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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 May 2017
if you are looking at a 3 disc version on Amazon you know this album! Is it worth buying again for the Steve Wilson 5.1 remix, my title says yes! If you love this album and have the right speaker set up, a must have!
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on 8 August 2001
Steve Hackett is a genius. The use of guest vocalists does justice to some brilliant, atmospheric songs in a way Steve's own voice never could. Steve writes beautiful songs and plays guitar with great skill and imagination. This album is worth getting for two songs alone - "How Can I?" sung by Richie Havens, and the beautiful "Hoping Love Will Last", sung by Randy Crawford. But the rest is brilliant as well. This album is like an old friend to me.
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VINE VOICEon 6 October 2005
Having become frustrated with the lack of compositional input which he was allowed to make within the confines of Genesis, Steve Hackett decided to leave and pursue a solo career. Spurred on by the success of his debut album "Voyage Of The Acolyte", made during the group hiatus after Peter Gabriel's departure, this second solo album and first after his departure from Genesis sees Hackett tackling a range of styles within his songwriting.
The interesting thing about "Please Don't Touch" is the use of American vocalists. It was as if Hackett was consciously wishing to move away from his English prog rock roots. Having the likes of Ritchie Havens and Randy Crawford sing against a backdrop of ethereal rock with Hacketts trademark sustained guitar tone made for unusual if not disconcerting listening. However it does work, mostly. "Hoping Love Will Last" is a beautiful song, made even more so by Randy's vocals. Steve Walsh from Kansas gives "Narnia" and "Racing In A" a cool veneer and Richie Haven's gruff voice adds a gloomy air to "Icarus Ascending". Other tracks such as "Carry On Up the Vicarage" is pure Genesis of the "Harold the Barrel"/"I Know What I Like" school of English eccentric whimsy. But it's the title track that really stands out. A typical Hackett explosive instrumental, clearly and emphatically showing what Genesis would now be missing.
In some ways this is a bit of a hodge podge of an album, though one I still quite like for all that. I think the use of guest vocalists, though largely effective does in some way sit uneasily with the material and give the album as a whole a less than cohesive feel. Also some of the material seems a bit sketchy, lacking the emphatic nature of "Voyage Of the Acolyte" as a whole piece. That concluded with the epic "Shadow Of The Hierophant", but "Icarus Ascending" doesn't seem to gel the same with the instrumental sections not really going anywhere. But for all that this album still has plenty to recommend it.
The live version of the title track, included here as a bonus is excellent and the remastering is a breath of fresh air. The album artwork by Kim Poor is amongst my favourites of hers. I always felt she was the best sleeve artist Genesis never had!
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on 2 February 2010
This was the first Steve Hackett album I listened to and it reallyy is brilliant. It is slightly reminiscent of early Genesis and is both musically and lyrically amazing. It has some really jolly and funny tracks like "Narnia" and "Carry on up the vicarage" but also has some really beautiful and moving tracks like "How can I?" and "Hoping love will last" with a few amazing instrumentals thrown in for good measure.
In traditional Hackett style the album has booklet containing lyrics and a detailed introduction and description of the album and the process of making it which is worth a read.
As much as I love this album, if you are looking for classic Steve Hackett at his best you should look into buying Spectral Mornings which is by far the best album I've heard for a long time.
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Having left Genesis, and having already proved to be one of the tastiest guitarists in the country, after the excellent Voyage of the Acolyte our man then made this delightful and musically upbeat piece of work.
With contributions from among others Randy Crawford, and Richie Havens on two songs (the touching story of how he and SH met and became friends is told in the superb accompanying booklet) and a plethora of musicians on the same wavelength as the protean, eclectic Hackett, this is an early marvel in the now extensive Hackett discography.
The song How Can I? as sung by Havens is an undoubted highlight, but even the joyous opening track Narnia will delight fans and newcomers alike. Randy Crawford sings Hoping Love Will Last in her inimitable, oddly vulnerable way - what a distinctive voice she has.
The title track is prog rock heaven, with a heft dollop of the Hackett guitar wizardry. The rest of this fine album is up to to the same high standard.
Still to come from the modestly impeccable guitarist were such wonders as Spectral Mornings, the superb Guitar Noir, and the astounding Beyond the Shrouded Horizon, among many others, but this was early notice of the musical spirit of one of rock's most likable and durable personalities.

