[Review] Steve Howe: Homebrew 2 (2000)

More songs from the attic, although it appears that Steve Howe’s attic is bigger than most peoples’ homes. Common sense told me that Homebrew 2 would be a collection of leftover leftovers, but I’ve never been one to listen to common sense. Instead, the first and second Homebrew collections are very similar in terms of quality and ancestry. You’ll find home versions of Yes songs (“Masquerade,” “The Serpentine”) and Steve Howe solo songs (“Surface Tension”), new age instrumentals (“Together,” “The Spiral”), old chestnuts lost to time (“Every Time You Look Over Your Shoulder”) and the sort of fleshed-out ideas that Howe would typically bring to the next Yes project (“Rhythm of the Road,” “Separate Ways”). Highlights (and Homebrew 2 has them) include a duet of Howe and Patrick Moraz on the classic “Beginnings” and the lost songs (Howe’s voice notwithstanding), which includes “Resistance Day.” Yes fans will enjoy the extra time in Howe’s attic, rummaging through old souvenirs and half-completed songs. The Homebrew discs are vanity releases, however, so if the idea of hearing part of Relayer in its earliest form (“The Serpentine”) doesn’t excite you (and, honestly, I’m not saying it should), then these aren’t your cup of tea. As I’ve mused elsewhere (probably in the previous Homebrew review, and likely in all future Homebrew reviews), I could listen to Steve Howe play the guitar for hours, so I enjoy these collections. It may be the history lesson that draws me in, but it’s the music that keeps me coming back. I’m actually excited to hear the third installament of this. Of course, I said the same thing about Anthony Phillips’ Private Parts & Pieces but, as I noted earlier, common sense and I are passing strangers.

The Songs
1. Masquerade (2:08)
2. Success Story (1:24)
3. Together (4:37)
4. Rhythm of the Road (2:36)
5. Separate Ways (2:11)
6. Sun Carnival (2:24)
7. Riviera (3:56)
8. Sleepless In The City (1:03)
9. The Spiral (3:10)
10. The Serpentine (4:07)
11. The Go Between (3:17)
12. Follow Your Heart (3:43)
13. Beginnings (5:34)
14. Surface Tension (2:59)
15. Every Time You Look Over Your Shoulder (3:55)
16. Cactus Boogie (2:33)
17. Resistance Day (2:06)
18. Wayward Course (2:33)
19. Spanish Heritage (2:16)
20. Outlawed (2:19)
21. Mules’ Head Stomp (3:18)

The Players
Steve Howe (all instruments) with Patrick Moraz (harpsichord on 13), Curtis Schwarz (drum programming). Produced by Steve Howe; engineered by Greg Jackman.

The Plastic
Released on compact disc on June 14, 2000 in the US (Purple Pyramid, CLP 0841-2) and Japan (Flavour, FVCK-80111).

  1. Re-packaged with Homebrew on 2-for-1 compact disc in 2003 in Germany (Inside Out).

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