STEVE HACKETT VIDEO
excellent video. Strong effort from beginning to end! A must own!
very good video. A few low points but, overall, a decent effort.
good video. Several weak points detract from the release, but it's still
mediocre video. Unless you're a real fan, you might not like this
release very much.
poor video. Stay away from this one unless you are a hardcore fan!
The Tokyo Tapes DVD (2001)
Recorded live in concert on Steve's 1996 Genesis Revisited Tour
of Japan, The Tokyo Tapes highlights some of Hackett's own solo
material along side new interpretations of Genesis classics written
while he was with the band. Unlike the 1999 Asian pressing of this DVD
(called Steve Hackett & Friends - Live In Japan) on Panorama
Music Video, the new Camino issue features 18 minutes of unreleased
rehearsal footage. Hackett's line-up on this tour is among my favorites
of his touring bands. The band featured: Chester Thompson on drums; John
Wetton on vocals and bass guitar; Ian McDonald on flute, sax, keyboards,
vocals and guitar; Julian Colbeck on keyboards and vocals; and Steve
Hackett on guitars, harmonica, and vocals.
Here are my thoughts on this product:
The new animated menus are a vast improvement over the old still menu on
the original Asian edition. Also, the colors are much sharper and natural
looking than the old version. The picture on parts of this DVD are
often a little dark, although it is presented as intended, and is
certainly not due to reformatting to DVD.
As an American fan, this is really my only means of seeing Hackett
perform the majority of this material live since he hasn't done a proper
tour of North America in almost ten years. The concert itself is
excellent. All members appeared to be in top form that evening. Some of
the outstanding moments included great versions of Genesis classics like
"Watcher of The Skies" and "Fifth of Fifth" with
Wetton on vocals (not to mention the instrumentals "In That Quiet
Earth" and "Los Endos"), Hackett favorites like "The
Steppes" and "Black Light," and cover versions of the
touring band's own outside projects including an amazing rendition of
King Crimson's "The Court of The Crimson King" and acoustic
version of Asia's "Heat of The Moment!"
The audio is available in both Dolby Digital stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
The standard stereo version is better than expected, but not astounding.
The 5.1 surround sound track is very good, and certainly better than
many I have heard in terms of overall fidelity.
18 Minutes of Rehearsal Footage
Initially, I wondered if it would be really worth owning the new edition
of this DVD since I paid a good chunk of change for the old one. After
watching these extras, I'd say that answer is definitely
"Yes!" Actually, I enjoyed the rehearsal footage even more
than I liked the concert! The whole behind the scenes all access feel of
this footage was completely interesting and, frankly, fun to watch. I've
always been fascinated with studio outtakes and recording, so watching
this was almost like being a fly on the wall during a private session. I
should say that the video footage used on the additional material does
not appear to be professionally shot; however, that does not detract
from the viewing. In fact, it gives the footage a quasi-bootleg feel
(except, unlike a bootleg, the picture and sound quality is actually
very good). Now that the technology is readily available, I hope that at
some point, someone from Genesis puts out a video documentary with
nothing but a behind the scenes look at the making of an album in the
studio. Personally, I think that would be a cool idea.
The band biographies included are really nothing special. Basically, it
appears to be the same text used on the official Steve Hackett website.
So, if you've read all though the site, you're not going to get anything
new with these extras. Still, as a fan, I suppose it's nice to
This DVD doesn't have a book or even a slip of paper with the track
listing inside! This is one area where the original Asian pressing is
far superior. I am glad; however, to see that the original artwork has
been restored rather than use the cheesy psychedelic graphics of the
Asian Laserdisc and DVD.
The Tokyo Tapes is definitely a worth while purchase for any
Hackett or Genesis fan. While there is no commentary track or interviews
with the band, the extra 18 minutes of rehearsal footage and quality of
the live concert are definitely worth the price of admission.
