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Current thoughts on Yes and ARW - Missed Opportunities

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    Current thoughts on Yes and ARW - Missed Opportunities

    I attended my first Yesshow on July 24, 1975, near Washington D.C., where they played the entire Relayer album. I wish I had paid closer attention. At 62, it is getting harder and harder to remember that show! I have come to the conclusion over the last 10+ years, that Yes has missed some golden opportunities to keep themselves relevant as something other than a legacy band. Fly From Here was serviceable, but the Benoit David firing was a debacle of bad PR, not to mention the advent of ARW and the subsequent fight/discourse about which band was the “real” Yes. Even ARW was unable to release new material, which was a major letdown, considering the players involved. The disappointment (for me) of Heaven and Earth (2014) as well as the more recent The Quest (2021) albums, has just cemented this evaluation in my mind.

    Case in point; as a fan of both Yes and Kansas, it has been very interesting to see the exact opposite happening with Kansas. Both bands currently only have 2 long term members (Kansas has 2 original members). Both bands have released two albums of new material within the past eight years. For Kansas, the infusion of newer members, most recently, Tom Brislin, has actually invigorated their new material, while staying true to the overall milieu of the band, being immediately recognizable as Kansas music, creating a desire for continued and repeated listening. This is not the case at all for me with the most two recent Yes albums. Similar to recent Yes tours, Kansas has recognized the 40th anniversaries of the Leftoverture and The Point of Know Return albums, by playing them in order, in their entirety, over the last two tours. The difference from Yes is that they have included cuts from the new albums that the fans have had very positive responses to, in addition to taking some deep dives by performing tracks that long time fans can appreciate.

    Unfortunately, the newer Yes material is not what I had hoped new Yes music would be. It seems, in my view, very sedate, lacking the challenging musicianship and vocals that I have come to expect from my favorite band (not to mention another PR nightmare regarding the Ice Bridge's origins). This is quite evident if you happen to peruse music reaction videos of the band’s music on YouTube. It is all very much from the heyday of the band with not much past songs from the Going for the One album. This all fine of course, as this music is what brought me to Yes, and kept me coming back for more. Unfortunately, the recent “more” has only further affirmed for me that the current lineup is nothing more than a legacy band.

    #2
    It’s still a little bit stunning to me how Yes Official and the ARW guys managed to so thoroughly squander the publicity and good will generated by both the R&R HOF induction and the 50th anniversary of the band. Just lame, lame, lame, lame. That’s what big egos and following crappy advice will do for you I guess.
    “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

    Comment


      #3
      I agree that ARW squandered their opportunities, but it was never going to be anything but that. It hurts me to admit it, but there 'tis. Ultimately, sadly, they couldn't rise above their own dysfunction.

      See, when people say things about Steve and Jon just setting their issues aside and getting to work, well...but when you actually have to do the work, the proximity means the issues can't help but resurface. And then you're back to the problem. That's why it's better to keep some people at a distance because you know, from long long long experience, that you just can't work together anymore, and when you're completely old enough to know better, why should you? Life is, indeed, too short. And yeah, the money can be a motivator but sometimes there's not enough money in the world to overcome a dysfunctional environment.
      Rabin-esque
      my labor of love (and obsessive research)
      rabinesque.blogspot.com

      Comment


        #4
        Can fans just "RELAX" with bashing the new YES material already? Geez.

        Who of us is still with the same GIRL (or GUY) they were in 1975? Still have their PARENTS in their lives, that were alive in 1975? Still friends with who they WENT to those YES shows in 1975?

        ​​​​​How many Prime Ministers and Presidents of your respective nations that WERE alive or still in office in 1975, are alive or still in office today?

        1975 is over.

        If you loved that year and the YES catalog up to that time, either enjoy your memories, or go see a show in the year 2022 where YES performs it.

        Some YES fans say "I like that YES still have something to say in their 70s. I'll buy or stream their new music." And that's cool - for those like me who want to hear it, whatever it is, new music after 50+ years from YES "IS" out there.

        But "missed opportunities"???

        This band - the linear path of the Chris Squire legacy - has given you, the self-avowed YES fan on a YES blog, *WAY*, way more than Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Genesis, or even The Beatles gave to THEIR fans across 50 years.

        Let's just have a little "gratitude" for what we have had. Anything EXTRA, is for the consumption and enjoyment of whoever still wants it. And if Trevor, Rick & Jon can't get it together to make a new album, well - A. thank God for 90125 and Fragile, and B- thank God you got 2 years of tours as ARW in their late ages for a victory lap. Me? I love that YES made a new LP at all during a worldwide pandemic, and I'm looking forward to seeing Steve, Alan, Geoff & co. bring a couple new tracks to life alongside the YES music of our youths in 2022.

        "CHANGE, taking places..."
        "Change, we MUST."

        (There's no missed opportunities here. This is YES...and my GOD, what a great, great band.)

        /AgentA\
        -Douglas

        Comment


          #5
          The last thing I want to be is a Yes basher, I was trying to judiciously espouse my opinion without taking others down (hard to do). Point taken, thanks for the reminder to be grateful for what we have.

          Comment


            #6
            Have to agree with my Asia-loving compadre. As an old Yesfan, I am overjoyed by TQ and the continuing new music. What a ride. From being a teenager and thinkin' they were gods who walked the Earth. To havin' a break and then rediscoverin' whole albums that I hadn't known existed. To now being a world weary secularist, a bit disheartened by current world events. But still with a band that constantly surprises and bewilders.

            What are Genesis fans talkin' about? A chair-ridden lead singer. No new music. Led Zep. Nada.

