Steve Stevens Points At The Unique Aspect Of Yes Guitarist Steve Howe

Billy Idol’s guitar player Steve Stevens recently listed his five favorite guitar solos of all time during an interview with Guitar Player. His top-five included the solo featured in the Yes song ‘Yours Is No Disgrace,’ which was performed by Steve Howe. Stevens also reflected on the song’s live performance during the band’s ‘Sounding Out’ TV special.

‘Yours Is No Disgrace’ is a song by Yes, which first appeared as the opening song of their 1971 album ‘The Yes Album.’ Since it’s a fan favorite, the song has been a must during the band’s live shows, and it has also appeared on numerous live and compilation albums, including ‘Yessongs,’ ‘Classic Yes,’ and ‘Yesstory.’

Several aspects of the song make it special among the band’s fans. Its length, as the song clocks in at nearly ten minutes, and complexity foreshadowed the band’s future style, which became prevalent in their following few albums since Yes created multiple lengthy songs in the next years.

Yes gave a performance during the BBC show ‘Sounding Out,’ which was taped on Oct. 3, 1971, and during the show, they also performed ‘Yours Is No Disgrace’ along with other hit tracks including ‘I’ve Seen All Good People,’ ‘Perpetual Change,’ ‘Heart Of The Sunrise,’ and more.

During a recent interview with Guitar Player, Steve Stevens named his top-5 guitar solos. The musician started with George Benson’s ‘Brother Jack McDuff Quartet,’ Guthrie Govan’s ‘Fives,’ Allan Holdsworth’s ‘Red Alert,’ and Uli Jon Roth’s solo in the Scorpion track, ‘Catch Your Train.’

His list also included Steve Howe’s solo in the Yes song, ‘Yours Is No Disgrace.’ According to the musician, no other guitar player was soloing as Howe did in the 1970s. The Yes icon was channeling his inner Joe Pass and Chet Atkins in addition to his special alternate picking, all of which made him an exceptional guitar player.

Steve Stevens’ statement about Howe follows:

“It’s on YouTube. This live version is the best I’ve ever heard. No one was soloing like this in a rock band context in 1971. Blinding alternate picking. It’s as if he were channeling Joe Pass and Chet Atkins.”

You can watch the mentioned performance below.