Steve Howe was already a guitarist of some renown when he joined Yes, having played with various groups through the mid to late 60s including the psychedelic outfit Tomorrow (which featured Keith West). Although Howe appeared on the cover of Time And A Word, his first recorded appearance with the band was on The Yes Album. Howe didn’t re-invent the role of the guitar in Yes; rather, he embellished it with a wider range of stringed instruments like the steel guitar and dobro.
Howe’s superlative style, cosmic consciousness and strong songwriting provided the missing piece to Yes’ music. Together with Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, Howe authored some of the band’s most indelible moments including “Starship Trooper” (actually a holdover from his days in Bodast), “Close To The Edge,” “Roundabout” and much of the massive (if misbegotten) Tales From Topographic Oceans. During a mid 70s hiatus, Howe joined his bandmates in releasing his first solo album, Beginnings. A followup, titled simply The Steve Howe Album, was released in between Yes albums.
In the 1980s, Howe joined the arena-rock supergroup Asia with former Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes, Carl Palmer and John Wetton. Howe appeared on their first two albums, Asia and Alpha, then appeared in a similar venture with Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, GTR. In the 1990s, Steve Howe focused primarily on a solo career while re-connecting with Yes (and sometimes Asia) mates for various reunions. The Grand Scheme of Things featured Steve with his sons Dylan (drums) and Virgil (piano); Dylan would become a permanent fixture on Steve’s subsequent records. Over the years, Howe has also recorded a pair of new age/instrumental albums with Paul Sutin and released no less than six Homebrew albums featuring home studio recordings. (You like how I glossed over two decades of music there? Sorry, I don’t really enjoy writing biographies.)
As a personal aside, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that while watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I kept thinking how much the elven king looked like Steve Howe. Which might explain those spritely leaps during his performances…
Doors of Sleep / Australia / The Nature of the Sea / Lost Symphony // Beginnings / Will o’ the Wisp / Ram / Pleasure Stole the Night / Break Away From It All. Released on elpee, 8-track and cassette in October 1975 in the UK (Atlantic, K50151), the US (Atlantic, SD/TP/CS-18154), Brazil (Atlantic, 404037), France and the Netherlands (Atlantic, ATL-50151) and Japan (Atlantic, P-10041A) with gatefold cover; reached #22 on the UK charts and #63 on the US charts. Re-issued on elpee in Japan (Atlantic, P-6529A). Re-issued on CD in 1990 in Japan (Atlantic, AMCY-17) and again in Japan (Atlantic, AMCY-4047). Re-released on remastered CD on May 14, 1994 in the US (Atlantic, 80319-2).
THE STEVE HOWE ALBUM (1979)
Pennants / Cactus Boogie / All’s A Chord / Look Over Your Shoulder / Diary of a Man Who Disappeared / Meadow Rag / The Continental / Surface Tension / Double Rondo / Concerto In D (Second Movement). Released on elpee in October 1979 in the UK (Atlantic, K50621), the US (Atlantic, SD 19243), Germany (Atlantic, 50621) and Japan (Atlantic, P-10699A); reached #68 in the UK and #164 in the US. Re-released on remastered CD in 1994 in the US (Atlantic, 81559).
A Venetian Passage / A Light Romance / Passione Magica / The Substance of Stars / Seraphim / The New Moon / Sequential Fantasy / San Marco’s Journey. Originally credited to Paul Sutin Featuring Steve Howe and released on CD in 1988 (US, Real Music, 61855-2). Re-released (now co-credited to Steve Howe) on CD on March 21, 1995 in the US (CMC, 7504) with different cover. Re-released on CD in 2001 in Germany (Armoury, ARMCD057) with another, different cover.
THE EARLY YEARS (1990)
Do You Remember / Beyond Winter / Once In A Lifetime / Black Leather Gloves / I Want You / Tired Towers / Mr. Jones / 1,000 Years / Nether Street / Nothing To Cry For. Credited to Steve Howe with Bodast and released on elpee and CD in 1990 in France (C5 Records, C5/C5CD 528).
