Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Albums of the Day

Chasing the Dragon, by John Wetton (1994), and Time Lapse, by Steve Hackett (1992): Two of the big names of 70s prog, releasing two very different live albums within a couple of years of each other.

Wetton (backed by, among others, John Beck of It Bites) skims through a selection of track from his whole career, including what should be highlights from his days with King Crimson and UK. In fact, he's better when sticking to the poppier Asia and solo tracks (the acoustic guitar and vocal "Heat of the Moment" is quite good, actually). The older stuff ranges from leaden to just embarrassing ("Starless" reduced to three minutes? - blasphemy!).

Hackett, by contrast, sticks mostly to his solo years, with much better effect. To be fair, a large hunk of Steve's disc was recorded in 1981 (backed by, among others, Ian Mosley, in the pre-Marillion days), but even the tracks from 1990 are solid. Hackett has had some odd diversions though the years (a blues album, various acoustic projects), but he returns to the proggy stuff with regularity and style.

Ironically, just after the Wetton album came out, he teamed up with Hackett as part of his Genesis Revisited and The Tokyo Tapes projects.

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