Hackett - Somewhere In South America DVD (2002)
Recorded live in concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Steve's 2001
tour, Somewhere In South America, features the line-up of Steve
Hackett on vocals and guitar, Roger King on keyboards, Terry Gregory on
bass and vocals, Rob Townsend on saxophone and flute, and Gary O'Toole
on drums and vocals.
The concert showcased Hackett in all his glory spanning his career with
classics ranging from his own solo works and his recent classical
project with John Hackett to his work with Genesis and beyond! Musically
speaking, Steve Hackett and his band are 'tighter' than ever here. In
addition to some old favorites from Hackett's career, we also get a few
new, non-album gems like "Mechanical Bride" and
Here are my overall thoughts on this product:
First off, let me say... WOW! Visually, the picture quality has come a
long way since the release of Hackett's last DVD, The Tokyo Tapes.
Not only is the picture sharp and pristinely clear, but the brightness
and rich colors from the lighting are simply spectacular! This is as
clean and sharp a picture as you are going to get on DVD - Well
Sadly, the initial plan to provide multi-camera angles was scrapped due
to technical problems from the original owner of the video masters.
Also, the menus are also somewhat bland and unanimated, but if that is
the biggest complaint I can make, I'm a happy camper! All that being
said, this DVD looks so good its hard to find fault with it.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and Dolby
Digital 2.0 surround sound.
The 5.1 mix is fantastic! Again, a first rate job! I can't quite figure
out if technology has advanced so much since to release of The Tokyo
Tapes or if Hackett and company just learned from his mistakes last
time out and raised the bar for a higher quality product. Either way, it
Somewhere In Italy
This is a 20 minute behind-the-scenes featurette on Hackett's 2000 tour
of Italy. This bonus clip includes some interviews with Steve and his
band along with some very cool rehearsal footage. Personally, I love
watching the rehearsals. You don't get quite as much of the rehearsal
footage as you do on the Tokyo Tapes, but it blends well with the
Again, a first-rate product. There are two editions of this release. The
first comes in a standard DVD case with a simple full-color card insert.
The other pressing is a deluxe edition packaged in a high-quality
slipcase with a beautiful full-color tri-fold digipack complete with the
DVD and the 2-CD version of the concert. I highly recommend the latter
of the two if you are a Steve Hackett fan, it's truly unique packaging
and a comprehensive collection of recordings from the 2001 tour.
I managed to see Hackett when he toured the U.S. in 2002 for the first
time in ten years, and this set takes me back to that unforgettable
summer night each time I pop it in my DVD player. Somewhere In South
America is a fantastic package in every sense of the word. Not only
is the set enjoyable, but between the quality of the picture, the
incredible sound, and the deluxe packaging in the 3-disc version, it
might very well be the best package I've ever seen on DVD... period!
Hackett - Live Legends DVD (2004)
Recorded live in concert in Nottingham, England in October 1990, Live
Legends, features the line-up of Steve
Hackett on vocals and guitar; John Hackett on flute, guitar, and bass
pedals; Julian Colbeck on keyboards and vocals; Fudge Smith on drums;
and Ian Ellis on bass and vocals.
If the band line-up, date, and location sound familiar, it is because it
is practically identical to the 2003 DVD release called Steve Hackett Horizons,
which was issued by Classic Rock Legends, Ltd. (which is apparently not
the same as Classic Rock Productions who made this new reissue). The only differences
are the new name and picture sleeve (say goodbye to the Roger Dean
artwork!), and the newly added option of DTS Digital Surround (as
opposed to just Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround available on the old
Here are my overall thoughts on this product:
The video quality on this release is good, but not fantastic. Normally,
I might believe that this is due to the quality of the original master
tapes, but since I own the original Japanese laserdisc, which is far
superior than both DVD pressings (and includes more footage!), I have to
assume this is due to lack of effort and not source quality. The
performances themselves are good for the most part, but there are a few
weak moments in a couple of songs like the version of Genesis' "In
That Quiet Earth" which is musically clumsy at times. For some
reason, Steve also appears to be hamming it up to the camera on this
video which, at times, looks awkward and far less natural than he does
on other DVD releases of more recent gigs.
