Thursday, February 12, 2009


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1978 on Chrysalis Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 kbps
Produced By: John Acock & Steve Hackett
Recorded At: Cherokee, Kingsway, Record Plant, De Lane Lea
Engineer:John Acock
Assistant Engineers:Chip, Rob, Mark & Rafe
Cover Art:Kim Poor
All Songs Composed & Arranged By Steve Hackett
Carry On Up The Vicarage
Racing In A
How Can I
Hoping Love Will Last
Land Of A Thousand Autumns
Please Don't Touch
The Voice Of Necam
Icarus Ascending
Steve Hackett - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion
Vocals - Steve Walsh, Richie Havens, Randy Crawford
Keyboards - Dave LeBolt, John Acock, John Hackett
Drums - Chester Thompson, Phil Ehart
Percussion - Chester Thompson, Phil Ehart, James Bradley, Richie Havens
Flutes - John Hackett
Piccolos - John Hackett
Bass Pedals - John Hackett
Bass - Tom Fowler
Violin - Graham Smith
Cello - Hugh Malloy
By Yours Truly

I was never what you'd call a fan of Genesis. I just didn't get 'em and I was more into Southern Rock in the 70's. I saw them once live about the time "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" came out and was completely bored. In my defense I wasn't very familiar with the album at the time of the concert so that more than likely had something to do with it.
This is Steve's second album after leaving Genesis to make his own music and this is another one of those albums that I'd take to the deserted Island with me. It's simply stunning from beginning to end in it's originality, musicianship & production. Truth be told I bought this album at the time because I'd heard the tune Narnia on the radio (remember when you could hear good music on the radio?) and being a huge Steve Walsh fan I bought it based on that tune alone. So, imagine my surprise when I get this album on the turntable and these beautiful, wonderful sounds start pouring forth from the speakers. By the time the first play was over I was a Steve Hackett fan for life, although over the years I've bought other albums by him though none have impressed me nearly as much as this one.
The ensemble cast for this album is also marvelous. Never having been a big Richie Havens fan either I was very impressed by his two vocals on How Can I & Icarus Ascending. Both wonderful songs and his voice is the perfect vehicle for them. Steve's vocals on Narnia & Racing In A are both great and Randy Crawfords Hoping Love Will Last is painfully beautiful. Her pure voice and her range are simply amazing. Why she's not a major act herself I dunno......
Steve has created with this release a very unique and impressive album that for me at least has stood the test of time or at least the last 31 years.
**As a side note, today is Steve's 59th birthday. I wish him many more. ***
Please DO Touch This Album!, February 5, 2006
Alan Caylow (USA) (Amazon Customer Review)
1978's "Please Don't Touch" is Steve Hackett's 2nd solo album, and the first one the guitarist recorded after he left Genesis. Steve gets a lot of big name help on this collection, such as singers Richie Havens, Steve Walsh of Kansas, and Randy Crawford, as well as his brother John Hackett on flute and Genesis touring drummer Chester Thompson.
This is an excellent album with shades of progressive rock here & there, but also some pop & straightforward guitar rock as well. The music is awesome, Steve's guitarwork throughout fantastic. Steve also takes musical inspiration from classic fictional books for some of the songs: "Narnia" (sung by Walsh) is a fun, lighthearted number based on C.S. Lewis' childrens' classic "The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe," the strange little tune "Carry On Up The Vicarage" is a musical tribute to mystery writer Agatha Christie, and the breathtaking finale "Icarus Ascending" (sung by Havens) is inspired by the classic Greek tale of the doomed flight of Icarus. With the exception of "Vicarage," Steve mostly sings backup or harmony vocals, leaving most of the singing duties to Havens, Walsh and Crawford, who all give great performances. Other standout tracks include the catchy rock of "Racing In A," the wonderful acoustic number "How Can I?" (sung by Havens), the stunningly beautiful instrumental "Kim" (dedicated to Hackett's wife, Kim Poor, who also paints his album covers), the lovely ballad "Hoping Love Will Last" (sung by Crawford), and, of course, the monstrous title track, a menacing rock instrumental featuring some of Steve's most scorching guitar licks ever recorded (originally, Steve submitted "Please Don't Touch" to be recorded by Genesis, but for some reason, the band turned it down. Thank goodness then that he kept it for himself!).
The only misstep Steve makes on the album are the lyrics to "Carry On Up The Vicarage." Musically, the song is fine (I also like the circus sound effects at the beginning), but the words to the song are pretty awkward. Stuff about pharmaceuticals, missing floorboards, and screaming from the belfry...they don't quite gel together. Also, Steve's vocals on this track are mostly distorted through a vocoder, which doesn't help. But other than that, there's nothing else to criticize on this very impressive album. With "Please Don't Touch," Steve Hackett stepped out from the shadow of Genesis, and established himself as a solo artist in his own right. "Please Don't Touch" is a great album. By all means, DO touch it!
READ THIS for more information on this album.


Blogger Big clash said...

Hi Tom,
It´s my first visit to your blog and I enjoyed a lot about what I found here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 5:46:00 PM EST  

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