Turbulence / Hint Hint / Running The Human Race / The Inner Battle / Novalis / Fine Line / Sensitive Chaos / Corkscrew / While Rome’s Burning / From A Place Where Time Runs Slow. Released on CD and cassette in 1991 in the US (Relativity, 1061), Australia (Relativity, 468683) and Japan (Sony, SRCS-5518). Re-released on remastered CD in 2002 in the UK (Acadia, ACA 8025).
THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS (1993)
The Grand Scheme of Things / Desire Comes First / Blinded By Science / Beautiful Ideas / The Valley of Rocks / At The Gates of the New World / Wayward Course / Reaching The Point / Common Ground / Luck of the Draw / The Fall of Civilization / Passing Phase / Georgia’s Theme / Too Much Is Taken And Not Enough Given / Maiden Voyage / Road To One’s Self. Released on CD on August 24, 1993 in the US (Relativity, 1163); reached #15 on the US Top New Age albums.
Maybellene / True To Me / Howlin’ For My Baby / What To Do / Leave My Kitten Alone / Don’t Know What To Do / On The Horizon / Stop Wait A Minute / You’re On Your Own / Why Must They Criticise / I Don’t Mind / Finger Poppin’ / So Bad / You Can Never Stay In Place / Real Life Permanent Dream / Am I Glad To See You / Blow Up / Three Jolly Little Dwarfs / Revolution / My White Bicycle / Kid Was A Killer / Come Over Stranger / Beyond Winter / Nothing To Cry For / Nether Street. Released on CD in 1994 in the UK (RPM, RPM 140). Re-issued on CD on May 12, 1998 in the US (Purple Pyramid, CLP 0254-2) and on May 1, 2001 in the US (Big Eye, 4031).
NOT NECESSARILY ACOUSTIC (1994)
Live tracks: The Valley of Rocks / Heritage / Arada / Country Mix / Excerpts From “Tales From Topographic Oceans” / Bareback / Sketches In The Sun / Cactus Boogie / Second Initial / Corkscrew / The Glory of Love / Dorothy / Meadow Rag / Concerto In D 2nd Movement / Surface Tension / Masquerade / Mood For A Day / Swedish Rhapsody / Whispering / Roundabout / Ram / Clap. Released on CD on November 8, 1994 in the US (Herald, HER 012-2) and in 1995 in the UK (RPM/Thunderbird, CSA 104).
Telepathy / Dreams of Freedom / Quantum Leap / Sweet Eternity / Sanctuary / Ocean Light / Voyager / Fantasia For Fins / Pied Piper / Sonar Call. Co-credited to Paul Sutin and released on CD on March 21, 1995 in the US (CMC, 7503).
Sketches In The Sun / Sharp On Attack / The Valley of Rock / Georgia’s Theme / Dorothy / Meadow Rag / At The Full Moon / Never Stop Learning / Red And White / More About You / Rare Birds / Big Love / Running In The Human Race / Barren Land / Against The Tide / Break Away From It All / For This Moment. Released on CD on May 7, 1996 in the US (Herald, 14).
QUANTUM GUITAR (1998)
Walk, Don’t Run / The Collector / Light Walls / Mosaic / Suddenly / Country Viper / Mainland / Knights of Carmelite / Paradox / Momenta / Sleepwalk / Sovereigns / Totality / Solid Ground / The Great Siege / Cacti Garden / Southern Accent. Released on CD on April 21, 1998 in the UK (Resurgent, 2033).
PULLING STRINGS (1999)
Sweet Thunder / Diary of a Man Who Vanished / Excerpts From “Close To The Edge” / Excerpts From “Beginnings” / Pleasure Stole The Night / Sketches In The Sun / Rare Birds / Windy And Warm / Classical Gas / Excerpts From “Turn of the Century” / Misty / Excerpts From “All’s A Chord” / Running The Human Race / Everytime You Look Over Your Shoulder / Theme From “The Gates of Delirium—Soon” / Blinded By Science / My White Bicycle. Live material released on CD on March 23, 1999 in the US (Resurgent, 132).
