Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Say It Right, Aug 19, 2013.
If this had been mixed differently, the album would've been received differently by progressive fans back in 1986. It contains some outstanding Hackett & Howe playing.
The documentary was way better tha the album. I remember taping the doc from MTV and watching it everyday. Then the album came out and it was okay for the time. The sound was awful. Now it's just awful all around. Terrible album. Still a great documentary.
Another thread about an indecipherable acronym.
Arista Records was run by Clive Davis at the time. He was keen to have a rock act in the lineup. Maybe there was pressure from up above for them to become hit makers. Plus, there was the factor of Steve Howe getting a taste of commercial success with Asia, and what his former bandmates had experienced in Yes with 90125.
Agreed that the album wasn't very good at the time. My assessment at the time (as a 19 year old) was that it was a sellout. The vocals reminded me too much of Dennis DeYoung from Styx. Found out later that Steve Hackett wanted Paul Carrack. You're right also that the documentary was great. If the great Hackett & Howe guitar playing had been featured even more prominently, this would've enhanced its reputation among their existing audiences. Even the single, "When the Heart Rules the Mind" features some amazing guitar work. The high points on the album were the instrumentals: "Sketches in the Sun" and "Hackett to Bits."
Hackett had the opportunity to achieve great commercial success by remaining with Genesis. Even if he didn't like the artistic turn that band had taken after his departure, their huge success MUST have eaten at him somewhat. This band seemed like an attempt to grab a bit of that for himself.
As he soon learned, it isn't quite THAT easy.
to me - yep
Cool Video, the Steve's rule! The music is pretty lame, though...
GTR is the sound of two guitarists with zero pop instincts thinking they could make a successful pop/rock record.
Yes, Howe had tasted pop success with Asia, but had no hand in writing any of their hits (notwithstanding that the album cuts on Asia he contributed to were quite good). Hackett clearly had no pop instincts, which is in many ways why he left Genesis in the first place.
It's unfortunate...letting Howe & Hackett collaborate on a record without Clive Davis or other industry involvement would've been a tantalizing proposition.
I always thought it was just a play on the word "guitar." Anyway, have always loved "When the Heart Rules the Mind," even if I get GTR, Saga, Europe, and Orion the Hunter confused . . .
The funny thing is that I got disgusted by the popular music scene in early 1985 (Madonna was the last straw for me) and basically stopped listening to it on the radio or buying records of current stuff anywhere near as much as I had previously. I honestly never heard of GTR until another thread here a few days ago -- and, when I first read that, I thought it was a typo for G'N'R.
"It'd be like sticking Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck together."
Maybe if there had been a hairstylist in the band...
I saw the tour, bought the album, I liked them, despite the fact that Max Bacon reminded me a bit of Kevin Cronin from REO Speedwagon. 'Toe The Line', 'The Hunter', 'Sketches In The Sun', all great songs still. I will drag out the vinyl tonight.
Not an acronym, just guitar without any vowels. Loved it when I bought, Loved it when I saw them in concert. Still love it today.
Brian Lane's sweater deserves its own documentary.
Best review ever.
I feel sorry for Steve Hackett. This was his last shot at the pop bigtime. He wasn't going to be able to go back to Genesis, and it wasn't going to happen for him solo--he didn't have the proper instincts and songs. (Please Don't Touch was as close to the right thing for pop stardom as he'd ever get solo). Anyway, this looks good on paper. But with the heavy hand of Clive Davis pressing down, Hackett agrees to play ball and round all the corners. Steve Howe did the same, but at least he could always return to the Yes mothership for another shot and he'd already had his time in big hit band lime-lite twice with Yes. Neither man brought what sounds like A list material to the sessions and so you get something that would sell a little out of the box on namesake, but would go on to be a review punchline and a flop.
Yes it would have. But probably even LESS of a commercial success.
I have two CD's of the 'GTR' album. One is a Japan for USA Denon pressing, and the other is a WG (for UK/Europe) made by Sonopress. I prefer the WG Sonopress CD, as it has a little softer feel to it, and sounds closer to the vinyl.
Heard this album on tape a few times many moons ago - and thought the guitar work was stunning (how can you not?) But it sounded 'of its time' - a bit bland and very '80s 'overproduced' (though it was still in the '80s when I heard it! )
I'm not certain if they only did the one track, but... 'Stroll On' (based on 'Train Kept A Rolling') by The Yardbirds. This is in the film Blow Up - Pagey trashing his gear!
Apparently they wanted The Who, but they either couldn't or wouldn't do it. The clip is only around three mins long and the film's not great IMO, go out the room and you could very well miss their appearance - which is why I watched it in the first place!
(Hoping this works and looks ok - I can't watch YouTube here; no broadband! )
Only disagreement here is that Hackett left Genesis more due to the fact that he just wanted to do his own thing. Whether or not he could've foreseen their eventual direction, who knows? "Your Own Special Way" was something of a hit, and he'd expressed a favorable impression toward that song.
Back to GTR - Hackett was impressed with the idea of having 2 guitarists in a band. The concept was interesting, because it was going somewhat against the grain with the keyboard/synth heavy landscape of the time. If somebody else has more knowledge on the subject, apart from Clive Davis, was there really a definite plan to make this a pop outfit? Brian Lane certainly always keeps his eye on the bottom line. Hackett had said since that he saw it as a chance to answer critics for him being so esoteric. Also, he'd had considerable success performing live in Europe. He played big venues and packed them.
So not just an indecipherable acronym, but a 1986 album title and also the name of a short-lived prog supergroup that took its name (according to Wikipedia) from the label on the studio mixing console's guitar volume control. Good to finally know what you're all nattering on about.
Thanks for your helpful contribution to the discussion, er, I mean nattering.
It wasn't all Clive Davis-- As noted Brian Lane had a lot to do with it, and the direction of the album was largely Geoff Downes (who had the brilliant idea of making the guitars sound like keyboards). Davis did seem to have a thing for signing prog bands and pushing them to go commercial-- Strawbs, Camel, Anthony Phillips, Happy the Man all flopped on Arista, only Alan Parsons had the right formula.
Separate names with a comma.