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Articles Home » 1996 Articles » Downes, Geoffrey - 1996 Evolution
Downes, Geoffrey - 1996 Evolution

ARTIST: Downes, Geoffrey
ALBUM: Evolution
LABEL: Blueprint
YEAR: 1996


LINEUP: Geoff Downes - keyboards, instrumentation, arrangements

TRACK LISTING: 01 Africa * 02 Livin' On A Prayer * 03 Nights In White Satin * 04 Little Lies * 05 Dreamer * 06 I Want To Know What Love Is * 07 Drive * 08 A Whiter Shade Of Pale * 09 The Final Countdown * 10 Alone * 11 Stairway To Heaven * 12 Babe * 13 Who's Crying Now * 14 Dust In The Wind


There have been plenty of albums released in the melodic rock market called 'Evolution'. And they've usually gone on to bigger and better things, as in the case of Journey, Misha Calvin, Tony MacAlpine and David & The Giants.. Just to name a few. And then we get Geoff Downes CD from 1996 with the same name, but unfortunately not the same result. Why Geoff had to go and do an album full of schmaltzy covers is beyond me. The Asia maestro (in my opinion) really didn't need to go and sully his sublime keyboard reputation with this totally awful collection of hard rock hits from the last thirty odd years. Considering he released the thoroughly excellent 'The Light Program' the same year makes me wonder why he felt the need to entertain us with a selection of numbers fit for the Shopping Malls or Department Store Elevators!

The Songs
It's all here in it's MIDI-fied and keyboard layered glory, not forgetting the drum machines. From Toto's 'Africa', the appalling version of Fleetwood Mac's 'Little Lies' through to the abomination that was Europe's 'The Final Countdown', I'm hitting the skip button faster than my fingers can fly. If there is any consolation, the older tracks such as 'Nights In White Satin' and 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' sound half decent, but still nothing like I'd expect them to sound like - given the sheer talent of Downes keyboard skill. Let's give other misses like 'I Want To Know What Love Is' and Styx's 'Babe' a wide berth shall we?

In Summary
One can only assume that the record label Blueprint put Geoff up to this, and it's a shame they did. Though Geoff has a reasonable solo career with the aforementioned 'The Light Program', along with 'Vox In Humana' and 1999's 'The World Service', do not count 'Evolution' among his most prized works. Instead, give this one a complete miss.

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