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Album Review

Emerging from a two-decade exile from recording, Peter Banks released this album of rock instrumentals. It's clearly a personal production for him; the liner notes give the biographical context of each song, which lends them a resonance that they might otherwise lack. The songs themselves, though not always especially compelling given the apparent lack of live drums, show Banks' chops still in fine form. Often they're shot through with odd little voice and broadcast samples. The pointedly titled "Shortcomings," for example, combines Oliver North testifying that Iran-Contra was "a neat idea" with a caller to a Yes radio interview asking why Banks hadn't been invited to a reunion concert. (Ouch.) The series of over-the-top hammer-ons that run through the song musically beg that question: "Surely I'm as good as Trevor Rabin?" Ah well. At least Banks has kept his sense of humor, for as his liner notes muse, "If you enjoy listening to it half as much as the enjoyment I had recording it, then I have had twice as much fun as you!" [The 1999 Transatlantic reissue includes an extra track, "Anima Mundi."]


Born: 15 July 1947 in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born July 15, 1947, in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, Peter Banks was perhaps best known for his work with the progressive rock band Yes. Those who only see that part of the picture, though, are missing out on quite a lot. Banks first got his start with Yes bassist Chris Squire in the group the Syn. That group made a bit of a name for itself in England from 1966 to late 1967. Squire and Banks moved to their next group after the Syn disbanded, the band Mabel Greer's Toy Shop. Banks left that group...
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