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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 24 December 2005
Where his previous solo release, ‘Please Don’t Touch’, attempted to bridge American and British music of the period, its 1979 successor marked a return to a musical context closer to the spiritual home of Steve Hackett’s former band, Genesis.
A UK chart hit, ‘Spectral Mornings’ hit all the right buttons for fans, crossing whimsy-laced pastoral symphonic rock with early ‘world’ styling assisted by a diversity of instrumentation, both acoustic and synthesised.
Equally diverse in output, Hackett and a tight, well-drilled band including Dik (Decameron) Cadbury and Nick (Enid) Magnus deliver bags of shade and light from the exciting opener (and live mainstay) ‘Every Day’, the jaunty ditty in ‘Ballad Of the Decomposing Man’, the delicate Spanish guitar instrumental in ‘Lost Time in Cordoba’, the thundering instrumental in ‘Clock – The Angel Of Mons’ replete with drum solo, and – well, you get the gist of it.
Other standouts include the pretty ‘Virgin & The Gypsy’ (Steve got the lyrics down after a few glasses of wine reading ‘The Victorian Book Of Flowers’), and the closing title track, a dramatic slice of soaring melodic prog that takes us – on this generous re-mastered, mid-price package – back to the beginning with alternate takes plus two live tracks.
Even in its moments of bombast, there is a gentle, intelligent charm and spirituality in ‘Spectral Mornings’, a record of its time but its values undiluted by the fact, and with the capacity and range to entertain just as ably today.
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on 16 May 2017
excellent
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on 1 August 2017
Thank you for the music.....
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on 13 August 2011
I thought Steve Hackett had lost his way with the previous album. If he had he found it again. This was a welcome return to form and reminded us what Genesis had lost.
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on 11 February 2008
Most of the reviews already submitted concentrate on the quality of the album and it must be said that it does contain some of Steves best songs, with only a couple of tracks not quite up to the mark.

Instead I wanted to showcase the bonus tracks on offer here as this remastered cd does offer quite a few; in fact it's very generous and brings the playing time to around 71 minutes. However, it's really a question of quantity above quality (and also the track timings listed on the sleeve are quite wrong). Best of the bunch for me is the extended version of the classic track 'Every Day' which extends the instrumental section until it fades more quietly than on the original cut. Next up, the wonderful 'The Virgin and the Gypsy' is also extended but only to repeat the instrumental middle passage over and over again. The alternative mix of 'Tiger Moth' features just the vocal section sung whistfully by Peter Hicks; not sure what the point of that is.'The Ballad of the Decomposing Man' is also an alternative mix but it sounds much the same. The single version of 'Clocks' follows next and chops the frenetic drum section sadly, so is vastly inferior to the standard cut. An excellent live 'Acoustic Set' is next up and this was the b-side of the 'Clocks' single; it features a lovely version of 'Horizons' from the Genesis album 'Foxtrot' with a very long round of applause. The other acoustic pieces are not quite as enthusistically received but do give a flavour of Steves live acoustic technique. A rare live cut of 'Tiger Moth' was featured on the 12" 'Clocks' single and is included here but strangely the music fades out before Peter Hicks' vocals start as it was on the 12" release - shame they could not have restored the full track here.

There is a slight trick in the tail if you pardon the pun, 'Tiger Moth (live)' is the last listed track and it duly fades but the clock keeps ticking (sorry, another pun !) and then a hidden track 16 starts up. What can I say about this piece of nonsense ? Someone with a very bad cough appears to be clearing up after the band and cursing about bands in general being "layabouts". This rambles on for about one and a half minutes and then stops when a door is slammed. Very strange.
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on 17 January 2011
Brilliant Album. Updating from an old tape to CD. I was lucky enough to see him perform this Album twice in the past and the quality of the remasted album is brilliant
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on 31 December 2012
The remastered version has been cleaned up nicely, giving are more open sound, plus bonus tracks, so worth buying this version.
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on 26 December 2010
I can't add anything more to what has already been said,apart from saying that if Steve is not recognised in some way for his contribution to music, it will go down as being one of the biggest travesties of justice the musicworld has ever seen.
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on 28 January 2011
Not much more to say really. I stumbled across the title track one day and was bowled over by the sublime playing. For the main, a very nicely chilled album.
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on 11 July 2009
I first heard this album about 25 years ago, and I fell in love with the opening track "Every Day" for it's insistent and instantly catchy style. The title track "Spectral Mornings" itself has an ethereal quality typical of Hackett's work with Genesis. Fans of the early Genesis albums will find much to enjoy.
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