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Steve Howe - Pulling Strings CD (album) cover


Steve Howe


Crossover Prog

2.20 | 13 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars This is not one of those ultimate statements of a life long career; this is not one of those live albums that include the definitive versions of the songs performed, and neither is it intended to be. But it is most definitely not poor or lacklustre by any means. Indeed, this is a very good, fun and thoroughly enjoying live album by one of the giants in Prog, documenting what appears to have been an incredible night for the people who were there and for Steve himself too. The audience reaction between the songs is surprisingly strong and positive, and you can really tell that Steve too is enjoying himself on stage.

The excerpts from Yes' Close To The Edge, Turn Of The Century and Gates Of Delirium/Soon are interesting and very different from their original versions. These are not meant as improvements on these masterpiece songs, and they should not be judged as such. Steve is well aware that he cannot better them, and that is also not what he is trying to do here. He is merely putting them into a new light and having some fun with them. And I think he is very successful at this. And the audience seems to agree. He is even trying to be funny when he claims to have forgotten which song off Going For The One he should play, and he starts playing the beginning of every song off Going For The One, stopping with no, not that one, until he gets to Turn Of The Century.

No one, including Steve himself, thinks that he is a great vocalist. But you don't necessarily have to be in order to make good music, as long as you have good material. And Steve Howe has a lot to pick from, and he doesn't pick his greatest hits either (no Roundabout, I've Seen All Good People, Heat Of The Moment or When The Heart Rules The Mind). Besides, even if he does sing several songs, the focus here is, obviously, on the guitars. Only on track one are there drums and bass, for the rest Steve is all alone on stage.

This might not be the best starting point if you want to discover Steve's solo career. But I think it is preferable to many of his studio albums. Interesting and fun for Yes fans, judging it for what it is.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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