Spectral Mornings

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Spectral Mornings
Studio album by Steve Hackett
Released May 1979
Recorded January–February 1979
Studio Phonogram Studios, Hilversum, The Netherlands
Genre Progressive rock
Length 39:03
Label Charisma, Chrysalis, Caroline
Producer John Acock, Steve Hackett
Steve Hackett chronology
Please Don't Touch
(1978)Please Don't Touch1978
Spectral Mornings
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[1]

Spectral Mornings is the third studio album by English guitarist and songwriter Steve Hackett, released in May 1979 on Charisma Records. It is his first to feature members of his touring band, consisting of his brother John Hackett, Nick Magnus, Dik Cadbury, John Shearer, and Peter Hicks.

In 2005, Spectral Mornings was remastered and re-released on Virgin Records. The new edition features updated liner notes and bonus tracks. A new 5.1 surround mix of the album by Steven Wilson is included in Hackett's 2015 compilation box set Premonitions: The Charisma Recordings 1975–1983.


After the release of his previous album, Please Don't Touch!, in 1978, Hackett wished to tour the material from the album along with material from his previous solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte.[2] This meant that he needed to assemble a touring band since the personnel on Please Don't Touch! had essentially consisted of guest musicians. The band that he created for this purpose became the band that he used in the studio for Spectral Mornings and the following album, 1980's Defector. Members of Genesis had contacted Hackett to say how much they really liked this and previous albums, since it was material Hackett felt he could have used with the band.[3]


This is the second album for which Hackett used a Roland GR-500 Guitar Synthesizer. It can be heard on two tracks: "The Virgin and the Gypsy" and "Tigermoth".

Lead vocals on most of the album were provided by Peter Hicks, which were very often backed with harmonies by Steve Hackett and Dik Cadbury. Cadbury arranged the harmony vocals, having been trained as a counter tenor (falsetto) singer.[2] Hackett himself sings lead on "The Ballad of the Decomposing Man".

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Steve Hackett, except where indicated.

Side 1

  1. "Every Day" – 6:14
  2. "The Virgin and the Gypsy" – 4:27
  3. "The Red Flower of Tachai Blooms Everywhere" – 2:05
  4. "Clocks – The Angel of Mons" – 4:17
  5. "The Ballad of the Decomposing Man" (featuring "The Office Party") – 3:49

Side 2

  1. "Lost Time in Córdoba" – 4:03
  2. "Tigermoth" – 7:35
  3. "Spectral Mornings" – 6:33
  • 2005 Remaster Bonus Tracks
  1. "Every Day" (Alternate Mix) – 7:08
  2. "The Virgin and the Gypsy" (Alternate Mix) – 4:29
  3. "Tigermoth" (Alternate Mix) – 3:19
  4. "The Ballad of the Decomposing Man" (Alternate Mix) – 4:23
  5. "Clocks" (12" Single Version) – 3:37
  6. "Live Acoustic Set" – 5:40 (Matteo Carcassi; arranged by Steve Hackett, John Hackett)
  7. "Tigermoth" (Live Version) – 3:58
  8. "The Janitor" – 1:41 (unlisted) (featuring Peter Hicks)[4]

Note: "The Janitor" was a hidden joke track that had appeared on some early CD copies of the album. It features the vocalist Peter Hicks, here as a studio cleaner, being angry with the musicians about the mess that they made working in the studio.


  • Steve Hackett – acoustic and electric guitars, Roland guitar synthesizer, lead vocals on "The Ballad of the Decomposing Man", harmony/backing vocals on "Every Day" and "The Virgin and the Gypsy," koto on "The Red Flowers of Tachai Blooms Everywhere", harmonica
  • John Hackett – flute, bamboo flute, Taurus Moog bass pedals
  • Dik Cadbury – bass, Taurus Moog bass pedals, harmony/backing vocals on "Every Day," "The Virgin and the Gypsy," and "Tigermoth"
  • Suzanne Ciani - Modular synthesizer
  • Peter Hicks – vocals on "Every Day," "The Virgin and the Gypsy," and "Tigermoth"
  • Nick Magnus – keyboards, Vox String Thing, Novatron, Clavichord, clavinet, Fender Rhodes electric piano, Mini Moog, Roland string
  • John Shearer – drums, percussions



Hackett toured the album with the same band in 1979. A recording of an entire show on this tour is found on Discs 1 and 2 of Live Archive 70s 80s 90s, released in 2001.


  1. ^ Connolly, D. "Spectral Mornings – Steve Hackett | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Hackett, Steve, Spectral Mornings 2005 Remaster liner notes, 2005. EMI
  3. ^ Rolling Stone Magazine 22 October 2012 interview with Steve Hackett
  4. ^ a b Sketches of Hackett: The Authorised Steve Hackett Biography, by Alan Hewitt, Wymer Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9557542-3-4