Yes

Discussion of music by other bands and artists.

Which is your favourite Yes album?

Yes
0
No votes
Time and a Word
0
No votes
The Yes Album
1
33%
Fragile
0
No votes
Close to the Edge
1
33%
Tales from Topographic Oceans
0
No votes
Relayer
0
No votes
Going for the One
0
No votes
Tormato
0
No votes
Drama
1
33%
90125
0
No votes
Big Generator
0
No votes
ABWH
0
No votes
Union
0
No votes
Talk
0
No votes
Keys to Ascension / Keys to Ascension 2 / Keystudio
0
No votes
Open Your Eyes
0
No votes
The Ladder
0
No votes
Magnification
0
No votes
Fly from Here
0
No votes
Heaven & Earth
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 3

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:41 pm

Drama is definitely the best of the non-Anderson albums; Fly from Here is okay and Heaven & Earth is just awful. Basically though Fly from Here could be seen as Drama II as "Fly from Here" began life as a song from the Drama sessions and was performed on the Drama Tour, as "We Can Fly There from Here" (albeit a much shorter version). I love "Into the Lens", not so keen on the Buggles' re-working of it as "I am a Camera" though.
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:59 pm

10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

User avatar
quicksilver
Wish You Were Here
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:58 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Re: Yes

Post by quicksilver » Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:51 pm

Sad, Sad, Sad............ A great musician for sure.
Thank you PFO
Joined January 2004
Retired October 22, 2014- 1378 posts

Pink Floyd Sept 30, 1987 Milwaukee Cty Stadium
Roger Waters Nov 13, 1987 Milwaukee (Mecca)
Pink Floyd July 3, 1994 Madison
Pink Floyd July 12, 1994 Chicago

User avatar
FrowningBanana
Atom Heart Mother
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 2:23 am

Re: Yes

Post by FrowningBanana » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:59 pm

RIP Chris Squire.. You will be missed.

Been listening to Relayer and Going for the One all week.

Ironically, the night before his passing, my father - on a whim - decided it would be fun to go record store shopping. So I went, and I got a bunch of things, including a promotional copy of Drama on vinyl (with the sticker still on it, and the gold stamp) and a vinyl copy of Relayer.

I'm too lazy to go take a picture and try to figure out how to upload it using my phone, so here's an identical copy I found on a google search:

Image



Just the thought of being so in a Yes mood lately, and just buying yes albums right before Squire's passing... it's just amazing.

My dad also got this 3 vinyl Union Live new boxset by some offshoot british company called 'let them eat vinyl' - - this pressing is superior to the old 2011 cd in every way. This sounds so much more dynamic, and it's an amazing pressing for a non-official boxset. It's amazing, and only between 50-70 bucks. Amazing packaging too.

Image
Look up. You'll find things that you never imagined you would.

Anarcho-Capitalist, political activist.
Musician, and advocate of secession and non-aggression.
News editor for Being Libertarian, because freedom matters.

User avatar
Artisan
The Final Cut
Posts: 2303
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:51 am

Re: Yes

Post by Artisan » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:41 pm

It's creepy how these coincidences happen right? For a period I was afraid to listen to any new music because right when I started getting into a band one of its members would die. Jack Bruce, Bobby Keys, there were more. I suppose I feel a bit relieved knowing that it doesn't just happen to me, though that's a pretty bad thought to have. Very sad to hear of Squire's passing, I'm not a fan of Yes, but he was a very talented musician. Rest in peace.

