Peter Banks

Two Sides of Peter Banks

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For Two Sides of Peter Banks, the ex-guitarist from Yes gathered an impressive group of guest musicians, including Genesis' Phil Collins and Steve Hackett and King Crimson's John Wetton. Most importantly, the whole album was written and recorded with Netherlands guitarist Jan Akkerman (of Focus). The first six tracks make up a suite (early themes are recapitulated toward the end) ranging from acoustic duets ("Visions of the King") to full-blown instrumental progressive rock numbers ("Knights") that bear noticeable similarities with some material Steve Hackett would record for his first solo album Voyage of the Acolyte. Some sections (like "Battles") are surprisingly sloppy and show poor production, but overall the material is engaging for the prog fan and is worthy of the attention of anyone fond of Steve Hackett's mid-'70s albums. "Beyond the Loneliest Sea" is a delicate Akkerman tune, while "Stop That!" is an extended jam of medium interest (Banks and Akkerman trade some nice solos). Two Sides of Peter Banks is the most progressive effort the guitarist released after his departure from Yes. If it weren't for the star-heavy cast this album would be nothing more than an enjoyable curiosity, but fans of Genesis and Focus should find it an important addition to their collections.

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