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Prog Readers' Poll 2021

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    Prog Readers' Poll 2021

    The new issue of Prog contains the results of their annual Readers' Poll. There's a quite good showing for the current Yes band and a few former members.

    Yes came 10th in the Band category, which was won by Big Big Train (King Crimson came 6th). Howe was 7th in Guitarist, which was won by Steve Hackett, Downes was 7th in Keyboardist (won by John Young) and Davison, 9th in Male Vocalist (won by the recently passed away David Longdon, of Big Big Train and who guested with DBA). However, The Quest came 4th in the Disappointment category! The Disappointment category was "won" by cancelled live shows, with price rises due to Brexit coming second.

    Yes alumni do less well. This is the first time in a while that Rick Wakeman hasn't made the Keyboardist top ten. However, Tony Levin did win in the Bassist category, with Lee Pomeroy coming 7th. In terms of other associates of the band, Steven Wilson's The Future Bites came 7th in the Album category (won by Big Big Train's Common Ground), but it was also 6th in the Disappointment category. Wilson was also 6th in Person of 2021 (also won by Longdon). Burning Shed came 7th in the Unsung Hero category (won by Octavia Brown).

    #2
    I also noticed a list of Prog Magazine's top 20 albums of 2021 and The Quest did not make the top 20. Notable, as Prog Magazine adores Yes. Kind of a surprise to see Wakeman off the list, but I can't think of any material he released in 2021. John Young is a great keyboard player but I also don't know what his activity was in 2021. I believe John Young was a member of Asia for about 5 minutes some years ago, wasn't he?
    I understand the band and a number of fans here are pleased with the Quest. I still have not seen any information on total sales of the album. I've only seen the chart information. But it didn't get a lot of ardent buzz from the likes of Prog Magazine, it just seemed that a common assessment was that it was not as bad as the previous release.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by True View Post
      Kind of a surprise to see Wakeman off the list, but I can't think of any material he released in 2021.
      You probably pushed it unconsciously out of your mind. Most of us did...



      Comment


        #4
        John Young's band Lifesigns released their third studio album, Altitude, in 2021 and might fine it is.
        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
          Originally posted by True View Post
          I also noticed a list of Prog Magazine's top 20 albums of 2021
          That was their Critics' Choice.

          Originally posted by True View Post
          Kind of a surprise to see Wakeman off the list, but I can't think of any material he released in 2021.
          Not much. There's been some archival stuff. In terms of new recordings, he's on one track each of myndstream Collection, Vol. 1, Animals Reimagined – A Tribute to Pink Floyd, A Tribute to Pink Floyd – Still Wish You Were Here, and Badfinger's No Matter What - Revisiting the Hits.

          Originally posted by True View Post
          John Young is a great keyboard player but I also don't know what his activity was in 2021. I believe John Young was a member of Asia for about 5 minutes some years ago, wasn't he?
          Yes. He's part of Lifesigns, who've found critical acclaim and released Altitude this year.

          Comment


            #6
            My goodness, I forgot that Altitude was a 2021 release - somehow it seems longer ago to me than that!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by True View Post
              My goodness, I forgot that Altitude was a 2021 release - somehow it seems longer ago to me than that!
              John Young is also the keyboard player in Bonnie Tyler's band, has been for a while now. They toured Europe in 2021.
              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
                Originally posted by True View Post
                I also noticed a list of Prog Magazine's top 20 albums of 2021 and The Quest did not make the top 20.
                That almost sounds like the magazine is just trying to get noticed or rile people up. I'll admit, The Quest is not in Yes' upper-half of albums quality wise, but I think defacto by being an okay album put out by Yes in 2021, it's got to be in Prog Magazine's Top 20 for the year if they are being honest and don't have an ulterior motives.

                Yes is the last truly popular mainstream 70s era prog band still recording new music, and they dominates discussion everywhere prog rock is discussed. After a long seven year wait, they improved on their last album and created some memorable songs, even if their refusal to do a album with stronger rock and roll elements is a tad frustrating.

                My guess is that most of us wouldn't recognize a lot of names on the list from the magazine, which is fine if it's a list of underrated albums from groups you may not be familiar with that they think you should give a try, but sort of seems like a signifier of pretentiousness and cliquishness in this context. They picked the right sub-genre to take that type of attitude with (At least some publications less favorably disposed to the sub-genre might say so), but still, not cool.

                I actually kind of understand listing it as a disappointment (Which they did), but I don't think that's mutually exclusive with also listing it as one of the top 20 prog albums of the year, which they also should have done (i.e. It's a good album but maybe not as good as they were hoping would be a fine "take" on it IMO).

                Did Glass Hammer's Skallagrim: Into the Breach, or Arc of Life's Arc of Life, make their list? Those strike me as albums that definitely belong in a Top 20 of 2021 prog albums from where I stand, but have reasons a magazine like Prog might use to unjustly strike them from the list.
                Last edited by downbyariver; 01-02-2022, 01:44 PM.
                "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by downbyariver View Post

                  That almost sounds like the magazine is just trying to get noticed or rile people up. I'll admit, The Quest is not in Yes' upper-half of albums quality wise, but I think defacto by being an okay album put out by Yes in 2021, it's got to be in Prog Magazine's Top 20 for the year if they are being honest and don't have an ulterior motives.

                  Yes is the last truly popular mainstream 70s era prog band still recording new music, and they dominates discussion everywhere prog rock is discussed. After a long seven year wait, they improved on their last album and created some memorable songs, even if their refusal to do a album with stronger rock and roll elements is a tad frustrating.

