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Thread: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

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    SR Mega Yesfan downbyariver's Avatar
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    What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    What is Steve Howe's best solo album, in your opinion? If the album that you consider his best is not your favorite album of his solo catalog for whatever reason (Perhaps you feel the music on one makes it "objectively" his best, but you personally like another album better for sentimental reasons, because he's exploring an unexpected musical style, or whatever), as a second question (You can answer both if you want) which album is and why?

    At your discretion, if you want to "go there", which of his solo albums do you think was his worst?

    To narrow this down a little, lets exclude anything that doesn't have Steve Howe listed as the album artist on the cover (i.e. No Yes, no Asia, no GTR, etc.) and also albums that consist primarily of demos or alternate versions of songs he originally did for one of his bands.

    I can't really give an opinion on this stuff, because album wise I tend to focus on buying albums from full bands with vocals and a variety of instruments on most songs, or the albums of solo musicians that sound like they were recorded by a band (ie When a singer or something releases under his own name, but hires session players, uses a house band, or records all the instruments and vocals a band would have himself and then puts out a finished work with everything a band would have).

    I'm curious as to what others think are the best of the best of what he's done in the solo field, though. He's certainly a great guitar player- one of the all-time masters.
    Last edited by downbyariver; 08-08-2018 at 08:44 PM.
    "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.' And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood (Quote edited to fit under character limit for sig files)





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    "I woke to the sound of drums..." SunshipVoyager's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    I like the material on Beginnings (his first album), but he was still very new at the "lead singer thing" and it wrecks most of the material with lyrics for me. Some great playing and guest appearances though (particularly from Bruford). The Steve Howe Album and The Grand Scheme of Things are tied for my favorite- great songs, great playing, nice production. All else I have heard has been fair to great- honestly with a few exceptions I think Steve might have the most pleasing solo career going...
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    Mega Yesfan highfell's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Anyone that he doesn’t sing on

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    "I woke to the sound of drums..." SunshipVoyager's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    I should also point out the albums I like best from Steve are "band" albums as well, since you mentioned that as a preference. I have only heard a couple of the acoustic solo guitar ones ( Motif was very pleasant), but his 'Remedy' group (with Dylan and Virgil) and the Jazz Organ trio he had going (also with Dylan) are amongst his best IMHO.
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    Yesfan Frankh's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    I really like Not Necessarily Acoustic.

    Correction: I love it.
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    Insane Yesfan happytheman's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    The Steve Howe Album has always been a favorite of mine.. Some real gems on his first Beginnings but like others I always scratch my head and ask why he didn't ask Jon to guest as vocalist is beyond me.

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    Is this some kind of sick joke? Tonto Goldstein's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    The Steve Howe Album has always been a favorite of mine.. Some real gems on his first Beginnings but like others I always scratch my head and ask why he didn't ask Jon to guest as vocalist is beyond me.
    Yeah, I second that. I'd still like Steve to sing Australia though, that's pure comedy for me. Sometimes I listen to Beginnings just to crack up at that song...I guess I have a masochistic streak in me.
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    And the Spiders from Mars Frumious B's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    I think Turbulence is the best. It’s all instrumental. It’s got Bill Bruford. What’s not to like?
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    Yes Old Fart Chris2210's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    I like Time, but I suppose you would need to be an orchestral/classical fan to appreciate it.

    Steve doesn't have a very sound instrument, vocally. But his musicality does come out in his performances and there's a nuance and charm to them which makes up for the shortcomings in pitch. I guess he's a sort of Bob Dylan vocalist. I actually prefer his lead vocals to Squire's. Chris is technically better, but he has a fairly limited range and far too often he sounds to be straining against it for my taste.

    I still have a soft spot for his debut, Beginnings. I also like the more ambient, new-agey collaborations with Paul Sutin - the third of which Skyline [which I think has more originated by Howe rather than Sutin and billed as a Howe solo] is the pick of the bunch. There is always something to enjoy on Howe albums, but I think some of them do suffer from a lack of cohesion as he shoehorns in lots of different styles rather than sticking to a musical concept - that's not so much of a problem on the ones I've named.

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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious B View Post
    I think Turbulence is the best. It’s all instrumental. It’s got Bill Bruford. What’s not to like?
    Turbulence is underrated imo. After all these years, I still play it in regular rotation. Time is a beautiful CD. Depending on the day, I could go with either.
    -Pete


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    Polishing the mirror Enlighten's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    The Steve Howe Album has always been a favorite of mine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonto Goldstein View Post
    Yeah, I second that.
    Thirded. It’s got what I feel is Steve’s best solo track, Pennants. Alan White lays down a killer drum track on that one and Steve isn’t sounding too shabby on bass either.

    And Tonto, if you dig Steve’s voice as much as you do I have a Yoko Ono box set you can borrow if you like.

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    Is this some kind of sick joke? Tonto Goldstein's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enlighten View Post
    Thirded. It’s got what I feel is Steve’s best solo track, Pennants. Alan White lays down a killer drum track on that one and Steve isn’t sounding too shabby on bass either.

    And Tonto, if you dig Steve’s voice as much as you do I have a Yoko Ono box set you can borrow if you like.
    Now that would have made a "special" duet, Steve and Yoko singing Australia....that would probably top the William Shatner "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" song as best all-time comedy track.
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    SR Mega Yesfan
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Time, Natural Timbre and Turbulence are all up there for me.

    I held a big poll about this way back in 1997 and the winners were 1) The Steve Howe Album , 2) Not Necessarily Acoustic, 3) Turbulence. But I think some of the more recent releases are better.

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    Is this some kind of sick joke? Tonto Goldstein's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Natural Timbre has a soft spot in my heart. My mother-in-law was a Les Paul fan and I always thought she might enjoy some of Steve's solo work. When she was going through hospice a lot of noises made her uncomfortable, but I brought her a copy of Natural Timbre and we sat and listened to it together a couple of times. Just hanging out in her living room, with those songs in the background was a sweet and memorable experience. I still get flooded with memories of her every time I listen to that album.
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    The said Remark Ceasar's Palace's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Beginnings, even his voice can’t spoil the songs.
    (Ram is silly though)

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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    I'm afraid I'm not too keen on any of them, though Jonners singing Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands is rather good, on the Dylan covers album, but that's because of the song and the singer. Obviously he's a major, major part of Yes's Main Sequence creative period, and sporadically post-80s as well, but I've never been able to find much to enjoy in his solo output however much I revere his Yes works. Asia I've never listened to: wide-screen, anthemic, 80s arena-soft-rock leaves me very cold. The only guitar soloist I really enjoy is Frank Zappa. No one else really comes close for me.

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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Never been a big fan of his solo output, but I have always liked "The Grand Scheme of Things" and seem to listen to that more than any of his other albums

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    JR Yesfan, senior Yes fan khatrooper's Avatar
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    Canada2 Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    Time and Turbulence are among my favourites but think I play Quantum Guitar the most.

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    Insane Yesfan ragtime's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    I'll add my vote to Turbulence, Natural Timbre and the instrumental tracks on The Steve Howe Album, which I think are his most iconic solo pieces.
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    Mega Yesfan collegehill's Avatar
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    Re: What is Steve Howe's Best Solo Album?

    I'd echo Turbulence and The Steve Howe album are top notch. I also really enjoy his work on Billy Currie's Transportation album.

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