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    A New Album- Direction

    According to Henry's site Yes have already begun working on a new Album- with orchestrations again. I think Steve has mentioned he hopes they will all be working in the same room, unlike The Quest which was done remotely. This will be a big help- at least you would think so. This brings me to what direction the album might take. Personally the last two albums haven't done much for me. After FFH being somewhat of a return to form, although no CTTE or Relayer, it had lovely melodies and was almost "pastorale". H&E was probably the "lightest" Yes album with more AOR than prog. I listened to it maybe 3 times and that when it came out. There was also a reason why the Quest scored highly in the more disappointing albums in the Prog polls. On the one hand Yes have nothing to prove and if Steve and Co are happy to put out albums like the Quest thats fine- however, as a fan I would like something edgier- certainly the playing and sounds on the Quest showed promise. I remember reading a interview with Steve from around the time of H&E, that they should be looking at tracks like Turn of the Century- certainly its up there as one of my favourites, yet he also said at some point trying to do CTTE 2 would end up being a pastiche, which might be somewhat true- However, imho, when I listen to Oldfield's Tubular Bells 2, I think its superior to the original. Perhaps what they could do is not just play CTTE on this tour- but to listen to it- to Relayer and GFTO, deconstruct them and look at why these albums worked and why H&E and the Quest were less than well received by hard core prog fans. In the latest interview with Geoff and Steve Geoff does talk about he complexity of the music on CTTE and Relayer and the challenges of that music- and thats what drew he to Yes as a college student. I have posted before that I think CIRCA 1 is probably a better Yes album than anything put out since Talk, and perhaps a more collaborative approach might be productive. Then again, its their call- they have brought me much musical joy- and I can find something on every album that is enjoyable.

    #2
    Personally I am in the other boat. I kind of don’t want them looking back at 50 year old albums and trying to impress people who refer to themselves as “Prog fans”. I like that the quest doesn’t sound like they are trying to be “proggy”, it just seems like it was created organically and without motives. The last thing I want to hear from Yes is Keys to Ascension 3. I want to hear where they are at in the here and now, and not trying to fit into the confines of what the prog box has become. Making music with intentions like that always comes off as hollow and without substance because it’s an academic exercise at that point. All the time signature changes and polyrhythms in the world can’t mask a lack of true inspiration. Good music has to come about organically, and almost by accident. Just my two cents of course. I’ll be ready to listen no matter what.
    Last edited by Chrisklenox; 06-16-2022, 07:27 PM.

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      #3
      TB3>TB2> TB


      Been listenin' a lot to Oldfield this year. I think he learnt some lessons esp. in arrangin'. TB has a throw everythin' into the mix and see what sticks kind of approach. Hergest Ridge is a lot calmer and flows better. TB2 the same. By TB3 he added beautiful hindi singin' and Ibiiza dance grooves.

      So you can evolve.

      The direction to continue would be in creatin' powerful and dramatic rock music. In the vein of TIB. Yet YES has a broad palette that can also contain FM.

      After Steve retires natural attrition in audiences will probably mean an end to the band as it is today.
      Arc of Life should take over. They can play a few YES songs to scratch that itch and drag a few old fans in.

      As for a band like Little River Band with no original members. They are suckin' on the teat of American country rock music market. Huge. They never bother tourin' here. Not even heard of down here anymore. Keith Urban does the occasional tour if Nicole is filmin' down here.

      Juano won me over with his songs on TQ but would have to continue that strongly for a Howe-less band to continue.
      Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 06-16-2022, 07:44 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Chrisklenox View Post
        Personally I am in the other boat. I kind of don’t want them looking back at 50 year old albums and trying to impress people who refer to themselves as “Prog fans”. I like that the quest doesn’t sound like they are trying to be “proggy”, it just seems like it was created organically and without motives. The last thing I want to hear from Yes is Keys to Ascension 3. I want to hear where they are at in the here and now, and not trying to fit into the confines of what the prog box has become. Making music with intentions like that always comes off as hollow and without substance because it’s an academic exercise at that point. All the time signature changes and polyrhythms in the world can’t mask a lack of true inspiration. Good music has to come about organically, and almost by accident. Just my two cents of course. I’ll be ready to listen no matter what.
        That about sums it up for me. An album of only mellow songs is alright by me, as long as they have interesting hooks and engaging melodies.
        Obviously I would prefer the hooks and melodies combined with some harder rocking stuff and some experimentation, but that ship has sailed.
        Anyway, ever the optimist I see an improvement on The Quest after Heaven & Earth. If they manage to put in a little more variation within the songs, and not be too easily satisfied with one or two themes, then I’d be very happy.

