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Could Yes have recovered commercially after Rabin's departure?

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    Could Yes have recovered commercially after Rabin's departure?

    the last Yes album to sell very well was Big Generator going Platinum, Union still went Gold in America but then Talk was the first album to not get certification on its sales, why was this? Also, could Yes have turned it around with their later albums? Keys to Ascension was never commercially viable especially the way they were released as semi live albums. Open Your Eyes attempted to be radio friendly but was largely ignored, was the damage done by then, was Yes just a band for the hardcore fans, or could they have found a wider audience again? I think albums from The Ladder onwards definitely deserve more sales.
    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-

    #2
    I believe that the missed a golden opportunity when buoyed by the good feeling about ABWH, the Union tour left fans with a fulfilled dream (both bands together) and a real promise for the future. But money, egos and Lawyers got in there and then they ended up going back to the Yeswest lineup. That was the anticlimactic move of Yes' career, so yes, they went much in the direction of a band for the hardcore fans. They did build up that lot though through 2004.

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      #3
      Well, they kept going, with the occasional fallow patch, after Talk so I'd say they 'recovered' ok. If by 'commercial', did they fill arenas and stadiums and top the charts, obviously not, and I'm glad they didn't. I very much prefer the intimacy of smaller venues, city concert halls, theatres and the like. My last arena concert was in 1992, Eric Clapton at Birmingham NIA.
      That Yes we're playing arenas on the 35th Anniversary Tour in 2004 was a major factor in me choosing not to attend. If that tour had been undertaken on a smaller scale, would they have finished it as fractiously and in such poor health as they did? I wonder....
      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


        #4
        Yes never recovered from CTTE's height and effect on popular music. Was their DSOTM. Took the world with it. Tales crueled any chance that Yes would ever be one of the big boys like Floyd or Zeppelin or The Who etc.

        Rabin and Horn created some great pop songs and sales but nothing as legendary as CTTE. So Yes has remained a boutique band with up and down albums. Loved by those that get it. Young people largely know of Owner only from video games.


        ELECTRIFY EVERYTHING
        Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 11-24-2021, 11:47 AM.

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          #5
          Yes couldn't likely have recovered in terms of record sales, because '70s "legacy" acts were largely finished as gold/platinum sellers by the mid '90s. It had little to do with any of the shake-ups in Yes during that period.

          There were a handful of exceptions like Rush, but they had a harder rock sound that could still fit on '90s radio formats playing new music. Once rock radio turned away from playing new music by '70s bands, they were done commercially.

          Yes continued to do very well as a touring band, being especially successful once the full "Classic Yes" toured in 2002-04. They could have continued that level of arena/amphitheater success for many years if they'd been able to stick together.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by profusion View Post
            Yes couldn't likely have recovered in terms of record sales, because '70s "legacy" acts were largely finished as gold/platinum sellers by the mid '90s. It had little to do with any of the shake-ups in Yes during that period.

            There were a handful of exceptions like Rush, but they had a harder rock sound that could still fit on '90s radio formats playing new music. Once rock radio turned away from playing new music by '70s bands, they were done commercially.

            Yes continued to do very well as a touring band, being especially successful once the full "Classic Yes" toured in 2002-04. They could have continued that level of arena/amphitheater success for many years if they'd been able to stick together.
            yes thats true, I wonder if the classic lineup would've been willing to do any new material also as we have gotten over the last 10 years. I for one have at least loved what Yes did with Fly From Here and The Quest. Its just a shame that album sales wise they couldn't sell more. For that matter the 70s and 80s material should've reached higher certified status now as well.
            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


              #7
              "the 70s and 80s material should've reached higher certified status now as well."

              If only thanks to how many times since the 70s we completists have bought the bloody albums!
              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 profusion View Post
                Yes couldn't likely have recovered in terms of record sales, because '70s "legacy" acts were largely finished as gold/platinum sellers by the mid '90s. It had little to do with any of the shake-ups in Yes during that period.
                Agreed. It was never going to be same after the Eighty Dates tour, no matter what happened.
                Rabin-esque
                my labor of love (and obsessive research)
                rabinesque.blogspot.com

                Comment


                  #9
                  I think most bands have periods of greater success and lesser success. It's not a surprise that success doesn't last. Having had success, it seems some current or former band members struggle to accept that their fame is more circumscribed today. Jon Anderson persists with quite preposterous dreams of glory, like his expectation that 1000 Hands: Chapter One would be getting Grammy nominations, and that seems to sabotage what he could be doing.

