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Yes!? NO! - The all purpose Yes arguing and complaining thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Harvest Your Thoughts, Jun 27, 2014.

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  1. vinylphile

    vinylphile Forum Resident

    I'm purely talking about their music, not their popularity. For me, Rush have steadily declined since Power Windows and Genesis since Trick of the Tail. In contrast, Yes for me precipitously fell off their compositional pedestal after 90125. Interesting bits here and there but basically spent IMO.

    Completely agree with your assessment of Yes becoming a "curiosity".
     
  2. Meng

    Meng Forum Resident

    I like 'Don't Go'.

    I don't love it, and if it wasn't there I wouldn't miss it, but I'd far sooner listen to it than Owner any day of the week.
     
  3. zen

    zen Senior Member

    Is that because you're tired of "Owner" or you never liked their only mega smash hit?
     
  4. Tristero

    Tristero Touching from a distance

    Location:
    MI
    I'm not sure if you can really make the comparison with Genesis here. If Yes had packed it in altogether after Talk, I imagine that they would be looked back on with a lot more reverence than they are now. Apart from the ill advised Calling All Stations gambit, Genesis has mainly bowed out with grace, but I don't necessarily give them bonus points for being nonproductive.

    I think Squealy nailed it. The difference comes down to the bands' internal power dynamics. Genesis and Rush appear to have been more harmonious, while the ironically named Yes has always been so fractious. This has led to a lot of dissension among the fan ranks over the years, what with all the zigs and zags, line up changes and such. You see all these different factions develop with these never ending arguments playing out on message boards like this one. I guess you don't get all the extra Drama with a band like Rush!
     
  5. xj32

    xj32 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oak Creek, WI
    I think in a discussion like this thread has become we need to somehow put our own personal musical tastes and preferences aside and look at the broader picture. While some don't like the pop side of Genesis and prefer their earlier prog roots or whatever, there is no denying that musically their pop albums were still done impeccably well from a song and performance and even recording stand point. History has shown them to be undeniably popular right up and until Calling All Stations.

    Its similar when you look at Rush, for me they lost my interest after Power Windows...even that was a stretch, but I cannot deny that each album was recorded and released as a new and vital experience that kept the band and its fan base growing. Again history has proven them to still be vital on so many levels from music to modern influence and even sold out tours.

    And then there is Yes who reached their heyday around 90125 and looked poised to move into the future and then kind of botched the who thing in very epic way especially considering the renewed interest around the time of the Union tour (not the album).

    Their albums are mostly re-tred with little to no modern vitality to them, and historically they are seen as an oldies group which is sad considering the talent of the players. I had such high hopes for Fly From Here with the return of Horn and even for the new one with Roy Thomas Baker producing...you would think that one would have to work hard to screw that up...
     
  6. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    And they most certainly will not go broke doing it.

    I doubt the few who actually care who the main singer is are going to make a difference in the bands continued success.

    This thread inspired me to pull out Talk, Drama, and The Ladder.
    Great stuff, all of it.
    The Ladder could have been the follow up to Fragile. That album sounds so fresh and has such great music.
    Sadly, I need to find another copy. Mine has some glitches in it.
     
  7. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

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    I really liked the 2004 tour. I also actually prefer Benoit David's voice to Jon Davison. David's problems were more than just "vocal." He got really sloppy with his timing and would all too often come in way early or way late. There was one point in one of those concerts where Squire literally grabbed David and sang the song to him in the right time to get him back on track. Such an awkward moment. Davison doesn't have any of those issues. I just find his voice and delivery to be very bland and I think his reliance on falsetto for the high notes just doesn't work. Those were always power notes before.

    And for me Geoff Downes is actually a much bigger issue than Davison vs. David. I think Downes is simply inadequate as a keyboardist for Yes.
     
    Bemsha likes this.
  8. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    Once again, Yes was never a band that was marketed on that level. Those other bands are much higher profile and have a lot more chart action with singles, as well as don't have the dreaded "prog rock" label shackled to their leg. Yes has never consistently had the following those bands do.
    At one time, all rock era bands were filling arenas. Now most do not, few do. That is not a good yardstick.