As mentioned, the audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and
DTS Digital Surround. The multi-channel mix is also good, but not
outstanding. The mix lacks the well-rounded "Umph!" of sound
that will be experienced on Hackett's other DVDs. In fact, its
probably one of the flattest surround mixes I have had the experience of
hearing. Yes, it is true surround, but it just doesn't leave you overly impressed.
There really isn't much in the way of extras on this release. Gone are
all the shameless promo clips from other non-Hackett related Classic
Rock DVDs that was included on the Horizons DVD.
The packaging is bare-bones. No booklet is included and there is no
supplemental material inside.
While it is great to have a vintage concert on DVD from Hackett and
company, knowing that a superior version with higher quality picture,
sound, and added footage exists somewhere in the vaults makes owning
this video bittersweet. Hackett fans of old will welcome this DVD to
their collections, but one can only hope that a higher quality edition
will follow if this gets repackaged yet again.
GTR - Live DVD (2007)
For many years in the bootleg trading world, you could get a
poor-quality copy of GTR recorded live in 1986 from Hanover, Germany on
their only world tour. Perhaps not surprisingly, this tour never saw an
official release on video despite it being professionally broadcast on
German television... until now. I'm very pleased to say that, at least in
Japan, this much sought after live video has finally been released
commercially through WHD Entertainment, the company that reissued the
majority of the Steve Hackett catalog on mini LP style CDs in 2007.
Thankfully, the Japanese DVD is NTSC/Region 0, so its playable in Asia,
North America, and many parts of Europe (even if NTSC is not their format
of choice). The band line-up of Steve Hackett and Steve Howe on guitars,
Max Bacon on vocals, Phil Spalding on bass, and Jonathan Mover on drums
are all present on this DVD.
Here are my overall thoughts on this product:
After seeing the bootleg video, I was blown away by the overall quality
of the officially released video. There are a few grainy spots but the
colors are relatively sharp and crisp - especially for such an old
video. There are a few disappointing moments, like the inclusion of
"Hackett To Bits (Edit)" on the track listing only to see that "edit"
meant you got about thirty seconds of the song (including the intro to
the audience)! There is also one moment where the show is cut-into by
German commentators who advertise next weeks show (remember, it was
taken from an old TV broadcast!). Otherwise, the performance is
uninterrupted. Frankly, its not the band's best performance in concert,
but it is a fairly good representation of the band's brief career.
The video offers Dolby Digital stereo sound. 5.1 would have been nice
but, for a stereo mix, it sounds very good. Since this came from a TV
broadcast, 5.1 surround may not have been feasible given the source used
for the making of the DVD. So, I suppose I can't fault them on that.
Besides, its a miracle this actually got released on DVD, so beggars
can't be choosers!
Nothing much to speak of. This was a missed opportunity. Between the
"Making of GTR" that was available on video in the '80s and the pro-shot
promotional music videos for "The Hunter" and "When The Heart Rules The
Mind," they could have really taken this DVD to the next level with the
inclusion of some of this other footage.
The packaging is nothing special. The DVD comes in a standard DVD case
with a one-page insert. The artwork does feature a new variation of the
old vintage GTR logo, which was a nice nod to the era.
I really enjoyed the GTR album in the '80s, but more than 20 years
later, the material does sound very dated (as the concert also
reflects). As a Hackett fan and collector, I'm extremely pleased that
this title finally surfaced on DVD officially, but it seems a shame that
the package does not include the officially released "Making of GTR"
video footage that surfaced on VHS in the '80s. That period documentary
with the band and inclusion of the music videos would have made an
amazing extra for this product and made this truly the definitive GTR
title video. Sadly, that documentary will probably never surface on
video ever again... Then again, I never thought this concert video would
surface either, so you never know!
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