Steve's best guitar playing on a Yes album



Steve's best guitar playing on a Yes album

Postby topographic_drama1980 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:53 pm

What album showcases Steve's best guitar playing overall?

It's kind of difficult for me as there are quite a few albums where his guitar playing is at its greatest. For me, it comes in a tie between Topographic Oceans and Relayer and I feel that the two songs from the two respective albums that really show his guitar playing at its absolute best are Revealing Science Of God and The Ancient, and Gates Of Delirium and To Be Over.

I truly feel that his guitar playing with [:yes] was at it's true peak during the mid-70's. Of course he did an excellent job before and after that and with Asia and GTR, but it's these two albums where I can say, "Check out his guitar playing, it's phenomenal!"
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Postby Evonce » Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:32 pm

I thought there was a thread already like this, but I'll say again: The Yes Album. It's full of ideas on every piece, and he never sounded that fluid again on record. He maybe took more chances on the next few albums, but his batting average wasn't as high to my ears, and his tone gradually deteriorated throughout the 70s. But I can hold up The Yes Album as one of the most original rock guitar albums ever.
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Postby LadyMoondancer » Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:16 am

I got that 2 disc cd set The Yes Story - Gold.
I think Steve's playing of To Be Over is fantastic! Is that the same version you're referring to Topo?
I think disc 1 of the set is fantastic. That dance mix of Owner of a Lonely Heart is great! But disc 2 has Jon and Steve trying to sing a folksy/country ballad. umm, Jon, stick to rock and New-Age, country isn't your thing.
Yep, I'll have to vote for Steve's instrumental To Be Over. I can put that thing on repeat and repeat all day! Lovely.
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Postby happytheman » Tue Jan 25, 2005 12:29 pm

LadyMoondancer wrote:I got that 2 disc cd set The Yes Story - Gold.
I think Steve's playing of To Be Over is fantastic! Is that the same version you're referring to Topo?
I think disc 1 of the set is fantastic. That dance mix of Owner of a Lonely Heart is great! But disc 2 has Jon and Steve trying to sing a folksy/country ballad. umm, Jon, stick to rock and New-Age, country isn't your thing.
Yep, I'll have to vote for Steve's instrumental To Be Over. I can put that thing on repeat and repeat all day! Lovely.

I have seen this disc (The Yes Story) several times at a very low price. But have been a bit reluctant in buying it. Is the song you are referring to (folksy/ country) the long song listed as a Anderson / Howe composition? If so when was this recorded? Lost gem from 30 years ago or recent.
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Postby The Ancient » Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:09 pm

I have always thought that the ultimate outta control Steve Howe experience is the Yessongs album and video.
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Postby guilddigger » Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:46 pm

"the yes album" for the fresh air he brought to the band
and "relayer" for his crazy avant-garde, still beautiful, playing.
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Postby Dr_Yes » Tue Jan 25, 2005 3:32 pm

Studio - Going for the One. It's got everything from 12-string electric solos to pedal steel to acoustic hybrid picking and all shades in between.

Live - Yessongs. Proved he could do it better live, and how good his improv. skills are too. Back in the glory days when Yes cooked! Smokin!
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Postby topographic_drama1980 » Wed Jan 26, 2005 5:31 am

LadyMoondancer wrote:I think Steve's playing of To Be Over is fantastic! Is that the same version you're referring to Topo?


Actually, I was referring to the Yessong "To Be Over," not the one Steve featured on his Natural Timbre album. I don't have that album yet, but I heard it was all acoustic, so it has to be good!

That "The Yes Story" album is put out by some cheap independent label who also put out "Emerson Lake and Palmer - Gold," which was basically the majority of the Then And Now compilation and "The Asia Story featuring John Wetton," which was actually Asia's Live In Moscow on Disc 1 and John's Arkangel album (I think) on Disc 2.

I've seen a couple other of those albums, but I can't remember by who. I think I saw one by Bad Company, but I can't confirm that.