PORTRAITS OF BOB DYLAN (1999)
Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands / Mama You’ve Been On My Mind / It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue / Going, Going, Gone / Just Like A Woman / Well, Well, Well / The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll / Lay Lady Lay / One Too Many Mornings / I Don’t Believe You / Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right / Buckets of Rain. Released on CD on July 13, 1999 (Cleopatra, 600).
HOMEBREW 2 (2000)
Masquerade / Success Story / Together / Rhythm of the Road / Separate Ways / Sun Carnival / Riviera / Sleepless In The City / The Spiral / The Serpentine / The Go Between / Follow Your Heart / Beginnings / Surface Tension / Every Time You Look Over Your Shoulder / Cactus Boogie / Resistance Day / Wayward Course / Spanish Heritage / Outlawed / Mules’ Head Stomp. Released on CD on June 27, 2000 (Cleopatra, 841).
NATURAL TIMBRE (2001)
Distant Seas / Provence / Intersection Blues / Family Tree / J’s Theme / In The Course of the Day / Dream River / Golden Years / The Little Galliard / Up Above Somewhere / Curls & Swirls / Pyramidology / Lost For Words / Winter / Solar Winds / Your Move / Disillusion / To Be Over. Released on CD on June 5, 2001 in the US (Spitfire, 15208).
Small Acts of Human Kindness / Meridian Strings / Secret Arrow / Moon Song / Shifting Sands / Avenue de Bel Air / Resonance / The Anchor / Moment In Time / Simplification / Camera Obscura / Small Acts. Released on CD in 2002 in Germany and Russia (Inside Out, SPVCD-65636).
LIGHT WALLS (2003)
Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands / Family Tree / Paradox / It’s All Over Now Baby Blue / Voyager / Solid Ground / Intersection Blues / The Little Galliard / One Too Many Mornings / Winter / Southern Accent / Lay Lady Lay // Just Like A Woman / Walk Don’t Run / Distant Seas / San Marcos Journey / Light Walls / I Don’t Believe You / In The Course of the Day / Golden Years / Curls And Swirls / Well, Well, Well / Lost For Words / Going, Going, Gone. Released on 2CD in march 2003 in the UK (Recall, SMD CD 480).
Across The Cobblestone / Bee Sting / Westwinds / Where I Belong / Whiskey Hill / The Chariot of Gold / Tremolando / Pacific Haze / Load Off My Mind / Hecla Lava / Smoke Silver / Inside Out Muse / Rising Sun / Sand Devil / The Longing / A Drop In The Ocean. Credited to Steve Howe’s Remedy and released on CD on October 2, 2003 in Russia (Inside Out, SPV 085-60442 CD).
MASTERPIECE GUITARS (2003)
Two Teardrops / No Pedestrians / Smile / La Questa / All The Things You Are / Thought Waves / Thank Heaven For Little Girls / Ginger / Blue Bossa / Tailpiece / Cherokee Ridge / The Sunshine of Your Smile / Goofus / Moon River / Ae Fond Kiss/Farewell To Erin / Somewhere / Harpnosis. Co-credited to Martin Taylor and released on CD on March 24, 2003 (P3 Music).
Tigers Den / Labryinth / Band of Light / Ultra Definition / Raga of Our Times / Ebb And Flow / Realm Thirteen / Without Doubt / Highly Strung / Hour of Need / Fools Gold / Where Words Fail / In The Skyway / Livelihood / Free Rein. Released on CD on June 28, 2005 in Germany (Inside Out, IOMCD 215) and Italy (Vox Humana, VHRCD 080501).
