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Thread: Steve Howe: How important was he to Yes?

  1. #26
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Neither did Howe. For one thing, he's playing a Telecaster on that track, and for a second thing, he's playing with a fairly clean tone on that track.
    Ok - maybe not heavily distorted (no pedal), but fairly clean???

  2. #27
    Member Haruspex Carnage's Avatar
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    To me the members who made Yes Yes MOST were him, Anderson, and Squire...everyone else aside from Bruford can be easily replaced IMO.

  3. #28
    I can only state my opinion. Feel free to have your own view. Howe elevated every piece he played on. No less than any other member of the ensemble.
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  4. #29
    Guitar was already established to adapt pianistic ideas within the curriculum of conservatories and Howe put his stamp on that in Prog.

  5. #30
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    right now Steve Howe is very important to Yes.
    primarily because he's the only long time member still with the band.
    i hope the current line up doesn't record a new album-
    a Davison/Sherwood song writing team would result in a totally lost record for Yes.
    but i think that possible tension in the studio might prompt Steve to retire.

  6. #31
    Howe absolutely helped define their sound. The odd combination of players that made up Yes during their peak created music unlike anything that's happened before or since, and that frenetic guitar sound just can't be duplicated.
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  7. #32
    I often wonder how much better Yes would have been if they had convinced Bruford to stay. I'm not a White hater, but sometimes I hear parts where I wished it was Brufords snare work instead of White's rather straight forward snare playing.

    Howe really made Yes better by order of magnitude. White fit in, and didn't totally suck, but if you listen to how he covered roundabout. as opposed to how Bruford played it. It isnt nearly as interesting.
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I often wonder how much better Yes would have been if they had convinced Bruford to stay. I'm not a White hater, but sometimes I hear parts where I wished it was Brufords snare work instead of White's rather straight forward snare playing.

    Howe really made Yes better by order of magnitude. White fit in, and didn't totally suck, but if you listen to how he covered roundabout. as opposed to how Bruford played it. It isnt nearly as interesting.
    Or "Heart Of The Sunrise" - on Yessongs its White...and he just doesnt have the required precision.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I often wonder how much better Yes would have been if they had convinced Bruford to stay. I'm not a White hater, but sometimes I hear parts where I wished it was Brufords snare work instead of White's rather straight forward snare playing.

    Howe really made Yes better by order of magnitude. White fit in, and didn't totally suck, but if you listen to how he covered roundabout. as opposed to how Bruford played it. It isnt nearly as interesting.
    Bruford wanted to grow (which is what we should all want out of our favorite musicians), and he had tired of Squire's "rock star" tude by then.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Sensing a new thread theme?
    I heard that starring at computer screens for an extended duration leads one to conspiracy theories. I'm only stressing that Howe appears to be over shadowed by other band members and nothing more.
    Last edited by StevegSr; 08-29-2016 at 03:01 PM.
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  11. #36
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    Mr. Howe is FUNDAMENTAL to the Yes sound and not only, he is a genius guitarist.

  12. #37
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    I don't think he was overshadowed; I just don't see that. His unorthodox style and writing/arranging skills made Yes a different band after he joined. And as far as recognition, Howe was voted Best Overall Guitarist in Guitar Player magazine five years in a row, whereupon he become ineligible and joined their Gallery of the Greats.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I often wonder how much better Yes would have been if they had convinced Bruford to stay. I'm not a White hater, but sometimes I hear parts where I wished it was Brufords snare work instead of White's rather straight forward snare playing.

    Howe really made Yes better by order of magnitude. White fit in, and didn't totally suck, but if you listen to how he covered roundabout. as opposed to how Bruford played it. It isnt nearly as interesting.
    If his heart was into the material and his head was in a good place, Bruford would have been freakin' awesome, but the band would have to let him experiment with electronic drums and such. And that may or may not have been a problem.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
    I don't think he was overshadowed; I just don't see that. His unorthodox style and writing/arranging skills made Yes a different band after he joined. And as far as recognition, Howe was voted Best Overall Guitarist in Guitar Player magazine five years in a row, whereupon he become ineligible and joined their Gallery of the Greats.
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    I'm not getting where Jim Hall was influenced by him at all. Alpart from being generally unaware of most rock music and more likely being influenced by the avant guard ( see his stuff with Jimmy Guifre ) or third stream -classical (note his chamber jazz stuff with Chico Hamilton in 1950s LA), Jim Hall --and then "Joy Spring" era Joe Pass--more than anybody defined the dark warm 175 sound.

    Jim also hated playing loud -absolutely hated it. Often when comping he would turn the amp off .

    The 175 is a plywood guitar which is great for lack of fed back . Steve maybe the only one who ever used he bridge pickup --not even Metheny used it . Practically no jazz player used the bridge pickup in the 175D model.

  16. #41
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    I think Howe was what brought them to life as a prog band. Squire did somewhat overwhelm him in the mix but that was a combination of factors - Chris liked to play a higher range of notes and almost takes the role of a rhythm guitar. Howe's tinny ultra-treble tone (I love his playing but that tone has never been my favorite) didn't help that. And then there's Eddie's mix. Brilliant in terms of arranging and working with the band but Eddie tended to make Yes sound weak in the bottom and a bit shrill. That didn't do Steve any favors either.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Eddie tended to make Yes sound weak in the bottom and a bit shrill. That didn't do Steve any favors either.
    Agree 100%. Another prog producer/engineer like Tom Allom could have done them wonders on the bottom end.
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by N_Singh View Post
    I'm not getting where Jim Hall was influenced by him at all.
    The quote you are referring to was "He had an influence of Jim Hall in his clean electric guitar style , particularly on "Yours Is No Disgrace"."
    Influence OF not influence ON, meaning he was influenced by Jim Hall.