Basically what they did with The Yes Story Gold was take some stuff off of the Yes, Friends and Relatives Vol. 1 and 2 albums and a few other things and tack them on there. There are way too many of these what I call "pirated albums" which are not really official albums, kinda like the Yes - Extended Versions CD by BMG or the Yes - (Re)Union CD, also by BMG. These budget priced albums really annoy me because they're not the real thing. Nevertheless, if I saw the Yes Story Gold before I saw either of the Y, FAR albums, then I would surely pick it up, because it contains stuff from both and it's kind of a neat mixture.
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Postby LadyMoondancer » Wed Jan 26, 2005 7:45 am

happytheman wrote:I have seen this disc (The Yes Story) several times at a very low price. But have been a bit reluctant in buying it. Is the song you are referring to (folksy/ country) the long song listed as a Anderson / Howe composition? If so when was this recorded? Lost gem from 30 years ago or recent.

Happy,
I don't know when it was recorded. As Topo points out, it's a cheap compilation. I'm at work right now, so I'll have to do this from memory. And I've only got disc 1 memorized (cos it's my favorite)
There is a 30-35 minute mini-concert by Wakeman of Journey to the Center of the Earth, Steve's guitar instrumental of To Be Over, something from Squire and I think Billy Sherwood (?) called Violet Purple Rose. A Yes song, which I can't think of the title, something with the line "You've a great imagination," which is a pretty good song. And then there's a dance mix of Owner of a Lonely Heart, which is pretty good.
I can't remember the name of the country song I referred to, but yes, it is long, written by Steve and Jon, and I'm assuming that's Steve singing with Jon.
Jon starts out with a twangy accent (oh yuck!) and they try to harmonize ala Simon and Garfunkel. Then towards the end Jon loses the country accent several times. Let's just say it was a mess! I can't stand it, and for me to say that, me, who idolizes Jon, you know it's bad. ha ha. (sorry Jon).
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Postby topographic_drama1980 » Wed Jan 26, 2005 4:27 pm

LadyMoondancer wrote:A Yes song, which I can't think of the title, something with the line "You've a great imagination," which is a pretty good song. I can't remember the name of the country song I referred to, but yes, it is long, written by Steve and Jon, and I'm assuming that's Steve singing with Jon.
Jon starts out with a twangy accent (oh yuck!) and they try to harmonize ala Simon and Garfunkel. Then towards the end Jon loses the country accent several times. Let's just say it was a mess! I can't stand it, and for me to say that, me, who idolizes Jon, you know it's bad. ha ha. (sorry Jon).
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The Yessong you mentioned was the title track to the album Open Your Eyes and the country-ish song you mentioned is called "Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands" and it's off of Steve Howe's Bob Dylan tribute album Portraits Of Bob Dylan.

There are actually only a couple songs off of either of the Y, FAR albums but Awaken, Yours Is No Disgrace, and Roundabout are taken from The House Of Yes, and Rick's Journey, is it a live track or is it studio, because I used to have this one compilation called Progressive Rock Classics and it was a piss-poor album. It had covers from a few bands and Rick was actually on it twice with a studio version of Journey and And You And I with a very terrible singer. There was also an original song from the current Marillion line-up and that's about it. I peid 6 bucks for it at Wal-Mart three years ago and I considered it a waste of money, even for just 6 dollars. I sold it a couple years ago, actually not too long after I bought it.
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Postby LadyMoondancer » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:21 am

Topo,
I think this version of Rick's Journey is studio. You know, I'll have to drag it out and listen to it tomorrow afternoon. It's an alright version, but of course, I prefer the original.
I didn't know that Steve did a Dylan tribute. But then, I've never been a Dylan fan. My sister was, and drove me nuts with him.
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Postby yesman90125 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:55 am

for electric Id say the solo on awaken

even though its kind of hidden in the mix

and not until recent remasters have you been able to really hear it like you could on the lp

My back up would be release release or the solo in to be over



for accustic Id say its the turn of the century solo

and my back up would be the" leaves of green" sectionof "The Ancient-Giants under the sun" from topographic oceans

thats a really tough call

he did some great electric work on Asia too
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Postby yesman90125 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 1:59 am

yesman90125 wrote:for electric Id say the solo on awaken

even though its kind of hidden in the mix

and not until recent remasters have you been able to really hear it like you could on the lp

My back up would be release release or the solo in to be over



for accustic Id say its the turn of the century solo

and my back up would be the" leaves of green" sectionof "The Ancient-Giants under the sun" from topographic oceans

thats a really tough call

he did some great electric work on Asia too
so I guess my answer is
Going for the one
with a big nod to topographic oceans and relayer
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Postby yesman90125 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:00 am

does ABWH count as a YES album or not

cause Quartet is pretty nice
oh ,man i'm so conflicted
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Postby yesman90125 » Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:01 am

