Steve Hackett: The Charisma Years: 1975-1983 box set review
Steve Hackett’s solo output restored to glorious vinyl.
Last year’s 14-CD box set Premonitions would have satisfied Steve Hackett fans keen to delve into the furthest corners of his early recordings, but for vinyl loyalists, this weighty, remastered nine-LP collection (10 if you count the double live album) is a welcome treat.
From the very first bars of debut solo album, 1975’s Voyage Of The Acolyte, you can sense a lust for freedom. There’s something almost proto-punk about the furious pace of the opening tracks, Hackett like a dog let off its leash.
A weighty nine-LP collection that’s a welcome treat.
Steven Wilson has given these albums a mastering makeover, and that’s evident even on the supposedly sonically inferior vinyl format. The master tapes for Acolyte and 1980’s Defector couldn’t be tracked down, meaning they don’t get the full-blown 5.1 Surround Sound treatment, but either way, floatier tracks such as Hands Of The Priestess and the epic Shadow Of The Hierophant sound more sumptuous than ever, and the keyboard maelstrom of A Tower Struck Down has noticeably more Sturm und Drang to it.