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Steve Howe - Beginnings CD (album) cover

BEGINNINGS

Steve Howe

 

Crossover Prog

2.62 | 97 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
1 stars Yes at their peak produced some of Progressive Rock's finest moments, which makes the subsequent collection of solo albums from the group's various members all the more disappointing. No-one wants an artist to create a direct clone of his day job when branching out on his own, but this reviewer is also sure that fans of Yes don't want awkwardly-produced, prog-lite pop-rock as found on guitarist Steve Howe's desperately-disappointing solo debut 'Beginnings'. Howe was a key member of Yes during their early-to-mid-seventies heydey, and an extraordinarily gifted and versatile player. Many of Yes' most ardent fans place him as one of the group's key creative forces and his best work, which adorns classic albums scuh as 'Close To The Edge' and 'Relayer', has influenced hundreds of musicians over the years. However, despite his obvious ability, Howe's parallel solo career can be described as underwhelming at best. 'Beginnings', released in 1975, is, simply put, a desperately insipid slice of ersatz pop-rock that, style-and-quality-wise, is a million miles away from anything produced by Yes. In the context of Yes solo albums - a sub-genre not enlightened by great albums - Howe's effort is probably the worst of the lot. An awkward mixture of sounds and styles, sounding very much like a series of offcuts from the studio floor have been hurriedly stitched together, 'Beginnings' stinks of a musician getting it all his own way. Obviously, unlike in Yes, there is no-one to tell Howe what's great and what's not, and add to the fact that many of the songs are co-written by Howe's wife, you have a situation where a great musician is allowed to indulge himself without reproach. For those Yes aficianado's who have devoured everything by the group and are looking for more outside the classic studio albums, avoid 'Beginnings' like the plague. If a friend played you the album without telling you who it was by and then asked you to guess, the last person you would think of would be a member of Yes, especially Steve Howe. Start with bassist Chris Squire's excellent 'Fish Out Of Water' instead - an album which is very definitely the apex of the Yes-solo sub-genre - and then, if you're feeling really adventurous, you might want to try lead-singer Jon Anderson's light-as-feather debut 'Olias Of Sunhillow', but don't expect anything incredible. To paraphrase: Steve Howe may be an excellent guitarist and a vital member of Yes, but as a solo artist...well, let's just say he shouldn't give up the day job. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 1/5 |

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