            While we are spoiled for choice in regards to chatting about the guys. And their many offshoot endeavours. DBA is my favourite new discovery and they are about 8 years old or more.

            Anderson keeps pluggin' away in his own sweet way.
            Wish they would do Relayer Live this year but they promise to do it. And I don't doubt that.

            Proud to be a YES fan.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by cwtiren View Post
              The last thing I want to be is a Yes basher, I was trying to judiciously espouse my opinion without taking others down (hard to do).
              But you're not (a basher, that is). Fandom is a spectrum, and fans are all different. There is no one way to a be a fan of anything, and no one has the right to tell you how to do it. It's okay if you're disappointed in what's going on today but that doesn't mean you love Yes as an institution any less. I love this band, and have for decades now, but I don't always enjoy everything they do. But I respect the institution of it and am glad they managed to hang on throughout one of the most contentious and fractious histories a band could ever have.

              I respect that people have whatever feelings they have. I don't think it's too much to ask the same. I'm not a child, I don't need to be lectured.

              To anyone, everyone: don't tell me how to feel, don't tell me I don't love this band. Don't tell me I'm not grateful. You don't know me, but those that do understand my nuanced emotions.
              Last edited by luna65; 03-19-2022, 12:57 PM.
              Rabin-esque
              my labor of love (and obsessive research)
              rabinesque.blogspot.com

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by luna65 View Post

                But you're not. Fandom is a spectrum, and fans are all different. There is no one way to a be a fan of anything, and no one has the right to tell you how to do it. It's okay if you're disappointed in what's going on today but that doesn't mean you love Yes as an institution any less. I love this band, and have for decades now, but I don't always enjoy everything they do. But I respect the institution of it and am glad they managed to hang on throughout one of the most contentious and fractious histories a band could ever have.

                I respect that people have whatever feelings they have. I don't think it's too much to ask the same. I'm not a child, I don't need to be lectured.

                To anyone, everyone: don't tell me how to feel, don't tell me I don't love this band. Don't tell me I'm not grateful. You don't know me, but those that do understand my nuanced emotions.
                What Luna said, twice over.
                Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yeah, ARW was a real letdown, but that was on THEM: The dangled the carrot in front of their fans that there would be a wealth of new, great material that would be released soon. Shame. All we got was the one fan-cleaned-up track that Rabin played on a radio show.

                  Yes fared better, with two "sedate" albums and a delayed EP with Oliver Wakeman on keyboards. At least there were some new tracks. I like 'em all, notably the From A Page and The Quest stuff. Collectively the stuff really isn't as awful as people make it out to be, but it certainly isn't 1975 Yes. Then again, how could it be? There was also the head-scratching move to remix Fly From Here and replace the lead vocals with Trevor Horn, then letting the original version with Benoit David go Out-Of-Print. And letting Steve Howe have a lead vocal?

                  But, you know, there's been an awful lot of Yes-related stuff that has been rather good. All the Billy Sherwood & Chris Squire stuff; World Trade, Circa:, Conspiracy . . .
                  Last edited by pianozach; 03-19-2022, 05:00 PM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I love FFH, like The Quest, and don't mind H&E. I get that some people aren't happy with the output, but I don't see much in the way of missed opportunities, given that Jon and Steve aren't on the same page music-wise.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by cwtiren View Post
                      I attended my first Yesshow on July 24, 1975, near Washington D.C., where they played the entire Relayer album. I wish I had paid closer attention. At 62, it is getting harder and harder to remember that show! I have come to the conclusion over the last 10+ years, that Yes has missed some golden opportunities to keep themselves relevant as something other than a legacy band. Fly From Here was serviceable, but the Benoit David firing was a debacle of bad PR, not to mention the advent of ARW and the subsequent fight/discourse about which band was the “real” Yes. Even ARW was unable to release new material, which was a major letdown, considering the players involved. The disappointment (for me) of Heaven and Earth (2014) as well as the more recent The Quest (2021) albums, has just cemented this evaluation in my mind.

                      Case in point; as a fan of both Yes and Kansas, it has been very interesting to see the exact opposite happening with Kansas. Both bands currently only have 2 long term members (Kansas has 2 original members). Both bands have released two albums of new material within the past eight years. For Kansas, the infusion of newer members, most recently, Tom Brislin, has actually invigorated their new material, while staying true to the overall milieu of the band, being immediately recognizable as Kansas music, creating a desire for continued and repeated listening. This is not the case at all for me with the most two recent Yes albums. Similar to recent Yes tours, Kansas has recognized the 40th anniversaries of the Leftoverture and The Point of Know Return albums, by playing them in order, in their entirety, over the last two tours. The difference from Yes is that they have included cuts from the new albums that the fans have had very positive responses to, in addition to taking some deep dives by performing tracks that long time fans can appreciate.

                      Unfortunately, the newer Yes material is not what I had hoped new Yes music would be. It seems, in my view, very sedate, lacking the challenging musicianship and vocals that I have come to expect from my favorite band (not to mention another PR nightmare regarding the Ice Bridge's origins). This is quite evident if you happen to peruse music reaction videos of the band’s music on YouTube. It is all very much from the heyday of the band with not much past songs from the Going for the One album. This all fine of course, as this music is what brought me to Yes, and kept me coming back for more. Unfortunately, the recent “more” has only further affirmed for me that the current lineup is nothing more than a legacy band.

                      Spot on.

                      ARW were great live but never delivered an album and Yes have delivered two very mediocre albums.

                      I listened to Deep Purple's Infinite - which is a pretty good album and far stronger in substance then TQ.

                      Comment

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