80319-2 Beginnings
Produced by Steve Howe and Eddie Offord
Released on October 1975
UK CHART POSITION #22 . . . US CHART POSITION #63
Find it at GEMM
80319-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

K ronomyth 1.0: DWARVES OF SLEEP. It takes more than a great guitarist to make a great album, but a good album? Oh, Beginnings is that and a little more. As Howe was one of the principal architects of Yes, it’ll come as no surprise that the songs on Beginnings recall that band more than anything. In fact, Alan White, Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz even lend a hand in the proceedings. The surprise is that Steve Howe sings. A lot. More than he should have, really. Suffice to say that his vocal range dwarfs in comparison to Jon Anderson, as the words “sleepy” and “bashful” come to mind in describing it. (It must be something about English prog guitarists, as Howe, Hackett, Hillage and Andy Latimer all sounded like they’d just quaffed half a bottle of Nyquil.) Despite some inspired passages, the songs on Beginnings suffer from the too-quick transition from one idea to another, which may be a carryover from the more-is-more aesthetic of Tales. And so Beginnings is an album by a sleepy-voiced progressive rock guitarist that throws a lot of ideas at the wall hoping some will stick. A few do, none stickier than “Lost Symphony,” which might be the cutest Yes solo song this side of “Don’t Forget (Nostalgia).” Then there’s the pastoral classical piece (“Beginnings”) that reminds me of The Snow Goose, an instrumental featuring members of Gryphon (“The Nature of the Sea”) and a second dose of The Clap (“Ram”), all of it good and none of it featuring Steve Howe’s voice. Which isn’t to say that he’s an awful vocalist, but we Yes fans are a jaded lot after Jon Anderson, and Beginnings only offers the spacey lyrics without the celestial voice. If you enjoy music that works on a conceptual level, better to begin with Olias, Six Wives, Flash or Story of I. You’ll get around to Beginnings (and Fish Out of Water) eventually because of what they are: an alternate route through the land of legendary high adventure known as Yes.

80319-2 back cover
80319-2 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. DOORS OF SLEEP    (Steve Howe/Alice Meynell)    4:06
  2. AUSTRALIA    (Steve Howe)    4:14
  3. THE NATURE OF THE SEA    (Steve Howe)    3:54
  4. LOST SYMPHONY    (Steve Howe/Jan Howe)    4:38
  5. BEGINNINGS    (Steve Howe)    7:29
  6. WILL O' THE WISP    (Steve Howe/Jan Howe)    5:59
  7. RAM    (Steve Howe)    1:52
  8. PLEASURE STOLE THE NIGHT    (Steve Howe/Jan Howe)    2:53
  9. BREAK AWAY FROM IT ALL    (Steve Howe)    4:20

CREDITS

STEVE HOWE -- guitars, banjo, bass, dobro guitar, harpsichord, mandolin, Moog, organ, pedal steel, steel, vocals, washboard, inside cover photograph
ALAN WHITE -- drums
Malcolm Bennett -- bass (3), flute (8)
Gwyd Brooke -- bassoon (5)
Bill Bruford -- drums, percussion (8,9)
Colin Gibson -- bass (4)
James Gregory -- flute, piccolo (5)
Patrick Halling -- violin (5)
Peter Halling -- cello (5)
Chris Laurence -- bass (5), double string (8)
John Meek -- viola (5)
Patrick Moraz -- grand piano, harpsichord, Mellotron, Moog, piano, orchestration (4,5,6)
David Oberle -- drums (3)
William Reid -- violin (5)
Sidney Sutcliffe -- oboe (5)
Graeme Taylor -- guitar (3)
Eddie Offord -- engineer
Paul Northfield -- engineer
Declan O'Doherty -- engineer
Jeremey Stenham -- engineer
Roger Dean -- artwork
Martyn Dean -- photograph

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK October 1975 Atlantic LP K50151 gatefold cover
US October 1975 Atlantic LP/CS/8T SD/CS/TP-18154 gatefold cover
BRA 1975 Atlantic LP 404037  
FRA/NET 1975 Atlantic LP ATL-50151 gatefold cover
JPN 1975 Atlantic LP P-10041A gatefold cover
JPN   Atlantic LP P-6529A  
JPN 1990 Atlantic CD AMCY-17  
US May 14, 1994 Atlantic CD 80319-2 digital remaster
JPN   Atlantic CD AMCY-4047  

 

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