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    Steve Howe's Yes

    Let's open up a can of works here😛. The current line up really is Steve Howe’s Yes in all but name isn't it?

    Davison confirms it in this excerpt from an October 2022 interview (source; Yes - where are they now):

    "We have real harmony in the band, and I believe we're the longest standing Yes lineup. I think Steve [Howe] feels he's in a very solid place. He can have his version of Yes, the Yes he's always wanted. We're accomplishing things in Yes, with Steve as our leader, that he's wanted to accomplish for years. He's so happy now that he has his version of the band."

    So, would it be better if the band name reflected this? Now that it seems to have become one man's vision instead of a collaborative vision as it used to be.
    Last edited by Mr. Holland; 12-22-2022, 02:41 AM.

    #2
    Yup, Davison confirms what a lot of us know and feel. This is Steve Howe’s version of Yes but as so many previous band members have said, Yes, at its best, was never one person’s vision. And really, so what if it is the longest standing Yes lineup, their output as a creative unit isn’t exactly prolific or deserving of that Yes logo. One more thing, do we really need to remind everyone that Yes at its creative zenith wasn’t exactly a band of harmonious brothers loving on each other. It’s kind of nauseating the way the junior members of the band (Davison, Sherwood, Schellen) kowtow to Howe in word and deed. Is that really harmony or is it subservience to the master that signs their checks?

    Comment


      #3
      I still disagree because Steve howe’s yes would be

      dylan Howe on drums
      tony levin on bass
      oliver Wakeman keys
      and max bacon on lead vocals

      with him on guitar


      a vastly diffferent lineup then the current one

      Comment


        #4
        Having any kind of Yes nowadays is a blessing as far as i'm concerned. I'm just happy that Heaven and Earth wasn't the last album. I still see hope in a Steve led Yes, his creativity has been a key part of the band over the years, besides Geoff and Billy still provide ideas for the band, and I like what ive heard. Jon himself is a prolific lyricist and worked well in partnership with Howe on the Quest.

        I think its more collaborative than that quote suggests, even if Steve gets the final say.
        The Definitive YES Albums

        -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
        -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
        -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by rabin105 View Post
          I still disagree because Steve howe’s yes would be

          dylan Howe on drums
          tony levin on bass
          oliver Wakeman keys
          and max bacon on lead vocals

          with him on guitar


          a vastly diffferent lineup then the current one
          Have you asked him? I think Davison is a little closer to the source than you😉 And someone of the status of Tony Levin comes with his own ideas and demands. And that is exactly what would fly in the face of it being Howe’s Yes.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Mr. Holland View Post

            Have you asked him? I think Davison is a little closer to the source than you😉 And someone of the status of Tony Levin comes with his own ideas and demands. And that is exactly what would fly in the face of it being Howe’s Yes.
            But Sherwood Downes and Davison have their own ideas within yes