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:13 am

The world's two greatest bass players have now gone to the great gig in the sky; John Entwistle and Chris Squire. It's a very sad time, and for someone of my generation (I'm 28) this is going to happen more and more. I may have to take a week off work when Gilmour passes.
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
quicksilver
Wish You Were Here
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:58 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Re: Yes

Post by quicksilver » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:55 pm

Dyolf wrote:The world's two greatest bass players have now gone to the great gig in the sky; John Entwistle and Chris Squire. It's a very sad time, and for someone of my generation (I'm 28) this is going to happen more and more. I may have to take a week off work when Gilmour passes.
That will be a tough pill for me to swallow. I've been a fan a David Gilmour since 1977 and he feels like family to me, as akward as that sounds.
Thank you PFO
Joined January 2004
Retired October 22, 2014- 1378 posts

Pink Floyd Sept 30, 1987 Milwaukee Cty Stadium
Roger Waters Nov 13, 1987 Milwaukee (Mecca)
Pink Floyd July 3, 1994 Madison
Pink Floyd July 12, 1994 Chicago

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:46 pm

So for anyone here who's a fan of Yes, but not so much a fan of the current Yes line-up there is a glimmer of light in the near future in the form of Anderson Rabin Wakeman! Yes, these three Yes alumni will be releasing their debut (?) album in the autumn and will be touring north America through Autumn/Winter 2016 and Europe in early 2017! According to Jon Anderson they'll be playing a great deal of 90125!
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
quicksilver
Wish You Were Here
Posts: 1080
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:58 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Re: Yes

Post by quicksilver » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:47 pm

I like this version of Yes. Trevor Rabin injected some life into the band and made it a bit more radio friendly for masses. I would definitely go see them if they came to my area.
Thank you PFO
Joined January 2004
Retired October 22, 2014- 1378 posts

Pink Floyd Sept 30, 1987 Milwaukee Cty Stadium
Roger Waters Nov 13, 1987 Milwaukee (Mecca)
Pink Floyd July 3, 1994 Madison
Pink Floyd July 12, 1994 Chicago

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:35 pm

quicksilver wrote:I like this version of Yes. Trevor Rabin injected some life into the band and made it a bit more radio friendly for masses. I would definitely go see them if they came to my area.
Anderson Rabin Wakeman - An Evening of Yes Music and More Tour Dates
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:30 pm

For anyone interested in the ARW band, their tour kicked off in Orlando, FL last night with a pretty epic setlist, even if I am a bit disappointed with the lack of 80s Yes songs (only three and all from 90125). But still, their rendition of "Awaken" was amazing. I can't wait to see them in March!
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:10 pm

So I've been taking time to get more acquainted with Yes. I've gotten through The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, and 90125 (with Going for the One next on my list), and my appreciation for the band has increased significantly. I had liked Fragile for the longest time anyway, but the other works (except Relayer) started to get under my skin too. Some of my favorite Yes songs right now are "Heart of the Sunrise", "Close to the Edge", "The Fish", "Yours Is No Disgrace", "The Revealing Science of God", and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (blegh).
10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:19 am

Alec Taylor wrote:So I've been taking time to get more acquainted with Yes. I've gotten through The Yes Album, Fragile, Close to the Edge, Tales from Topographic Oceans, Relayer, and 90125 (with Going for the One next on my list), and my appreciation for the band has increased significantly. I had liked Fragile for the longest time anyway, but the other works (except Relayer) started to get under my skin too. Some of my favorite Yes songs right now are "Heart of the Sunrise", "Close to the Edge", "The Fish", "Yours Is No Disgrace", "The Revealing Science of God", and "Owner of a Lonely Heart" (blegh).
Talk is an underrated album, one of the first albums to be 100% digitally recorded, apparently. It was a bit ahead of its time. The Ladder, in my opinion, was Yes' last good album, with the following ones decreasing in quality each time. Heaven and Earth is utter shite to my ears. 1980's Drama album is good, but it lacks Jon Anderson on vocals, instead you get Trevor Horn (vocals) and Geoff Downes (keys) from the Buggles, giving Yes a new-age flavour. If you end up liking Drama then it's also worth giving Fly from Here a go too as it is the spiritual successor to Drama.
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:52 pm

If I had to rank the Yes albums I've heard at this point (along with my favorite song from each), it would probably be:

