Steve Hackett - Please Don't Touch

Album cover

  1. Narnia (4:05)
  2. Carry On Up The Vicarage (3:10)
  3. Racing In A (5:07)
  4. Kim (2:25)
  5. How Can I (4:40)
  6. Hoping Love Will Last (4:08)
  7. Land Of A Thousand Autumns (1:56)
  8. Please Don't Touch (3:41)
  9. The Voice Of Necam (3:10)
  10. Icarus Ascending (6:22)

Virgin, 1978

also by Steve Hackett:

see also... Genesis

This confident and assured album sees Hackett exploring various styles, and seemingly having a lot of fun in the process, after being liberated from Genesis. There's a few straightforward pop songs, such as "How Can I" and "Hoping Love Will Last". These are rather 70's sounding and maybe not to prog listeners' taste, but are well-written all the same. Steve Walsh (Kansas) and Richie Havens guest on vocals. Although "Narnia" is a bit cheesy - the throwaway lyrics and over-sincere singing would have made this suitable for the theme of a "Cities Of Gold"-style anime adaptation of the C.S.Lewis stories! "Carry On Up The Vicarage" is interestingly odd, with a twisted helium vocal.

About half of the album is made up of instrumentals which are as inventively arranged as ever, with Hackett playing a variety of guitars from nylon to soaring leads. The pinnacle is reached with the instrumental title track, which bursts in and moves forward with a restless dynamic energy. This was apparently vetoed from Genesis's "Wind And Wuthering" - shame! Although "Icarus Ascending" does have echoes of "Afterglow", the stodgy final track of that album.

December 14, 2003

7 out of 10

see also...

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written and maintained by Christopher Jackson