Steve Hackett takes us through the records that really impacted his life and talks about his new Album, The Night Siren
Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles
The Beatles employed music from around the world on this album, from the end of the pier to the far pavilions of India. It opened up the possibility of genre mixing. Suddenly, the global village was encapsulated on vinyl. It seemed to be much more than an album. It was as if the Beatles had held up a mirror to a world that was reflected back in extraordinary colour.
This album opened a world of possibilities in music, fashion and art. It made me realise that a record could be like a film for the ear, taking you through many scenes where virtually anything was possible...
Selling England by the Pound by Genesis
For a young, struggling band of 23-year-olds, as we were in Genesis at the time, 1973 proved to be a heady year. We were thrilled to hear that John Lennon was enjoying listening to Selling England by the Pound. I felt the album showed how we had evolved as players and writers to come up with something that was typically English but was making an impression internationally because of its idiosyncratic character and its mercurial nature.
As a package it was full of surprises, from Betty Swanick's beautiful cover to the epic quality of the track “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight”, which combined influences from Scottish plainsong to Jazz fusion. I felt proud to be playing guitar with such an extraordinary band.
Segovia Plays Bach by Andrès Segovia
I chose this classical album because from the very first note I was thrilled to hear what the classical guitar could do in the hands of such an eloquent and gifted player. It sounded as if I was listening to a small orchestra.
At times it sounded more like piano than guitar and at others—it seemed to thunder like a symphony to my young ears. It inspired me to play classical guitar and also challenged me to combine classical elements with rock music.
About my new album, The Night Siren…
This latest album of mine was an adventure from the start, taking me into new zones around the world. It involved at least 20 people from numerous countries, as well as instruments and genres from far flung regions.
There was also a social element, showing how people can be enriched by connecting with each other. For instance, two people singing together on the album came from Israel and Palestine respectively... Flying in the face of a move towards division and strife in the world today, I feel this album was personally important with its underlying message of peace.
Steve Hackett’s live DVD, Wuthering Heights: Live in Birmingham, is out on January 26 on Inside Out Music