1. Going for the One ("Going for the One")
2. Close to the Edge ("Close to the Edge")
3. The Yes Album ("Starship Trooper")
4. Fragile ("South Side of the Sky")
5. Relayer ("The Gates of Delirium")
6. The Ladder ("It Will Be a Good Day (The River)")
7. Tales from Topographic Oceans ("The Revealing Science of God")
8. 90125 ("Owner of a Lonely Heart")

I'm still new to the band so that list could very easily change drastically in the near future. Remember, Dark Side and Meddle used to be in my Top 3 Floyd albums way back in the day (2012 or 2013?). :lol:
10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Sat Sep 01, 2018 4:42 pm

Alec Taylor wrote:If I had to rank the Yes albums I've heard at this point (along with my favorite song from each), it would probably be:

8. 90125 ("Owner of a Lonely Heart")
I think my fave from 90125 would be "It Can Happen". I recommend getting the 9012Live DVD - it's got some great performances on it and some re-workings of classics like "I've Seen All Good People" and "Starship Trooper". The re-issue of the CD has "It Can Happen" and "City of Love" on it too, if you can find a copy.

Big Generator has some good stuff on it, but it doesn't quite hit as high as 90125.
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:33 pm

I recently took a chance and picked up a copy of Drama on vinyl for a cheap buck at an antique store, and holy crap. I originally didn't have much interest in hearing a Trevor Horn-led Yes, but honestly he does his best to sound somewhat close to Jon Anderson but a little better. Drama is basically a New Wave The Yes Album.
10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:04 am

Alec Taylor wrote:I recently took a chance and picked up a copy of Drama on vinyl for a cheap buck at an antique store, and holy crap. I originally didn't have much interest in hearing a Trevor Horn-led Yes, but honestly he does his best to sound somewhat close to Jon Anderson but a little better. Drama is basically a New Wave The Yes Album.
It's a very good album. "White Car" is a bit of a throwaway track but I do love the album. It's a great showcase of Chris Squire's talent.
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:34 pm

Dyolf wrote:
Alec Taylor wrote:I recently took a chance and picked up a copy of Drama on vinyl for a cheap buck at an antique store, and holy crap. I originally didn't have much interest in hearing a Trevor Horn-led Yes, but honestly he does his best to sound somewhat close to Jon Anderson but a little better. Drama is basically a New Wave The Yes Album.
It's a very good album. "White Car" is a bit of a throwaway track but I do love the album. It's a great showcase of Chris Squire's talent.
Oh yeah, the bass work on "Does It Really Happen?" and "Tempus Fugit" is top notch for sure.
10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

User avatar
Artisan
The Final Cut
Posts: 2303
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:51 am

Re: Yes

Post by Artisan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:38 am

In a stunning turn of events, it turns out that I actually like Yes!

Seems like a stupid joke I would have made years ago, but nope - $18 later, I have Fragile, CTTE, and Classic Yes on my shelf, and I've spun the former two about a dozen times each.

I can only guess that back in 2014 when I first sampled the prog world, I skipped over Yes completely - I know I sampled Genesis, King Crimson, and ELP, but unless Owner Of A Lonely Heart was the Yes song I tried (and I specifically remember going for the '70s stuff on all those bands), I must have just missed them. Maybe I heard 5% For Nothing. Or one of the uber-pretentious sections of TFTO.

I'm still not much a fan of Jon's voice (or Trevor Horn's, though my sampling of Drama has been slim thus far), but unlike all the other prog bands I sampled, Yes is a band more than just a collective of talented musicians trying to out-perform one another. Very rarely is there more than one instrument (including vocals) in the spotlight at one time. Even in the "ultra avant garde" intro of Close To The Edge (which, compared to some of the Flaming Lips stuff, I found quite normal) it felt very... unified.

If there is one major problem I have, it's that they seem to jam parts that don't belong in spots of the song where they don't belong solely to make the charts as complex as possible. Case in point: Heart Of The Sunrise at about 6:15, when it comes out of that cathartic vocal bit into... an off-kilter organ bit, and then into that goofy-sounding synth bit that sounds like a quiet middle bit in a calliope symphony. When they hit a great climax, rather than let it sustain, they inject some weird out-of-place nonsense in there, I feel just for the sake of "making it prog".

