Five For Friday: Steve Howe (One Guy, Multiple Acts)

Steve Howe first came to my attention with the release of Fragile, the 1971 album by the prog-rock band Yes. He’s been through a few acts since then. Let’s get a taste of what he’s done.

  1. The Syndicats, "Maybelline": The Syndicats were a beat group that was formed in 1963. The group consisted of Howe, Thomas Ladd on vocals, Kevin Driscoll on bass, Jeff Williams on keyboards, and John "Truelove" Melton on drums. Their first single was this 1964 cover of Chuck Berry’s "Maybelline."
  2. Yes, "Roundabout": Steve joined Yes in 1970, replacing Peter Banks, who had replaced Steve in the Syndicats a few years earlier. Fragile was released in 1971 and featured the single "Roundabout," which reached #13 on the Hot 100.
  3. Asia, "Only Time Will Tell": After the apparent demise of Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1981, the supergroup Asia emerged with Steve on guitar, John Wetton on bass and vocals, Geoff Downes on keyboards, and Carl Palmer on drums. "Only Time will Tell" is the second single from their eponymous 1982 debut album. It reached #17 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
  4. Steve Howe, "Sharp On Attack": IRS Records had an imprint in the late 1980’s called No Speak, which was intended for instrumental rock performances. One of the early albums was 1988’s Guitar Speak, which included performances by Steve, Pete Haycock (Climax Blues Band), Alvin Lee (Ten Years After), Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music) and others. This was Steve’s contribution.
  5. Steve Howe Trio, "Mood For A Day": One of Steve’s more recent projects is The Steve Howe Trio, a jazz combo with his son Dylan on drums and Ross Stanley on Hammond organ. "Sharp On Attack" was originally on Fragile, and Steve played it on classical guitar. The jazz arrangement is quite different. This is from the trio’s first album, 2008’s The Haunted Melody.

Steve Howe, your Five For Friday, February 5, 2021.

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