In a recent interview with Jazz Guitar Today, Yes guitarist Steve Howe discussed playing the acoustic guitar on the band’s classic hit “Roundabout.” Steve Howe entered the music business at the tender age of 12. Before joining Yes, he performed with The Syndicats, Tomorrow, and Bodast, among others. Yes became a household name and a commercial success due to his extraordinary guitar skills and songwriting abilities. To date, the band has released twenty-two studio albums. Howe’s desire to create his own sound without the influence of other artists made him distinctive and prominent in the music scene. This desire has earned him recognition as one of the most influential guitarists in terms of sound, style, and guitar experimentation.
In addition, his unique guitar playing and innovative approach paid off when Yes released “Roundabout” on their fourth studio album “Fragile” in November 1971. The band’s breakthrough single, which peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became an all-time Yes classic, was co-written by singer Jon Anderson and the band’s guitarist. Steve Howe stated in a recent conversation that playing the acoustic guitar on “Roundabout” was a risky move. The rocker added that he was aware of his unique electric playing style, but he never played acoustic guitar when everyone else was jamming together. Because he played acoustic guitar, the song became a hit, and Howe eventually concluded that the risk was worthwhile.
Howe on playing acoustic guitar for the Yes hit: Wow, I thought, this is risky. I began to sense that my electric guitar playing had a distinct style. Bruford, Squire, Rick Wakeman, and Jon Anderson are all playing, and all I’m doing is playing acoustic guitar. However, I’ve never put myself in such a precarious position before. It was risky, but the gamble paid off!” You can view Steve Howe’s interview and listen to ‘Roundabout’ down below.
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