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Beginnings

Steve HoweAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 9 Songs, 2011 $8.91  
Audio CD, 1994 --  
Vinyl, 1975 --  

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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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,725 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Please, Steve, Don't Sing..... February 24, 2003
By Howie
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Small Beginning 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
2.0 out of 5 stars Could be better 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
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Steve Howe: Guitar Giant
The best guitarist in music history of the last 100 years!!!!!!!
Published 1 month ago by Dare rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars he can sing
When this record caame out,Yes's Relayer album was still ringing in my ears so it was a little strange to hear Steve doing mostly song based rock. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Phillip
5.0 out of 5 stars Once you realize his vocal style comes from folk music . . ..
For years i have heard YES fans fault this album for his singing. Look, his vocal style comes from a folk music
tradition, maybe even influenced more by American folk music... Read more
Published 17 months ago by L. Peyronnin
4.0 out of 5 stars different, initially offputting, but ultimately great
At first I thought this was a far cry from Jon Anderson's debut, but it's actually almost as good. The songwriting improves the more you're exposed to it. Read more
Published on May 29, 2012 by B. E Jackson
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible singing, and Howe
By now, you've surely got the message: Guitar? great! - Songs? good! - Voice? "Please kill me before I hear another song."

It's really that bad. Read more
Published on January 6, 2011 by F. J. PRISCO
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Beginning for Mr Howe.
I really enjoyed this solo outing from Steve Howe, his guitar playing is flawless, his singing on this particular album is really not that bad, I've heard him do worse vocals, but... Read more
Published on February 19, 2009 by Thomas A. Gustafson
2.0 out of 5 stars Singing
If your voice is awful and your name is not Roger Waters... please don't sing... ever! :-)
Published on January 5, 2009 by Danylo Lytovchenko
5.0 out of 5 stars Craftsman, Workmanlike Howe Goodness
I bought this on vinyl when it came out. At that time I had no idea what to make of it. I recall liking Chris Squire's FISH OUT OF WATER better. OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW? Read more
Published on December 28, 2008 by James H. Dusewicz
5.0 out of 5 stars cool
this is a good product
the lyrics are bad and the vocals are awful
But I like athe guy
Published on December 6, 2008 by Ezra Bavly
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice album
I had the L.P. years ago and decided to buy the CD. It was good to hear it again. It will be a nice addition to your collection.
Published on August 28, 2008 by Steve in Memphis
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