Now, an expanded, two-CD edition of GTR has been released that pairs a remastered version of the album with a live record the group recorded at the Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles during its ’86 U.S. tour.
For Hackett, who had left Genesis in 1977, GTR was his first project ever to score a hit single in the U.S.
“I was very proud that the album took off at the time,” he tells ABC Radio, “and it was very, very hard fought for at a time when the industry was very competitive.”
Recalling the origins of GTR, Hackett tells ABC Radio, “Steve had just left [the early-’80s supergroup] Asia…and I’d been a big fan of his. Yes and Genesis were two bands that certainly listened to each other…And [Steve and I] made pals, and we decided to put together a band.”
To round out the GTR lineup, Hackett and Howe brought in ex-Marillion drummerJonathan Mover, bassist Phil Spalding and singer Max Bacon. The two Steves wrote or co-wrote most of the album’s 10 songs, while Asia/ex-Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes composed “The Hunter,” which became the group’s second single. Downes also produced the GTR album.
Hackett describes GTR as “a very well-considered album…that bridged the gap between something that was acceptable to American FM [radio] and MTV. Something that I think perhaps borrowed a little bit from The Beatles. So, you know, we had a foot in prog, we had a foot in pop, and we were trying to steer this middle course that wasn’t always easy, especially when you consider…what the 1980s had to offer.”
While he was happy with the record as a whole, Hackett admits that most of the effort went into making “When the Heart Rules the Mind.”
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