Steve Howe and Asia had already cracked the Top 5 with 1982′s “Heat of the Moment” when Yes — Howe’s former band — emerged with a new guitarist and the track “Owner of a Lonely Heart.”
Howe eventually returned to Yes in 1995, and continues with the band today. He left Asia in 1984, then reunited with the group for a pair of stints in 1991-93 and then again from 2006 until earlier this year.
But back then, Trevor Rabin was playing in Howe’s absence, and together they would take that new song to the top of the charts, a first for Yes.
“I was listening to ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart,’ thinking: ‘Wow, Yes has changed. They changed the guitarist, and it changed the whole group,’” Howe says in this clip. “I never realized that would happen. I thought they were going to be the same group, with a different guitarist. This was nothing like what I knew.”
The longer he listened, Howe says, the more “Owner of a Lonely Heart” started to sound, well, familiar. It started to sound like … Asia.
“That’s how it seemed to me,” Howe adds. “I wondered if they were trying to be like us — because ‘Heat of the Moment’ had been an enormous success. It’s no criticism of them at all. But look at the level of commerciality. It was the first record that Yes had ever released that was so commercial. Look at the video with them all sort of camped up like actors. Yes never played up like that. We never went glam, put make up on, and go out and play a pop song — but that’s basically what Yes did. It’s what Asia did, too. It was all about our goals. You knew what you were doing. We were trying to burst the seams. We wanted to break it open. They played the game, and it was the same game.”