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Beginnings


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Audio CD, May 17, 1994
$19.69 $2.65

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: 1975
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002IHF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,014 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Doors Of Sleep
2. Australia
3. The Nature Of The Sea
4. Lost Symphony
5. Beginnings
6. Will O' The Wisp
7. Ram
8. Pleasure Stole The Night
9. Break Away From It All

Customer Reviews

Steve Howe does have an unusual voice.
Jeffrey W. Richman
You will probably squirm in your seat the first several times you hear him reach the chorus of "Australia."
Herb Mallette
By the way, the guitar playing on this album is pretty good too .. . . . in fact its fantastic!
L. Peyronnin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Howie on February 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The best thing about the first batch of Yes "Solo Albums" was that they allowed the fans to finally see into the Yes compositional process. We could glimpse each of Yes' primary composers all by themselves - almost like a prism separates light into colors, the solo albums gave us insight into the elements each Yes-man brought to the band.
[These albums are BEGINNINGS, by Steve Howe, FISH OUT OF WATER, by Chris Squire, i, by Patrick Moraz, RAMSHACKLED, by Alan White, and OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW, by Jon Anderson. (In all fairness, Moraz's i was not his first solo effort.)]
Steve's first album is really quite good, and it does hold up over time. There is an energy and brashness here that is rather stunning. One would have thought that Mr. Howe was the iconoclastic confounder of the Yes Stable. But he shows us here that he is a traditional songsmith.
However, his voice is appallingly bad, and his decision to sing is really a bad move (he was to repeat that move time and time again, never learning from his initial mistake). I had to give this excellent album 4 stars solely because it is marred by Steve's Larynx.
One could only imagine how perfect this album would have been had Jon sung on it - it would have almost become "The Lost Yes Album".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mark Champion on June 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
An odd little solo debut for Mr. Howe. I love it, but probably for the wrong reasons. There isn't much that sounds much like Yes, which is okay by me- -not because I don't like Yes but because it demonstrates Howe's desire to do something different from his contributions to the band unlike, say, Chris Squire. It also, a little surprisingly, is not really a 'guitar' album. Of course Howe plays guitar, but clearly his intention is not to demonstrate what a hot shot he is on his instrument unlike, say, Peter Banks. By the time this was released in 1975, Howe had already done all that, seemingly without effort. So why does the album fail so gloriously? To put it simply, it's the material. You know, the songs. They're mostly pretty boring and aren't much helped by windy arrangements (with the exception of 'Pleasure Stole The Night', which is more breezy than windy). It isn't even Howe's clunky singing, which a lot of people complain about and which is passable at best- -it recalls that of the Floyd's Richard Wright with a cold, and Wright's no great singer himself. But it really wouldn't matter who sang (unless it was the guy from Flash, but more on him later and elsewhere). The longer instrumentals, 'Nature Of The Sea' and especially the title track, aren't really helped by the lack of Howe's singing. 'Nature Of The Sea' gets the edge, though, because the orchestral 'Beginnings' just sort of noodles along going nowhere for seven-plus minutes. It's quasi-ambitious; it's pretty; it's light; and it is very, very fluffy. The brief 'Ram' sounds like a rehearsal for 'The Clap', four years after the fact. No matter where you go in the album, it's like that. Okay.Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By BENJAMIN MILER on February 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
After Relayer was released, all the Yes members decided to release solo albums. Chris Squire's Fish Out of Water and Steve Howe's Beginnings were the first to come out. The Chris Squire album is said to be the best solo album from a Yes member (I hadn't heard that one). Then Jon Anderson released Olias of Sunhillow, Alan White released Ramshackled, and Patrick Moraz released "i" (aka "The Story of i"). That's the big reason why Yes released no albums between Relayer and Going For the One (except for the Yesterdays compilation). Steve Howe's Beginnings could've been a great album. He's credited to playing all different guitars, acoustic and electric. He has various Yes members helping, Patrick Moraz, Alan White, Bill Bruford, as well as members of the Raindance-era Gryphon (Gryphon did tour with Yes around the time Red Queen to Gryphon Three and Raindance were released). Plus the album features some truly great Roger Dean cover artwork. But I'm afraid to say what really ruins Beginnings is Steve Howe decided he should sing. I can only think of the likes of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy's attempt to "sing" more embarassing than what Steve Howe was trying to do. His singing really sticks out like a sore thumb. It's weak, it's nasal, he often had to use reverb to make up for his lack of vocal abilities. He should've found someone who could actually sing to handle the vocals, or actually make the album all instrumental (Rick Wakeman had the sense to hire actual vocalists on his solo efforts, like Ashley Holt and ex-Wild Turkey member Garry Pickford-Hopkins, even if they weren't the most appealing vocalists, at least they could sing). Beginnings shows that Steve Howe is quite a talented guitarist, but in the end, it's really painful to have to hear him sing.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Herb Mallette on May 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're a Yes fan, thinking about buying this album, but worried about all the reviews that rip Steve's singing -- just buy the doggone album.

You will probably squirm in your seat the first several times you hear him reach the chorus of "Australia." And that won't be the only part that makes you question his ability to self-assess.

BUT ...

What's unique about this album is that Steve is so clearly making a sincere attempt to sing exactly what is in his head. On other albums, he keeps most of the lyrics more closely in his vocal range, so you only hear the odd tonal quality of his voice, not an actual inability to hit the pitches. But on this album, he clearly just doesn't care about his own limitations. He knows where he wants the melody to go, and come hell or high water, he's going to get his vocal cords to go there -- or at least to get in the neighborhood.

The result is a very honest, sometimes raw, and always impassioned set of performances. And to make matters easier for the listener, a great deal of the vocals are layered, so that the harmonies blend out many of the imperfections that are more obvious in the solo lines.

Beyond this, the songs are simply terrific. "The Nature of the Sea" is captivating from its first bar -- and I'll guarantee that even if you didn't know the title, you'd hear the ocean in the instrumentation. The horns on "The Lost Symphony" are fabulous; the orchestra on "Beginnings" mops the floor with anything on "Magnification"; and "Ram" makes you wish for more songs with a washboard in them.

Yes albums tend to be awash in mysticism and metaphor; this album has a beautiful real-world foundation to it. It is music of this Earth -- vast in variation, full of struggles, and, yes, not without its flaws.
Read more ›
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