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With Steve Howe – The Early Years

Review by Gary Hill

Before Steve Howe joined Yes, he recorded with several other bands. Bodast was one of them. The music on the disc is in many ways quite similar to Yes – and in fact, some of Howe’s riffs on this album were recycled for use in Yes songs. In other ways, though, this is more straightforward psychedelic rock. However you slice it, though, it’s good. I’ve reviewed Steve Howe’s Mothballs disc, which includes three songs from this album. Therefore, for the sake of consistency, I’ve used those reviews in the track by track review of this CD.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 6 at
Track by Track Review
Do You Remember
Drums lead things out of the gate here. The cut is a smoking hot psychedelic rocker. Steve Howe's guitar is so hot on this cut. The whole thing just really rocks.
Beyond Winter
This is fairly prog like and quite psychedelic at the same time. It’s a good piece of music with a number of interesting changes and alterations. Howe really shines on the cut.
Once in a Lifetime
On the one hand this is pretty similar to the rest of the music on the album. That said, it’s one of the more effective pieces and Howe really does a great job of adding some killer guitar flavorings throughout.
Black Leather Gloves
This killer rocker is one of the highlights of the set. It’s hard edged and in many ways not that different from a lot of the music here and yet the drama and power make it more effective than some of the other music. There’s a riff in the middle of this that was later used in “Close to the Edge”.
I Want You
I peg this one as a Yardbirds kind of cut. It’s a good rocker, but not really a standout by any means.
Tired Towers
This is perhaps the least interesting song on show here. It’s not that it’s bad; it’s just not very unique. It would be possible to imagine any number of 1960’s bands doing this song – other than the trademark Steve Howe solo that serves as the outro.
Mr. Jones
There’s more of a psychedelic air to this and the song rocks out quite well. It’s a cool tune and a step up from the previous one, even though it’s still not the most unique or original thing we’ve heard. Still, there’s some tasty guitar work from Mr. Howe. 
1, 000 Years
Based on a more folk oriented sound, this is another 1960’s styled tune and another strong song. It’s got some intriguing moments and doesn’t fit into the “more of the same” category.
Nether Street
Yes fans will recognize this as the introduction section (along with some other parts) was reworked and used in “Starship Trooper”. It’s another cool song, even if it feels a bit dated. It’s got some of the most potent Steve Howe guitar soloing of the whole set.
Nothing to Cry For
A trademark Howe acoustic guitar solo opens this up. Then they fire out into a killer piece of psychedelia that has some tasty guitar work and intriguing twists and turns. It even gets a bit classical at times and there are sections that feel quite a bit like Yes.
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