CAROL 1861-2 Please Don't Touch
Produced by John Acock and Steve Hackett
Released on 1978
UK CHART POSITION #38 . . . US CHART POSITION #103
Find it at GEMM
CAROL 1861-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

P lease Don’t Touch is a bumpier ride than Voyage. Steve Hackett’s first album following his departure from Genesis is an eclectic offering that shows his range as a songwriter and guitarist. However, this record has always left me feeling jostled. You can strap yourself in for Voyage of the Acolyte and enjoy the ride from end to end. Please Don’t Touch shifts gears too many times, a problem that occurs as Hackett accommodates a host of different vocalists: Steve Walsh, Randy Crawford, Richie Havens. I don’t feel that any of their voices are suited to progressive rock (sorry Kansas fans), though Hackett’s isn’t any better. The album is chock full of good ideas, from the lovely instrumental “Kim” to the mind-candy maelstrom “Please Don’t Touch.” It’s just that the good ideas don’t build up to a greater whole (I had a similar reaction to Peter Gabriel’s first album). Strangely, there isn’t anything on here that really works as a single. “How Can I?” serves as a companion piece to Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill,” but it’s too dour. “Hoping Love Will Last” is a classy love song, but not at all the sort of thing fans expected from the ex-Genesis guitarist. “Narnia” and “Carry On Up The Vicarage” are too strange for the radio, their literary inspirations too English for American ears. And so the question always comes down to What to make of it? There’s far too much good music on here to dismiss it as uninspired, the stakes too high to suggest Hackett was simply screwing around, the songs too much like subsequent albums to point to closet-cleaning. Perhaps, like Gabriel, Hackett was searching for a style by reaching out in all directions. I wouldn’t warn you off of owning this (it’s far better than Cured or Anthony Phillips’ Sides), but will mention that I enjoy Voyage and Spectral Mornings more. You can also read a review of this album at All Music Guide, in which I recall being a little kinder.

CAROL 1861-2 back sleeve
CAROL 1861-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. NARNIA    4:06
  2. CARRY ON UP THE VICARAGE    3:11
  3. RACING IN A    5:07
  4. KIM    2:14
  5. HOW CAN I?    4:40
  6. HOPING LOVE WILL LAST    4:09
  7. LAND OF A THOUSAND AUTUMNS    1:57
  8. PLEASE DON'T TOUCH    3:39
  9. THE VOICE OF NECAM    3:11
  10. ICARUS ASCENDING    6:21

    All songs composed and arranged by Steve Hackett

CREDITS

STEVE HACKETT -- electronic and acoustic guitars, vocals, keyboards, percussion
JOHN HACKETT -- flutes, piccolos, bass pedals, keyboards
John Acock -- keyboards, engineer
Maria Bonvino -- guest female soprano (6)
James Bradley -- percussion
Randy Crawford -- vocals (6)
Phil Ehart -- drums, percussion
Feydor -- vocals (9)
Tom Fowler -- bass
Richie Havens -- vocals, percussion
Dave Lebolt -- keyboards
Hugh Malloy - -cello
Necam the computer -- computer assisted mix down
Dale Newman -- guest vocals (10)
Dan Owen -- guest vocals (10)
Graham Smith -- violin
Chester Thompson -- drums, percussion
Steve Walsh -- vocals (1,3)
Kim Poor -- cover illustration, sleeve design
A.D. Design -- sleeve design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1978 Charisma LP/CS CDS 4012 lyric sleeve
US 1978 Chrysalis LP/CS/8T CHR/PV/EHR-1176 picture sleeve
CAN 1978 Charisma LP 9211 4011 lyric sleeve
GER 1978 Charisma LP 9124 024 insert
JPN 1978 Charisma LP RJ-7372 insert
UK 1983 Charisma CS CASMC 105 repackaged w. VOYAGE OF THE ACOLYTE
UK   Virgin CD CDSCD 4012  
US June/July 1991 Caroline CD CAROL 1861 lyric sleeve
EUR 1993 Virgin CD 786680  

 

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