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When could have YES captured the most mystique?

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    When could have YES captured the most mystique?

    I often wonder how YES would be regarded if they disbanded at some earlier point in time.

    One thing is certain; there would be no debate regarding whether YES is YES. I believe that without this debate, there would be more respect for the YES brand.

    Is it possible that YES would have been even more alluring if they disbanded earlier on? Would it be after Close to the Edge, Relayer, Tormato, Drama, Big Generator, some other album, or perhaps never?

    In my opinion, disbanding after “Close To The Edge” (or Yessongs) would have captured the most mystique. This scenario reminds me of “Cream” who broke up just as they were getting renowned.

    Don’t get me wrong, I probably would have been devastated if they broke up earlier, but that is not the point. I do love the music and musicians that came later and believe that it all would have still materialized in some alternative form regardless.

    How would YES be regarded if they broke up at some earlier point in time? When would have they captured the most mystique?

    #2
    I am glad they have carried on through many lineups and sound changes over the years- their longevity has long been a part of their appeal to me.
    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-

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      #3
      From my point of view on what is the real existing Yes it would have been better if there wasn't a Yes after 2004. Apart from the - outsourced to Trevor Horn - album Fly From here and the two years of YesF it has not really been Yes to me. I probably would have been moaning for Yes if they would not be a band now, but at least I would miss them and it would have captured the mystique.

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        #4
        Wrapped it up after Yes.

        Jon went back to delivering milk, Chris opened a high class ladies boot shop, Tony went on to run a successful chain of mens (ahem!) clubs, Peter started a very lucrative pig framing enterprise and Bill became a professor of sociology at Oxford.

        I wonder what would have happened if they'd stuck it out?

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          #5
          To be really iconic, they should have all died at the age of 27 in an airplane crash. Elton John could have written a song about the day the music died.

          Glad they continued on. Not super-famous or super-regarded but a decent boutique prog band still crafting pastoral pop prog nuggets and giving Roger Dean a reason to get up in the morning.

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            #6
            Here's my alternate scenario ('cause I like those):

            After two albums, Mabel Greer's Toyshop morphs into/changes name to Yes for The Yes Album in 1971. They disband after Relayer in 1976. They garnered a cult following and were semi-successful but were not a super chart act. They were on the level of Camel or Nektar, or someone like that of similar success. That they disbanded that early on after 6 albums would have given them that extra 'mystique'. It would be a case of 'then there were second tier prog bands such as Yes, who were short lived and didn't make a big splash with fans of ELP, Pink Floyd or similar bands, but were seriously underrated'. A shame they split up too soon.

            I can imagine Yes finally reforming in 2001 for a reunion tour of theaters and larger club venues, and eventually releasing a few sporadic albums of new material throughout the early new millennium. They once again disbanded after the death of Chris Squire. I picture their 'resurgence' years as similar in popularity and quality to, say, Van Der Graaf Generator when they reformed after decades apart.

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              #7
              Originally posted by PeterCologne View Post
              From my point of view on what is the real existing Yes it would have been better if there wasn't a Yes after 2004. Apart from the - outsourced to Trevor Horn - album Fly From here and the two years of YesF it has not really been Yes to me. I probably would have been moaning for Yes if they would not be a band now, but at least I would miss them and it would have captured the mystique.
              IMO, the "real" Yes died in 1981, and, since then, there have been a few new bands trading under the old Yes name, all of which have their merits (I LOVE Yeswest.)

              I was much younger and didn't know as much about these guys back in 1995, but when the classic lineup regrouped, I knew it wouldn't be the same - they were older, too much time had passed, the chemistry was gone, etc.

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                #8
                I think that after CTTE would have been the optimum time to have broken up to cement their legacy in amber and maximize mystique. It's considered one of the greatest albums of progressive rock, and it was before they produced any "clunkers." Say they had broken up after Tales, or Tormato, and for some (many?) that would have tarnished their legacy. But as of CTTE, they remained immaculate. I think fans of the progressive genre, and the classic rock genre, and anyone who likes rock played well would still be saying, "Man, what happened to those guys? Why'd they break up? They were GREAT."

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                  #9
                  Sales-wise, the last YES album that went Gold or Platinum in any kind of timely manner was UNION. So in terms of the "public eye" they began fading pretty quickly after that. The TALK tour was plagued by all kinds of problems (not the least of which was at most shows they couldn't sell out even the medium-sized "sheds" .

                  If they had broken up at that point, with the occasional Reunion tour, their Legacy might have given them a little more "mystique".

                  But Fan support was so strong from the late-90's, at LEAST through the 2004 Tour (when they were again playing the occasional 10,000-seat venue), they had such a financial incentive to continue....it would have been foolish for them to quit, just because the Gold and Platinum albums dried up.

                  Since then, it's all been for the Fans AFAIC. And I'm glad they've kept it up. I've seen them live more times since 2010, than all previous shows (Prior to 2011, I had seen the band only 6 times Live.....since 2010, I've seen them 8 times !
                  Last edited by carlmarx38; 02-11-2022, 03:50 PM.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Davy View Post

                    IMO, the "real" Yes died in 1981, and, since then, there have been a few new bands trading under the old Yes name, all of which have their merits (I LOVE Yeswest.)

                    I was much younger and didn't know as much about these guys back in 1995, but when the classic lineup regrouped, I knew it wouldn't be the same - they were older, too much time had passed, the chemistry was gone, etc.
                    Fair point, and one probably can see it like that. I see it different, I praise that Yes managed to reinvent itself twice, in 1980 and 1983. And I would have prefered if they had continued with Rabin after Talk. I know things would have turned out different if he had not become a soundtrack- composer. But what he actually achieved with his movie work (and Jacaranda) as well as the visionary reinvention of the fine art of the epic with Endless Dream can be a hint that he would have directed Yes more adventureous and progressive as it happened with Steve Howe. Well Rabin didn't do it, one must accept it.

