Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Harvest Your Thoughts, Jun 27, 2014.
Why have you chosen "Does It Really Happen"? Go for "Arriving UFO" to prove your point!
Good point! Arriving UFO is one heck of a low point of their 70s output.
Well, perhaps I would be much more open to it if the vocalist would have been better. Doesn't necessarily have to be Anderson. It's just that Horn's vocal are some of the dullest and most lifeless I've ever heard, and in contrast with Anderson, and in context of Yes, his lack of finesse in the skill is all the more showing. Tormato was too cheesy? Same could go for Wonderous Story and To Be Over, pff. Tormato is slightly boring not because of cheesy but because of lack of bright material.
I don't consider "Wondrous Stories" or especially the lovely "To Be Over" to be cheesy, but "Arriving UFO" and "Circus of Heaven" are pretty embarrassing and ill judged, demonstrating Anderson's increasing capacity for new age whimsey. Meanwhile his heavy handed attempt at a political statement with "Don't Kill The Whale" was painfully obvious, lacking in all subtlety. I'd say that maybe half of the material on Tormato approaches the standard set by the preceding albums. I consider Horn's vocals on Drama to be decent, though not outstanding. Fortunately, the music is strong enough to hold my interest and that's what matter most to me on a Yes album.
It looks like you needed to pick some least interesting and un-proggy stuff from the pre-Cinema period to be able to provide a favourable contrast for the alleged highlights of the "cinematic" stuff produced with the help of Rabin, Vangelis, Sherwood, orchestra or whoever else available at hand.
you make good points and that is why I left off the Stones (a different league all together) Rush and Sabbath.........both classic rock acts from the 70's both with new material that they perform in concert...play arenas, I don't need you to admit it but most Yes fans that at one time filled arenas do not anymore proving they don't support the band any more
Had Yes been playing arenas during the last few tours with JA? My sense was that the Union tour was the last to feature arenas, but perhaps I'm misinformed. That being said, I think it is likely true that the band would probably be able to book larger venues if Anderson were with them--however, it seems that the band made the decision that playing smaller venues was a price worth paying for a better personal chemistry within the group.
They were still doing a lot of mid sized arenas then. But even by the last couple tours they had kind of saturated their market. I don't think it is just the absence of Anderson but also the frequency of shows. They just ceased to be seen as something special. And that is kind of too bad IMO. I think each of those post Union tours they did with JA had their own unique flavor and they were all quite good. It really wasn't until their second tour with Benoit David that I thought "whoa, this was a bad show."
This makes sense--they are touring with enough regularity, with the same group, and largely the same material that there is likely a lessened sense of "special event" for a Yes show these days (and I don't doubt that the absence of JA has an impact on that as well). Again, though, I wouldn't be surprised if they wanted more consistency, even at the price of smaller audiences per individual performance.
As to the quality of the performances, I've enjoyed all the official and unofficial recordings I've heard of those later JA-era tours, though I've also heard quite a few negative reports from attendees of the 2004 tour (generally, that the group seemed to be going through the motions, and/or that the tensions among the principals had become so thick that they could barely tolerate, much less acknowledge, one another on stage). It seems like the first tour with Benoit D. was pretty good--the return of Drama material was a pretty exciting development for some fans--but his vocal problems really got in the way of subsequent tours. I've generally gotten the sense that Jon D's performances have been far more consistent, and the band seems to be pretty satisfied with their current situation.
All of the personnel changes and unfortunate tensions in the band has long been one of my favorite things about the band that keeps me interested. You truly NEVER know exactly what you're going to get.
I clearly see the whole thing fairly differently than a lot of people. One thing for me seems to resonate, I don't think any one particular member has to be there to make it "Yes". I certainly have members I favor and periods I favor. But even in the 'worst' of situations I have found something I love and appreciate.
Also, I don't know if I completely think 'cheesy' is a bad thing. It can be. But, I know I like a lot of things other people call 'cheesy'. I think it might be hard to like a band like Yes and not like some 'cheesy' stuff. A friend of mine heard "Wonderous Stories" for the first time and said "That was a hit? It is SO cheesy!" Which, admittedly, when I was first into Yes, I hadn't really cared for it myself, not until my wife proclaimed great love for it and I heard it through her ears.
Well, there's tasteful cheese and then there's stinky cheese. For me, Tormato strayed into the latter too often.
Update: Apparently the band played two new songs last night, "The Game" and "To Ascend".