Who'da thunk it? The ol' punk found himself a prog band!

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:08 pm

Drama has become my favorite Yes album by far, and I don't know if that will ever change. But, in general, I have become a major fan of Trevor Horn. Listening to The Age of Plastic, Drama, and Adventures in Modern Recording makes for an interesting view at an artist's evolution before moving into production, and Fly From Here - Return Trip makes for a nice coda. If I had to rank them now...


1. Drama
2. Relayer
3. Close to the Edge
4. The Yes Album
5. Fragile
6. Going for the One
7. Fly From Here - Return Trip
8. 90125
9. Tales from Topographic Oceans
10. The Ladder
11. Big Generator
12. Tormato
10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

User avatar
Dyolf
Animals
Posts: 1376
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am
Location: Cymru (Wales)

Re: Yes

Post by Dyolf » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:51 pm

I still haven't heard Fly From Here - Return Trip because I refuse to spend £15 on a remake of an album I bought in 2011.
Y Chwe Gwlad 2019 The Six Nations 2019

Ffrainc France 19 – 24 Cymru Wales
Yr Eidal Italy 15 – 26 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 21 – 13 Lloegr England
Yr Alban Scotland 11 – 18 Cymru Wales
Cymru Wales 25 – 7 Iwerddon Ireland

:mrgreen:

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:06 pm

Dyolf wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:51 pm
I still haven't heard Fly From Here - Return Trip because I refuse to spend £15 on a remake of an album I bought in 2011.
I haven't heard the original Fly From Here, so I don't know if Trevor does a better job than Benoît David. I'm just partial to Trevor, and the new version of "We Can Fly From Here" really kicks the crap out of the original 1980 demo and later re-recording by The Buggles. It just felt right to listen to his version first.
10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:44 pm

I've got to know Artisan, as someone who was pretty indifferent towards the progressive application of rock music, what are your thoughts on Yes now that you're warming up to the group? They're one of the really proggy bands in the genre, a good example of its excesses (Tales pretty much assassinated the genre from a critical standpoint), so I'm curious which of their traits has gotten through to you that other prog bands you've sampled don't possess?
10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

User avatar
Artisan
The Final Cut
Posts: 2303
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:51 am

Re: Yes

Post by Artisan » Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:02 am

The other stuff I've tried sounded like a professional version of a Guitar Center volume war: a bunch of (this time, talented) musicians in one space all fighting for attention. King Crimson sounded to me like they were all playing different songs at the same time, each one trying to be louder than the other. I also really hate Robert Fripp's guitar style, which certainly didn't help; his playing just seethes with arrogance. Teenage Wildlife would be my favorite Bowie song if not for his digital bloop-bleep toned "look at all these notes I'm playing, because I'm so talented, pay attention to me" solos. And while I'm on the subject Adrian Belew (was he in KC or something else?) doesn't have that, but his playing just doesn't resonate with me. Neither emotional nor melodic to me.

ELP, though I respect all three of them far more as musicians, just don't grab me. I can't remember the exact songs I sampled (besides one) but I got the same vibe of "we're talented, here's a sample of it". Tarkus, on the other hand, made me geninely nauseous; the intro took forever, so I skipped ahead a bit and in less than one second I felt like I was staggering on a boat that was capsizing. The other songs though just kind of passed through me. That said, I did recently pick up an Atlantic double LP sampler with Karn Evil 9 on it - someday I'll give it a chance and see if I like it.