        Comment


          #5
          I dont necessarily disagree with you Chrisklenox. I wasnt suggesting a prog album by numbers- rather that a review of those albums was more about finding the inspiration- Tracks like Turn of the Century are sublime because of the arrangement, not due to multiple tempo changes for the sake of it. The songs on H&E were, for me, average fare- I didnt hear a lot of inspired writing or arrangements, very middle of the road AOR- perhaps Subway Walls and the opening track- had a bit of a spark- but for a band like Yes-as the late Mr White often said- Yes were a band looking over the horizon- perhaps the Quest was an attempt to get back on that road- As I say if they want to write and release these more mellow albums thats ok too- however as a musician I became used to being challenged by Yes- I have found some more recent prog bands that do both- great melodies and great playing- so I can accept Yes doing what they seem to be doing now-

          Comment


            #6
            No disrespect to Alan, but I think a lot is made out of his "looking over the horizon" line… I mean, did they? Always? I think they did up to Relayer, and then did again in a different way with 90125, but after that, there are albums of refinement, regrouping, synthesis — not that there's anything wrong with that! Some of those are even very successful — The Ladder, I'd say, is a great synthesis of many styles and vocabularies in the band's catalog that doesn't necessarily add anything new, but sure sounds great. But they're not going to reinvent themselves or the band's sound at this point.

            But I'm a simple man, all I really want from a new album are some good songs that are fun to play, fun enough that they'd enjoy taking them on the road and presenting them to the world as the Yes of 2020+.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Homemade Parachute View Post
              No disrespect to Alan, but I think a lot is made out of his "looking over the horizon" line… I mean, did they? Always? I think they did up to Relayer, and then did again in a different way with 90125, but after that, there are albums of refinement, regrouping, synthesis — not that there's anything wrong with that! Some of those are even very successful — The Ladder, I'd say, is a great synthesis of many styles and vocabularies in the band's catalog that doesn't necessarily add anything new, but sure sounds great. But they're not going to reinvent themselves or the band's sound at this point.

              But I'm a simple man, all I really want from a new album are some good songs that are fun to play, fun enough that they'd enjoy taking them on the road and presenting them to the world as the Yes of 2020+.
              I like your perspective, and I agree with your take.
              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


                #8
                Controversial Proposition:

                Should the boys consider making use of an external lyricist on a future album of new material?

                It worked well for King Crimson (Peter Sinfield & Richard Palmer-James), Procul Harum (Keith Reid) & the Grateful Dead (Robert Hunter & John Perry Barlow).

                I've listened to The Quest several times this week, which is more than I have up to this year so far, and what struck me is none of the present participants would know a good song lyric if it bit them on the nose.
                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
                  Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post
                  Controversial Proposition:

                  Should the boys consider making use of an external lyricist on a future album of new material?

                  It worked well for King Crimson (Peter Sinfield & Richard Palmer-James), Procul Harum (Keith Reid) & the Grateful Dead (Robert Hunter & John Perry Barlow).

                  I've listened to The Quest several times this week, which is more than I have up to this year so far, and what struck me is none of the present participants would know a good song lyric if it bit them on the nose.
                  That makes perfect sense if you rate the lyrics in a song as high as the music, which many people do.
                  For me it’s music, music, music, and then lyrics. So the lack of engaging lyrics is the least of my worries.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post
                    Controversial Proposition:

                    Should the boys consider making use of an external lyricist on a future album of new material?

                    It worked well for King Crimson (Peter Sinfield & Richard Palmer-James), Procul Harum (Keith Reid) & the Grateful Dead (Robert Hunter & John Perry Barlow).

                    I've listened to The Quest several times this week, which is more than I have up to this year so far, and what struck me is none of the present participants would know a good song lyric if it bit them on the nose.
                    I think it's an iffy proposition: Peter Sinfield's words could be pretty good, or, uh, somewhat less… (looking at you, "Ladies…"). Some of the words John Helmer brought to early Hogarth-era Marillion were better, including the quite insane "Cannibal Surf Babe"; Helmer at least provided some time for Hogarth to find his own voice *in the quantity required* to produce an album a year in those days. But then again, after more than 30 years at the helm, Hogarth remains perfectly capable of torpedoing his own efforts from time to time, and turning "yes!" into "yeesh…"

                    I would certainly prefer better lyrics; bad words can rip me out of a song no matter how good the music is, and to be honest, as much as I enjoyed The Quest, the music isn't enough to cover for the dodgy words, but I remain hopeful: almost nothing lyrically on Heaven & Earth convinced me, so, progress! But whether any of them have it in them to get out of their ruts and tics, at their respective ripe old ages, is perhaps unlikely. Lyrically, I thought "The Ice Bridge" was a mess, "Dare to Know" ok, "A Living Island" and (surprisingly!) "Damaged World" quite good, if upset by a fatal conclusion in ALI's case, "Mystery Tour" best not spoken of at all, and much of the rest pretty forgettable.