                  My guess is that most of us wouldn't recognize a lot of names on the list from the magazine, which is fine if it's a list of underrated albums from groups you may not be familiar with that they think you should give a try, but sort of seems like a signifier of pretentiousness and cliquishness in this context. They picked the right sub-genre to take that type of attitude with (At least some publications less favorably disposed to the sub-genre might say so), but still, not cool.

                  I actually kind of understand listing it as a disappointment (Which they did), but I don't think that's mutually exclusive with also listing it as one of the top 20 prog albums of the year, which they also should have done (i.e. It's a good album but maybe not as good as they were hoping would be a fine "take" on it IMO).

                  Did Glass Hammer's Skallagrim: Into the Breach, or Arc of Life's Arc of Life, make their list? Those strike me as albums that definitely belong in a Top 20 of 2021 prog albums from where I stand, but have reasons a magazine like Prog might use to unjustly strike them from the list.
                  Yeah the Quest deserves more credit, its a fine album to me, more than fine actually, its a damn good album. Shame it hasn't been given more recognition.
                  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-

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The Quest is a very good album that really hit the spot after such a long time without a full length album. I suppose it could be considered a disappointment if Prog were looking for more razzle-dazzle in their Yes, but the Yes spirit/sound/soul is pretty much there. A rich tapestry of sound. Maybe it did need some more edge, but I haven't played it to death yet so it's still unfolding for me. Need more Billy Sherwood moments. I'm overall happier with it than some people are. Sometimes you have to go into the music instead of just focusing on its outer shell, or what it doesn't sound like or what it's supposed to sound like or what we want it to sound like. I like The Quest.

                    Last year I also checked out Lifesigns 'Altitude', yes - pretty fine album, reminds me of a little of Frost*, Kino or Mark Kelly's Marathon modern neo prog kinda stuff. I'll have to get the other ones, I think he's made three?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      There are three Lifesigns studio albums:
                      Lifesigns
                      Cardington
                      Altitude

                      And a live album with a DVD: Under the Bridge.

                      Both Cardington and Altitude reflect John Young's interest in aviation, and his background in the industry. Cardington refers to the airfield where the airship hangers for the R101 are. They're still there, and still in use. They can be seen from the Sheffield-London train.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardin...ld?wprov=sfla1
                      Last edited by Ash Armstrong; 01-03-2022, 01:35 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


                        #12
                        Thanks for the info. Aviation and flight seem to be a common interest among a lot of artists. John Young was with John Wetton's band too, I remember. I think he's on an album or two from the great Wetton. I managed to catch part of John Young's solo performance at ROS fest in Pennsylvania in 2006 or 7, but it didn't register on my radar back then. My ears did perk up with Lifesigns Altitude, though. Last One Home was performed with Wetton on the one-off Qango live album.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by downbyariver View Post

                          That almost sounds like the magazine is just trying to get noticed or rile people up. I'll admit, The Quest is not in Yes' upper-half of albums quality wise, but I think defacto by being an okay album put out by Yes in 2021, it's got to be in Prog Magazine's Top 20 for the year if they are being honest and don't have an ulterior motives.

                          Yes is the last truly popular mainstream 70s era prog band still recording new music, and they dominates discussion everywhere prog rock is discussed. After a long seven year wait, they improved on their last album and created some memorable songs, even if their refusal to do a album with stronger rock and roll elements is a tad frustrating.

                          My guess is that most of us wouldn't recognize a lot of names on the list from the magazine, which is fine if it's a list of underrated albums from groups you may not be familiar with that they think you should give a try, but sort of seems like a signifier of pretentiousness and cliquishness in this context. They picked the right sub-genre to take that type of attitude with (At least some publications less favorably disposed to the sub-genre might say so), but still, not cool.

                          I actually kind of understand listing it as a disappointment (Which they did), but I don't think that's mutually exclusive with also listing it as one of the top 20 prog albums of the year, which they also should have done (i.e. It's a good album but maybe not as good as they were hoping would be a fine "take" on it IMO).

                          Did Glass Hammer's Skallagrim: Into the Breach, or Arc of Life's Arc of Life, make their list? Those strike me as albums that definitely belong in a Top 20 of 2021 prog albums from where I stand, but have reasons a magazine like Prog might use to unjustly strike them from the list.
                          Do you subscribe to Prog magazine? I do and looking at the reviews they have done over the last year, I don’t find their top 20 at all surprising. It’s based on opinions across all of their contributors.

                          As with this forum, it’s all about opinions. Just because they haven’t listed albums that you think should be in the top 20 doesn’t mean they have ulterior motives. They just have different opinions than you and I can’t see any issue with that. For what it’s worth, I agree with your view on Glass Hammer but would view Arc of Life as mostly disappointing.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What else is on the list? The only prog albums from 2021 I heard that I liked both had Neal Morse.
                            “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My personal top ten for 2021 is something like this:

                              Curtis Harding-If Words Were Flowers
                              Iron Maiden-Senjutsu
                              Transatlantic-The Absolute Universe
                              The Umbrellas-S/T
                              Mastodon-Hushed and Grim
                              Jennifer O’Connor-Born At The Disco
                              Lindsey Buckingham-S/T
                              Robert Plant & Alison Krauss-Raise The Roof
                              Elbow-Flying Dream 1
                              Damon Albarn-The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows
                              “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

                              Comment

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