Genesis... I dunno. I tried a few songs and they didn't really work for me. I remember enjoying Supper's Ready, but not how it goes; I remember thinking Firth Of Fifth was just the keyboard player slamming down random notes and proclaiming it art. (My same complaints with Sysyphus, and I love Rick - just that FOF was demented classical style arpeggios and Sysyphus was Rick bashing his head against the keys). I know I listened to something else, too, and I got the sense that they were trying to prove that if you present yourself pretentiously enough, people will accept random gibberish as art. Now that was only a minor undercurrent I picked up on - it's not something that was right in my face the way that, say, Bjork or any of these lowercaselettersnospacesimsoironic idiot collectives do. But I couldn't shake the feeling that the band were secretly laughing at these people buying their albums. And I'm also heavily prejudiced against Phil Collins - no matter how great he may have been in the '70s, I can't get it out of my head that he's the same demon that made all that '80s crap. Uuugh.

(I should clarify now before I forget that I listened to all of those songs back in 2014, when I was into AC/DC and R.E.M. far more than I was into psychedelic music of any description. I was just hooked on the "expansive pop" style of Floyd back in the PFO days, and none of the songs from these bands that I tried were very poppy, and they were probably too expansive for my "4/4 or bust" mentality at the time.)

Having added a ton of Flaming Lips to my collection, and having previously broadened my sonic horizons with stuff like Bowie and late-period Church - neither of whom are any flavor of prog, but who certainly expanded my appreciation of less conventional music - I think I was much more "ready" to accept Yes. I've sampled a whole bunch of their catalog and I've come to the conclusion that I never actually listened to any of their songs back in 2014 - not even Roundabout, which had the strange distinction of being a song I didn't recognize yet could still predict every twist and turn simply by virtue of the number of songs that were inspired by it (read: completely ripped it off, i.e. Achilles's Last Stand).

I'd had Fragile recommended to me by several people, and I'd read in many places that the later-period Flaming Lips were hugely inspired by Yes. One day I woke up and the little DJ in my tiny, half-dysfunctional brain said in his nasally, elf-like voice "Listen to Roundabout". And I did and I liked it. And I went to the record store later that night and Fragile was $5.99 and I bought it. And I liked the whole album. Then at another record store I found Close To The Edge also for $5.99 so I bought that. And then another trip to the first store yielded Classic Yes for the same price.

the biggest thing about Yes for me is that, rather than sounding like a load of prodigies all trying to out-perform each other at the same time, they sound like a band performing a piece in which they each serve a role. I don't detect too much ego in the playing on any of the three albums I have; what I do detect is not "I'm awesome" but "this music is awesome, and I have to prove that". Roundabout is a good example/description of that: Steve starts out solo doing his acoustic bit, and when the song comes crashing in, the spotlight goes over to Chris. Bill grooves along without doing anything too fancy, Steve does harmonic chords. Rick is hiding somewhere. When Jon comes in, the bass calms down and the spotlight moves to his vocals. The "in and around the lake" bit returns the focus to the guitar, then the vocal harmonies, then Rick steps in with his organ arpeggios and everyone else takes a step back. It kicks back around, and rather than Chris doing his bass run-down, Rick takes a mini-solo in that place, and then once again Jon takes over. And Bill, though he has no solos or flashy fills, is the heart, spine, and central nervous system of the song: he keeps everything moving, flowing, tied together. When there's an open space, he hits harder and fills it; yet, unlike Keith Moon, he makes sure to LEAVE space as well.

We don't have five painters fighting to fill as much of the canvas as possible; we have five painters who are each adding their own flair to it. That's what I was missing from all those other prog bands, and that's why I like Yes so much. Rather than contribute as much as possible, they contribute as much as necessary. Less is more, and Yes understands that. The songs I've sampled of those other bands (or, more specifically, my memory of those songs) did not produce the same result.

That said, I've really only heard the stuff in Yes's prime. I sampled a little bit of TFTO and it's not the ambient sleep aid I was told it was, and I suspect it might be a bit too overblown for me to truly love it, but I will go in with an open mind - and I have heard whichever the single was from Drama and the guitar playing sounded a bit too Frippy, note-perfect but emotionally and melodically inert. And I don't like Owner Of A Lonely Heart. But then, I don't even like the '80s pop of the few '80s pop bands I collect, so that's not much of a surprise.

