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3.34 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1976


A1 Solitude
A2 Nature
A3 Air Over
A4 Crossing The Line
A5 Man Of Leo
A6 Stellar
A7 Space Theme
B1 Space Requiem
B2 Space Song
B3 Carnival
B4 Ghost Machine
B5 Surfspin
B6 Time Is Here
B7 Winner/Loser


- Stomu Yamashta / keyboards, percussion
- Steve Winwood / vocals, keyboards
- Michael Shrieve / drum kit
- Klause Schulze / synthesizers
- Rosko Gee / bass guitar
- Chris West / rhythm guitar
- Pat Thrall / solo and rhythm guitar
- Julian Marvin / rhythm guitar
- Al Dimeola / solo guitar
- Hisako Yamashta / violin, vocals
- Bernie Holland / guitar
- Lennox Langton / congas
- Brother James / congas
- Thunderthighs / backing vocals
- Paul Buckmaster / orchestral arrangements

About this release

Island Records ‎– ILPS 9387 (UK)

Thanks to dreadpirateroberts for the addition and js, snobb for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

When this album came out in 1976, the creative side of jazz-rock was in a slump and fans of the genre were looking for something new. Expectations were high for this album which featured an all-star cast and a blending of two styles that were becoming more popular in the mid-70s; electronic space-rock and funk influenced jazz-fusion. Motivated possibly by the surprising financial success that space rock bands like Pink Floyd were having, the first four tracks on side one blend together to present two very Pink Floyd sounding ballads that are surrounded by ambient electronic sections. The song 'Crossing the Line' even has a gospel styled female vocalist in its buildup that sounds like a dead ringer for the vocalist in Floyd's 'Great Gig in the Sky'. Both of these Floyd influenced opening songs on 'GO' have great production and feature the overly- reverbed voice of Steve Winwood, but like a lot of 70s rock, these chord progressions tend to be a little overwrought.

These two opening ballads are followed by 'Man of Leo', which is a hyper-funk fusion RnB song topped by Winwood's soulful voice, that fortunately has been freed from the reverb swamp of the earlier numbers. 'Leo' shows off the rhythmic skills of drummer Michael Shrieve and bassist Rosko Gee, and features a great guitar solo by Al Dimeola. Side one closes with more space sounds.

Side two opens with Klaus Schulze and Stomu trying to recreate Tangerine Dream's classic sound, but the two keyboardists never really come together. Finally we come to a track that shows some true originality; 'Carnival'. This instrumental opens with a pounding double-timed high speed tympani drone that is topped by "scary" orchestral fanfares and all manner of synthesizer and guitar noises. It sounds like the avant-garde section from an Italian movie soundtrack.

'Carnival' is immediately followed by 'Ghost Machine', which is a great high speed RnB/rock song that has Winwood singing like he means it this time. Al Dimeola adds some great fusion riffs and solos to this song. The next song, 'Time is Here' is a nice funk/RnB song that features more vocals by Winwood and interesting string arrangements by Paul Buckmaster. All throughout this album Buckmaster shines as a truly original and innovative arranger. The album closes with a mellow rock song, 'Winner/Loser' which is one of the few songs on this album that has a really strong and original melody. Winwood really digs into the melody and makes the song his own.

This is a pretty good album, just not as good as it could have been, especially when you consider the all- star cast that is present here.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
This is the album through which Stomu Yamash'ta finally gained international recognition, not least because of Winwood's presence, after Traffic's slow demise. Although there are 14 tracks (7 aside), the album is meant to be one single work, because the vinyl shows no space between the tracks. The album's artwork is derived off the East Wind/Freedom artwork, this Yamash'ta project (the wrote all but one of the "songs") was a high profile, necessitating a full orchestra but Winwood has an all-important role on keys and vocals as well as writing the finale. Among the other stars are Michael Shrieve (ex-Santana and you can hear a bit of this influence at times on this album) and not mentioned on the album cover (or picture), Al DiMeola and Klaus Schulze. Slowly rising from naught, first with space whispers, soon transformed into a beautiful melancholic symphonic movement, Solitude is a logical introduction to the first sung passage Nature, where Winwood's voice is probably at it's best. The first side is a succession of structured songs linked with instrumental passages, be they calm or more heroic/dramatic. While the strings can approach the cheesy, some of the songs can be Santana-esque (courtesy of DiMeola & Shrieve) with a funky touch (much more prominent a feature on next year's Go Too album), the whole thing works quite well.

The flipside gets even better, with the same spacey Schulze intro, later on a slightly dissonant movement including the orchestra and again later a wild funk track Time Is Here with the orchestra playing the rhythm. Only the closing track is not fitting as well (it's written by Winwood) and it sounds more like Traffic (Factory/Eagle era)

If you're not afraid of a little extra cheese on your turntable's stylus, Go is one outstanding album that should really be heard by everyone and certainly progheads around the world.

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