The Steve Howe Album Review
An Album By The Best !
In the summer of 1976 I started enjoying music by the rock band YES, and I became familiar with their lead guitar player Steve Howe. Many rock groups in the late 70's were trying to attain super group status, and there really wasn’t a lot of successful solo albums out there.
During 1979 Steve Howe released his second solo album; titled The Steve Howe Album. Also during 1979 I went to my first YES concert, seeing the classic lineup play in the round in Springfield Mass. At that point in time YES became my favorite music act and has been ever since. Although this album came out in 1979 it wasn’t until 1980 that I could find a copy of it.
Reviewing the album;
Track 1; Pennants, Starts with the thick guitar sound that Steve can do so easily, Yes drummer Alan White plays the drums here.
Track 2; Cactus Bogie; It was funny back in 1980, some of my friends didn’t like this song, they said it was country music-to bad they didn’t know it was bogie !
Track 3; All’s A Chord; With Steve singing, Bill Bruford on drums and Patrick Moraz on piano, whats not to like about this song ? Outstanding Kohno Spanish Guitar played here as well as the Martin Mandolin among other guitars, including steel, played in the song.
Track 4; Dairy Of A Man Who Vanished; Almost another "country" song for my friends, hardly that though as Steve cranks up his Fender Stratocaster.
Track 5; Look Over Your Shoulder; Has Claire Hamill on vocals and Alan White on drums. A true ‘70's sound. Almost could have been released a single, great song.
Track 6; Meadow Rag; Ut oh, is it another country song-no my friends its just Steve having a good time playing his Martin 0018 with a great stop and start sound.
Track 7; The Continental; Steve and violinist Graham Presket crank out a good one here, straight forwarded playing here on his Gibson ES 175D. You’ll love the fast pace.
Track 8; Surface Tension; Steve goes solo in this song, a popular one at YES concerts for many years.
Track 9; Double Rondo, done with a 59 piece orchestra, using the Gibson Les Paul, this song is one of the finast pieces of written and recorded music in history. Never overshadowed by the orchestra, Steve’s playing is loud and crisp. The interplay between he and the orchestra is extraordinary.
Track 10; Concerto In D [ 2ND Movement ]; Written by Vivaldi, arranged by Steve, this song is musical greatness. In this masterpiece he again uses his Gibson Les Paul as well as the Kohno Spanish Guitar along with a string ensemble.
Tracks 9 & 10 will stand the test of time. In hundreds of years from now listeners to these songs will be amazed, they will be lucky enough to hear these actual recordings, as it is a shame that we can’t hear Vivaldi personally conduct or play his masterpieces, along with Steve. ENJOY !
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