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Steve Howe Album
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The Steve Howe Album
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UK Issue 1. Pennants 2. Cactus Boogie 3. All's a Chord 4. Diary of a Man Who Vanished 5. Look Over Your Shoulder 6. Meadow Rag 7. The Continental - Steve Howe, Conrad, Con 8. Surface Tension 9. Double Rondo 10. Concerto in D, 2nd Movement - Steve Howe, Vivaldi, Antonio
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Top customer reviews
I like "Double Rhondo" the most. a solo electric Les Paul Fender is played like a solo instrument to a Mozart like Concerto that Howe composed and has a 59 piece symphony orchestra play. It is like someone went to the past to Wolfgang Mozart and showed him an electric guitar and Mozart showcased that instrument in a Concerto.
Good work on this album by Howe. he is truely an artist of the first order. His true place in life is with Yes, but this is his best solo work.
"Double Rondo" is 8 minutes of instrumental satisfaction. My initial feelings were that it sounds way too forced like Howe is attempting to come up with the biggest, most perfect attempt at something meaningful and missing the mark however... repeated listens reveals a drastically different experience. After the 5th listen or so, I'm now beginning to hear what sounds like a nice blend of classical and hard rock and it's memorable and emotion-jumping in a Mahavishnu Orchestra-Apocalypse kind of way. "Look Over Your Shoulder" reminds me of Renaissance thanks to the female singer, a talented and underrated singer by the name of Claire Hamill. Perhaps I shouldn't jump to conclusions and say that she's underrated since I haven't really heard any of her stuff (which is all but totally forgotten these days) but her biography is a very fascinating read. She's either toured or worked with several popular musicians of the 70's such as Gilbert O'Sullivan and Ray Davies of the Kinks, and even joined Wishbone Ash for a temporary period as well as performed where Mike Oldfield recorded his famous Tubular Bells work. Yes, being associated with *that* many successful people in the music business, I believe she's underrated. Comparisons to Joni Mitchell are intriguing as well.
"All's A Chord" is probably the most Yes-like song here, in addition to the most instrumentally colorful. Steve Howe really improves as a singer compared to his stuff from Beginnings (where he rubs me the wrong way on a few occasions). Here he keeps the vocals short at under a minute and they work wonderfully. "Concert In D" wouldn't be out of place on Camel's The Snow Goose album. A softly performed guitar instrumental that not only leaves me impressed but even somewhat sad. It's great. "Pennants" takes Steve's familiar guitar style and wraps it around a futuristic, new wave-y energetic rhythm. This song is actually really awesome. It's the perfect upgrade of Steve's style given the more upbeat and new wave music scene that occurred back in '79.
"Surface Tension" has an intro that reminds me of the Rush classic "The Trees". Obviously the Rush song was influenced by Yes and Steve Howe in particular. It's entirely acoustic-based and just delightful. "The Continental" is some kind of invigorating classical meets western experiment. GREAT violins and the guitar work is awesome as well. "Meadow Rag" reminds me of the Yes song "Clap". It's memorable but the similarities are a little too striking. "Diary of a Man Who Vanished" is VERY emotional. I mean a variety of emotions constantly being exchanged. Uplifting, devastating, powerful and several other feelings all in a short 3-minute tune. That's how you fill up a song! Take notes other musicians! The song does a wonderful job taking advantage of Steve's unique guitar style and the slight western feel in the chugging rhythm is another memorable part. "Cactus Boogie" is probably the only weak point. Another "Clap" imitation (Yes song) but not as impressive. I still admire how the instrumental variety weaves through a careful process. No ordinary musician would be able to replicate it without struggling.
Overall, Steve Howe's masterpiece. A must own.
The second half begins with the nice ragtime piece called Meadow Rag. The Continental is next and features Steve playing with Graham Preskett on Violin. Surface Tension is another cool Steve solo piece. Double Rondo features Steve backed by a 59 Piece Orchestra Conducted and Orchestrated by Andrew Jackman (The Syn). The Orchestra also appears for Steve's cover of Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto In D (Second Movement). There isn't a bad moment on this album and the remaster sounds top notch. Not to be missed.
Most recent customer reviews
Double Rondo & Concerto In D (2nd Movement - Steve with an orchestra and mind blowing...Read more