Steve Hackett Reflects On His Post-Genesis Debut

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The guitarist Steve Hackett recently appeared on Louder Sound for an interview and reflected on his first album, ‘Please Don’t Touch!’ following his departure from Genesis. Hackett opened up about his approach to this record as a solo artist.

Steve Hackett posted an ad writing he was looking for a new band, and Genesis’ lead vocalist Peter Gabriel responded. Following the audition, Hackett joined the band as the lead guitarist and took place in his first gig with them at City University in 1971. Later, he contributed to the band’s third studio ‘Nursey Crime,’ which succeeded in Continental Europe, mainly Italy.

Immediately after his participation, Hackett gave a new direction to the band’s sound by adding Mellotron into the songs. His guitar technique shaped the band’s style, especially in the solos of the songs like ‘The Musical Box.’ The guitarist was an early proponent of the tapping technique, which is commonly associated with Eddie Van Halen.

While still a member of Genesis in 1975, the musician released his solo debut album ‘Voyage of the Acolyte,’ which reached number 26 in the UK. Then, he continued working with Genesis for the next record, ‘A Trick of the Tail,’ the band’s first work featuring Phil Collins as the lead vocalist. Later, Hackett left Genesis in 1977 after his final studio album, ‘Wind & Wuthering.’

Following his departure, the guitarist focused on his solo career and released his first post-Genesis album ‘Please Don’t Touch!’ He collaborated with several guest musicians from different genres for the record, including Richie Havens, R&B singer Randy Crawford, and Steve Walsh from the progressive rock band Kansas.

Recently, Hackett opened up more about his first solo album after leaving the band and stated he wanted to embrace an innovative approach instead of using stereotypical formulas. He explained that he always aimed to add various styles to the songs and not to be repetitive in each record. The guitarist said he never hesitated to combine different ideas in his solo albums.

Steve Hackett said the following about his album ‘Please Don’t Touch!’:

“I get appalled at the formulaic approach that most people seem to allow themselves to slip into. Isn’t it nice to take the character actor’s approach, allow yourself to tell a different story and the music to wear different clothes? I like to think that it can still be surprising. So much of the music I’ve done has been about contrasts. I always felt that from ‘Please Don’t Touch!,’ which I released just after Genesis, you could include ideas that sounded like vastly different bands.

I remember Tony Stratton-Smith, head of Charisma Records, saying to me at the time that he thought it was the album’s strength and weakness – the fact that I was reinventing myself with each track. But somehow, I wasn’t to be deterred as I didn’t want to make music that was merely radio-friendly. I don’t want to spend my life auditioning for The Six O’Clock Show. That’s not what it’s all about for me.”

You can check out the album below.