CDP 521943 Watcher of the Skies
Produced by Steve Hackett
Released on 1996
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
CDP 521943 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 14.0: I KNOW WHAT I LIKE TO WATCH. They say you can’t go home, and maybe they’re right, so Steve Hackett instead invites some friends along to have a party in the house that Genesis built. I’m not going to tell you that hearing Paul Carrack sing “Your Own Special Way” or Colin Blunstone sing “For Absent Friends” will displace the cherished memories of the originals. I will tell you that hearing Hackett re-animate the old catalog with esteemed guests like Chester Thompson, Bill Bruford and John Wetton results in something a sight prettier than a zombie tribute album. At this stage, fans of classic Genesis will already be well acquainted with the work of Mr. H, and I would suggest they make the acquaintance of Watcher as well. A “lost” Genesis melody restored (“Déjà vu”) may be enough enticement for some, a new instrumental (“Valley of the Kings”) will pique the interest of Steve’s original fanbase, and the rest are encouraged to join for a gambol in the old garden that manages to trample only one hearty weed (“The Waiting Room”) left no worse for the encounter. Had Hackett simply wanted to cash in on the Genesis legacy, he could have released a live album (A Special Evening of…) or handed the hard work off to an orchestra (Genesis Re-eviscerated). Instead, this really is a revisiting: a chance for Hackett to step back in time, slip into his 70s wardrobe once more, and find (to our shared delight) that everything still fits like we remember.

CDP 521943 gatefold sleeve CDP 521943 back cover
CDP 521943 gatefold sleeve CDP 521943 back cover


  1. WATCHER OF THE SKIES    (Genesis)
  2. DANCE ON A VOLCANO    (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford/Steve Hackett)
  3. VALLEY OF THE KINGS    (Steve Hackett)
  4. DEJA VU    (Peter Gabriel/Steve Hackett)
  5. FIRTH OF FIFTH    (Genesis)
  6. FOR ABSENT FRIENDS    (Genesis)
  7. YOUR OWN SPECIAL WAY    (Mike Rutherford)
  8. FOUNTAIN OF SALMACIS    (Genesis)
  9. WAITING ROOM ONLY    (Steve Hackett/Roger King)
  10. I KNOW WHAT I LIKE    (Genesis)
  11. LOS ENDOS    (Tony Banks/Phil Collins/Mike Rutherford/Steve Hackett)


STEVE HACKETT -- guitar, backing vocals, vocals, orchestration, harmonica, percussion
ROGER "SPATS" KING -- keyboards, programming, orchestration, vibes, mixing, engineer
Will Bates -- sax
Colin Blunstone -- vocal
Tarquin Bombast -- drums
Bill Bruford -- drums, percussion
Paul Carrack -- vocals
Julian Colbeck -- keyboards
Anton De Bruck -- chorale director
Hugo Degenhardt -- drums
Jeanne Downs -- backing vocals
Matt Dunkley -- conductor, orchestral arrangements
Ben Fenner -- keyboards, programming, orchestration, engineer
Aron Friedman -- keyboards, programming, orchestration, pianoforte
John Hackett -- flute
Alphonso Johnson -- bass
Tony Levin -- bass
Richard Macphail -- backing vocals
Nick Magnus -- keyboards & programming
Ian McDonald -- sax & flute
Nobody -- bass
Pino Palladino -- bass
Jerry Peal -- keyboards & programming, additional engineering
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra -- orchestra
The Sanchez/Montoya Chorale -- chorus
Chester Thompson -- drums
Richard Wayler -- backing vocals
John Wetton -- vocal, bass
Billy Budis -- mixing
Gerry O'Riordan -- mixing, additional engineering
Kim Poor -- cover artwork
Lippa Pearce (with special thanks to Harry Pearce) -- design
Paul Clark -- additional photography

UK 1996 Reef Recordings CD SRECD-704 as GENESIS REVISITED
US 1996 Guardian CD CDP 521943 lyric sleeve
JPN 1996 Universal CD UICE-9010  
UK February 7, 2000 Original Masters CD SMMCD 601  


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