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YES 1987 vs 1987

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    YES 1987 vs 1987

    I've noticed that 1987 was a year that not only gave us Big Generator, but also a number of other fine albums from Yes' fellow prog & classic rock type contemporaries. How do you rank Big Generator when compared to these other releases? For those who don't care for Generator, do you like any of these other 1987 albums from any of these other artists here (or ones I didn't list)? What do you think of these 1987 albums? Rank the ones you've heard if you want.

    YES - Big Generator
    PINK FLOYD - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
    RUSH - Hold Your Fire
    JETHRO TULL - Crest Of A Knave
    MARILLION - Clutching At Straws
    FRANK ZAPPA - Jazz From Hell
    BRYAN FERRY - Bete Noir
    THE BEARS -s/t
    DAVID BOWIE - Never Let Me Down
    TANGERINE DREAM - Tyger
    SUPERTRAMP - Free As A Bird
    PRINCE - Sign O' The Times
    SAGA - Wildest Dreams
    THE CARS - Door To Door

    For an era so dismissed by many, I'd say this is a pretty good slab of decent albums!

    #2
    Just the Zappa. There's a few there I'd actually cross the road to avoid....
    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


      #3
      Dead Can Dance's album In The Realm of a Dying Sun and the Grateful Dead's In The Dark also came out in 1987, so add those to Zappa's Jazz From Hell for me and, to quote from an Elbow song, the rest you can keep.
      Last edited by Ash Armstrong; 04-18-2022, 02:19 AM.
      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


        #4
        I'll take R.E.M's Document and Suzanne Vega's Solitude Standing as well. Both released in 1987.

        ​​
        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


          #5
          Rush's Hold Your Fire is great if you take it on its own terms. You want rock n roll or long form songs you need to go someplace else. I disagree w the band on its weak track though,for me that's Lock and Key.The rest of that album is solid gold dancers.

          Prince Sign o the Times is regarded as a masterpiece,and it's really great. Sometimes I feel it's a slight letdown from the hot streak of the prior four records, but really it's still the streak. Hard to say where that streak really stops,but to me it's not the same once you get up around NPG era. Still great but that 80s run is the bomb's bees.

          Big Generator is one I will always champion. It just feels genuine to me, I don't know. Might be my favorite of these four I'm commenting on.

          Momentary Lapse of Reason is, well, we get along ok. But I really only like the two songs. The rest manages to be both musically and lyrically bland and plain. Those two songs are really really good though.

          Kiss put out Crazy Nights that year, the one I just don't get along with. Some strong tracks and stuff, just rubs me the wrong way in the wrong place and I don't want anyone to associate me with it. Somehow I am ok with their other albums. Except Monster, we're not friends.

          Comment


            #6
            Love Sign "O" The Times, but not really much of anything else in that list. I don't particularly care for Door To Door, for example, nor MLoR. But as I've been banging on about BigGen, well, you should know it's my True Love.
            Rabin-esque
            my labor of love (and obsessive research)
            rabinesque.blogspot.com

            Comment


              #7
              I think the first 5 albums listed are all excellent and good examples of prog surviving in the wilderness years. I was 16 in 1987 and just discovering prog - and, in some cases, the prog bands that had survived from the 70s. So for example 'momentary' was my first experience of Floyd and Big Generator was the first Yes album I purchased. And Clutching at Straws got played to death when that came out!

              Of course I was later to discover that Yes, Floyd, Jethro Tull and Rush had all released better albums in the 70s but all those albums still hold a special place in my heart and to be honest it's pretty impossible to be objective about them!! Love them all!

              Comment


                #8
                Bowie’s Never Let Me Down seems ironically titled - it’s easily the worst thing he ever released under his own name. Awful stuff. Still not quite as bad as Big Generator but it’s a close run thing. You’re not saying you think NLMD is a great album, surely?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Chris2210 View Post
                  Bowie’s Never Let Me Down seems ironically titled - it’s easily the worst thing he ever released under his own name. Awful stuff. Still not quite as bad as Big Generator but it’s a close run thing. You’re not saying you think NLMD is a great album, surely?
                  Actually I do like Never Let Me Down. Not saying it's a "great" album, but one I enjoy for some reason. I actually like it better than Tonight and the Labyrinth material and it's possibly equal to Let's Dance. It's a fun, catchy and vibrant album. There are a couple lame tracks there, but all in all I dig it. It's underrated.

                  It's kinda the narrative that it's the worst Bowie album, every magazine and every ranking list has that on the bottom. I know Bowie himself hated it. He even had the song 'Too Dizzy' removed from the album on all reissue versions. I'm not sure what the worst Bowie is, but I'm fine with NLMD - just a fun Bowie pop album with decent vocals that one doesn't have to think too hard about to enjoy. His cover of the Iggy Pop track 'Bang Bang' on there was kinda pointless though.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post
                    Just the Zappa. There's a few there I'd actually cross the road to avoid....
                    I once made a CD-R collection of Zappa's electronic/synclavier works called 'Synclavier Favorites', then realized I used 90% of Jazz From Hell. An acquired taste for some, but you can't go wrong with G-spot Tornado and Night School. The one 'band' track adds variety to an otherwise all-computer album.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Veering slightly off genre but Whitesnake's 1987 and Def Leppard's Hysteria were also from 1987. It's all a matter of taste but I think 1987 was a peak of some sort, much like 1979-81 was for harder hitting prog.

