Wednesday, 25 November 2015

YES ALUMNI: Ex-Genesis Guitarist Steve Hackett Discusses Recently Reissued "GTR" Album, New Solo Tour

In 1985, two of prog rock’s premier guitarists — Steve Hackett of Genesis and Steve Howe of Yes — teamed up to form a new band called, appropriately, GTR. The short-lived group released just one self-titled album in 1986 that yielded a major U.S. hit, “When the Heart Rules the Mind,” which peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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.”


Spectral Mornings
DVD - £5.99

No comments:

Post a comment

What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.