Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
A glimpse of symphonic rock heaven
Troy | the Netherlands | 07/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Esquire are a British symphonic rock group founded in 1982 by singer Nikki Squire, wife of bass player Chris Squire of Yes fame, and ex-New Cross bass player Nigel McLaren. Making up the numbers in this trio is unsung hero Charles Olins on keyboards. One would be entirely correct in assuming that Esquire play a style of music akin to Yes. It may seem a near sacrilegious statement, but i am of the opinion that Esquire's self-titled debut effort far surpassed any prior release by their renowned counterparts. Nor has it been equalled since.
This 1987 album is a sublime work of art, that is about great songs rather than being a vehicle for displaying the artists' obvious musical craftsmanship and virtuosity. All tracks overflow with sterling melodies that ooze class and sophistication. Still this remains a hardhitting rock album. The band's unique, innovative sound is further typified by Nikki Squire's remarkable, somewhat masculine sounding vocals, which greatly resemble Jon Anderson's. This selfproduced album (with a little help from Chris Squire and Trevor Horn) features, among others, Pat Thrall (Pat Travers, Hughes & Thrall) on guitars and Alan White (Yes) on drums.
Among the 11 tracks on offer you will find some of the most original, unforgettable symphonic rock songs you are likely to hear in this lifetime ("To the rescue", "Sunshine", "Knock twice for heaven", "Hourglass", "Silent future"). Check out the samples and you may get an idea of what i'm talking about. (The CD's bonus track is another version of "Sunshine" with an alternate mix.) Pièce de résistance is the hugely impressive "Blossomtime", which starts off with a delicate piano passage, but eventually turns into an overwhelmingly pompous affair with a chorus to die for. The multilayered backing vox and harmonies are out of this world.
I can think of no reason whatsoever why this splendid band was so underrated at the time and this album so outrageously overlooked, other than their record company (Geffen) doing a lousy PR job. It took Esquire a full ten years to come up with their followup CD, entitled "Coming home". Although this is definitely a good album, it has a more clynical, technical sound to it. Its songs are nowhere near as accessible, only two or three remind me of their monumental debut."
The perfect appetizer for Big Generator
Peter Campbell | Bellevue, NE | 09/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was spring 1987, and Yes fans were getting restless. The follow-up to the smash hit 90125 was at least a year overdue, and without the internet to calm the masses with the tiniest morsel of news, fans urgently trawled AOR radio stations for ANY sign of "Generator" (as one radio report called it). One evening, THAT sound--the symphonic keyboards, the Ludwig drums, the crisp, clear bass sound and Chris Squire's distinct backing vocals, and the archly dramatic lead vocal style came on. Hmmm...I thought. Jon Anderson's voice sounds a bit huskier than normal, but it HAS been four years! After about 4 minutes of brilliance, I waited for the DJ to come on with a release date.
Surprisingly, he declared that this very Yes-sounding track was in fact a group called Esquire and the song was "To the Rescue". It was the best mistake I ever made. Esquire featured Chris Squire's wife Nikki on lead vocals, along with Nigel McLaren, Charles Olins, and other guests including Alan White on drums and Pat Thrall on guitar to name but two. It has all the earmarks of 80s Yes (for better or worse), and I would go so far as to say I prefer it to a great deal of Yes music, and I have it all! Highlights abound, such as the aforementioned "...Rescue", the time-shifting extravaganza "Blossomtime", the haunting "Hourglass" with its devastating refrain "...never to say you're sorry.", the inspiring "Moving Together", and the 90125-outtake-ish "Up Down Turnaround". The music is never less than grand, although it lacks the virtuosity and spotlight-stealing of classic Yes playing. Nikki Squire's vocals are always spot on and almost theatrical, and she can be forgiven for the understandable Anderson-isms.
Unfortunately, the band lacked the promotional clout at Geffen records, and the following autumn Big Generator came out and stole the thunder from this album. I see that they did eventually follow it up a number of years later, but this was a band of a moment for me. I can't imagine that the synergy of this release and the era in which it came out could be duplicated. As such, I view this as a record without a true fault, and I highly recommend it to any Yes fan (especially Trevor Rabin-era)."