than it did at the end of TWHF. "
(5) Don't Fall: The verse music was used on "Higher Ground" from BLUES WITH A FEELING (1994). I sort of like this because it's one of the few Steve Hackett pop song attempts that has actual pop-song lyrics instead of near-gibberish.
(6) Oh How I Love You: An instrumental version of this appears on the live THERE ARE MANY SIDES TO THE NIGHT (1994).
(7) Notre Dame Des Fleurs: Tends to get overrated due to its proximity to the other tracks. I've never remembered this tune long enough to figure out whether it also appears elsewhere.
(8) The Gulf: Also from the TILL WE HAVE FACES CD, but this version is longer (a tad at the beginning and more than a tad at the end) and is missing the chorus backing vocals heard on the (better) TWHF mix.
No reader comments yet.
Bob Josef <Trfesok@aol.com> (20.10.2000)
Oh, come now, George. This isn't THAT bad. Not a classic, by any means, but an interesting little diversion, for the most part. With one exception -- the one track you don't pour your abuse on is the one that deserve it the most -- the obnoxious massacre of the once-gorgeous "Your Own Special Way." With those tacky synths and programmed percussion, Steve's utterly generic guitar solo and Paul Carrack's "soulful" vocal, it sounds like an awful Mike and the Mechanics hit-single-that-never-was. Rutherford probably kicked himself when he heard it for not thinking of remaking it like this himself.
Otherwise, I can listen to everything. "Valley of the Kings" is a pretty far out instrumental. And "Waiting Room Only" is actually better than the original "Waiting Room," because the random noises a la "Revolution 9" are more quickly paced, and it turns into a rocking jam that is at least cohesive. "For Absent Friends," with that orchestration and Colin Blunstone's voice, sounds like an Alan Parsons Project track -- unsurprisingly, since he appears on a number of Project albums. It's nice. And Carrack's vocal on the Gabriel/Hackett collaboration "Déjà vu" is better than on "You Own Special Way", but the song would have been improved with a more distinctive singer -- like, for example, Peter Gabriel. And while Steve's vocals on his three numbers won't make you forget Gabriel or Collins (I agree, the effects don't hide the fact that Steve is a mediocre singer -- and he shouldn't have tried to out-cheese Collins on "I Know What I Like"), the music is pretty neat. My two favorites are the ones that John Wetton sings -- "Watcher of the Skies" and "Firth of Fifth." Unlike the rest of the album, these two capture the spirit of the original Genesis versions without sounding like carbon copies. The orchestration, in particular, sounds really neat. Wetton's voice, unlike Steve's or Carrack's is well suited to the material. John Wetton as lead vocalist/bassist for Genesis -- now, that would be something.
And I'd still rather listen to this than Calling All Stations.
F. T. Goodwin <firstname.lastname@example.org> (01.07.2003)
Sorry, but this album is NOT better than CALLING ALL STATIONS. Give me mediocre but honest & original Genesis music any day over Steve's obnoxious, unsubtle, self-indulgent revisionism! No wonder the band wanted the best but not the rest of his ideas -- he's ingenious, but sometimes he really needs someone to give him boundaries. His statement that "the definitive versions of some Genesis classics were yet to be made" is just an insult to intelligence! At best, his versions merely remind us how great the originals were. At worst, well...
But it's not ALL bad, and like Steve's BLUES WITH A FEELING it's best approached with a "let's not take this too seriously" attitude. This version of "For Absent Friends" captures the nostalgic melancholy required by the lyrics (the effects on the vocals are just WRONG, though). It was clever to turn the non-commercial (IMO) "Your Own Special Way" into a Mechanics pop piece (resolving its time-signature conflicts in the process). "I Know What I Like" makes some strange kind of sense as a lazy shuffle, and Steve's voice at the end (parodying SOMETHING, I'm sure) is the funniest he's ever done. He even does a good job singing the difficult "Fountain Of Salmacis" (notwithstanding the obnoxious spoken first lines and the ill-fitting new musical bits shoehorned in). And the new pieces make for welcome breaks from the rest. "Valley Of The Kings" is OK, "Deja Vu" is actually pretty good (hard for me to picture as a SELLING ENGLAND-era Gabriel composition, though), and "Waiting Room Only" is amusing if nothing else. I just hope no one hears the other tracks before they hear the originals; but even in that case, I think a listener would suspect something was amiss.