What changed? I don't know. My horizons broadened, but I never quite dropped my pretenses about the stuff I'd listened to before that happened. I suspect if I listened to Firth Of Fifth now, I'd enjoy it. I'd have to try ELP again; I doubt I'll crack KC though, I still very distinctly remember the arrogance that oozed from that music and I'm not in any hurry to reacquaint myself with it. I don't know enough about Rush and Jethro Tull to comment either - I like the way the guitar solo kicks in on Aqualung and I respect the hell out of Neil Peart for taking jazz lessons to further his talent rather than resting on his laurels, but that's about all I know about them (that and the hilarious "UUUGH" in A Passion Play which makes me laugh).

Wow, that was a lot of rambling. Let me try to condense that.

1. I'm only going on my biased memory of the other bands from my more narrow-minded past. At some point, I will re-evaluate them.
2. Compared to those memories, Yes sounds more like a band than a collective of musicians, and like songwriters instead of instrument-based ego tripping.
3. I have only listened to the best of Yes's "golden era" and a smattering of songs that are so far removed from that, they may as well be a different group. Thus, my judgment could well be a bit biased; since I've forgotten what most of them were, I don't know if the songs of the other groups I sampled were their "golden era" or their Tormato.
4. One of my favorite bands took a ton of influence from Yes, and I can definitely see where a lot of my favorite songs came from.
5. I have proven myself time and again to be a massive hypocrite, and I'd like to think I'm open-minded enough now that I can give those other bands a fresh chance (though at the moment I'm really not interested in doing so - I will wait for the stars to align again).

User avatar
Alec Taylor
A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Posts: 2705
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:03 pm
Location: Somewhere Else

Re: Yes

Post by Alec Taylor » Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:51 pm

That was a lot to read, but I enjoyed every word of it. I can see why a lot of other artists in the genre (and the genre itself) can be a turn off to other people. I personally can tune out that vibe of "hey check us out, we're so neat and and stuff" to just listen to the technical stuff that's going on. ELP and King Crimson are really the only ones that feel like that for sure. ELP songs all have about the same sound and the lyrics are usually meaningless fluff, so if you don't get into the groove or let yourself get floored by Keith's keyboards or Greg's singing (which I maintain is some of the best of all time), then ELP won't do anything for you. I personally am not a huge fan of theirs, just their classic three (ELP-Tarkus-Brain Salad Surgery) which I still find inconsistent.

I do sort of wonder what King Crimson song you listened to, most of them aren't really that disjointed. Robert Fripp is definitely the definition of pretentious, but I don't really notice it most of the time. Red and the three 1980s albums with Adrian Belew never come off as overly complicated without substance or arrogant to me. And yeah, Adrian isn't really resonant to me either. I love him to death, and his solo work is great too, but it's not exactly original or anything. Just some solid pop rock most of the time.

Genesis actually aren't that full of themselves like other prog groups. Peter was a really insecure person and used the costumes and theatrics to come out of his shell more as a vocalist. Mike and Phil make for a hell of a rhythm section, and Steve is a really inventive guitarist. Now that I listen to Yes, I actually see a lot of similarities between Steve Hackett and Steve Howe, although I still prefer Hackett more. Tony Banks is full of himself, however, and he did write a lot of lyrics and place the keyboards front and center whenever he could. "Firth of Fifth" has its piano riff reworked later on into a powerful band jam, and the guitar solo near the end is probably my favorite guitar solo of all time.

If I had to recommend something from each of them...

ELP - "Take a Pebble", maybe the Tarkus album
Genesis - "The Musical Box", Selling England by the Pound
King Crimson - "Starless", the live album Absent Lovers


As for Yes, their classic era is definitely their best as far as I'm concerned. They practically were different bands album from album, given that they had the same revolving door line-up like King Crimson (even sharing Bill Bruford!). The Yes Album and Relayer are essential albums for you to check out next. "The Gates of Delirium" might be the greatest Yes song ever, and one of the best songs in progressive rock in general.
10.22.14 - 4.8.19 (2704)

Post Reply