                    However, I like those five albums between from Keys (studio) to Fly From Here, they were really good in their more (Keys/OYE) or less (Mag/The Horn-songs on FFH) compromising natures, but all in all relatively safe and nostalgic. The very fine Mag as I reckon was most of all Jon's idea? Anyway, Steve Howe should have been the one to give the band new visons and thrills, as Yes is most of all a guitar-driven band, but he rareley went beyond being solid and living from what he achieved in the 70s till Drama. That is much, he is a great musician and guitar-player, but was not able to reinvent Yes another time when the band did need it. The 2004 shows for example still were really, really good, even with super-nostalgic that classic-lineup, but that also was the - so far - last time IMHO that Yes-(official) had fire and class.

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                      #11
                      Too many members through the years for them to break "YES" up. I thought they were over in 81 or 82 when I first discovered them truly. Intially I was sad, but not knowledgeable enough to know that most musicians have to work, and usually reunite. That has been a win/win for so many fans, including myself.

                      I don't really care what others think. It has been one hell of a ride with YES and all the YES-related off shoots and solo shows. That, in a nut shell has been more than the beautiful, amazing, wonderful, extraordinary beautiful band known collectively as YES. And to be sure, every show has been unique in their own ways, and in the same that their fans, old and young love this music.

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                        #12
                        As much as I love 90125 and Big Generator, Yes would have kept it's place among 70s legends had it broken up after 1980. Even more so 1979 but I love Drama too much to consider a world without it.

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                          #13
                          That Yes has such longevity and is still around making new studio albums after all these years is one of the things that endears the band to me. New lineups give new life to the basic style and concept and allow for unique albums that at the same time are without a doubt Yes albums and enhance the Yes legacy.

                          I find with relatively short-lived bands, I go through periods of really being sick of them. For example, The Police were a strong band, especially their final two studio albums, but because they ended their run with five albums, I just wind up listening to the same five albums over and over again until I don't want to hear them again for a long stretch of time.

                          Yes has a large enough catalog that I'm less likely to get sick of their songs and albums and, if I do, it's because I've been favoring my favorite songs and albums too much in what I listen to and can sub in some of the Yes music I've been neglecting to keep things fresh.

                          In addition to all the new original songs and albums, I can, for a lot of the more famous tracks, select which of 3 or 4 singers I want to listen to sing a given song at a given moment, and different versions of tracks with different lineups and live flourishes. Granted, Steve in his later years has tended to be more conservative in how he wants the tracks performed, but enough of the lineup has changed in terms of actual personel substitutions and in terms of people aging that some change is inherent. For example, even though Topographic Drama includes a live version of Drama and sticks relatively close to spec, just Jon Davison singing instead of Trevor Horn alone represents a unique take on the music that everyone can hear. I also kind of try to be careful what I wish for- something tells me that if Steve let loose and reimagined Yes songs, they'd be more mellow and country or jazzy and not have the new harder rocking extended bridges that I might favor.

                          It occurs to me that we can't even have these discussions about, say, Genesis, because while they are least left us with a far more substantial catalog than The Police, after 1991, they only did one more studio album, with nothing past the turn of the century. Their two reunion tours consisted of basically getting the three main guys back together and working around their health issues by adding backing players and downtuning songs and the like (Things that would be fine in concert- people can only do what they can do- but which don't present a strong reason for a person to go running out to buy those live albums), while charging big money for tickets due to the limited supply of Genesis concerts that prices them out of the range of many fans.

                          I actually think, had Genesis continued as Yes did, with changes to the lineups as needed and new studio albums from those lineups to the present, I might rate them higher than Yes as a band. I think Yes' 70s style material is better than Genesis' 70s style material, but I have to admit that Genesis' 80s style material (Which really started in the late 70s and stretched into the 90s) was probably superior in quality and quantity to Yes' 80s style material, despite the fact I am a big fan of what Yes did in the 80s.

                          If Yes has stopped after Keys to Ascension and Genesis has done six more albums after Calling All Stations, I think I'd be posting on newgenesisfans.com right now. . There's something.to be said for a band continuing to consistently exist, and doing so as a creative entity that puts out new albums (Hopefully more frequently in the years to come than they have been lately.). It gives us all more music to enjoy and to talk about.

                          I may be counter to the prevailing culture of music critics, but I really do think about and am more inclined to rate a band highly if they stick around and prolifically produce new music. Obviously that can't make me like music that I don't like in the first place, and probably just as obviously, there are some bands and musicians who have done as little as one album who's work I can't help but enjoy. Longevity and prolificness count with me, though.

                          In slightly more recent examples, I would definitely consider myself more interested in Pearl Jam, which has been together and putting out new albums since grunge hit nationally in 1991, then Nirvana, which only had two true major label studio albums, and perhaps two more albums that may or may not count, depending on how one defines them.
                          "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

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                            #14
                            After Relayer, almost every album could have been the last. I mean, think about it, there was always some kind of upheaval around each release.
                            That’s part of the band’s appeal, for me anyway.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by PeterCologne View Post
                              From my point of view on what is the real existing Yes it would have been better if there wasn't a Yes after 2004. Apart from the - outsourced to Trevor Horn - album Fly From here and the two years of YesF it has not really been Yes to me. I probably would have been moaning for Yes if they would not be a band now, but at least I would miss them and it would have captured the mystique.
                              If Yes had split up, fans would be constantly posting about whether they will re-unite. If Yes doesn't split up, fans constantly post complaining it's the wrong line-up. The latter is slightly more interesting than the former, so I'm glad they're still going.

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