Yes & Friends ‘Yes & Friends’
From page 75 of Classic Rock Magazine January 2004
Steve Howe ‘Light Walls’
‘Yes & Friends’ (★★★★★) is a double set of band and solo works, including live versions of Yes’s ‘Yours Is No Disgrace’, and a reasonable solo live stab at ‘Owner Of A Lonely Heart’ from Jon Anderson. But some of the songs included are available in superior versions elsewhere, not least a supermarketised ‘Catherine Howard’ from Rick Wakeman, and Steve Howe and former Tomorrow member Keith West turn in a poor ‘Lay Lady Lay’, covered on Howe’s ‘Portraits Of Bob Dylan’ album.
There is no doubting Howe’s sincerity as a Dylan fan, but the ‘Portraits...’ project was misguided, and much of it is anthologised on Howe’s ‘Light Walls’ compilation (★★★★★). ‘Lay Lady Lay’ crops up again, but the Dylan inclusions reach a nadir with ‘Just Like A Woman’ – tinkly-winkly guitar work and a poor vocal performance from Geoff Downes make it sound like chucking out time at a karaoke night.
Pieces like ‘Distant Seas’ from 2001’s ‘Timbre’ album are vastly preferable, but for a convincing example of Howe taking centre stage check out 1979’s ‘Steve Howe Album’.