Steve Howe: Doubt Over Future Yes Albums

Yes guitarist Steve Howe doesn’t know whether the band will record any more albums – because he’s not sure if fans want to hear new music.

They released Fly From Here in 2011, but Howe admits that when it comes to thinking about a follow-up, “it’s something that I kind of fight myself about.”

He tells the Dallas Observer: “You take bands like Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones – bands bigger than anything I’ve been in. They make new records and nobody cares. The people want to hear Satisfaction.

“I think The Who had one of the most disappointing results when they put out that last album. It was practically ignored – and they are The Who.

“That goes with Yes as well – people want to hear Close To The Edge. We love it too. We love the new music but it doesn’t have the familiarity.”

Howe also believes times have changed for the band and the way it operates, not least because his creative partnership with former singer Jon Anderson has ended.

“If we were to come out with something as good as Close To The Edge, that would be a major achievement,” the guitarist reflects. “The collaboration on those early records between Jon Anderson and I was amazing. There was a remarkable sense of teamwork. I don’t know how we did it back then – it doesn’t work the same way now.”

He’s also unsure whether Yes and Asia will team up for another tour together. “It wasn’t an easy thing to pull off,” he reports. “There were some complications, but, musically, it was a successful tour.

“My wife was not very happy when I decided to do those tours – she thought I was taking on too much. She thought it was going to drive me into the ground.

“But I’m very organised. The max time I was on stage with Yes was two and a half hours. I told my wife it wasn’t any different dividing that time up between two bands. Instead of having an interval and coming back with the same band, I was having an interval and coming back with a different band.

“It helped her understand what I was doing, and it helped me understand that I wasn’t working any longer.”


Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.


  1. Jim Mazz

    November 23, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Thanks Steve for all the great music you and your band mates of written over the years. Just saw you with Asia at the Regency and with Yes in Las Vegas. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure how I felt about the Fly From Here suite until I heard it performed in it’s entirety. I love it – it does remind me of the earlier days of Yes, with it’s style. Whether you write new music or not, we Yes fans will always look forward to hearing the band perform. Same with Asia. The Regency performance was incredible – best in the last several years. I agree, we all want to hear the early material. If I might make a suggestion, emulate what Rush has been doing. One tour is dedicated to several albums (ah Yes, the days of vinyl). The show is broken into two sets. The next tour, other albums are highlighted. Yes has so much incredible material that you could never make everyone happy with your selection of songs for a tour. No worries! I would like to thank you and your band mates for all the incredible music that has been such a large part of my life! Please keep touring!!!

  2. Dave

    November 23, 2012 at 2:33 am

    I like hearing new music I loved the new Yes CD and I am hoping there will be new music otherwise music is dead today.
    Look at all the bad music that is out there from newer bands it is good to hear new music from real musicians

  3. Marc Brenner

    November 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Count me as one fan who will always give a listen to any new Yes compositons. I agree with Steve above… loved fly From Here after hearing it live at Casino Rama. Looking forward to chatting with fans and musicians on the Cruise to the Edge!

  4. Nikola Aliev

    November 25, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Steve’s right, IMHO. He is faithful. But i think they still should try to record one more album with two “D”s: Downes and Davidson. If Howe’ s in such a mood maybe they should think of his replacement

  5. Phil

    November 26, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Jon Anderson has a boat load of new material, just waiting for Yes to flesh them out, if they wanted to.

    Steve is wrong.

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