Stephen Richard Hackett is a British singer-songwriter and guitarist. He gained prominence as a member of the British progressive rock group Genesis, which he joined in 1970 and left in 1977 to pursue a solo career. Hackett contributed to six Genesis studio albums, three live albums and seven singles. In 1986, Hackett co-founded the supergroup GTR with another progressive guitarist, Steve Howe of Yes and Asia. The group released a self-titled album that year, which peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 in the United States and spawned the Top 20 single "When the Heart Rules the Mind". When Hackett left GTR in 1987, the group disbanded. After leaving GTR, Hackett resumed his solo career and has released albums and toured on a regular basis since. His body of work has encompassed many styles, such as progressive rock, world music, classical and pop. His playing has influenced guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson of Rush and Brian May. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010.
Steve Hackett never received any formal instruction. His earliest musical influences were classical (Johann Sebastian Bach) and opera (Mario Lanza) and his earliest professional playing experience came with two bands -Canterbury Glass and Sarabande- both of whom performed rock with progressive elements. His first recording work came in 1970, as a member of Quiet World, a band that included his younger brother John Hackett on flute. The group released one album, The Road, but he departed the group soon after.
Seeking a new band, Hackett placed an advertisement in Melody Maker magazine. The advertisement, in which he stated he was seeking musicians "determined to strive beyond existing stagnant music forms," was spotted by Genesis vocalist Peter Gabriel, who contacted Hackett. After seeing Genesis perform, Hackett auditioned for the group and joined in December 1970. Hackett replaced founding guitarist Anthony Phillips and stayed with Genesis during their successful mid-70s progressive rock period. He had little on-stage playing experience, when he joined the band, and some initial difficulty performing with the group. But he soon settled into his role, and his unique stage image (wearing glasses and seated in a hunched position over his guitar) served as a counter to Gabriel's extravagant costumes and theatrics. His first recording with Genesis was Nursery Cryme, released in November 1971. Hackett made an immediate impact on the group's sound, becoming one of the first guitarists to experiment with the tapping technique normally attributed to Eddie Van Halen. Hackett has often claimed Eddie Van Halen told him that he learned the technique after attending a Genesis concert in the early 1970s. Included on 1972's album Foxtrot was Hackett's classical guitar solo composition "Horizons", which quickly became one of his signature pieces. In the group's 1973 effort, Selling England by the Pound, Hackett showed continued and perfected use of the tapping technique, as well as sweep picking, which was popularised in 1984 by Yngwie Malmsteen. The track "Firth of Fifth" contains one of Hackett's most well-known guitar solos. During the recording of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in 1974, Hackett's contribution shrank from what he had originally contributed on Selling England by the Pound. He attributed his lack of contribution to be that of not being able to come to grips with the material presented, and his failing marriage. Additionally, Hackett injured his hand after accidentally crushing a wine glass, which led to the delay of the Lamb tour. This additionally reflected the tension within the band. In 1975, Hackett became the first member of Genesis to release a solo album, when he issued Voyage of the Acolyte. Assisting with the recording were Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.
Ace of wands
Please don't touch
Clocks (The Angel Of Mons)
The air-conditioned nightmare
In 1986, Hackett formed the supergroup GTR with veteran Yes and Asia guitarist Steve Howe. The group released a gold-selling album, GTR (1986), produced by Yes/Asia keyboardist Geoff Downes. Hackett soon left GTR over financial and management squabbles. In addition to Howe and Downes, Hackett has also worked with Yes drummer Bill Bruford in Genesis, Yes bassist Chris Squire (Chris Squire's Swiss Choir, 2007) and briefly Yes vocalist Trevor Horn (who produced the 1999 reunion version of "The Carpet Crawlers"). He also performed alongside former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman on the latter's TV Show Gastank in the mid 1980s. Hackett's long-time keyboardist, Julian Colbeck, played live with Yes spin-off Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe.
Hackett's solo career continued, releasing a plethora of both electric and acoustic based and mostly pop-oriented albums throughout the 1990s: Guitar Noir (1993), Blues with a Feeling (1994), Genesis Revisited (1996), Darktown (1999). In April 1997 he released the neo-classical influenced A Midsummer Night's Dream, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the album spent several weeks in the Top 10 of the UK classical charts. In the 2000s Hackett released Sketches of Satie (2000) with John Hackett, Feedback 86 (2000), To Watch The Storms (2003), Metamorpheus (2005), Wild Orchids (2006) and Tribute (2008). In June 2009, he announced a new solo album featuring contributions of many artists, including former Genesis guitarist Anthony Phillips and Chris Squire of Yes. The album, which was due for release mid October 2009 and called Out of the Tunnel's Mouth, was delayed due to legal reasons, but was eventually on sale in November 2009, and some songs were performed on the European tour. In 2011 Hackett released his 24th studio album Beyond the Shrouded Horizon and in 2012 he went on tour to promote the album in the UK. In 2012, Hackett and Chris Squire collaborated to produce the Squackett album A Life Within a Day. Steve Hackett released Genesis Revisited II in late October 2012.
Solo career studio albums
Voyage of the Acolyte (1975)
Please Don't Touch (1978)
Spectral Mornings (1979)
Highly Strung (1982)
Bay of Kings (1983)
Till We Have Faces (1984)
Guitar Noir (1993)
Blues With A Feeling (1994)
Watcher of the Skies: Genesis Revisited (1996)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (1997)
Sketches of Satie (2000, with John Hackett)
Feedback 86 (2000)
To Watch the Storms (2003)
Wild Orchids (2006)
Out of the Tunnel's Mouth (2009)
Beyond the Shrouded Horizon (2011)
Genesis Revisited II (2012)