    Just saying

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevegSr View Post
    Agree 100%. Another prog producer/engineer like Tom Allom could have done them wonders on the bottom end.
    Shrug,... can't really support this line of thinking. Taking all of the reverb off of the production would have made it punchier also,... but all of these oddball production values were key for giving YES it's "otherworldly" quality (as did Mellotron and Jon's voice and Roger Dean's artwork). I once heard Wakeman say that when he went to see YES before joining he observed (much paraphrased): It was all wrong,.. the bass, the drums, arrangements, the vocals etc. But that peaked his interest because he could see the unique "special-ness" of what they were doing.

    This washy production concept was an intentional asthetic going on back then. Another favorite band of mine (Renaissance) did this in over the top fashion also. Listen to the highly orchestrated, spanish-influenced jam section toward the end of "Touching Once is So Hard To Keep". The bass is being played like crazy, but it's just part of the atmospheric wash. And very effective for taking the listener somewhere else.

    PS: Steve Howe was a magician with a huge range of sounds and textures (the pedal steel is of no small matter). A complete original, and one of the many things that made YES special. Two of my very favorite things YES did,.. Gates and Awaken owe their success in "putting it over the top" artistically speaking to SH. Another Wakeman interview I saw had him saying that "I don't know how many times I'd come in... and Steve had this great line" (etc, etc).
    Last edited by ProgMusician; 08-29-2016 at 04:09 PM.
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  20. #45
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    Was Steve Howe important to Yes?

    Are you kidding?

  21. #46
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    All I know is that he was a very clear style and sound. To me he made that band sound different - so to me - Yes!

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    I would say the biggest influence on Steve was Chet Atkins. The Clap was straightout Chet 101. That's why Martin Taylor and Steve get along, I surmise. Huge Chet fans.

    As for jazz, I hear Poll Winners era Barney Kessel more, especially in the integration of single note lines and chords. BK also played the guitar with intensity.

  23. #48
    Was Phil Collins important to Genesis before he ruined them in 1977?

    Back to the thread...

    How important was Howe to ABWH, Keys Studio and Magnification? From what I know he was very involved in ABWH but what about the later albums?

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enid View Post
    In the early days of Yes he was such a high energy player! He had been with a band called "Tomorrow", ?? and the impression my friends had revolved around the initial shock treatment he gave off with his diversity in playing acoustic instruments and the madness of energy he had on electric guitar. You see the film of Yesssongs....and he's a intense and relentless ball of energy. His head is bopping up and down and at the time it was shocking and difficult to believe that energy was coming from him. That's the impression he had on many proggers...in the audience.



    He had an influence of Jim Hall in his clean electric guitar style , particularly on "Yours Is No Disgrace". In that musicians social environment of the 70's Steve Howe basically lit a flippin' match under several American guitarists butts. Guitarists just out of universities and ready to travel were basically amazed by him, amazing guitarists who were self taught were amazed by him and it literally felt to many American musicians on the east coast of the U.S.....that he had just came out of nowhere. I remember the experience feeling rather extreme where many guitarists were trying to learn how to play like him and several guitarists were furthering their technique to do so by studying with guitar instructors of Jazz and Classical .


    Also his technique in playing "Ragtime" did not differ all that much from hearing Emerson play "Ragtime" and it was....if anything.....very intimidating to musicians at the time. He was a very aggressive player on Electric and Classical . Musicians I grew up with on the east coast acted as if they had never seen anything like it before or that he had simply appeared with this high energy source of playing that felt unknown to everyone. And that's what persuaded everyone to try and learn his approach to guitar diversity. Because of the fact that he was popular and appeared in Circus magazine or Hit Parader, it gave off the impression that there was no one else playing guitar like that.....however and obviously there were other diverse guitarists in Prog at the time but no one coming across with a high level of nervous energy like Steve Howe.

    And in many cases he was a finer player than most! But that relentless hyperactive substance of his was twice as inspiring than guitarists who played with diversity and stood still all night. He was very impressionable to the youth in the 70's. It was very profound and he just literally flipped musicians out! He was a monster player that bloomed when he joined Yes and basically guitarists realized after he hit the music scene that they had a lot of work to do in order to catch up with him or arrive even close to his level of playing and precisely what was required in many cases to accomplish that. He was responsible for changing the approach to the guitar as an instrument within the style of Progressive Rock.
    And this is exactly why many budding guitarists simply said WTF ?, and just gave up trying to be good. Smashing 3 chord tunes was so much easier.

    Steve Howe was singlehandedly responsible for the rise of Punk music. ( )

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProgMusician View Post
    Shrug,... can't really support this line of thinking. Taking all of the reverb off of the production would have made it punchier also,... but all of these oddball production values were key for giving YES it's "otherworldly" quality (as did Mellotron and Jon's voice and Roger Dean's artwork). I once heard Wakeman say that when he went to see YES before joining he observed (much paraphrased): It was all wrong,.. the bass, the drums, arrangements, the vocals etc. But that peaked his interest because he could see the unique "special-ness" of what they were doing.

    This washy production concept was an intentional asthetic going on back then. Another favorite band of mine (Renaissance) did this in over the top fashion also. Listen to the highly orchestrated, spanish-influenced jam section toward the end of "Touching Once is So Hard To Keep". The bass is being played like crazy, but it's just part of the atmospheric wash. And very effective for taking the listener somewhere else.
    I can only shrug back and think of any early Yes album recorded like the Strawbs' album Hero And Heroine. I agree that the over reverbed sound on the album Novella, by Renaissance, does actually give it an icy atmosphere but at a cost to the overall sound.
    Last edited by StevegSr; 08-29-2016 at 05:36 PM.
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

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