Steve Howe & Bodast

The Early Years with Bodast

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Ten songs totalling 30 minutes of music from the eve of Steve Howe's emergence as one of the world's most famous guitar players. The singing isn't much, and the songwriting (apart from the excellent "Black Leather Gloves," written by Clive Skinner, and the group composed "Tired Towers") lacks some lyricism and tunefulness, but Howe's playing is filled with virtuoso melodic flourishes that almost make up for this shortcoming. His guitar carries songs like Curtis's "I Want You," and if you close your eyes on some of the other cuts, it's easy to imagine some of his work grafted onto songs from his first two Yes albums; one can also imagine some of this as demos by Peter Banks' group Flash. But overall this CD reveals Bodast as a band that needed something distinctive besides its axeman, and didn't have it, either in its personnel or their songwriting abilities.

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