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GTR - GTR CD (album) cover




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2.27 | 120 ratings

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2 stars GTR must have surely have broken more hearts than any other band in the world of prog ... yes, even Asia. Every self-respecting prog-fan has a wet dream like this ... Steve Howe and Steve Hackett, both surely among the greatest guitarists in the prog roster, get together and form a group that saves the musical world, following which the two heroes ride off into the sunset. Well, it didn't quite work out like that.

Prog-fans can't say they weren't warned. After all both Howe (with Asia) and Hackett (some, but by no means all of his solo records) had dabbled in mindless pop-rock music before GTR. But the truth is that when these two men got together, it really was like a dream come true. I know I was practically drooling when I picked this CD up for U$3 at a flea market ... and after seven years, the pain is still pretty acute.

The simple fact is that Howe and Hackett got together to make commercial rock music (they take turns to hold chords on the synth, for Chrissake!). Along with singer Max Bacon and the world famous rhythm section of Phil Spalding and Jonathan Mover, they put together a generally bland set of songs that wouldn't be out of place on a Heart, Starship or even Asia record of the mid-80s.

It's not all that bad, though. Admittedly When The Heart Rules The Mind is a pretty memorable poppy tune, there's a nice solo in the middle of Here I Wait and both Toe The Line and Imagining (a rather Yes-like tune) have classy minute-long acoustic guitar intros. Come to think of it, the whole of Imagining is quite good. One of the greatest tragedies of this album however, is that its two finest songs are the instrumentals Sketches In the Sun (a solo piece by Howe that ranks among his best) and the biting Hackett To Bits which is basically a Hackett solo work. The fact that we are denied a chance to hear proper interplay between the two masters is really too much to take. ... 25% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 2/5 |


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