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    YESSOLOS 1975/6 - rank

    This may have been discussed already, but how do you rank the five Yessolos albums between Relayer and Going For The One? At the time, Yes consisted of Anderson/Squire/Howe/Moraz/White. All five then- current members released a solo album in 1975 or 76, so Rick Wakeman 'King Arthur' or 'No Earthly Connection' does not count, as he was not a member at the time and was not on Atlantic, who issued the 5 Yessolos. My list in descending order:

    5) Alan White - Ramshackled. The least Yes-sounding and most 70's/dated still has some good playing on it and some soul/fusion moments. Not really a solo album as he only played drums on it. Also features Jon and Steve on one track. A standout moment: Avakak

    4) Steve Howe - Beginnings. Not the best of vocalists, but nice spring/summery collection of guitar-peppered goodness. Steve Howe plays anything that has strings on it, Moraz Bruford and White all guest. Nice Roger Dean cover, the only Yessolos album with a Dean cover. A standout moment: Will O' The Wisp

    3) Patrick Moraz - I (or 'The Story Of I'). The most flashiest prog-out of the 5 Yessolos," I" is a concept album and the two sides of vinyl run together as one long suite. Brazilian percussion and world music mixed with electric/electronic moments long before Jon Anderson did anything similar. No other Yes guests. To get something like this out of him today would be great. Great virtuoso playing and classical/rock/jazz fusion done up hot. And then there's that note-bendy thing he does. A standout moment: Cachaca

    2) Jon Anderson - Olias Of Sunhillow. Total space. Ethereal music of the heavens. A fantasy film for the ears. The Dark Crystal, maybe. Well, with Jon Anderson I suppose it would be the Light Crystal. And yes, the synth tones do sound like Vangelis or Moraz though Anderson supposedly played all the instruments. He's never made anything as celestial since. A standout moment: Ocean Song

    1) Chris Squire - Fish Out Of Water. Possibly the best Yes solo album period. He could never follow it up. Spent the rest of his life avoiding making a second solo album because Fish Out Of Water was unrepeatable. It's almost a Yes album in all but name. It has the Yes spirit in such a way that even Jon Anderson's non-Yes work couldn't be. Bass, vocals, songs and themes are all up there with the best of anything from the Yes Expanded Universe. The orchestra works to a better effect than the one on Time & A Word. Like with Howe's album, Moraz and Bruford both guest. A standout moment: Safe (Canon Song).

    How do you rank them? Some may put Olias first, I say Fish. Most if not all will put Ramshackled last, but hey, that's not so bad either, really.

    There also was an Atlantic promo album called YESSOLOS which featured two cuts from each solo album that was never officially released to the public, though I forget which songs were on it.

    #2
    Olias
    The Story of I
    Fish Out of Water

    Ramshackled
    Beginnings

    I made a gap between the bottom two as I like them considerably less than the other three. I don't even own copies of them.
    I remember buying Fish Out of Water and Beginnings at the same time. Possibly they were released at the same time? I had to take Fish back to the record shop as the hole was off-centre. I was taken-aback by Beginnings, and that I found it so unappealing, save for the instrumental tracks. I couldn't fathom how Steve Howe, so amazing with the band, came up with a solo album I could barely stand to listen to.
    Actually, I think Ramshackled isn't too bad an album, but the fact that Alan writes none of it, or barely any of it, but puts his name on the cover always bugged me. As he says in the notes, he paid for it so it's his.
    I do like the setting of Blake's poem Spring, from his Songs of Innocence (c.1789), as I'm a big fan of William Blake, and indeed of all the Romantic poets (I did my Master's degree on Byron).
    Fish Out of Water is a fine album, but probably gets more reverence than it merits.
    Olias and The Story of I are wide-screen music-making: adventurous, ambitious, ranging widely and wildly. I love the diversity of Moraz's musical vision over the whole thing, and have never seen it as a collection of songs but as one single piece of music, and for me that's how it works. The 'story' itself can be ignored however: it's nonsense.
    Olias is just Olias. Not of this world, a one-off masterpiece. His master's voice.
    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
      FIsh.
      Olias and I (tie).
      Beginnings.
      Ramshackled.

      Comment


        #4
        1.Beginnings. Had just left school. Was beginning a new job in the new year. Played golf with my Dad most mornings early. Now I sense he knew I'd be moving on and fly the coop. Anyhoo after golf, I'd crank up the old sanyo and blast out Steve's solo album. As said, very summery songs . With cool rythms by Bill, Pat and Alan.

        2. FOOW cool funk. Lucky Seven. Chris' voice. Bit of padding. My brother recently bought the CD secondhand. As he fondly remembered it.

