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on 20 March 2002
If only all artists gave the fans exactly what they want. Four discs of live Hackett bliss only slightly let down by slightly dodgy sound quality of Disc 3 - but a classic performance that demanded release nonetheless.
Discs 1 & 2 comprise a single complete concert performance from Hammersmith Odeon 1979 - the Spectral Mornings tour - seeing a confident band reprise many of the classic songs from Steve's first three albums. Sound quality is very good and the variety of music on offer shows just why Steve Hackett live is such an experience. Good to see the crowd as enthusiastic as they are.
Disc 3 from Rome '81 is much more of a fan's feast as the sound quality may put off the casual fan. This is, however, my favorite disc as the tracks are performed with gusto and clearly the band loved every minute on stage as alluded to in Steve's accompanying notes.
Disc 4 brings us up to date with a more recent concert from 1993 and sound quality is first rate. Again a varied set with not too much repetition from the previous sets keeps interest high and if the quality of the set list isn't quite up to the 1970's/early 80's standard it is nonetheless an enjoyable listen.
I suppose I would have liked a further disc showing off Steve's acoustic guitar prowess and surely tapes from his 1983 solo acoustic tour must exist. Having said this his existing album "There are many sides to the Night" does offer a live acoustic set that most fans will already own.
A bonus to this release is the quality of the packaging and a nice touch is a full concert list from 1978 to the present. A worthy addition to Steve Hackett's back catalogue.
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on 20 December 2001
For those fans of 70's Genesis and Steve Hackett this is more than just a completist release. There are so many great tracks here. The 90's CD has the best sound quality, much better than I remember from the gig itself and heavily features Guitar Noir along with GTR and Genesis favourites. The 70s CDs feature a number of early Hackett tracks like Narnia and Racing in A that are missing from later live CDs and show and show just what a great band he put together for the gigs.
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on 21 March 2005
Oh how I looked forward to receiving this album. CDs one, two and four live up to expectation but I was totally appalled when I played the third CD in the series. A previous reviewer was dismissive of the abysmal sound quality from this Rome concert but I don't understand how anyone could be anything less than gutted when they hear it. It sounds like a pirate recording with over prominent crowd noise and a general lack of clarity.....as if someone in the audience recorded it from their coat pocket with a cheap tape recorder.
Given the exemplary production quality of his studio albums, I can't believe Mr Hackett himself would have been happy with this as the final edit and there must be a better live recording from the 80's era that is more representative of this superb band's work.
I'm as big a Hackett fan as anyone but not to the extent I can forgive a lazy and inept production attempt. A golden opportunity missed.........real shame.
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on 3 October 2006
This has got to be the collection for your life! Take his shows from 1979, 1981, and 1993 and you get this! The ultimate live collection.

1979's show takes up half the collection (Discs 1 & 2). It takes place at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. It has the formed Touring Band that Steve created (Pete Hicks, Dik Cadbury, John Shearer, Nick Magnus and Steve's Brother, John Hackett). The concert is part of the excellent "Spectral Mornings" tour.

1981's Show is in Rome (Italy) And is featured in Disc 3. Despite the sound quality being poor, The concert has a Funk Bass Line and Blasting Guitar Solos in it. "Ace Of Wands" and "Spectral Mornings" are highlights. This show is part of the "Cured" tour

1993's show is the most recent. Again live in London. There are 2 medleys in Disc 4 and is consided being listened to. The tours name is (You've guessed it!) The Guitar Noir" Tour.

If you are a Hackett fan. I consider recommending this to your big Hackett collection. GET IT WHILE IT IS RED HOT!
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on 9 January 2002
Here it is, the Hackett fan's dream release. Comprised herein are live versions of almost every great Hackett song (everybody will find something to be missing, no doubt, but you can't please everybody). Minor gripes: Pete Hicks doing 'Shadow of the Hierophant' in falsetto (it was originally sung by Sally Oldfield) jarrs a little, and 'Vampire with a Health Appetite' has always struck me as being not much more than a musical doodle - with such a fantastic back catalogue as Hackett's couldn't a better tune have been used? Otherwise, it's fabulous! Buy it immediately.
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on 7 December 2007
Have just bought this album, but have been a Genesis and more especially a Steve Hackett fan for many years.

My only comment is that it's worth paying the money just for the recording of Cinema Paradiso in Disc 4. Haunting and quite magical - i wish i had been there to watch it - I bet the audience was spellbound.
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