                  Some current or former band members (and management) have sometimes appeared more interested in making a quick buck rather than a long-term strategy. I think that's been a problem in the past, and possibly still is (with certain former band members more than the current band).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bondegezou View Post
                    I think most bands have periods of greater success and lesser success. It's not a surprise that success doesn't last. Having had success, it seems some current or former band members struggle to accept that their fame is more circumscribed today. Jon Anderson persists with quite preposterous dreams of glory, like his expectation that 1000 Hands: Chapter One would be getting Grammy nominations, and that seems to sabotage what he could be doing.

                    Some current or former band members (and management) have sometimes appeared more interested in making a quick buck rather than a long-term strategy. I think that's been a problem in the past, and possibly still is (with certain former band members more than the current band).
                    I agree with your quick-buck-theory. But I must say, that for me most of all it is the root for everything I don't like with Yes-Official since 2009. Both very andersonic singers IMO were hired by Squire and Howe to launch a nostalgic Yes without much risk to get through with glory from the past. I don't know much other examples of bands that carried on with singers that are stand-ins for their original one (Journey maybe).

                    The only fresh, new, modern and even a little adventureous moment of those now more than twelfe years is the majority of Fly From Here, the Suite, Life On A Filmset and Into The Storm. But that stuff in its core was done by kind of an outsourcing - by the other original, creative and visionary Yessinger, Trevor Horn. Probably because they didn't trust much of their own material like From A Page plus Hour Of Need and Don't Take No For An Answer.

                    Of course there were earlier quick-buck-ventures. The root of all Yes-nostalgia probably was the whole ABWH/Union-era. Then again Keys To Ascenison and again the 2002-2004-project. All those for my taste though on a much higher niveau as the Yes' since 2009 and still more or less very much enjoyable. And as a sidenote: In my book of Yes they never would have had to go back to Wakeman and the classic lineup. They gave up that always-looking-over-the horizon-promise by Alan White much too early. Talk of course, but also Magnification were exceptions.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by PeterCologne View Post
                      I agree with your quick-buck-theory. But I must say, that for me most of all it is the root for everything I don't like with Yes-Official since 2009. Both very andersonic singers IMO were hired by Squire and Howe to launch a nostalgic Yes without much risk to get through with glory from the past. I don't know much other examples of bands that carried on with singers that are stand-ins for their original one (Journey maybe).
                      I think the band, particularly Squire, was focused on touring income when they brought in David, and when he was replaced by Davison, but that's the financial reality of being a band is that you need that touring income. So, is that quick-buck thinking or just sensible thinking?

                      I think when bands change singers, they typically do one of two things. They promote someone from within the band to be lead singer (Genesis, Pink Floyd, etc., and as Yes did a little on, say, Drama, with Squire having a more prominent vocal role) or they get in someone who is in the same ballpark as the previous singer. I think the latter approach is commonplace, not unusual. It is perhaps more noticeable with Yes because Anderson is such a distinctive singer in the first place, but Deep Purple or Black Sabbath, their new singers were broadly similar to their old singers. There are many other examples. Obviously Judas Priest! But also AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Fleetwood Mac with Bekka Bramlett, INXS, Queen with Adam Lambert, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Supremes...

