Title - 'Be Well, Be Safe, Be Lucky: The Anthology' [2CD]
Artist - Peter Banks
For those not in the know, the late Peter Banks (actually born Peter William Brockbanks), was an English guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer.
Indeed, he was best known as the original guitarist in the rock bands the Syn, Yes, Flash, and Empire. Former Sniffin' Glue and NME journalist Danny Baker described Banks as "the architect of progressive music."
With the Peter Banks Musical Estate having just released a magnificent brand new 3CD set, entitled The Self-Contained Trilogy, this past March 9th, 2018, Purple Pyramid Records (Cherry Red Records UK) have now followed suit.
Released this past April 13th, 2018, Be Well, Be Safe, Be Lucky: The Anthology is a quite brilliant 2CD collection. The jam packed anthology of career highlights from one of the most inventive musicians of the early prog rock era, includes guest appearances: by Phil Collins, Steve Hackett, the last John Wetton, Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye.
1. 'No Place Like Home'
2. 'All Points South'
4. 'The Age of Distortion'
6. 'Fade to Blue'
7. 'It's All Greek to Me - Oriental Bent'
8. 'It's All Greek to Me - In An Idyll Momentum'
9. 'Tone Down'
10. 'Dirty Little Secret'
11. 'As Ever'
12. 'Small Beginnings (Flashback Version)'
13. 'Knights (Reprise)'
14. 'Massive Trouser Clearance'
15. 'Lost Days'
1. 'Can I Play You Something?'
3. 'Peter Gunn Theme (Live)'
4. 'Hippee Loop'
5. 'Warning: Rumble Strips'
6. 'Dancing Angel'
7. 'Lima Loop'
8. 'Astral Traveller'
9. 'Knights (Revisited)'
11. 'Endless Journey (Endless Version)'
12. 'Cinnamon Touch'
13. 'As Night Falls... And Continues'
14. 'Small Beginnings (Epic Flashback Version)'
15. 'No Time'
With all the tracks having been digitally remastered for the best sonic quality possible, what we have here is like the finest gems of Banks' career all together under the same musical roof.
One of the original members of Yes and an accomplished guitarist in his own right, Banks sadly passed away in 2013.
However, with the aforementioned 3CD set, released in his memory by his estate during the fifth anniversary of his passing; let alone the 50th Anniversary of Yes (I know, right!), together now with this wondrous Anthology 2CD collection, it seems we're getting rather spoiled in the Banks department, ladies and gentleman.
This set gathers the best of his solo material- most of it recorded during the '90s. Disc one is mostly Banks alone with various guitars, guitar synthesizers, rhythm machines and effects, though material from his 70's solo outings features other luminaries such as Steve Hackett, Phil Collins and John Wetton.
Disc two is kinda odds and sods collection, done up in collage form. Of note here is a '90s instrumental version of Yes' 'Astral Traveller,' an almost 20 minute 'Small Beginnings'' and a version of 'Knights' featuring Yes alumni Billy Sherwood, Tony Kaye and Jay Schellan.
Banks' unique guitar style was always inventive, and not too dissimilar to his successor, Steve Howe's own jazzy style. A master of the instrumental track, usually playing all the parts himself, from the opening rippling guitar chords of the opening cut 'No Place Home' to the interpretive dynamics of the second disc closer 'No Time,' it seems like everything Banks did oozed diversity and, most importantly, exquisite fretwork.
In fact, there is enough variety in style throughout to keep the listener from getting boring – switching between higher energy rockers (in the fusion style) and slower or more laid back melodic tunes. It should be mentioned though that 'It's All Greek to Me' only gets two of its 8 parts showcased here: 'Oriental Bent' and 'In An Idyll Momentum.'
A compilation that deservedly reminds us all of his great guitar contributions and his place among the guitar greats, Be Well, Be Safe, Be Lucky: The Anthology produces some sparkling cool atmospheric jazz styling's on through to some razor sharp funk prog grooves. It is a collection for the collector of all-things guitar mastery.
2CD Purchase Link