Producers: Steve Hackett, John Acock, Nick Magnus.
Although Steve Hackett had made several albums under his own name since his departure from Genesis, 1981's Cured was the closest thing yet to a true solo Hackett album. Having disbanded the group with whom he's recorded two successful solo albums -- Spectral Mornings and Defector -- Steve retained only keyboard player Nick Magnus to help out on this effort. Magnus played keyboards, Hackett handled guitar and bass, and the drums were provided by a drum machine. But the most noticeable change was in the vocals. Previous albums had featured the occasional vocal excursion by the guitarist, but Cure was the first album on which Hackett handled all the lead vocals himself. Combined with the revamped musical backing and a more straightforward songwriting style, the new sound threw some Hackett devotees for a loop. In fact, much of the album was rather commercial-sounding pop music, which bore little resemblance to Hackett's previous work. Still, given a chance, Hackett's new sound was quite compelling, especially when he played the songs live. The main concessions to Hackett's earlier style were the instrumentals "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare" and "A Cradle of Swans," the latter being a solo classical guitar piece. ~ Robin Platts