            Tony Kaye said to me in 2018

            howe is the leader but it’s still a band it’s still a democracy

            you want an ego trip go see the other yes

            Comment


              #7
              There’re a lot of ways to look at this, for sure. One charitable way might be that, like Mr Fripp says about the most recent King Crimson being the only version of the band in which no one actively resented his presence (and but also didn’t record a studio album or generate a lot of new material), this Yes (and it probably refers to the Howe/White/Downes/Davison/Sherwood lineup) is maybe the first where everyone gets along, but also where Downes is not in an equal or dominant role, as he is in Asia. The focus, in other words, isn’t on the music, but on the lack of, er, drama (coincidentally, the lifespan of this lineup may be just about the same as the 14-22 Crimson, and where the focus on touring over writing may have helped that longevity). Which for someone in their seventies is a totally respectable goal! It’s not the 30YO Steve Howe’s Yes, it’s the 75YO Steve Howe’s Yes, the version of Yes that lets him *want* to tour, with all the not so fun things that go along with touring and just being in a band. There’s a body of Yes material that Steve enjoys playing, and doesn’t have to put up much discussion with anyone else as to what those set lists are, and couple quibbles aside, he’s probably mostly right, as to what audiences want and enjoy hearing. “Steve Howe’s Yes” is just an anagram for “Low Stress Yes”, after all, and who at 75 doesn’t need that?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Homemade Parachute View Post
                There’re a lot of ways to look at this, for sure. One charitable way might be that, like Mr Fripp says about the most recent King Crimson being the only version of the band in which no one actively resented his presence (and but also didn’t record a studio album or generate a lot of new material), this Yes (and it probably refers to the Howe/White/Downes/Davison/Sherwood lineup) is maybe the first where everyone gets along, but also where Downes is not in an equal or dominant role, as he is in Asia. The focus, in other words, isn’t on the music, but on the lack of, er, drama (coincidentally, the lifespan of this lineup may be just about the same as the 14-22 Crimson, and where the focus on touring over writing may have helped that longevity). Which for someone in their seventies is a totally respectable goal! It’s not the 30YO Steve Howe’s Yes, it’s the 75YO Steve Howe’s Yes, the version of Yes that lets him *want* to tour, with all the not so fun things that go along with touring and just being in a band. There’s a body of Yes material that Steve enjoys playing, and doesn’t have to put up much discussion with anyone else as to what those set lists are, and couple quibbles aside, he’s probably mostly right, as to what audiences want and enjoy hearing. “Steve Howe’s Yes” is just an anagram for “Low Stress Yes”, after all, and who at 75 doesn’t need that?
                That’s it.
                In principle mr H is right. But obviously Steve would be crazy if he changed the best band name in pop history.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Homemade Parachute View Post
                  There’re a lot of ways to look at this, for sure. One charitable way might be that, like Mr Fripp says about the most recent King Crimson being the only version of the band in which no one actively resented his presence (and but also didn’t record a studio album or generate a lot of new material), this Yes (and it probably refers to the Howe/White/Downes/Davison/Sherwood lineup) is maybe the first where everyone gets along, but also where Downes is not in an equal or dominant role, as he is in Asia. The focus, in other words, isn’t on the music, but on the lack of, er, drama (coincidentally, the lifespan of this lineup may be just about the same as the 14-22 Crimson, and where the focus on touring over writing may have helped that longevity). Which for someone in their seventies is a totally respectable goal! It’s not the 30YO Steve Howe’s Yes, it’s the 75YO Steve Howe’s Yes, the version of Yes that lets him *want* to tour, with all the not so fun things that go along with touring and just being in a band. There’s a body of Yes material that Steve enjoys playing, and doesn’t have to put up much discussion with anyone else as to what those set lists are, and couple quibbles aside, he’s probably mostly right, as to what audiences want and enjoy hearing. “Steve Howe’s Yes” is just an anagram for “Low Stress Yes”, after all, and who at 75 doesn’t need that?
                  Well stated. If you want cutting edge Yes pioneering breathtaking new ground, that ship has probably sailed. The current Yes is functional and happy. They tread new ground, but it is much more subtle than in their heyday. My 1972 self probably wouldn’t have been drawn to what current Yes does, but having been on this journey with them over the past fifty years, I still find it compelling, and worth continuing.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I've said this for years - it would be a lot more credible or dignified to call it 'The Steve Howe YES Ensemble' or something along those line.

                    They don't need to provide new music - any new music by a band calling its self Yes will always suffer in comparision to the 70's and 80's albums, so remove the problem and simply re-brand.

                    I know Rick said.... what, lets see .. more than 30 years ago "I think there will be a Yes long after I'm gone" but he was wrong. Only the music will survive - and thats the most important aspect presumably - and everyone has an opinion of when the first and last great albums were ( for my money I love everything from YES up till Big Gen/Talk), but surely no one can serioulsy watch these musicians on stage and consider them Yes.

                    It's like those companies like Sharp, JVC, Hitachi or Akai who sell electronics items; people think it's the same companies from the 70's and 80's but some random company just bought the brand and logo and started selling inferior quality products using that particular name.

