Voyage of the Acolyte

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Voyage of the Acolyte
Voyage--cover.jpg
Studio album by Steve Hackett
ReleasedOctober 1975
RecordedJune–July 1975
StudioKingsway Recorders, Kingsway, London
GenreProgressive rock
Length40:52
LabelCharisma
Producer
Steve Hackett chronology
Voyage of the Acolyte
(1975)
Please Don't Touch!
(1978)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Uncut5/5 stars

Voyage of the Acolyte is the first studio album by English guitarist, songwriter, and singer Steve Hackett. It was released in October 1975 on Charisma Records, and is his only album that was recorded and released while he was a member of Genesis. Hackett began to record the album in June 1975, weeks after Genesis had toured in support of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. It features contributions from various musicians, including his bandmates drummer Phil Collins and bassist Mike Rutherford, and his brother, John Hackett. The album has a loose concept with each track named after and their lyrics inspired by a different Tarot card.

The album was reissued in 2005 by Virgin Records, and in the U.S. in 2006 by Astralwerks, featuring bonus tracks. A surround upmix of the album is included in Premonitions: The Charisma Recordings 1975–1983 (2015).

Background and writing[edit]

By 1975, Hackett had been the guitarist in the progressive rock band Genesis for four years. He began to write sections of different songs while recording albums with Genesis, specifically at moments when his "services weren't really called upon, and I found I had a lot of spare time".[2] By this time, Hackett had become increasingly frustrated from the band's packed touring schedule which had affected his creativeness, and had a growing desire to work with a new set of musicians. He had written pieces without any specific project in mind, including those for instruments other than the guitar and another for a female vocalist, but after a while of this he had assembled enough ideas to form an album.[3] Development was put on hold in late 1974 due Genesis touring commitments, but Hackett remained productive and continued to write in his hotel room each night which kept him "sane" and help calm his stage nerves.[2]

When it came to a direction of the album, Hackett thought of a loose concept from his new found interest in Tarot cards, which he used to title the album's tracks, and their lyrics, based on various cards in a deck.[3] He took the cards that had conjured the strongest feeling and "mapped out a way of working",[2] such as having "Star of Sirius" a "poppy" track to reflect the optimism that the corresponding Tarot card depicts.[3] A track left off the album was one named "The Fool", which had Hackett play in a style similar to that of Pete Townshend to a song that was like "ELO meets The Who", but he chose not to use it.[2] Some of Hackett's material originated from his pre-Genesis days.[3] Hackett had convinced Genesis to rehearse "Shadow of the Hierophant" as a potential song for Foxtrot, but it fell through.[4] He credits his younger brother John Hackett, also a musician, who assisted in writing out the different parts for the other performers on the record to play and called him his "sounding board".[5] It marked their first collaboration on an album which has continued through Hackett's solo career.[2] The album also signified Hackett's first attempts at playing keyboards,[3] and aimed for an album that had a more layered sound.[6]

The album's original title was Premonitions, but management at Charisma disliked it and suggested Voyage of the Acolyte, to which Hackett agreed.[7]

Recording[edit]

Hackett recorded Voyage of the Acolyte in June and July 1975, starting one month after Genesis had finished touring their double concept album, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Recording was completed in four weeks[2] at Kingsway Recorders, then located in Kingsway, central London.

The album's cover is a Chinese watercolour painting by Brazilian artist Kim Poor,[8][9] whom Hackett later married and produced many of his future album covers.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Steve Hackett, except where indicated.[8]

Side one

  1. "Ace of Wands" – 5:23
  2. "Hands of the Priestess, Part I" – 3:28
  3. "A Tower Struck Down" (Steve Hackett, John Hackett) – 4:53
  4. "Hands of the Priestess, Part II" – 1:31
  5. "The Hermit" – 4:49

Side two

  1. "Star of Sirius" – 7:08
  2. "The Lovers" – 1:50
  3. "Shadow of the Hierophant" (Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) – 11:44

2005 Remaster Bonus Tracks

  1. "Ace of Wands" (Live) – 6:32
  2. "Shadow of the Hierophant" (Extended Playout Version) – 17:01

Personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the album's original liner notes.[8]

Musicians

Production

  • Steve Hackett – production, arrangement
  • John Acock – production, engineer
  • Louie Austin – assistant engineer ("Shadow of the Hierophant" only)
  • Paul Watkins – assistant engineer
  • Rob Broglia – assistant engineer
  • Tex Read – equipment
  • Geoff Banks – equipment
  • Steve Baker – equipment
  • Tony Smith – organisation
  • Alex Sim – organisation
  • Kim Poor – cover artwork

References[edit]

  1. ^ DeGagne (2011). "Voyage of the Acolyte – Steve Hackett | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Welch, Chris (18 October 1975). "Painter of sound pictures..." Melody Maker. p. 34. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Clarke, Steve (25 October 1975). "Are you ready for a concept LP about the Tarot?". New Musical Express. p. 32. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  4. ^ Golder, Paul (2014). "Steve Hackett talks about Genesis, touring and his new album". phoenixfm.com. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  5. ^ Lyng, Eoghan (2018). "Wuthering Nights: Steve Hackett Talks". Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  6. ^ Smith, Robin (28 April 1978). "It's all in the cards". Record Mirror. p. 22. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  7. ^ Powell, Mark (2015). Premonitions: The Charisma Recordings 1975–1983 (Media notes). Hackett, Steve. Universal Music Catalogue/Virgin Records. 474-141-4.
  8. ^ a b c Voyage of the Acolyte (Media notes). Steve Hackett. Charisma Records. 1975. CAS 1111.
  9. ^ "Kim Poor - Voyage of the Acolyte". KimPoor.com. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2018.