STEVE IS JUST THE BEST !!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Vaguson » Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:10 pm

I'd have to agree with Going For the One (PARALLELS).
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Postby psychopomp95 » Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:47 am

I'm not sure if I can think of any one album that I would say is Steve's BEST. Drama has the most songs with his playing that I like, but it's not really a good introduction to 'his' style - rather, it showed him adapting to the change in sound (which I guess you could argue is part of his style, too, but I digress). If you want to prove that Steve can ROCK, then by all means though!
Really, overall, the best bet for proving Steve's talents is the best bet overall - Close to the Edge (and YesSongs for the energy he brings). I would agree that The Yes Album is also a really good example, too!
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Postby Vaguson » Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:49 pm

Psychopomp brings up some very valid points. I would agree that either TYA or Drama would be his best "Rockin'" albums. TYA is very easy to listen to and just a lot of fun...
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Postby perpetualchanger » Mon Feb 28, 2005 6:25 pm

GFTO, followed very closely by Drama. (I'm not that big on Drama as a whole, but Steve absolutely kicks ass on it.)
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Postby Chris2210 » Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:07 pm

Far too many highlights for me.

I'd like to speak up for his work on the KeysStudio tracks though. His acoustic has never been better than on That, That Is and Mind Drive - the latter also has spectacular examples of electric jazz style solos and smoking rock solos. Very different from his 70s work, but just as indispensible for me.
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Postby Tomfoolery » Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:37 pm

Whoa! Chris! Howzit goin', friend? Long Time No See.........
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Postby Chris2210 » Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:04 pm

Tomfoolery wrote:Whoa! Chris! Howzit goin', friend? Long Time No See.........


Um, well spotted Tom! I've been away a while - the ususal reasons overworked and underpaid. It's nice to see some of the old timers putting in appearances seeing yours and Yesman's names on threads peaked my curiosity. I don't think it's likely I will be able to visit anything like as frequently as I used to, but I will be back to force my opinion's down your throat from time to time - you know me.
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As for albums...

Postby purplewolfhound » Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:39 pm

Drama, for his vigor and speed, followed closely by The Yes Album, for his diversity and creativity.

But my single favorite Howe performance on a Yes *song* would have to be his solo on "America." For a Brit, he captured a sense of the American spirit incredibly well! It's a "speeding ticket" moment for me -- one of those times when the music makes you want to roll down the windows and just speed down the open highway.
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Postby Vaguson » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:18 pm

I'm right with you purplewolfhound...There are many "roll down the window and zoom down the highway" tracks for me...
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re: Steve's best guitar playing on a Yes album

Postby yesbunny » Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:25 am

ahhh....nooo...u can't make me do it!!! as far as I'm concerned, any yes album
is steve's best guitar playing...with every year and/or album that passes, steve
just keeps getting better and better.....all of my love to steve!!!!!!... most underratted guitar player ever....!!!!!! :cool:
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Postby N2yes » Wed Apr 27, 2005 1:39 am

For sheer guitar brilliance, my vote goes to RELAYER. Complexity, speed and emotion...all are conveyed in this one splendid package.
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Postby Thoughtbecontact » Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:45 am

My vote would also have to go to Relayer, with Drama coming in second.
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swift guitar

Postby yesson » Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:44 am

Steve's playing diversified over the years, but I would say that his original go-for-it approach on The Yes Album and on Fragile are unsurpassed. In later albums his talents were always ever growing, extending to more and more stringed instruments, but his guitar playing displayed in those two albums actually attracted so much attention that every other guitar player in the world could be considered as wanna-be.
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Postby john mccleary » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:03 pm

Im a bass player call me simple Yours is no disgrace and live America Steves solo sounds simple but I like how he starts of loww low middle middle middle high and ends really high to me he is a master :)
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Steve's Best

Postby YesFan01 » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:06 pm

As so many of you have said, this is really a hard one, there are many moments of Steve's brilliance on each album, to pick one is just too hard! But I've thought about it a bit, and would have to vote for Relayer. To Be Over is one of my favorite Yes Songs, initially listening to it, you hear a soft song, but pay attention and Steve is beyond belief. Truly the greatest guitar player ever!
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