Hey, I've just thought... Tormato has many great tracks, which do not sound cheesy.. or well, cheesy, but in a tasty way. ))) First track, Madrigal, Release has a good vibe too, Circus of Heaven very touching, Onward even more touching, and the marvelous On the Silent Wings of Freedom. Why so much hate then, when it really has only two songs which are kinda below full on mastership?
I've always enjoyed Tormato more than GFTO. Maybe it's a little more "rock," which is a plus for me.
Could make a kickass album out of the best of GFTO and Tormato.
Going For the One
Future Times / Rejoice
Don't Kill the Whale
On the Silent Wings of Freedon
That would probably be my favorite Yes album
(hope a post that neither argues nor complains is acceptable here)
Nice. And the 45 r.p.m. single would be "Wonderous Stories" coupled with "Parallels." And then, they'd be added to the second re-master as bonus tracks.
Tormato isn't a complete disaster, but it was probably their worst album to date (depending on how you feel about the first two). For me, the best songs ("Future Times", "Silent Wings"), though enjoyable enough, don't quite measure up to the high points on previous albums, while the low points ("Circus of Heaven", "Arriving UFO") were among their worst songs to date. I shouldn't put all the blame on Anderson--Rick Wakeman also brought the cheese with his new synth tones.
I like tormato. Any record with on the silent wings of freedom is a very good record. I made a purchase today and was tempted to add tormato rerelease from Friday music but pulled back. Don't know if Friday music could improve my original vinyl.
I've always heard that Jon Anderson stopped being dictator and the arrangements got a little loose, crazy, wild....whatever works. So, perhaps Jon is to blame for giving up the reins.
ah, you don't like Circus of Heaven. That's where we differ. )) To me, it's like GFTO was a five star record, and Tormato was a four star record - very good, but not "oh my sweet Lord I have just heard it and I can die a happy man".
From this period I'd rank them:
3. Tormato (far behind 1 and 2)
I have always found it interesting that after 90125 YES was never able to continue the same forward momentum of peers like Genesis and Rush.
Agree 100%. After 90125 there was a sharp decline in the quality of their new recorded output - whereas Rush and Genesis experienced a more gradual ongoing decline. IMO of course. "Quality" is always subjective.
I would argue also that somehow Genesis and Rush have maintained a pretty steady worldwide fanbase over the years that transcends the prog community and they are still looked at as vital and respected by the public at large, which is amazing seeing as Genesis has not done anything new for years and years.
As to their recorded output, Genesis had one major miss step that was the Phil Collins-less Calling All Stations. Rush has had ups and downs in their catalog as well, but in general they have maintained a forward trajectory in musical terms. IE, neither Genesis or Rush ever looked back and tried to recapture any past sound or feel from previous albums.
I view Yes now as a curiosity, hoping every time they put a new album out that it will surprise me and knock it out of the park, and it just comes across to me as fluffy prog light that is trying to recapture past glories. Its window dressing with no pay-off. Looks like Yes, sounds like Yes, but has none of the vitality or prowess of Yes.
I also think that to survive they need to find a singer with a presence and personality that equals the uniqueness of Anderson, but one who is unique in his own right with his own sound and style. As long as they keep using an imitator, they will be pretty much no different than many of the oldies groups traversing the world with 2-3 original members playing the hits. It may be good, and even enjoyable, but it stopped moving forward and being vital and new decades ago.
Hopefully not a threadcrap, since I'm not complaining, but a couple months back I complied several discs of Yes material from their whole history before heading out on a road trip with my girlfriend. Since her exposure to Yes had been more or less limited to childhood memories of "Owner" and "Rhythm of Love" in their heyday, I'd only expected to share a disc or two with her, so I was amazed when she seemed enthused enough to listen to the whole thing. Her favorites definitely surprised me: the "Fly From Here" suite met with great approval (ever since, I've been catching her humming "Madman at the Screens" to herself! ), as did "Tempus Fugit." Others that got a thumbs up from her: "I See You," "Survival," "Astral Traveller," "Yours is No Disgrace," "America," "South Side...," "Siberian Khatru," "...Silent Wings...," "Machine Messiah," "I'm Running," "I Am Waiting," "Fortune Seller," "New Language," and "Don't Go." (!!)
Genesis and Rush both developed efficient and effective ways of working as a team, which Yes was never able to do. They tended to be on the same page about what they wanted to accomplish and seemed to be able to create new music with little interpersonal conflict. By contrast, Yes were usually pulling in different directions. (It helped that Rush and the 80s Genesis only had three members.)
The reason 90125 worked was that Jon came into it so late. Once that same team tried to create music from scratch there was a lot more head-butting.
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