                    But your point about "not knowing a good song lyric" is indeed it: that's not the same as "being all terrible", and in this case, I don't think they actually *do* recognize when they have something good and worth developing and when they don't, so parts of ALI are interesting and actually touching, and if they'd seen that for what it was, they may have avoided the ending, much to the betterment and longevity of the song.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by The sage View Post
                      I dont necessarily disagree with you Chrisklenox. I wasnt suggesting a prog album by numbers- rather that a review of those albums was more about finding the inspiration- Tracks like Turn of the Century are sublime because of the arrangement, not due to multiple tempo changes for the sake of it. The songs on H&E were, for me, average fare- I didnt hear a lot of inspired writing or arrangements, very middle of the road AOR- perhaps Subway Walls and the opening track- had a bit of a spark- but for a band like Yes-as the late Mr White often said- Yes were a band looking over the horizon- perhaps the Quest was an attempt to get back on that road- As I say if they want to write and release these more mellow albums thats ok too- however as a musician I became used to being challenged by Yes- I have found some more recent prog bands that do both- great melodies and great playing- so I can accept Yes doing what they seem to be doing now-
                      I get what you mean for sure! Just to clarify, my prog by numbers comments were not directed so much at you, but more a general statement about what I would want them to avoid. I think if they look back at things, even something like Turnof The Century, it’s easy to fall into the trap of ticking boxes when composing and arranging. The intent may not be paint by numbers necessarily, but it’s bound to happen when looking at old work for new inspiration.

                      I see what you mean about Heaven and Earth in the context of what I was saying as well and agree. It’s not exactly the most inspired writing, generally, though there’s a few exceptions. The Quest and From a Page both seem pretty inspired to me, by and large. I would be happy to see them keep going down that road… will be interesting to see what kind of album they make all in the same room again, too.

                      On a side note, I find The Quest that much more impressive because it was done remotely. Emailing in a solo or harmony vocals here and there is one thing, but creating a band album remotely that sounds like a band is very hard to do, and I think Steve deserves major props for pulling it off *well* as a producer.
                      Last edited by Chrisklenox; 06-17-2022, 10:59 AM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Homemade Parachute View Post

                        I think it's an iffy proposition: Peter Sinfield's words could be pretty good, or, uh, somewhat less… (looking at you, "Ladies…"). Some of the words John Helmer brought to early Hogarth-era Marillion were better, including the quite insane "Cannibal Surf Babe"; Helmer at least provided some time for Hogarth to find his own voice *in the quantity required* to produce an album a year in those days. But then again, after more than 30 years at the helm, Hogarth remains perfectly capable of torpedoing his own efforts from time to time, and turning "yes!" into "yeesh…"

                        I would certainly prefer better lyrics; bad words can rip me out of a song no matter how good the music is, and to be honest, as much as I enjoyed The Quest, the music isn't enough to cover for the dodgy words, but I remain hopeful: almost nothing lyrically on Heaven & Earth convinced me, so, progress! But whether any of them have it in them to get out of their ruts and tics, at their respective ripe old ages, is perhaps unlikely. Lyrically, I thought "The Ice Bridge" was a mess, "Dare to Know" ok, "A Living Island" and (surprisingly!) "Damaged World" quite good, if upset by a fatal conclusion in ALI's case, "Mystery Tour" best not spoken of at all, and much of the rest pretty forgettable.

                        But your point about "not knowing a good song lyric" is indeed it: that's not the same as "being all terrible", and in this case, I don't think they actually *do* recognize when they have something good and worth developing and when they don't, so parts of ALI are interesting and actually touching, and if they'd seen that for what it was, they may have avoided the ending, much to the betterment and longevity of the song.
                        Yeah, those lyrics at the end of ALI are like what a 5th grader might write, but the first part of the song actually works nicely. I have considered going into a wav editor and making that coda an instrumental section with a fade-out.

                        I would be ok with what Ash suggested about an external lyricist. To be honest, the band could have started getting help in that department from 1978 onward. I definitely don’t listen to post GFTO Yes for the quality of the lyrics. Not saying it’s all bad, but they have been hit or miss there for decades, and some of the misses are truly horrifying. I’d love to see someone like Robyn Hitchcock write lyrics for the band.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Time to retire “Yes”, and call it a day (a wonderfully long and great day) after this 50th CTTE tour. There is no sense carrying on like this.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I'd be potentially quite interested in the involvement of an external lyricist (depending on what they write, of course!) While not necessarily wishing to go backwards, I do miss the vagueness, or lack of precision in wording, in some of the earlier tracks. I would quite like to enjoy that kind of approach again, which draws me into the experience of a song more, if someone were to do it well.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Susanne View Post
                              I'd be potentially quite interested in the involvement of an external lyricist (depending on what they write, of course!) While not necessarily wishing to go backwards, I do miss the vagueness, or lack of precision in wording, in some of the earlier tracks. I would quite like to enjoy that kind of approach again, which draws me into the experience of a song more, if someone were to do it well.
                              Same! It’s a fleeting thing to be able to write in that manner though. See Bob Dylan, Syd Barrett, and Jon Anderson.

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