HOMEBREW 3 (2005)
Turbulence / Hint Hint / The Main Title / Just A passing Phase / Suddenly / Kind of Friends / Pyramidology / In The Course of the Day / Family Tree / Solar Winds / In Your World / No Deceiving / From Door To Door / Cruise Control / It’s Too Late / Seven Castles / Between Your Smiles / Reaching Out / The Last Word / Getting Through / Outlawed. Released on CD on November 8, 2005 in Germany (Inside Out, SPV 48632 CD).
MOTIF VOLUME 1 (2008)
The Golden Mean / Intersection Blues / Corkscrew / Trambone / Devon Blue / Clap / Australia / Part & Parcel / Sketches In The Sun / Second Initial / Concerto In D 2nd Movement / Diary of a Man Who vanished / Cat Napping / Ram / Provence / Winter 2nd Movement Four Seasons / Meadow Rag / Heritage / Bareback / Dorothy. Released on CD on June 2, 2008 in the US (HoweSound).
THE HAUNTED MELODY (2008)
Kenny’s Sound / Mood For A day / The Haunted Melody / Siberian Khatru / Blue Bash / Momenta / Laughing With Larry / Travelin’ / Dream River / Close To The Edge / Sweet Thunder. Credited to Steve Howe Trio and released on CD on August 19, 2008 in the US (Howesound).
HOMEBREW 4 (2010)
Beginnings (Themes) / The Inner Battle / Take It in Han / Mainland / Distant Seas / Wayward Course II / Georgia’s Song / Solar Winds II / High Flyer / Sensitive Chaos / Really Know / White / Up Above Somewhere / Closer Than Before / Lily’s in the Field / Go to This / What Am I? / Nothing To Cry For. Released on CD on April 19, 2010 in the US (HoweSound).
Blue Bash / Dream River / Travelin’ / The Haunted Melody / Tune Up / Siberian Khatru / Mood For A Day/He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother / Momenta / Kenny’s Sound / Laughing With Larry / Close To The Edge. Credited to Steve Howe Trio and released on CD on April 19, 202 in the US (HoweSound).
HOMEBREW 5 (2013)
Bumpy Ride / Yang / Solitaire Excerpt / Hairpin Bend / Recollection / Silver / The Other Sphere / Hiding From The Sun / Every Boundary / Seven On Seven / Tiger’s Den / Labyrinth / Ultra Definition / Raga of Our Times / Ebb And Flo / Realm Thirteen / Highly Strung / Fool’s Gold / Where Words Fail / Addicted To You / Family Tree. Released on CD in 2013 (Howesound).
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (Aria) / King’s Ransom / Cantata No.140 (Wachet Auf) / Orange / Purification / Rose / The Explorer / Kindred Spirits / Concerto Grosso in D Minor Op. 3 / The 3rd of March / Steam Age / Apollo / (untitled). Released on CD on January 31, 2012 in the US (Warner Classics).
So Bad / Lost Symphony / Pleasure Stole The Night / Pennants / Look Over Your Shoulder / Surface Tension / Sensitive Chaos / Running The Human Race / Desire Comes First / Luck of the Draw / Maiden Voyage / Walk Don’t Run / Momenta / The Collector / Just like A Woman / Buckets of Rain // Distant Seas / Curls & Swirls / Meridian Strings / Simplification / Rising Sun / Westwinds / Ultra Definition / Ebb And Flow / Dorothy / Sketches In The Sun / Diary of a Man Who Vanished / Devon Blue / King’s Ransom / Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 / Beginnings / Mood For A Day / Sharp On Attack. Compilation released on 2CD (WEA, 795529).
HOMEBREW 6 (2016)
It Was All We Knew / Bar Riff / No Disguise / Rose / Held To Ransom / The Grand Scheme of Things / Passing Phase / The Fall of Civilisation / Maiden Voyage / Edge of Town / Go Through This / Full Moon / Sketches In The Sun / With A Southern Accent / In The Hour of Need / Hold On / Heat City / Can’t Live In The Past. Released on CD on March 25, 2016 (HoweSound).