Steve Howe became a household name to rock and roll fans as soon he joined the band Yes in 1971. However Steve Howe’s professional recording career had begun many years earlier in 1964. Steve Howe’s first band was a group called the The Syndicats which Steve Howe joined in 1964. A Year later Steve Howe joined a band called the The In-Crowd. The band The In-Crowd would eventually change their name to Tomorrow. A few years later in 1967, Steve Howe joined the band Bodast.
In 1970, Steve Howe joined the band Yes. Steve Howe did not appear on the band’s first two albums. Steve Howe made his Yes recording debut on the band’s third album entitled, The Yes Album which was released in 1971. To track the career of Steve How in the band Yes is way beyond the scope of this article. Simply stated Steve Howe’s work in Yes defined the concept of Progressive Rock. Over the years Yes changed lineups and even split into two separate camps. Steve Howe left and rejoined the band numerous times. However the legacy that the band Yes has left behind from their work especially in the 1970’s is beyond words.
Besides his work with Yes and the pre-Yes bands, Steve Howe was responsible for being a founding member of the band Asia in the early 1980’s. While his run in Asia proved to be very successful commercially, Steve Howe also collaborated with other famous musicians throughout his career while spinning through the revolving lineups of Asia and Yes. There was the great GTR album, the work with Paul Sutnin, and also the Explorers Club.
We have not even touched on the many guest appearances that Steve Howe has performed on countless classic rock and progressive rock records. Many people may not realize that Steve Howe played on albums by Queen, The Dregs, Lou Reed and Dream Theater.
In the end, Steve Howe has performed on hundreds of classic rock albums between the famous bands he had been a permanent member of and the many collaborations and guest appearances he has performed. Astonishingly, Steve Howe has manged to find the time throughout his busy career to record fourteen solo studio albums. Steve Howe’s first studio album was released in 1975 entitled Beginnings. Steve Howe’s latest studio album was released in 2011 entitled Time. Our 10 Essential Steve Howe songs list will attempt to take a look at the various styles of music Steve Howe has recorded on his solo albums. This list only defines the music from his solo albums as the music he has recorded with Yes and everyone else would need an entire website to define.
# 10 – Cactus Boogie
We start out our Top 10 Steve Howe song with good old fun time “Cactus Boogie.” The great finger picking tune was released on the Steve Howe Album. The great progressive rock record was released in 1979
# 9 – The Grand Scheme of Things
The dramatic difference between styles of songs, arrangements and playing would convince the average listener that the artist on selection 10 is not he same as the artist on selection number 9. That’s the brilliance of Steve Howe. This was the title track of The Grand Scheme of Things album released in 1993.
# 8 – Secret Arrow
A little laid back Steve Howe is always good for the soul. From his moody and mellow album, Skyline. The album was released in 2002.
# 7 – Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 (Aria)
As we go through this 10 Essential Steve Howe songs list, our goal is to define so many of the styles of music that represent the wonder of Steve Howe. The brilliant recording of “Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 (Aria)” was released on the Time album. The record was issued in 2011.
# 6 – Tigers Den
One of our favorite Steve Howe albums was the 2005 record Spectrum. The song “Tiger’s Den,” was the album’s opening track. Listen to Steve Howe let her rip on this smoking track.
# 5 – Doors Of Sleep
The great Steve Howe acoustic guitar strumming paves the way for the listener on the track “Doors of Sleep,” from his 1975 Beginnings album.
# 4 – Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands
One of the best cover of a Bob Dylan song ever was recorded by the great Steve Howe. The Bob Dylan song “Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands,” was released on the Steve Howe album, Portraits of Bob Dylan. The album was released in 1999. The lead vocal on the track was performed by Jon Anderson.
# 3 – Distant Seas
This beautiful Steve Howe song was released on the album Natural Timbre. The CD was released in 2001. The song “Distant Seas,” was the album’s opening track. The CD also fetaured Steve Howe’s son Dylan Howe on drums.
# 2 – Highly Strung
In 2005, Steve Howe released the album Spectrum. The album featured King Crimsons’ Tony Levin on bass. The album is represented here on our Essential Steve Howe songs list with the track “Highly Strung.”
# 1 – Turbulence
Our favorite Steve Howe song from his solo albums is the great track “Turbulence.” The song was the title track form his third solo album released in 1991.