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Steve Hackett - Once Above A Time (DVD) CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.36 | 79 ratings

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Symphonic Team
5 stars How many fantastic DVDs can one guy make? First The Tokyo Tapes, then Somewhere In South America, and now this one! It is almost impossible to decide which one of these is the best one. For me though, I have to say that Somewhere In South America wins the price, mainly because that was the one I got first. But all of these three DVDs are fantastic and any one of them would make an excellent starting point into Steve Hackett's career. Having at least one of these three DVDs in your collection is essential, so I'm going to try to help you make your choice of which one to get first.

Comparing Once Above A Time with the other two recent DVDs by Steve, one thing that strikes you are that both The Tokyo Tapes and Somewhere In South America are richer on Genesis material. The Tokyo Tapes had several full length Genesis classics with John Wetton on vocals, and Somewhere In South America had several interesting bits and pieces of Genesis songs. On Once Above A Time we find four Genesis songs. Blood On The Rooftops is of particular interest. Usually, Hackett only plays the acoustic intro to this song live. Here, however, it is performed in its entirety (with vocals by the drummer!) Fourth Or Firth is stripped down to Hackett's amazing guitar solo only. Probably the best guitar solo in the history of music. The other two Genesis songs played here are Fly On The Windscreen from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway album and the expected closer Los Endos. Blows me away every time!

Another thing that strikes you about Once Above A Time is the emphasis on Steve's then recent album To Watch The Storms. This is one of Hackett's very best albums in my opinion. The Mechanical Bride, a very King Crimson-like song in the style of 21th Century Schizoid Man. This song had opened the show with a bang on the Somewhere In South America DVD, here it is made the second song after an instrumental called Valley Of The Kings. This is in my opinion a less effective show opener.

Serpentine Song, also from To Watch The Storms, (and also featured on the Somewhere In South America DVD) is also somewhat King Crimson like. And very good.

There is also a heavy emphasis on the Spectral Mornings album with three cuts from that album in the set. This is very nice, of course. Also the instrumental Air-Conditioned Nightmare from the Cured album is a very nice surprise here. However, Slogans is a somewhat less effective choice selection from the Defector album than The Steppes. Another thing about the set list that strikes me is that there is not a single number from Highly Strung, Guitar Noir or Till We Have Faces nor the GTR album like there was on the Somewhere In South America DVD.

Apart from on Blood On The Rooftops the vocals are all handled by Steve himself. I think he is a fine singer. The set list presented on Once Above A Time has more vocal numbers than the one from Somewhere In South America. And as I mentioned earlier, The Tokyo Tapes DVD has vocals by John Wetton on most numbers. This might be another consideration that might effect your choice between this and other DVDs.

If you already have the other DVDs I mentioned and still want more (the other ones very much have that effect!) you should get this one too, and you won't be disappointed. There is not so much overlap between the set lists and it is therefore not overkill to have them all!

As I said, I also think that one of these DVDs might be a perfect starting point to get into Steve Hackett's solo career.

A highly recommended DVD, not only to fans of Steve Hackett and early Genesis but to all prog fans!

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |


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