    Lets also not forget that they were without Rick Wakeman and had some unknown dude named Igor with them.
    Every time Rick Wakeman was in Yes he was a huge draw for the band.
    He was the guy fans use to watch instead of the front man..........
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  9. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

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    For me The Ladder was the best thing they had done since Going for the One and marked a real return to excellence and an interesting twist in that it was much more of a pop album.
     
  10. Meng

    Meng Forum Resident

    Never liked it.
     
    audiotom likes this.
  11. zen

    zen Senior Member

    Looks like you have YES figured out. Not. :)
    There's many ways to play the same music, and Geoff Downes is shedding new light on the old material. I witnessed a show last year and he was just fine. Inadequate never entered my mind like it did when Oliver Wakeman was playing keys. Sure Oliver could play quicker but something was missing.
     
  12. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Jon Anderson has said his health is simply not up to big tours. I've seen that in print, and also in a YouTube interview, I think this one


    I'm OK with all the different lineups-does that make me a "Yes Man"? :hide:

    But I just realized I'd probably rather see Anderson than the current lineup without him.
     
    DLeet likes this.
  13. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
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    No, he's not shedding new light on anything. He's doing dumbed down versions of Rick Wakeman's original arrangements. If you like that, fine. But that is what he's doing. Nothing was missing when Oliver Wakeman played for Yes. He actually played the original arrangements as they were written. A lot is missing when Downes does them. Literally, a lot of notes are missing.
     
    DLeet likes this.
  14. zen

    zen Senior Member

    The Ladder is a great album. Both my wife and I LOVED it (which is rare). When that album made zero splash on the charts I knew right then, the game was up for the kings of progressive rock. Then of course Magnification came along the following year with that devilish ploy of having three different live recordings from the Masterworks tour to help sell it. Didn't work. Then the lame idea of a 35th anniversary tour/collection. NOT a good number for celebrating. Then, it got quiet....until Fly From Here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  15. NorthNY Mark

    NorthNY Mark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canton, NY, USA
    Very interesting--I haven't heard about the timing issue before in regard to David. I saw him with Mystery opening for Saga in Montreal some time ago--it was his first public performance following the split with Yes, before a demonstrably adoring home crowd. I hated to think this, because I really enjoyed his vocals on FFH and some bootlegs I had of his first tour with Yes, but it was the most painful live vocal performance I have ever witnessed. I'm not sure if his voice was still insufficiently recovered from the strain that led to his departure from Yes, but he was seriously off-key pretty regularly. I was also surprised by what struck me as an exaggeratedly flamboyant stage presence (lots of pirouettes, high kicks, etc.), but the botched notes were the biggest distraction. I honestly hope the damage to his voice from the Yes touring experience wasn't permanent, though his subsequent departure from Mystery and the music business in general does not leave much room for optimism.

    I know what you mean about Jon D's voice--it is much softer and thinner than that of either Jon A or Benoit D (whose natural voice sounds a bit more to me like that of Geddy Lee than Jon A or Trevor Horn). I rather like his singing on the new album, though, especially in those sections where he sounds nothing at all like Jon A (like in parts of "The Game"). In some ways, I think the musical softness that so many listeners are objecting to in the new album is mainly a matter of them appropriately fitting the music to Jon D's softer voice and more reserved personality. It's certainly a different style for Yes, but I enjoy it on its own terms--for example, I find that his reserve makes the emoting in a song like "To Ascend" feel more natural and believable than it would coming from a more histrionic vocalist.

