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Steve Howe

Crossover Prog

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Steve Howe Not Necessarily Acoustic album cover
3.77 | 35 ratings | 6 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Valley of Rocks (3:03)
2. Heritage (2:32)
3. Arada (1:08)
4. Country Mix: White Silver Sands/Green Bay... (2:57)
5. Excerpts from Tales from Topographic... (9:18)
6. Bareback (2:42)
7. Sketches in the Sun (2:58)
8. Cactus Boogie (2:09)
9. Second Initial (2:47)
10. Corkscrew (3:45)
11. The Glory of Love (1:14)
12. Dorothy (2:10)
13. Meadow Rag (2:26)
14. Concerto in D, 2nd Movement (2:34)
15. Surface Tension (3:22)
16. Masquerade (2:03)
17. Mood for a Day (2:59)
18. Swedish Rhapsody (0:53)
19. Whispering (1:00)
20. Roundabout (2:33)
21. Ram (1:51)
22. Clap (3:43)

Total Time: 60:07

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Howe / guitars

Releases information

CD Herald 12

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STEVE HOWE Not Necessarily Acoustic ratings distribution

(35 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(54%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STEVE HOWE Not Necessarily Acoustic reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars He's still so nervous and tense before and during every gig but his stunning, unique and seminal guitarplay incorporates rock, classical, symphonic, jazz, ragtime, blues and perhaps I forget a few musical styles! On this excellent CD you can enyoy the variety of Steve Howe his excellent guitarplay, from the virtuosic ""Meadow rag" and the delicate "Concerto in 2nd movement to the wonderful "Surface tension" and "Mood for a day" (both on Spanish guitar). Also included are "Excerpts from Tales.." and "Roundabout" and great renditions from "Ram"" and "Clap". If you like acoustic guitar or you want to enjoy Mr. Howe his skills on this instrument (and some electric guitar), THIS CD IS YOURS!! By the way, the beautiful artwork is by ... Roger Dean, say no more!
Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Contrary to the listing here, this is not a studio album. This is a recording from Steve Howe's 1993 solo tour. And a fine show it was.

The songs showcase Steve Howe's unique style, blending classical, flamenco and bluegrass primarily with just about any other guitar styling that Howe feels like playing. And he can do it alll well.

As the title would indicate, most of the songs are played on acoustic guitars, although a few are performed on a Steinberger electric. The electric pieces are played without guitar effects, giving them a close to acoustic feel as well.

The most proggy song here is obviously the Excerpts from Tales from Topographic Oceans, where Howe plays small but nice pieces from each of the songs from that album. More Yes selections include the obvios: The Clap and Mood For A Day. On Roundabout, he strangely chooses to sing the harmony part he always sings with the band, giving it an odd sound.

For guitar fans, a must. For prog fans, a good disk to own.

Review by ProgressiveAttic
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In every Yesshow one of the most expected moments is Steve Howe's astounding solos... now imagine an entire hour of live Howe solo!!! And that is precisely what you'll get with this album which, at the same time, is an excellent introduction to his solo work. Featuring tracks from almost all of his albums to date (Beginnings, The Steve Howe Album, Turbulence and The Grand Scheme Of Things) and pieces by Yes and GTR.

As other reviewers pointed out, this album, as Howe's career, is really eclectic by featuring a really big array of styles including country, rock, classical, jazz, blues, ragtime and lots others joined together by his really particular style of playing. The track-list was tastefully selected and arranged with almost no interludes between songs, so the performance flows very naturally. And as the title announces, the instrumentation is not necessarily acoustic since although most of the album is dominated by acoustic guitars there are some electric moments.

A thing that I really loved is the inclusion of Yes classics outside Howe's typical solos with the band such as The Clap and Mood For A Day. Yes' guitar virtuoso performs Tales From Topographic Oceans (presented as a medley) and Roundabout, both rearranged for solo guitar with a very magnificent and simply beautiful final sound, but not only that, Steve reminds us that he is one of Yes' singers (backing vocals in every single album he participated in) with a very apt vocal performance.

If you like solo guitar playing and/or are a Yes fan and haven't listened much of Howe's solo albums, this is for you! Simply amazing and plain beautiful...

Review by patrickq
3 stars Did Steve Howe never embark on a solo tour until 1993? Apparently so. Not Necessarily Acoustic was recorded on tour to promote Howe's fourth album, The Grand Scheme of Things. All twenty-two pieces are performed by Howe alone, mostly on acoustic guitar.

The song selection is very good; in addition to including Howe's three best solo pieces ("Clap," "Ram," and "Masquerade"), Not Necessarily Acoustic has a cross-section of songs from Howe's career to that point. Interestingly, three of Howe's solo albums - - Grand Scheme (1993), Turbulence (1991), and Beginnings (1975) - - are represented here by just one song each. Four songs from The Steve Howe Album (1979) are also included.

The remaining fifteen songs fall into a variety of categories. Five are from Yes albums - - his solo turns "Clap," "Mood for a Day," and "Masquerade," plus "Roundabout" and "Excerpts from Tales from Topographic Oceans," - - and one, "Sketches in the Sun," is from GTR. Four others are, as far as I know, previously-unreleased Howe compositions ("Second Initial," "Heritage," "Bareback," and "Dorothy"). Finally, five tracks represent a total of nine songs from the 1920s through the 1950s: "Whispering," a pop hit from 1920 revitalized in the early 1960s; "Swedish Rhapsody," a Hugo Alfvén piece which had been arranged by Chet Atkins in the 1950s; "The Glory of Love," a #1 pop hit for Benny Goodman in 1936 and a #1 R&B hit for the Five Keys in 1951; "Arada," one of Federico Moreno Torrobaand's earliest (1926) solo-guitar compositions; and the five-song medley "Country Mix."

Howe's guitar performances are superb, as is to be expected. Nonetheless, the adage about most live albums is true here: the studio versions (at least of the 13 tracks of which Howe had created studio versions) are better. That's even true of the solo acoustic pieces like "Mood for a Day" and "Masquerade;" these seem rushed to me. Meanwhile, the previously unreleased songs don't add much to the proceedings; a palpable sameness begins to creep in before the half-way mark. Since Howe's vocals are always an item of discussion, I'll add that he sings on just three songs (unless I'm forgetting one) and that the vocals aren't great, but neither do they detract from the album as a whole.

The sound is very good, but a minor annoyance (to me, anyway) on Not Necessarily Acoustic is the crowd-noise editing. In several places the audience claps before the listener realizes the song is over. I realize that a performer's silent cues can indicate when a song is over, and I've only been to one Howe solo concert, but the crowd responses seem too perfect, which, at least for me, is a distraction.

Anyway, Not Necessarily Acoustic is a good, enjoyable album, but nothing more. I'd recommend it to Howe fans or to fans of serious, though not classical, solo acoustic guitar.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is steve Howe's best solo album an it features lots of short songs that are from his one man performances. This albums features many nice songs that capture steve's amazing guitar work such as cactus boogie which is played on a steel guitar, so far Steve Howe is the only person I have see ... (read more)

Report this review (#48642) | Posted by Olympus | Tuesday, September 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This really is a SOLO album; Steve plays all by himself but make no mistake, this album would've been spoilt by backing tapes or musicians. Steve was very brave to perform this set like this, but it shows just why the man has won so many awards over the years. He truly shines on this album, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#30685) | Posted by Captain Squib | Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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