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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock Concert > Steve Hackett - Once Upon A Time (DTS)

Steve Hackett – Once Upon A Time (DTS)


Picture: C+     Sound: B     Extras: C     Concert: B



Steve Hackett was the longtime guitarist for Genesis, who arrived in 1970 with Phil Collins, succeeding original guitarist Anthony Phillips.  By 1977, he decided to go out on his own two years after Peter Gabriel’s departure and has issued several solo DVDs in the formats still-short life.  Despite giving us the very disappointing band GTR in the mid-1980s, a name that is simply a shortened version of “guitar” despite being all bolded, it did not catch on and he was solo again.  Taped on April 3rd 2004, Once Upon A Time is a set that evokes his best work and his years with Genesis.  The songs include:


1)     Valley Of The Kings

2)     Mechanical Bride

3)     Circus Of Becoming

4)     Frozen Statues

5)     Slogans

6)     Serpentine Song

7)     Ace Of Wands

8)     Hammer In The Sand

9)     Blood On The Rooftops

10)  Fly On A Windshield

11)  Please Don’t Touch

12)  Firth On Fifth

13)  If You Can’t Find Heaven

14)  Darktown

15)  Brand New

16)  Air-Conditioned Nightmare

17)  Every Day

18)  Clocks

19)  Spectral Morning

20)  Los Endos



This terrific set has the fun and energy of the best Progressive Rock and glory days of Genesis, something GTR never came near.  Roger King, Rob Townsend, Terry George and Gary O’Toole join him in a grouping at least as “super” as the supergroup GTR was supposed to be, but this is not something said to bash that band, but that the talent for something more exciting was there and here is Hackett nearly 20 years later and he has not peaked yet.  No wonder he has done so many DVDs.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 image was taped by producer/director Egerhazi Attila and has problems with the darker parts of the frame, but otherwise, the live performance looks and feels very much so.  Even more impressive is the sound.  Dolby Digital 5.0 and 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surround are offered, but the DTS is the real winner here.  Once in a while, you can have a 5.0 mix that is superior to many 5.1 mixes, because the .1 in other mixes is bogus, or the 5 in the 5.0 is so good as it is here that it is just a remarkable recording.  Like the 5.0 on Kevin Reynolds’ feature film Waterworld (1995), the sonics and clarity are just too impressive to dismiss.  That these are musicians pushing music’s limits, and watching them is as great as hearing them, especially like this.


The only extra is a program entitled Backstage At Budapest, which has the usual interviews and music previews.  The footage of the fans and the city are also a highlight.  The interaction of the bandmates behind the scenes is as creative and has as much synergy as that of their on-stage work.  Running just over 10.5 minutes, it is a nice plus to a great concert disc.  Once Upon A Time is another DTS-encoded winner from Eagle Vision.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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