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22.09.2017

STEVE HOWE

Anthology 2: Groups and Collaborations

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Rhino Records, 2017)

Karakter: 5/6

Stewe Howe cover.jpgThis amazing and beautifully packaged 3-CD release consisting of no less than 56 different compositions that are all somehow linked or attributed to legendary guitarist Steve Howe (Yes, Asia, GTR) is truly a treasure trove of great music. First of all, the album artwork by renowned artist Robert Dean is stunning. I have no idea how he does it, but those album sleeves by Dean never fail to evoke an otherworldly and mesmerising atmosphere. In the case of "Groups and Collaborations", it fits like a glove. The thing is that Steve Howe hardly needs any introduction in that his work with Yes, Asia, and GTR speaks for itself. The man is truly a virtuoso musician and, like I said earlier on, a living legend. However, this anthology covers so much more than just the aforementioned acts. Howe's work with The Syndicats, The In Crowd, Tomorrow, and Bodast is quite underrated and contains lots of hidden gems that are definitely worth seeking out and immersing oneself in. "On the Horizon" by The Syndicats is haunting and filled to the brim with melancholy. "Nothing to Cry For" by Bodast is driven and unpredictable, and "Finger Poppin'" by The In Crowd is energetic and eclectic. In other words, there are a lot of wonderful songs and recordings to be found here, a lot of captivating and compelling stuff that deserves a wider audience.

Many of you are already familiar with the works of Yes, Asia, and GTR, which is to say that there is hardly any reason to go over that in great detail here. Some of the finest compositions by the aforementioned bands are represented here and the thing that they all have in common is that they underline and emphasize Howe's incredible talent and skill. What those three bands managed to accomplish was simply sensational and Howe was right there at the centre of it all. "Roundabout" and "Tempus Fugit" by Yes, "Heat of the Moment" and "Masquerade" by Asia, and "Toe the Line" by GTR are all here along with a long line of other classic (as well as some overlooked) tracks. Given that we are primarily dealing with progressive rock, it should come as no surprise that some of the selections that are present on the anthology contain lots of shifts, changes, and musical curveballs, but on the other hand, there are quite a few cuts that are instantly memorable and catchy, so there is a nice balance on the discs between the more convoluted tracks and the easily accessible ones. On top of that, there are a number of previously unreleased songs to be found as well, songs that are not to be missed out on.

Howe's many collaborations with other artists are also superb and sound both inspired and inspiring. While there are too many tracks to cover in detail here, it has to be said that there are some exceptionally cool and well-written tunes such as the moody "Lily's in the Field" with Annie Haslam and the vibrant "Luxury of Love" with Keith West that truly rule. The textures as well as the depth and substance of the songs are fantastic to experience. Granted, not each and every track is outstanding, but they all range from good to brilliant and there are no fillers as such.

"Anthology 2: Groups and Collaborations" perfectly summarizes and documents just how vital and timeless much of Howe's back catalogue is. The quality of the songs coupled with the fact that many of them are important and relevant in an historical context means that you ought to check this box out right the fuck right now! This is essential listening if prog rock, hard rock, jazz fusion, and rock in general appeal to you. We are talking fifty years of creative brilliance here, folks, and the accompanying liner notes are personal and interesting, too. In other words, Howe's career in music defies easy summary, but rewards careful and devoted exploration.
 
http://stevehowe.com/
 

Steve Howe Anthology 2: Groups & Collaborations tracklist

CD1

  1. Maybellene – The Syndicats
  2. On The Horizon – The Syndicats
  3. Finger Poppin’ – The In Crowd
  4. Blow Up – The In Crowd
  5. You’re On Your Own – The In Crowd
  6. My White Bicycle – Tomorrow
  7. Claramount Lake – Tomorrow
  8. Revolution – Tomorrow
  9. Why – Tomorrow
  10. The Spanish Song – Canto
  11. Beyond Winter – Bodast
  12. Nothing To Cry For – Bodast
  13. Roundabout – Yes
  14. Montreux’s Theme – Yes
  15. Tempus Fugit – Yes
  16. Heat Of The Moment – Asia
  17. One Step Closer – Asia
  18. Lying To Yourself – Asia
  19. Masquerade – Asia (Previously unreleased)
  20. When The Heart Rules The Mind – GTR
  21. Toe The Line – GTR

CD2

  1. Brother Of Mine – Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe
  2. Dangerous – Yes (Backing Track)
  3. Without Hope You Cannot Start The Day – Yes (Backing Track)
  4. Bring Me To The Power – Yes
  5. From The Balcony – Yes
  6. Nine Voices (Longwalker) – Yes
  7. We Agree – Yes
  8. Kenny’s Sound – Steve Howe Trio
  9. Sweet Thunder – Steve Howe Trio
  10. Wish I’d Known All Along – Asia
  11. Over And Over – Asia
  12. Through My Veins – Asia
  13. Light The Way – Asia
  14. Hour Of Need (Long Version) – Yes
  15. Reno (Silver And Gold) – Asia
  16. Believe Again – Yes

CD3

  1. Traveller – Billy Currie
  2. Time And A Word – Fish
  3. Sweet Eternity – Paul Sutin and Steve Howe
  4. Voyager – Paul Sutin and Steve Howe
  5. Lily’s In The Field – Paul Sutin and Steve Howe
  6. Turn Of The Century – Steve Howe and Annie Haslam
  7. Forgotten King – Oliver Wakeman and Steve Howe
  8. Most Of A Man – Dean Dyson and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  9. Cross That Bridge – Keith West and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  10. Heaven – Keith West and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  11. Strange Girl – Keith West and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  12. Luxury Of Love – Keith West and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  13. Curved Ball – Keith West and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  14. Running In The Human Race – Max Bacon and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  15. Hot Touch – Max Bacon and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  16. Runaway – Max Bacon and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  17. Forever – Max Bacon and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  18. Tell The Story – Max Bacon and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
  19. Slim Pickins’ – Ray Fenwick and Steve Howe (Previously unreleased)
 


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