CAROL 1863-2 Voyage of the Acolyte
Produced by Steve Hackett/John Acock
Released on 1975
UK CHART POSITION #26 . . . US CHART POSITION #191
Find it at GEMM
CAROL 1863-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

W ith Genesis on hiatus following the departure of Peter Gabriel, guitarist Steve Hackett wasted little time in channeling his energy into an album of his own, Voyage of the Acolyte. Even with a rhythm section of Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford, few could have expected a progressive rock gem of this magnitude. Picking up his cue from King Crimson’s mellotron-led struggle between good and evil, Hackett floors the listener within the first fifteen seconds and never releases his grip, flitting between the pastoral and the powerful with equal comfort and confidence. The opening “Ace of Wands” is one of the most abrupt entrances I’ve ever heard, but it’s fair warning that Voyage of the Acolyte has opened the floodgates of a very fertile imagination. This enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of good judgment: “Ace of Wands” is chocked full of good ideas, but it tries to pack ten minutes’ worth of music into half that time. Like Robert Fripp or Peter Banks, Hackett is no vocalist (despite various attempts to disguise his voice over the years), which gives him a certain freedom to set the mood with different singers. Sally Oldfield is an excellent choice for “Shadow of the Hierophant,” an eleven-minute masterpiece that features the best arrangements on the album. Phil Collins does passably well on “Star of Sirius,” but he would get better with time; Steve’s treated voice on “The Hermit” recalls the first King Crimson album, complete with strings and a lovely flute passage from John Hackett. Although there are moments when Genesis is recalled -- the distinctive lead guitar on “Hands of the Priestess,” a followup to Foxtrot’s “Horizons” on “The Lovers” -- Voyage of the Acolyte represents a new and different journey for the Genesis guitarist. Still, fans of “classic” Genesis will definitely want to check this out, as it’s more likely to please prog rock fans than anything that band recorded after Hackett’s departure.

CAROL 1863-2 back sleeve
CAROL 1863-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. ACE OF WANDS    (Steve Hackett)    5:25
  2. HANDS OF THE PRIESTESS PART I    (Steve Hackett)    3:28
  3. A TOWER STRUCK DOWN    (Steve Hackett/John Hackett)    4:53
  4. HANDS OF THE PRIESTESS PART II    (Steve Hackett)    1:34
  5. THE HERMIT    (Steve Hackett)    4:49
  6. STAR OF SIRIUS    (Steve Hackett)    7:08
  7. THE LOVERS    (Steve Hackett)    1:50
  8. SHADOW OF THE HIEROPHANT    (Steve Hackett/Mike Rutherford)    11:45

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  9. ACE OF WANDS (LIVE)
  10. SHADOW OF THE HIEROPHANT (EXTENDED PLAYOUT VERSION)

CREDITS

STEVE HACKETT -- electric & acoustic guitars, mellotron, harmonium, bells, autoharp, vocal, effects
JOHN ACOCK -- Elka Rhapsody, mellotron, harmonuim, piano, engineer
PHIL COLLINS -- drums, vibes, percussion, vocals
JOHN HACKETT -- flute, Arp synthesizer, bells
MIKE RUTHERFORD -- bass guitar, bass pedals, fuzz 12-string
Johnny Gustafson -- bass (6)
Percy Jones -- extra bass (3)
Robin Miller -- oboe, cor anglais
Sally Oldfield -- vocal
Steve Tobin -- parrot and cough
Nigel Warren-Green -- solo cello
Kim Poor -- album cover paintings

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1975 Charisma LP CAS 1111 gatefold cover
US 1975 Charisma LP CHR 1112 gatefold cover
CAN 1975 Charisma LP CA-1-2170  
FRA 1975 Charisma LP 9103 106 gatefold cover
WW 1975 Charisma LP 6369 970 gatefold cover
US   Chrysalis LP PV 41112  
UK   Virgin LP CHC 47 gatefold cover
UK 1983 Charisma CS CASMC 105 repackaged w. PLEASE DON'T TOUCH
UK   Virgin CD CASCD 1111  
GER   Virgin CD 7872452  
JPN   Virgin CD VJD 28207  
NET   Virgin CD R42681  
US June 19, 1991 Caroline CD CAROL 1863 lyric sleeve
US January 24, 2006 Astralwerks CDX 37242 digital remaster w. bonus tracks

 

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