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Steve Howe - Anthology 2 (Groups and Collaborations) CD (album) cover


Steve Howe


Crossover Prog

3.00 | 2 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars In 2015 was released the 2-cd Steve Howe compilation Anthology, subtitled "A Solo Career Retrospective". Anthology 2 covers a much bigger portion of this extraordinary guitarist's diverse musical path: two discs are an absolute minimum to make a chronological run- through from Steve's first ever recording at the age of 16 (a Chuck Berry cover 'Maybelline' by The Syndicats) to the Yes album Heaven & Earth (2014).

The journey leads us through ten different bands! Let it be said right away that the best-loved era with YES, ie. the whole 70's, is represented with only three tracks ('Roundabout', the instrumental beauty 'Montreux's Theme' and 'Tempus Fugit' from Drama, 1980), "due to the high number of re-releases" as Howe says in his track-by-track liner notes. I think that's a wise decision, without which just two discs would have been painfully inadequate. I confess I spent very little time with the first half of CD 1, the sixties stuff. The Syndicats (the other track here also being a cover) was followed by r&b oriented The In Crowd featuring Keith West on vocals. "As if through metamorposis, we transformed into a psychedelic band": TOMORROW is represented with four songs. CANTO was a short-lived trio which evolved into BODAST when vocalist Clive Skinner joined in.

After the mentioned YES section comes four ASIA songs from the super group's early 80's era, one of them (Howe's composition 'Masquerade') being a previously unreleased instrumental. Disc 1 is finished with two songs from GTR, the equally commercial act led by Howe and his namesake Hackett.

For an acquainted listener of Yes, Asia and related, disc 2 in general is perhaps the least eye-opening or interesting part of this release. The albums represented are e.g. ABWH, Keys to Ascension 2, Open Your Eyes (the Anderson-Howe duet 'From the Balcony'), The Ladder and Magnification. Then comes two pieces of traditional guitar/organ/drums jazz of STEVE HOWE TRIO. The original ASIA quartet returned with Phoenix (2008) and continued with albums Omega and XXX. The Yes albums Fly From Here and Heaven & Earth are represented with one song each.

The third disc contains various collaborations and is IMHO the most rewarding part of this release. Here the majority of pieces were new to my ears, although there are legitimately 'Time and a Word' with FISH and 'Turn of the Century' with ANNIE HASLAM. Other collaborators include e.g. PAUL SUTIN, OLIVER WAKEMAN, KEITH WEST and MAX BACON (the vocalist in GTR). The music is mostly not very proggy but fairly pleasant pop/rock anyway. Three strong stars are well deserved due to the easy-to-follow and verbally commented representation.

Matti | 3/5 |


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