                      I think a lot of very good albums made by artists known for a different sound get unfairly dismissed as just being "the 80s one". Never Let Me Down is a case in point. That album is one of the best sounding albums I have ever heard, full stop. It won't sound like Hunky Dory because it isn't meant to. If you listen to it with the ears that you would approach A Secret Wish by Propaganda or Cupid And Psyche by Scritti Politti it doesn't sound so incongruent.

                      As for Big Generator, it sounds to me like a clear move away from the art-pop ZTT influence of 90125 and more of a grab for the stadium rock sound. Again, if you listen to it in the context of Fragile or Relayer it will be baffling but if you listen to it in the context of Hysteria or 1987 it stands up as a good album of it's time. Isn't that the point of progressive music?

                      An interesting time for sure, some hate but I love it. I wouldn't want all the records ever made to sound like it but you can say the same about any sound.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post

                        Actually I do like Never Let Me Down. Not saying it's a "great" album, but one I enjoy for some reason. I actually like it better than Tonight and the Labyrinth material and it's possibly equal to Let's Dance. It's a fun, catchy and vibrant album. There are a couple lame tracks there, but all in all I dig it. It's underrated.

                        It's kinda the narrative that it's the worst Bowie album, every magazine and every ranking list has that on the bottom. I know Bowie himself hated it. He even had the song 'Too Dizzy' removed from the album on all reissue versions. I'm not sure what the worst Bowie is, but I'm fine with NLMD - just a fun Bowie pop album with decent vocals that one doesn't have to think too hard about to enjoy. His cover of the Iggy Pop track 'Bang Bang' on there was kinda pointless though.
                        I don’t have the Labyrinth album - I wouldn’t count it in Bowie’s officially discography. I would count Buddha of Suburbia and I do think that’s a fine album. I’m not a fan of Let’s Dance, but there is material on it I don’t mind/quite like. Tonight is the one I prefer although it’s almost a ‘contractual obligation’ album. Very little original material on it, but Blue Jean and Loving the Alien are both good and I enjoy all the Iggy recycling and even the customarily vocally over-wrought God Only Knows. It’s one of the greatest songs ever and the different woodwind arrangement rescues it from the overstatement of Bowie’s delivery, which for me is a bit of a lapse in taste.

                        The 80s as a whole and what it did to many of the artists I previously loved meant it was my ‘classical’ decade - which was no bad thing.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I’m not deleting the above, but as I read it back it occurs to me it’s just a very introspective statement of my tastes. I can’t for the life of me come up with a reason why anyone should give a shit.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Bloody hell, that was one nadir of a year.

                            Add to the list of (mostly) awful albums above, the abominations that are Def Leppard's Hysteria and Fleetwood Mac's Tango in the Night.

                            The only halfway decent albums from that year to the best of my recollection:

                            Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
                            Roger Waters - Radio KAOS
                            David Sylvian - Secrets of the Beehive
                            Faith No More - Introduce Yourself
                            Pet Shop Boys - Actually

                            Comment


                              #15
                              For most of the 1980s, I really wasn't listening to very much music outside of classical and some jazz. I was unemployed for four years of that decade, and most of the rock music of the time didn't interest me, and still doesn't, certainly not mainstream. I couldn't afford to go to gigs, so I was burrowing into my local library's classical record collection and reading my way across their shelves of books concerning music and music history.
                              The arrival of music videos and then MTV was a nadir for me with popular music. The only exposure I've had to MTV and its ilk even now was at the University gym in the noughties when it was on most of the time there. Over here satellite TV started in the 80s and was expensive, and that was the only way you could get it in your home (what a terrifying thought), but cable TV didn't start till the mid-90s. I remember well the disruption it caused in the streets, laying fibre-optic cables, causing localised power-cuts on a regular basis, all the noise and dust it caused. The only time I've seen the music videos Yes made at the time was after foolishly buying the 'Video Hits' compilation on VHS sometime in the 90s. That went briskly to a second-hand shop.
                              So, I'm guessing if you were exposed to MTV and other music video channels on a daily basis, that's going to have a formative, however subliminal or not, effect on your tastes and preferences in popular music, but more importantly on what's excluded and passed by. My understanding is that MTV's range was pretty narrow and mostly mainstream, just a stream of ads for current and trending music product really, and of no substance in itself, unless you consider mousse-abuse and eye-liner substantial?
                              What turned me back to non-classical music happened in 1989, when I was introduced to bands like the Cocteaus, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil and the whole 4AD 'darkwave/goth' thing, and there were albums released that caught my ear, Lou Reed's New York was and still is a biggie, Simple Minds' Street Fighting Years was another. Ian McCulloch's Candleland may have been the same year, and Daniel Lanois's beautiful Acadie was. Reed and Cale's Songs For Drella was around the same time, Gabriel's Passion came out in 1989 and appealed to me much more than his So, and I still loathe Sledgehammer, ironically, with a passion. And, of course, the elephant in the room in 1989, and definitely a catalyst in reviving my interest in popular music, was Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. And that was also the year of Dylan's Oh Mercy, and the first 'proper' Ozrics album Pungent Effulgent.
                              So for me, 1989 was a much more interesting year, and not least because it meant that dreadful decade was almost over...
                              Last edited by Ash Armstrong; 04-18-2022, 02:59 AM.
                              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

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