Print Story Yes yes yes yes yes
By LodeRunner (Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 01:18:27 PM EST) yes (all tags)
I guess I just can't help it. I go back and forth, yadda yadda, and then I end up heading back to the masters.

Yep, I'm hooked on Yes once again. I'm listening to two albums this week, Tormato and Union. Odd choices, I know. Very uneven albums (this translates to: they have some pretty bad tracks in them). Rick Wakeman's lead sound in Tormato's "Don't Kill the Whale" has to be the cheesiest thing I've ever heard. And coming from me, that's saying a lot, because my tolerance to cheesiness is way larger than that from most of people. About Union, well, any review you bother to read will tell you the same story: how it's not a real "union" album, but rather two "half albums" recorded by the YesWest (Squire/Rabin/White/Kaye) and YesEast (Anderson/Bruford/Wakeman/Howe) lineups stuffed together into a CD. The Union Tour, of course, was a completely different story -- I really need to get a video of that.

Still, Union has some nice Trevor Rabin moments like "Lift Me Up", the excellent Squire track "The More We Live" (which I knew from the nearly identical Conspiracy version he recorded with Billy Sherwood, which just goes to show how musicians can get personal about getting their own voice in the recordings) and the very cool "Shock to the System" in which YesEast pretends to be YesWest, even though I'm not fully convinced it's Howe playing the rhythm guitar in the main riff, despite what most websites say -- I read somewhere that the producer Jonathan Elias played "additional guitars", so it just has to be there. "I Would Have Waited Forever" sounds like a mix of Big Generator-era Yes and GTR, which means it's an okay track if you're in the right mood. But overall is weird to hear them in the 90s still trying to copy that 1983 Trevor Horn sound... ah, the desire of scoring a hit again, an ambition they would soon abandon when they went back to the 70s style prog a few years later. Another observation is that Jon's voice sounds tired at times throughout the album. That doesn't show in later albums like The Ladder... I guess his heart just wasn't in it.

Now, rewind 13 years: Tormato. An unfocused album, with lots of forgettable moments, even within otherwise good songs. But one can find great gems there. "Onward", a beautiful piece. "Release, Release", one of 70's Yes' rare rockers, in the "Going for the One" vein. "Madrigal", in extreme contrast, with Yes in its most baroque mood, complete with harpsichords, harps and classical guitars. On this one, like some stuff from "Union", you have to be in the mood to enjoy it. The oddly titled "Arriving UFO" is actually a cool track; and with a name like that the lyrics are obviously typical Jon Anderson craziness. At least he starts with "I could not take it oh so seriously really, When you called and said you'd seen a UFO". And to wrap it up, the best track of the album: "On the Silent Wings of Freedom". The instrumental intro building up the anticipation for the first verse is nothing short of perfect. One of my favorite Yes tracks, definitely.

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Yes yes yes yes yes | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
WIPO: And You and I by Forbidden (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 02:19:13 PM EST
Best heard live and acoustic on whatever the fuck CD that is.

Also, thier new(ish) album Magnifications is pretty solid. Sort of creepy with the subject material, but some of the songs are pretty sweet. Reminds me of The Ladder.

You once was.
Mmm, gotta listen to the acoustic version by LodeRunner (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:16:33 AM EST
It took me a while to get into "And You and I", but now I really like it (even thought about playing it with a band once).

I kind of liked The Ladder. I was disappointed by it a bit when I first bought it, but it grew on me after a while. It's been a long time since I last gave it a spin. I didn't check out Magnification 'cause I thought it would be like a "slower" The Ladder.

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It's more...varied by Forbidden (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 11:57:29 AM EST
The ladder is really a bunch of upbeat stuff. Magnifications has some of those type of songs, but it also has more 'old style yes songs.

You once was.
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I love Yes by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 02:38:24 PM EST
I listen to a fair amount of Yes, and I really enjoy it.

I don't have the Union album or anything else from the 90s or beyond I will have to check it out.

" isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." -clock

If you're into earlier Yes by LodeRunner (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:25:09 AM EST
you can skip the 80's/early 90's material and go straight to the late 90's/early '00s stuff, when they came back to their roots, so to speak.

They released two albums called Keys to Ascension I and II which are half live versions of old songs and half new tracks. There's an album called Keystudio which is the collection of the new studio tracks from the KtA's, so if you don't care about the live versions of the old Yes standards, go straight to that instead (IIRC, one of the KtA's has Tales from Topographic Oceans live... not my cup of tea, wonder how they got Wakeman to play that stuff again). Then you have The Ladder and Magnification (assuming from Forbidden's recommendation), which again are more 70's influenced.

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oh, I'm okay by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 09:32:32 AM EST
With the 80s and 90s stuff.  Big Generator and 90125 were the albums that got me interested.

I have wanted to get the Keys recordings, your post just resparked my interest.

" isn't like I dug up her great-grandmother and fucked her in the eye socket." -clock

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Might also want to check out Talk then by LodeRunner (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 05:59:15 PM EST
for more Rabin-era material. I know only a few tracks from it, but I liked what I heard.

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NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by TPD (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Mar 27, 2006 at 10:31:11 PM EST

why sit, when you can sit and swivel with The Ab-SwivellerTM
A good name by LodeRunner (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:25:53 AM EST
for a Yes cover band, perhaps?

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I saw Yes in the early 80's by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 02:39:23 AM EST
The 90124 tour. The opening act was a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Bets. Opening. Act. Evar. EVAR!

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Cool! by LodeRunner (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:24:19 AM EST
In a similar vein, Rush typically (always?) opens with The Three Stooges.

I like it when those guys don't take themselves too seriously -- a nice counterbalance to all that pomp and self-indulgence of prog rock.

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Yes yes yes yes yes | 11 comments (11 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback