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Steve Cochrane

Crossover Prog

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Steve Cochrane The Purest of Designs  album cover
3.62 | 8 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. To the Glory of Man (6:49)
2. When Music Speaks (5:20)
3. Songs for Spring (27:30)
4. Dreams of Reason (4:45)
5. The Promise of the Music (15:51)

Total Time: 60:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Cochrane / electric, classical, acoustic, bass and MIDI guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals, drum programming
- Murray Bosch / backing vocals
- Marie Bodine / backing vocals (2nd lead on track 2, refrain on track 4)
- Mary Dube / backing vocals (soprano on track 1)
- Kevin Richards / addition MIDI drums
- Roland Ivarssson / addition percussion and drum programming

Releases information


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and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
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STEVE COCHRANE The Purest of Designs ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)

STEVE COCHRANE The Purest of Designs reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars The Canadian multi-instrumentalist Steve COCHRANE is here with his third release. This is a concept album, and the music is melodic symphonic & progressive rock, with many instrumental passages and catchy melodies. Steve's influences are GENESIS, Mike OLDFIELD and RUSH. Besides his influences there's reminiscences to CAMEL, ELEGANT SIMPLICITY, The FLOWER KINGS, JEREMY, TANGERINE DREAM and YES.

Steve is a good guitar player and his playing is a mix between Steve HACKETT (GENESIS), Steve HOWE (YES), Andy LATIMER (CAMEL), Mike OLDFIELD and Roine STOLT (The FLOWER KINGS). His vocals is sometimes reminiscent to Ian ANDERSON (JETHRO TULL). Steve is an impressive and skilled composer who is putting a lot of work and soul into the lyrics.

One of the tracks, "Songs For Spring" is divided into seven parts, and all in all it's 27 minutes. The highlights are "To The Glory of Man", "The Scent of After Rain" which is one part of "Songs For Spring", the poppy folk inspired "Dreams Of Reason" and the final classical influenced epic instrumental "The Promise Of The Music", that is almost 16 minutes. A masterpiece!

The album has got a good production with a clear sound. It's actually mixed in Sweden! It's an excellent album, and I wish I got the chance to hear more from Steve COCHRANE in the future. Most highly recommended!

Review by loserboy
3 stars Wonderful symphonic prog with a high degree of energy and positive musical spirituality throughout. Steve COCHRANE is a multi-talented musician/song writer who plays keyboards, bass and guitars with great ease. The centre piece of "The Purest Of Designs" is clearly the 27 min epic track "Songs For Spring" which showcase this musicians talents and musical flexibility. Steve COCHRANE's songs are involved and a contain a nice variety of tempo and mood changes. Without a doubt he is a great guitarist and it is during the instrumental moments when one can really appreciate all of Steve's guitar virtuosity. "The Purest Of Designs" is heavily symphonic in nature and contains some highly memorable melodies and wonderful instrumentation.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars During the second half of the 90's Steve Cochrane decided to take his music to another level.Aiming towards a more Classic Prog sound he recorded his third album with a more balanced instrumentation, including all kind of guitars plus bass, keyboards and drums.For the first time he recruited a few guests in an album, Murray Bosch, Marie Bodine and Mary Dube help out on backing voices, while Kevin Richards and Roland Ivarsson offer some help on drum programming.The new album ''The purest of designs'' was his third consecutive effort on his own Spirit Compass label.

From the opening notes of ''To the glory of man'' the listener can detect Cochrane's new horizons, which focus on a GENESIS/YES-influenced Progressive Rock with beautiful melodies and lush orchestral parts, although the following ''When music speaks'' bring some MIKE OLDFIELD mood with the use of acoustic rhythms and the ethereal female voices.By far the absolute centerpiece of the album is the 27-min. 7-part opus ''Songs for spring''.A majestic track, shifting between long, instrumental variations, delicate melodies, GABRIEL-esque type of vocals and emphatic, symphonic textures.Lots of breaks lead to vintage-styled arrangements with strong GENESIS, YES and CAMEL influences, highlighted by the orchestral keyboards and the moving guitar parts.There is a light MARILLION/CITIZEN CAIN influence in the more synth-drenched parts as well as the intelligent, theatrical vocals.The musicianship is very solid with endless changes and harmonic themes and overall the composition is extremely tight and a nice example of rich Neo/Symphonic Prog.The acoustic and lyrical ''Dreams of reason'' will remind of the folky moments of early GENESIS and the album closes with the 15-min. ''The promise of the music'', an absolute OLDFIELD-ian stunner with classical guitars and atmospheric synthesizers in the forefront, delivering impressive soundscapes, and two grand breaks with grandiose symphonic keyboards and soaring electric guitars added for good measure.

A huge surprise by a really talented man.One of the greatest one-man efforts you can find out there, offering superb and sufficient Neo/Symphonic Prog with nostalgic touches.Absolutely fabulous and highly recommended release.

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