Lovely stuff.
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on 3 July 2008
The first Genesis album I ever heard was A Trick of the Tail in 1977. I was blown away by the songwriting and instumental viruosity. Then came Wind and Wuthering. I felt much the same. Then Hackett left for pastures new and produced Please Don't Touch, and I thought that all my birthdays etc... If I was ever asked to name one of about 25 albums I would take with me to a desert island, this would be one. Richie Havens, Randy Crawford et al. Blistering guitar work, great songwriting, if he never made another album (and this was the proverbial "difficult" second album), this would be more than enough. After this there was nothing left to prove.
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on 24 January 2008
Stev'es proper departure album form Genesis is a really interesting journey through the mind of the artist. It was almost like he's saying " listen chaps its alright to like all types of music but still have the influences you like" A great example is Hoping Love Will Last featuring a soul/ blues singer he saw in a small club in the US called Randy Crawford ( yes the one who became really famous)The track meanders along beautifully with Randys voice being given the space to soar and then in the middle 8 a wonderful string quartet joins in the fun with Steve's guitar bringing it all to a close before unleashing the title track which will blow your socks off, Get hold of the live version it was the set opener for years and is amazing
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on 24 December 2005
Where his solo debut 'Voyage of the Acolyte' was a busman's holiday from the day job with Genesis, its 1977 successor was recorded after Steve Hackett's departure from the band.
Perhaps this part-explains why it is so distinct musically from 'Voyage ...' and indeed the rest of the guitarist's '70s Charisma catalogue, newly remastered and bolstered with alternate takes and live versions of tracks.
Where his band mates were all over his debut, they are absent here. Hackett turned to America for help on 'Please Don't Touch' and back across the water came the likes of Richie Havens, Randy Crawford and members of AOR giants, Kansas, to lend a hand with his brother John, Brit session men and the ever-reliable John Acock in the production and engineering chairs.
Received wisdom may have it that prog rock is a quintessentially European affair (nonsense) but it follows that Hackett (a man who rocks pastorally) would not try to fix something that wasn't broken and make another fine progressive rock album with this pan-Atlantic talent.
Recorded in London and Los Angeles, 'Please Don't Touch' however is a melange that skips from the disparate musical corners of the jolly English music hall romp of 'Carry on Up the Vicarage - A Musical Tribute To Agatha Christie' to the FM-friendly balladeering of 'Hoping Love Will Last' buttressed by finely wrought complex instrumental work-outs closer aesthetically to Hackett's former enterprise.
There is no denying the strengths of the constituent parts of this album - everything is well-written and executed by a highly professional team. But the diversity of genres ultimately denies the album a cohesion.
Regard this as an 'industry' capabilities showcase by an artist with a career to progress and a point to make to one of his largest markets, and it works - Hackett is undeniably a gifted writer and musical interpreter.
Fans went along with it but in all probability, were quietly relieved when Steve brought in album number three, the soaring 'Spectral Mornings' - and a return to more English sensibilities.
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on 25 September 2011
I have owned this album since it came out soon after Steve Hackett left Genesis. Whilst it is patchy in parts, the guest vocal performances by Randy Crawford and Richie Havens are both outstanding and remain firm favouroites of mine. Randy's vocals on 'Hoping Love will last' are very moving and Richie's on 'Icarus Ascending' are unbelievably powerful. Buy it or download these two tracks.
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on 31 July 2016
I would say this record is special to me. About half of it was recorded in Southern California, including some location sounds which I believe were captured at the Santa Monica Pier amusement area ("I'm Bimbo the Clown!") about 25 miles from where I was living at the time. I recall reading a very positive review in a copy of Melody Maker in the university library and you know how snobby those people could be!

A recording of many genres, styles, and or mindsets, Please Don't Touch now has the added dimension of surround sound via Steven Wilson's fresh remix. The package trades in the old fashioned jewelcase of earlier reissues, which seemed almost futuristic in the 1980's, for a very attractive matte cardboard quad foldout design holding 2 Compact Discs. Several scans of music press reviews are printed on the inside, while the booklet features colour photos from the 1978 recording sessions, comments from Steve Hackett and great notes by Cherry Red Records' Mark Powell. A DVD hides in the right hand sleeve.

The sound quality of the new stereo remix is excellent, surpassing that of quite a few recordings made today ("Touch" was recorded in 1978) and I would say the power and energy are superior to what I've ever been able to get from my vintage Chrysalis LP. The audio on the 5.1 mix is very good. Steven W. tends to stay close to the spirit of the original stereo mix as is usual in his work, and while there's plenty going on in all channels, it's always involving, never distracting.

Although the disc is next to me as I write this and I clearly read the words "DVD Audio" on the label, it is actually in the DVD Video format and presents the listener with a choice of high resolution stereo, Dolby 5.1 or DTS 96k/24bit 5.1. Although I consider the sound to be very good (the hand operated bass pedals on "Please Don't Touch" are suitably thunderous), it is missing a bit of clarity and realism compared to a CD on the surround tracks. I doubt that this would be the case with a true DVD Audio LPCM surround track. (Dolby and DTS are considered "lossy" compression schemes, so some data is eliminated to save space.) Listening to the 96/24 stereo tracks I was startled to discover that this is the first "high resolution" recording that I hear as an improvement over the CD sound; just a bit more definition and "sparkle" on acoustic guitar and a touch more of a you-are-there sound on vocals as an example.

The wrap up? "Please Don't Touch" goes from an album you listen to to one you experience in this new version.
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