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Steve Howe - Beginnings CD (album) cover


Steve Howe


Crossover Prog

2.64 | 120 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Well y'know what, I'm feeling a bit generous with this album to give it a 4-star rating. Maybe I'm a bit biased because Steve Howe is my absolute favourite guitarist in the world, along with Donald Roeser from Blue Öyster Cult.

In contrast to many other Yes fans, this is personally my favourite solo album of all the others (Fish out of Water, Olias of Sunhillow, Ramshackled, Story of I). Why? The vocals...

Just kidding. The vocals are horrendous, painful to listen to for the most part, but it's almost a sort of camp icon for me. The real highlight of the album is the guitar work and instrumental arrangements. Not many musicians can really grasp musical arrangement like Mr. Howe, and as a result I would go so far as to say that this album is as unique as Olias of Sunhillow.

The album is fantastic in terms of musicianship, from beginning to end. My favourite pick is "The Nature of the Sea" (an instrumental, thank god!), whose guitar work is so intricate I immediately took a liking to this album.

The first two openers, Doors of Sleep and Australia, are excellent musically and pretty terrible in terms of vocals (that doesn't need to be mentioned again). The former is well showcased by Steve on keyboards, and the latter has some... rather interesting vocal harmony arrangements (AUSTRALIAAAAA...) whose workability is a subject of great debate (although, Steve's vocals seem to be their worst here). Lost Symphony is a jazzy, horn-dominated section featuring some strange and hard-to-understand lyricism, a must-listen for any prog-fan.

Beginnings... the title track... this is another instrumental, and one of the best tracks along with "The Nature of the Sea". Featuring Patrick Moraz on piano, this features some very amazing use of 2-note chords from Steve Howe, a very humble display of excellence and really an insight into some of Steve Howe's deeper set of influences.

Will O' the Wisp is an acoustic piece that somehow reminds me of "The Chain" off of Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" album. There is something about it that I said doesn't need to be mentioned again, but otherwise, this is a great song...

Ram! Ram is excellent, a relief for those who have keeled over the record player / TV for hours listening to "Clap" off The Yes Album / Yessongs video. Featuring an excellent country/bluegrass chicken-picking style that Steve is so well known for, this one is sure to brighten your mood if Steve's vocals are too much for you throughout the album.

Pleasure Stole the Night and Break Away from it All are excellent album closers in almost every way. The rockin' output of both songs is incredible, and the vocals are among the (relative) best on the album, and the latter features Mr. Bill Bruford on drums.

Regardless, I doubt any of you would want to give this album the same rating I did, unless you are a die hard Steve Howe fan like myself.

4 stars.

Erik91 | 4/5 |


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