Steve Hackett Biography

Stephen Richard Hackett, 12 February 1950, Pimlico, London, England. Formerly a member of various minor bands, including Canterbury Glass, Heel Pier, Sarabande and Quiet World, the latter releasing a solitary album on Dawn Records in 1970, Hackett joined Genesis as guitarist in early 1971. He replaced Anthony Phillips, and stayed with the band during their successful mid-70s progressive rock period, appearing on recordings from 1971’s Nursery Cryme to the live double album, Seconds Out. By the time the latter was released in 1977, Hackett had left the band. Having previously released his first solo effort, Voyage Of The Acolyte two years earlier, Hackett had decided to pursue a full time solo career. Credited with inventing the two-handed tapping technique, he achieved modest success with a string of albums, including 1980’s UK Top 10 Defector, but his following remained largely static and of interest only to die-hard Genesis fans. Subsequent albums marked a change in direction towards a more studio based rock approach, although Till We Have Faces rooted itself in Brazilian samba music. He joined former Yes guitarist Steve Howe and Max Bacon (vocals) in GTR in 1986. Their self-titled album reached the US Top 20, and an accompanying single, ‘When The Heart Rules The Mind’ reached number 14. In the UK the album barely made the charts, indicating that Hackett’s reputation as ‘former Genesis guitarist’ still overshadowed his work. The acoustic Momentum was his second album of acoustic guitar pieces, following 1983’s Bay Of Kings, and is a format to which Hackett has often returned.

In 1992, Hackett collaborated with the London Chamber Orchestra on a performance of Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto at London’s South Bank. Hackett’s work in the late 90s included several ambitious musical ventures. In 1997 he released A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a series of original compositions for classical guitar recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Genesis Revisited, which was originally released in Japan in August 1996, offered new interpretations of his work with Genesis, backed by an all-star cast list of progressive rock luminaries. Three years later he collaborated with his flautist brother John on Sketches Of Satie, arranging the celebrated French composer’s work for classical guitar and flute. Since the late 90s Hackett’s new and archive recordings have appeared on his own Camino label.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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