        3. Olias. Spacey. Some soaring vocals. Liked the story. Hated the album cover visuals.

        4. Story of I. Had it on cassette. Played it once. Too wild. Where are the tunes?

        5. Ramshackled. Diverse. Often dull.

        Comment


          #5
          FOOW
          Story of i
          Beginnings
          Olias
          Ramshackled

          The top four mentioned above were all excellent albums in my opinion. They are as good as anything the band has done since the “golden era” (The Yes Album through Going for the One) to my ears. Ramshackled is a solid album, but isn’t bursting with the freshness, creativity, and ambition of the other four albums. This was a great time for Yes fans. I had the pleasure of seeing the 1976 tour while the set list still included solo pieces from each album. They dropped them from the set list and concentrated on Yes songs later in the tour.

          Comment


            #6
            I’ll always put Olias first, it’s not just a great album, but one of the great truly solo albums out there, a one person show whose own shall I say lack of proficiency opened up new sounds and ideas to create something, and for once I will gush here, truly special. FooW is very good, yes, and thoroughly enjoyable in itself. The others I’ve never listened to or never replaced from vinyl, so effectively not listened to in twenty or thirty years. Sorry.

            Comment


              #7
              1. Olias. The Gospel of Tales according to Jon. With just as much padding and great stuff underneath.
              2. Beginnings. More band feel than any of the others, except Ramshackled. Some good songs. Alas Steve lead vocals...
              3. Fish Out Of Water. Time And A Word revisited by Chris. Starts great, but then gets lost in repetetive ‘canon’ stuff.
              4. Ramshackled. Alan still loves blues, but I don’t. Hardly any songs of interest, except when Jon and Steve join in. Coincidence?
              5. The Story Of I. Concept or not, it’s a collection of intros, interludes and outros. But no songs. I need hooks, catchy bits.

              I’d trade them all in for one Yes album, that would have had all the good bits and none of the bad bits.

              Comment


                #8
                01) Fish out of Water
                02) Beginnings
                03) Olias of Sunhillow
                04) Ramschackled
                05) Story of I

                I have tried to get into the Moraz album, but like my fellow Dutchman here above I need hooks, songs and I don't find them in there. I know a lot of people adore Olias, but while I certainly think it's good it;s certainly not my favourite Jon Anderson solo album. That's Song of Seven, followed by Animation, followed by Change We Must. Olias comes fourth.

                Comment


                  #9
                  1. Story of I - feel your inner Brazilian
                  2. Fish out of Water - feel the groove, baby
                  3. Beginnings - feel at one with nature
                  4. Olias - feel spaced out
                  5. Ramshackled - feel yourself

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Olias of Sunhillow
                    Fish Out of Water
                    Ramshackled
                    Beginnings
                    The Story of I

                    Whilst Ramshackle was unexpected from a Yes member, it's been a real grower. It also introduced me to the poetry of Tom Pickard.
                    Begnnings, meanwhile, has slipped down the rankings since I bought it when it came out.
                    Fish Out of Water sees Squire's bass at his best.
                    Olias is naive and more about texure and sound than anything else, but it works - and avoids the excess of Anderson at his mystical worst [eg Awaken]

                    & weren't there about 50 solo Wakeman releases to consider in this period? 😁

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by madbear View Post

                      & weren't there about 50 solo Wakeman releases to consider in this period? 😁
                      .......at least! 😉

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Rick's fourth solo album, No Earthly Connection, came out in 1976.
                        Six Wives was in 1973, Journey 1974, King Arthur 1975.

                        Criminal Record came out in 1977, preceded by the soundtrack album White Rock.

                        ​​​Rhapsodies didn't appear till 1979.

                        So, a little short of '50' during that time....
                        Last edited by Ash Armstrong; 01-04-2022, 08:06 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


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post
                          Rick's fourth solo album, No Earthly Connection, came out in 1976.
                          Six Wives was in 1973, Journey 1974, King Arthur 1975.

                          Criminal Record came out in 1977, preceded by the soundtrack album White Rock.

                          ​​​Rhapsodies didn't appear till 1979.

                          So, a little short of '50' during that time....
                          Lol. Yes. I was just playing along, as in a few threads I’ve been touting my RW appreciation, albeit a bit heavy. Lol. Journey was first RW record I had. On 8-Track!!!!!!!!!!

                          I’m sure ive got about 50 or more now though 😆

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Gtkgasman View Post

                            Lol. Yes. I was just playing along, as in a few threads I’ve been touting my RW appreciation, albeit a bit heavy. Lol. Journey was first RW record I had. On 8-Track!!!!!!!!!!

                            I’m sure ive got about 50 or more now though 😆
                            I think Journey was my first Wakeman LP, but I had Six Wives on cassette. Not sure how I came by it though...
                            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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

                              I think Journey was my first Wakeman LP, but I had Six Wives on cassette. Not sure how I came by it though...
                              I “borrowed” my Journey 8-track from my step bro. He
                              never got it back. 😂😂. Karma got me - my player ate it 😥😊

                              Comment

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