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Ranking the Yes Studio Albums

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    #16
    1. 90125
    2. Big Generator
    3. The Yes Album
    4. Fragile
    5. Close to the Edge
    6. Drama
    7. Tales from the Topographic Oceans
    8. Going for the One
    9. Magnification
    10. Union
    11. Fly From Here (2011)
    12. Talk
    13. Time and a Word
    14. Yes
    15. The Ladder
    16. Open Your Eyes
    17. The Quest
    18. Tormato
    19. Relayer
    20. Heaven and Earth
    21. Keys to Ascension

    The studio portions of From a Page aren't listed because it isn't an album (More of an EP), and ABWH isn't listed because it isn't a Yes album. I like both. I felt I should mention that lest people infer that by omitting them, I was implying a negative evaluation of their content. I think their content is very good, it just doesn't fit in the category of what we're ranking as I see it. If it did, both might be somewhere in the middle portion of my list.

    Keys to Ascension is handled as one album of studio tracks, with the live portions of each album ignored and the studio stuff merged into one hypothetical album (Which actually was released later as Keystudio, but Keys to Ascension is a better name, and what I actually have to listen to.) for the purpose of ranking it. There are a lot of different ways that could handled. I made a judgement call that fits best with the way I normally think about how the material fits in with the overall Yes continuity.
    Last edited by downbyariver; 11-26-2021, 06:34 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


      #17
      I like your list, a great opening-couple for example, and I even forgive you that you put The Quest higher than Relayer:-) But where is Tormato?

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by PeterCologne View Post
        I like your list, a great opening-couple for example, and I even forgive you that you put The Quest higher than Relayer:-) But where is Tormato?
        Oops. Fixed it.
        "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


          #19
          Originally posted by Dantalion Rides Again View Post

          Bonus round:
          Non make-up years ranked:
          1. Asylum
          2. Lick It Up
          3. Animalize
          4. Hot In The Shade
          5. Revenge
          6. Carnival Of Souls
          7. Crazy Nights
          1. Carnival of Souls
          2. Revenge
          3. Lick It Up
          4. Animalize
          5. Crazy Nights
          6. Hot in the Shade
          7. Asylum

          In case anyone is wondering what we're doing, these are KISS albums released during the period of time that began in the early 80s and continued into the mid-90s where they didn't wear their tradional facepaint.

          Though technically a face paint era album and thus not listed, I would also suggest that people who decide to listen to KISS stuff from this era, if they enjoy it, also check out Creatures of the Night, which is musically similar to what came afterward. It's reminscent of the way the final Jefferson Starship album before they became Starship, Nuclear Furniture, sounds very similar to a Starship album in some respects. The music evolved just a tad more quivkly than the makeup and name changes.
          "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


            #20
            Originally posted by downbyariver View Post
            In case anyone is wondering what we're doing, these are KISS albums released during the period of time that began in the early 80s and continued into the mid-90s where they didn't wear their tradional facepaint.
            This is what Yes really needed, c. 1974/76: face paint. Would Moraz have inherited Wakeman’s, or got his own? Anderson was clearly a star child of some kind, but what kind, exactly?

            Man, they coulda been big, they coulda been contenders…

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by Homemade Parachute View Post

              This is what Yes really needed, c. 1974/76: face paint. Would Moraz have inherited Wakeman’s, or got his own? Anderson was clearly a star child of some kind, but what kind, exactly?

              Man, they coulda been big, they coulda been contenders…
              Didn't Jon wear some kind of face-paint on his eyes around the time of Big Herniator? Pretty sure Chris and Rabin used eyeliner as well, though not as much as David Coverdale around the same time....
              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


                #22
                Originally posted by Homemade Parachute View Post

                This is what Yes really needed, c. 1974/76: face paint. Would Moraz have inherited Wakeman’s, or got his own? Anderson was clearly a star child of some kind, but what kind, exactly?

                Man, they coulda been big, they coulda been contenders…
                I always disliked when KISS started passing down previous members' makeups and personas. The first couple personnel changes they did (and maybe one or two after that), they gave the new guys their own makeup and personas. Later, they just began handing out the old characters and makeup like the Mickey Mouse costume at Disney World.

                I consider, for example, actually giving their current guitarist Ace Frehley's "Spaceman" persona and makeup kind of disrespectful to both Ace and to their current guitarist, who is actually very good and has been with them for a while. I understand it's KISS and the nostalgia involves having white face makeup and some sort of persona or nickname, but they still do that without copying the exact nicknames and face paint patterns of the originals. Like, I think Vinny Vincent was "The Ankha Warrior" and their second drummer switched from the first drummer's "cat" thing to a "fox" thing. They should have just kept doing that after emerging from their makeup-less phase- the new guys have to have a nickname and face paint, but they can be creative and original within those boundaries.

                As long time readers on the old yesfans probably recall, I strongly support old bands carrying on with new members as long as they are still producing new music as the band (Which KISS was doing up to 2012, but seems to have stopped doing...), so it's not that I have a thing in the world against new people joining and carrying on as KISS (Other than the lack of new music) or any other band. It just gets a little weird to me if they actually start like absorbing the nicknames and stuff of the people they are replacing. It's okay not to be the Spaceman and still play guitar for KISS.

                Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

                Didn't Jon wear some kind of face-paint on his eyes around the time of Big Herniator? Pretty sure Chris and Rabin used eyeliner as well, though not as much as David Coverdale around the same time....
                You may be thinking of the video for ABWH's "Brother of Mine", where members of ABWH dress up in Native American or pseudo-Native American "war paint" (It's also possible that it was Indigenous Australian paint. The native Australian concept of "dreamtime" sometimes gets referred to as "the big dream", but one or more Native American cultures believe life is a big dream. So, it's hard for me to say.). Watching the video now, it feels uncomfortably similar to blackface, but I think the intent was that it be a gesture of respect to Native culture and some of the tribes' spiritual spiritual beliefs about the oneness of humanity (Among other things), despite perhaps some tone deaf decision making about how to translate that intent into a music video.



                Disclaimer: Video embedded for potential discussion of the historical context of certain costuming decisions and does not constitute an endorsement of said choices.
                Last edited by downbyariver; 11-27-2021, 11:55 AM.
                "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


                  #23
                  Originally posted by downbyariver View Post

                  I always disliked when KISS started passing down previous members' makeups and personas. The first couple personnel changes they did (and maybe one or two after that), they gave the new guys their own makeup and personas. Later, they just began handing out the old characters and makeup like the Mickey Mouse costume at Disney World.

                  I consider, for example, actually giving their current guitarist Ace Frehley's "Spaceman" persona and makeup kind of disrespectful to both Ace and to their current guitarist, who is actually very good and has been with them for a while. I understand it's KISS and the nostalgia involves having white face makeup and some sort of persona or nickname, but they still do that without copying the exact nicknames and face paint patterns of the originals. Like, I think Vinny Vincent was "The Ankha Warrior" and their second drummer switched from the first drummer's "cat" thing to a "fox" thing. They should have just kept doing that after emerging from their makeup-less phase- the new guys have to have a nickname and face paint, but they can be creative and original within those boundaries.

                  As long time readers on the old yesfans probably recall, I strongly support old bands carrying on with new members as long as they are still producing new music as the band (Which KISS was doing up to 2012, but seems to have stopped doing...), so it's not that I have a thing in the world against new people joining and carrying on as KISS (Other than the lack of new music) or any other band. It just gets a little weird to me if they actually start like absorbing the nicknames and stuff of the people they are replacing. It's okay not to be the Spaceman and still play guitar for KISS.



                  You may be thinking of the video for ABWH's "Brother of Mine", where members of ABWH dress up in Native American or pseudo-Native American "war paint". Watching the video now, it feels uncomfortably similar to blackface, but I think the intent was that it be a gesture of respect to Native American culture some of the tribes' spiritual beliefs about the oneness of humanity, despite perhaps some tone deaf decision making about how to translate that intent into a music video.



                  Disclaimer: Video embedded for potential discussion of the historical context of certain costuming decisions and does not constitute an endorsement of said choices.
                  No, I'm not thinking of the ABWH video. I'm talking about on stage, in performance.
                  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


                    #24
                    Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

                    No, I'm not thinking of the ABWH video. I'm talking about on stage, in performance.
                    Click image for larger version

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                    Always this gem from Gowan's Moonlight Desires…

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by Ash Armstrong View Post

                      No, I'm not thinking of the ABWH video. I'm talking about on stage, in performance.
                      A really quick look around YouTube is ambiguous. I see one video where Jon is either wearing sunglasses or has a little paint around his eyes. It's amateur footage, though, and doesn't provide any closeups that would allow me to really in enough detail to know which of the two things it actually was.

                      I'll bet luna65 could answer this one off the top of her head.

                      BTW, just as an aside, does referencing someone's username like that (With the @ symbol and exact screen name) here generate an automatic notification to said user so she (in this case) can pop by and read and, if she desires to, respond to the conversation? Or is a reference just a reference? I've heard of forums and social media that work each way.
                      Last edited by downbyariver; 11-27-2021, 12:43 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


                        #26
                        This one. Might not be BG,
                        Attached Files
                        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


                          #27
                          Jon did paint his face for The BIG Tour, although I don't know if it was all the time. When they filmed the show in Philly he was wearing it, I believe. Also, I don't think the other guys wore makeup unless they were being filmed.
                          Last edited by luna65; 11-27-2021, 12:29 PM.
                          Rabin-esque
                          my labor of love (and obsessive research)
                          rabinesque.blogspot.com

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Ash is right, and it is the BG-tour, one can see it here for example aoround minute 24 or 34...

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTsLkG62GJg

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by downbyariver View Post


                              Though technically a face paint era album and thus not listed, I would also suggest that people who decide to listen to KISS stuff from this era, if they enjoy it, also check out Creatures of the Night, which is musically similar to what came afterward. It's reminscent of the way the final Jefferson Starship album before they became Starship, Nuclear Furniture, sounds very similar to a Starship album in some respects. The music evolved just a tad more quivkly than the makeup and name changes.


                              By the way, if we would rank the Jefferson Starship or Starship albums I would put Earth on number 1, followed by Red Octopus...

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Nooooooooo!
                                Granted, Earth does have one of Grace's best songs but it's gotta be Spitfire, Red Octopus, Earth. Do not trifle with me, mein herr.
                                Rabin-esque
                                my labor of love (and obsessive research)
                                rabinesque.blogspot.com

                                Comment

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