Wednesday, August 10, 2016

STE* : Steve Howe/Yes

 purchase [ Yessongs ]

A Newsweek article from about a year ago noted Steve Howe's resemblance to a wizard: long white locks, an angular face, and spectacles to match. A wizard not only in looks, but at the guitar as well. 

 Classically trained and multi-instrumental, Howe brought a jazz infused guitar style, combining with Rick Wakeman's keyboard and Chris Squire's bass to create a unique sound that is easily identifiable as the sound of Yes. He was then and still is today a man who flies under the radar. In a Guitar World interview, he suggests that rather than aiming to be a guitar player, he would advise aspring players to be musicians. Quite true - at least for him and his style.

More often than not, Yes songs ran to much longer than the default AM radio 3 minute limit - FM radio was only just beginning to take  over the air waves, and Yes songs didnt fit the formula.  But, for the first half of the 1970s, Yes alums regularly sold well. Yessongs  - a live set that shows how close they could bring their style to the stage -not one of those bands that can do it in the studio but come up short in live shows.

The cover art work of many Yes albums by Roger Dean added to the band's appeal: out of this world - but plausibly realistic landscapes floating in space - which is where many listeners saw themselves at that time. Howe and drummer Alan White, both members of the 70s era lineup are still in the still-touring band: Wakeman currently plays with other Yes alumni including John Anderson, Squire passed away last year. Original member Peter Banks, who Howe replaced in 1970 also passed away a few years back.

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