                    Just to be clear - Jon A going out with the band of Geeks isn't Yes either, but he's honest about what he is doing; playing Yes music the way it should be played for people who will want to hear it.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Ceasar’s Palace View Post

                      That’s it.
                      In principle mr H is right. But obviously Steve would be crazy if he changed the best band name in pop history.
                      I've always thought Yes was a dumb name, but you may be right. Most band names are terrible.
                      Last edited by Davy; 12-22-2022, 07:48 AM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by rabin105 View Post

                        But Sherwood Downes and Davison have their own ideas within yes

                        Tony Kaye said to me in 2018

                        howe is the leader but it’s still a band it’s still a democracy

                        you want an ego trip go see the other yes
                        Sherwood, Davison and Downes might have their own ideas, but per Davison's quote and this quote from Dave Kezner on how Arc of Life came to be, it seems very much that what happens and doesn't happen and what material/songs are used and are not used, Steve Howe is the one who says yes or no, and has the final say.

                        "Billy and Jon had an abundance of songs initially for the first Arc of Life album that weren't going to be on a Yes album (for whatever their reasons were) so they created Arc of Life as a vehicle for that material. Once the new band existed, the plan was to get together and write as a band. However, since the pandemic messed that up, Billy wrote most of the second record so that we could follow up with an album sooner than later and not make people have to wait several more years."

                        When one person has the final say, a veto right, then I hardly call it a democracy. At least it's not democracy where each voice carries the same weight.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Nothing in the two quotes you cite, say that Steve, as leader, has a veto. He may very well have, but you have not shown it.
                          I’m not into political or group theory, there might be another name for governance that is ‘truly’ democratic, perhaps based on consensus, but most democracies have leaders, thinking in political terms, a Prime Minister or a President, or in business, a Chairman of the Board.
                          Without a leader, a ‘true’ democracy might waste hours trying to find a consensus on the most mundane issues, such as ‘what will be the colour scheme for our costumes on the next tour’ (see the GFTO sessions, and the Canadian Green Party which regularly implodes as they try in a truly democratic way to decide their policies and, ironically, choose a new leader).

                          On another track, many fans are quite pleased that the Arc Of Life material did not end up as Yes music;
                          Henry wrote “I cannot get over how bad both the Arc of Life albums are....”

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Khatrooper View Post
                            Nothing in the two quotes you cite, say that Steve, as leader, has a veto. He may very well have, but you have not shown it.
                            I’m not into political or group theory, there might be another name for governance that is ‘truly’ democratic, perhaps based on consensus, but most democracies have leaders, thinking in political terms, a Prime Minister or a President, or in business, a Chairman of the Board.
                            Without a leader, a ‘true’ democracy might waste hours trying to find a consensus on the most mundane issues, such as ‘what will be the colour scheme for our costumes on the next tour’ (see the GFTO sessions, and the Canadian Green Party which regularly implodes as they try in a truly democratic way to decide their policies and, ironically, choose a new leader).

                            On another track, many fans are quite pleased that the Arc Of Life material did not end up as Yes music;
                            Henry wrote “I cannot get over how bad both the Arc of Life albums are....”
                            You make some valid points. Indeed a democracy has a leader. Concerning the veto; I think Davison's words suggest as much, within literally saying it. He very much underlines, several times in that short piece, how it's Howe’s band/vision now.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Khatrooper View Post
                              Without a leader, a ‘true’ democracy might waste hours trying to find a consensus on the most mundane issues, such as ‘what will be the colour scheme for our costumes on the next tour’ (see the GFTO sessions, and the Canadian Green Party which regularly implodes as they try in a truly democratic way to decide their policies and, ironically, choose a new leader).
                              Even with a de facto leader, the arguments over bass notes, as Bruford often recounts, were both legendary, and productive — it’s hard to argue with the results, certainly in the case of CttE…

                              Still, if anyone’s entitled to a “been there, done that” approach, it’s Steve. New music is just one part of the equation, and given his prolific solo career (which, like with Jon and Billy, generates a lot of ideas that don’t end up on Yes records), maybe not the most important. Maybe he deeply prefers touring, and this is how he manages it without losing his mind. Or, to again quote His Frippness, “I don’t have a problem, the problem lies elsewhere.” A yearning desire on behalf of the fans, including yrs truly, might be the problem.

                              Comment

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