Yes, “Mood for a Day” from Fragile (1971): YESterdays
Among the many Steve Howe solo guitar compositions included on Yes albums through the years, “Mood for a Day” probably isn’t the first to come to mind – but maybe it should be.
Granted “Masquerade” (from 1991’s Union) earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, and “Clap” from 1971’s The Yes Album has reached almost legendary status. Even the solo Howe track “Corkscrew” has garnered a following after its inclusion on 2011’s In the Present: Live at Lyon.
That “Mood for a Day” was included on Yes’ Fragile and has made numerous appearances separately and along with “Clap” is a testament to the strength of the songs. Additionally, the song received a makeover on the Steve Howe Trio album, bringing out even more of its jazz flavor.
Howe’s fingerpicking, classically inflected jazz style is a perfect blend of his influences, Chet Atkins and Wes Montgomery. His phrasing is impeccable as he creates an entire band with his right hand. If anything, “Mood for a Day” seems a logical progression from “Clap” to “Corkscrew,” with Howe showing the growth of his instrumental writing.
“Mood for a Day” is a wonderful addition for the world’s greatest progressive rock band, and one which should not be overlooked.