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Traces of earlier YES on 90125

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    Traces of earlier YES on 90125

    When I first heard the beginning of Owner of a Lonely Heart on the radio, I wasn't quite sure if this was Yes despite the announcement of the new YES song that was about to be played. After Jon Andersons distinct vocal came in, I thought ok(?) it must be Yes. I had a similar experience when they played Leave It for the first time.

    I know that my words above sound like they belong in the initial reaction to 90125 thread, but I have a new discussion in mind.

    Besides Andersons distinct vocals, what other elements are unmistakably YES? Are there bits where the composition is reminiscent to earlier Yes? What passages sound like they can be no other than Tony, Chris or Alan?

    On OOALH, the short bass break stands out to me as Chris. The rest of the bassline not as much.


    #2
    honestly nothing sounds distinctly Kaye on the record its missing that hammond organ sound really- with Chris the bass is strong on things like It Can Happen and City of Love but not necessarily Squireish.

    Maybe Cinema ironically sounds yessish due to the drums and bass? The overall passage from Hold On also-

    Talk the simple smile
    Such platonic eye etc.

    That always strikes me as typical Yes in harmony vocals and its style.
    The Definitive YES Albums

    -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
    -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
    -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

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      #3
      Originally posted by soundchaser09 View Post
      - with Chris the bass is strong on things like It Can Happen and City of Love but not necessarily Squireish.
      The bass fills on "It Can Happen" sound Squiresque to me.

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        #4
        "Hearts" is what is closest to Classic Yes for me overall, although there are touches on other songs. Like "Changes" has a bit of adventurous structure to it, but in a more modern, angular kind of way. The emphasis on vocal harmonies is certainly a hallmark of Yes in general, I would say.
        Rabin-esque
        my labor of love (and obsessive research)
        rabinesque.blogspot.com

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          #5
          I'd say considering that Jon A, Chris, Alan and Tony Kaye are on it, it's quite remarkable how little it sounds like classic Yes. There are of course certain small things, but it's pretty clear overall this isn't the vision of one of the principal architects of any of the preceding albums. Unless you count Horn's influence - which is also clear in hindsight.

          Drama was a fairly big departure from what went before. 90125 is greater still. In spite of the older members, it's clear this is a radically different band to the 70s iterations.

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            #6
            Originally posted by luna65 View Post
            "Changes" has a bit of adventurous structure to it, but in a more modern, angular kind of way.
            I would imagine that "Changes" has a bit of classic YES influence. But it is not the song itself, it is the odd meter instrumental jam that bookends the song. It is adventurous, displays virtuosity and is in a complex time signature. With that being said, does it really sound any more like YES than say Genesis?

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              #7
              I never listen to Hearts, but I seem to remember Kaye’s trademark Hammond is in there quite a lot...

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                #8
                In one particular spot. But also that opening keyboard motif - Tony came up with that.
                Rabin-esque
                my labor of love (and obsessive research)
                rabinesque.blogspot.com

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                  #9
                  The ending of Hearts and the ending of Awaken have the same ethereal feel. Imagine Yes playing Hearts, and during the softer ending instead of Jon singing 'As we flow down life's riv-errrr' he breaks into 'High vibration go o-o-nnn'. It fits. Also the intro to Changes is Drama-era styled rhythm trickery. I can imagine the Drama lineup doing the intro to Changes.

                  Most of the older Yes styles on 90125 are in the keyboards, but in the soft synth pads, not in 'widdly bits'. The keys are atmospheric rather than in your face. I would say 90125 synth moments are closest to the non-widdly Going For The One keyboards. The guitar department is the furthest out from the earlier Yes sound, and Kaye's organ isn't really prominent. Chris still sounds like Chris but slightly more 'pale' or subdued. He sounds like he's encased in an outer candy shell. The more atmospheric keys, Jon's clear as a bell vocals and Yes vocal harmonies, Alan's more powerful Drama-style drumming and maybe Horn's production are the closest to earlier Yes - but not that earlier. Then-recent elements of GFTO, Tormato and Drama are contained in 90125 but not much earlier sounds like widdly synth solos or acoustic guitar.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
                    The more atmospheric keys, Jon's clear as a bell vocals and Yes vocal harmonies, Alan's more powerful Drama-style drumming and maybe Horn's production are the closest to earlier Yes - but not that earlier. Then-recent elements of GFTO, Tormato and Drama are contained in 90125 but not much earlier sounds like widdly synth solos or acoustic guitar.
                    To me, Our Song sounds like it could have been on Drama . There is even a guitar moment on there that sounds a little like Steve Howe, a rarity for this album.
                    Last edited by Bill M; 05-23-2022, 01:21 PM.

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                      #11
                      Oh yeah, you're right. Our Song does sound like a traditional short Yes track, like something from GFTO-Drama. That brief guitar moment is almost Howe-ish. Forgot to mention Our Song. And It Can Happen - it wouldn't be out of character at all for Howe to use a sitar on a track.

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