    About Geoff D., we'll have to agree to disagree. I find him to be a masterful colorist, with a great instinct for when to use organ, synth, piano, or various effects. Granted, I think he was even better at this in the Drama days (perhaps due to the technology currently available), but I still find him preferable in this crucial area (crucial to me, in any event) to any of the keyboardists Yes has worked with since Patrick Moraz. I would probably prefer Rick if he were to stick to piano and organ, but since he seems unlikely to do that, I'm glad they have Geoff on board.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
    zen likes this.
  16. zen

    zen Senior Member

    I don't agree. There were moments I enjoyed what Downes was playing more than Wakeman's usual approach. Not everything mind you, but far from inadequate.



    Ah! You understand where I'm coming from. Well said by the way.
     
  17. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chernigov, Ukraine
    Ladder... I love some tracks off it but as an album, it's rather boring. They got there with Magnification. Probably their coolest release since Generator.

    I also wondered, why Genesis mentioned the transition to the 80s in such a graceful manner. They became pop but with such a nice spice of prog - really fine. Their first down moment was with the 91 album really. And of course the Collins-less affair. Other than that - no complaints. You could compile a KILLER double "best of" album from their 80s era.

    Another band which gracefully transcended to the 80s was Pink Floyd, one could say although they had two releases only.

    And, of course, King Crimson. Totally reimagined as well, but what in an awesome way. Thanks to the 80s KC I love KC.
     
  18. Aggie87

    Aggie87 Gig 'Em!

    Location:
    Medford, NJ
    Nothing was missing with Oliver Wakeman except talent, and soul. He displays neither on In the Present (which, to be fair, is the only place I've heard him). I hear absolutely no creativity at all.

    Downes is not as technically proficient as Rick Wakeman perhaps, but "shredding" isn't a style that turns me on, either. I don't go to a concert to see note-for-note reproductions of the studio recordings. Downes is interesting enough, IMO.
     
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  19. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    Have you heard Magnification? It is a bit different but really creative.
     
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  20. Aggie87

    Aggie87 Gig 'Em!

    Location:
    Medford, NJ
    I hated that marketing ploy too. They should've released all of the bonus material in one set, not across three different releases that require you to buy duplicate copies of the same album to get all the bonus stuff. Stupid.

    That said, Magnification is a fantastic album. If pressed, it is probably my favorite since Drama, edging the Keys studio stuff (and Ladder & Talk). With the exception of "Don't Go", it's all excellent.
     
    zen likes this.
  21. vinylphile

    vinylphile Forum Resident

    Really? I thought this is supposed to be the all-purpose Yes arguing and complaining thread? ;)
     
  22. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
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    Oliver Wakeman is a vastly more talented keyboardist than Geoff Downes. I think Geoff Downes would have appealed to this guy

     
    jay.dee likes this.
  23. Scott Wheeler

    Scott Wheeler Forum Resident

    Location:
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    Have I heard it? Yeah, of course. You are talking to a hard core Yes fan here. Yeah I like it. The tour wasn't one of my favorites. The orchestra dragged.
     
  24. vinylphile

    vinylphile Forum Resident

    No, no, no. There's a big difference between Mozart and Joe Satriani.
     
  25. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    I don't know about this. I know several people who feel that Big Generator, ABWH, Union & Talk are the weakest things they have ever done. (Yes, I'm just going to lump ABWH in with this, because in my head, it is all part of the same story -band history- arc). I am not necessarily supporting that opinion myself, but I'm not sure that would have been a great way to go out. I know a lot of people who loved the Keys stuff, The Ladder & Magnification. And I for one would actually put Open Your Eyes in that. (if you look at my post in another thread on this subject, you will get a much more detailed idea of why... but I feel there are 5 extremely strong songs on Open Your Eyes, a couple other good ones and the bad ones just seem to drag the whole thing down in most people's eyes). For me, the studio material from Keys to Ascension was pretty much what kept me into this band all these years. I still listen to that stuff regularly and love it. - Obviously with Heaven & Earth not out yet, it's hard to say how that fits in. And even We Can Fly, despite being 3 years old, seems too new to get a gauge on. I guess 3 years in current terms is just not that long. I remember when waiting 3 years between an album seemed like an eternity.
     
    jay.dee likes this.
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