Yes were boxed in around Tales from Topographic Oceans, repeatedly moving back and forth between pastoral – martial! on long compositions, as you can still hear on the sprawling “Gates of Delirum” on side 1 of their follow-up Relayer. But side 2 they went nuts, veering off into crazy rhythmic shifts on “Sound Chaser” and straight folk meets symphonic overload on “To Be Over.” Maybe it was Patrick Moraz joining, maybe it was the water, but it’s the most eclectic and satisfying side they ever made. You can get both songs, over 18 minutes of music, for only $2 (yet self-entitled whiners still complain about evil music companies to justify piracy).
Throughout Steve Howe is a tireless whirlwind of guitar. Check out just the 90 second from 2:54–4:26:
A beautiful lick, that slide guitar, gorgeous pealing pedal steel lines, a rip-the-strings off flamenco-ish solo, his trademark clattering wail (and some immaculate bass counterpoint from Chris Squire), then he collapses down the neck in a deft jazzy sequence. He owes much to Jeff Beck and Hendrix is beyond all, but Steve Howe is undeniably one of the greatest, and more dexterous in more styles than anyone else. PUT Yes IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME! (update: it finally happened 4 years later, in 2017, after Chris Squire’s death in 2015)