                      I would say that very few bands bring in radically different style of vocalist. (There are examples, e.g., Fleetwood Mac with Stevie Nicks.)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        All that is true about the singers but JA was not just the voice of Yes but he was the soul of it as well. I much prefer anything off of 1000 hands than any of the later works of Yes without JA. The later works will not be played or remembered like the classics, IMO.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Laddr View Post
                          All that is true about the singers but JA was not just the voice of Yes but he was the soul of it as well. I much prefer anything off of 1000 hands than any of the later works of Yes without JA. The later works will not be played or remembered like the classics, IMO.
                          I have to agree. And it's not as if they really have the writing/arranging talent anymore, nor the chops to do it justice.
                          ​​​​​​Right now I'm wondering how Big Big Train are going to continue with the tragic loss of David Longdon. Although he hadn't been there from the start, and they have other fine singers in the band, and associates they can call on for assistance, he'd become very much the heart of that group. Thankfully, their inclusive approach to collaborating, and openness to bringing in people to help out, bring fresh ideas and colours and textures, will hopefully stand them in good stead.
                          I wonder if Anderson's approach to making music isn't a better option: seek out collaborators, and writing and arranging partners able and willing to contribute and play. There's no reason, never has been any reason, why Yes had to be a five-piece in essence, with one singer up front, one guitarist, one keyboard-player, &c. To push the comparison a little more, it's a shame that a band like Yes hasn't found itself willing to function, especially in these days of the internet, a little more openly and collaboratively like Big Big Train. It's not that unusual these days for bands to be more of a fluid collective than a fixed line up.
                          ​​​​​​
                          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


                            #14

                            Originally posted by bondegezou View Post

                            I think the band, particularly Squire, was focused on touring income when they brought in David, and when he was replaced by Davison, but that's the financial reality of being a band is that you need that touring income. So, is that quick-buck thinking or just sensible thinking?
                            I agree about Chris Squires thinking then ... but the way to do it could have been more confident with a strong frontman that brings in new perspectives and creativity, something new with an own character, just for example at that time I had the then relativly prog-affine Nik Kershaw in mind, well just an example...

                            Originally posted by bondegezou View Post
                            I think when bands change singers, they typically do one of two things. They promote someone from within the band to be lead singer (Genesis, Pink Floyd, etc., and as Yes did a little on, say, Drama, with Squire having a more prominent vocal role) or they get in someone who is in the same ballpark as the previous singer. I think the latter approach is commonplace, not unusual. It is perhaps more noticeable with Yes because Anderson is such a distinctive singer in the first place, but Deep Purple or Black Sabbath, their new singers were broadly similar to their old singers. There are many other examples. Obviously Judas Priest! But also AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Fleetwood Mac with Bekka Bramlett, INXS, Queen with Adam Lambert, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Supremes...

                            I would say that very few bands bring in radically different style of vocalist. (There are examples, e.g., Fleetwood Mac with Stevie Nicks.)
                            I think both recent Yessingers are more close to Anderson (and just not as good IMO) than your examples to each other. The trick would have been to find a guy that fits into overall-type of singer that Anderson is, but with an own character. So no chance for Jason Newsted or Tom Waits, but for somone like Trevor Horn...

                            ... like all Deep Purple singers have a very own character, hey Gillan, Coverdale most of all - both fit in DP, but both are totally different. Or take King Crimson, Lake, Wetton, Belew, they are relatively close but no one of them is a copy of the other, they are three icons of Rock-Music. Then David Lee Roth to Hagar, Bon Scott to Brian Johnson... Fish to h... like Anderson to Horn, Kershaw, Braide or ... I would have enjoyed Billy as leadsinger as well. But okay, reality is different as said, I would already be happy about another Union.
                            Last edited by PeterCologne; 11-26-2021, 03:47 AM.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Interesting question… If we're counting Rabin's departure as c. 1994, then no, I don't think there was much hope for a *commercial* resurgence. Times had moved on, and while CttE was maybe the pinnacle of Yes' influence on the music scene (in terms of helping define a movement, and inspiring other bands, and so on), and 90125 was maybe the commercial peak, in terms of units moved (and I don't mean this with any derision — I love 90125), when we look at the mid to late 90s, it's… what? What would Yes have had to say in that era, to have a commercial, cultural, or influential "recovery" or impact? Genesis had paused, Marillion were figuring out the indie thing and largely being ignored, King Crimson was projeKcting. Bowie was… being Bowie, and though I quite like his 90s output, it's a good thing his retirement fund had been figured out long before then, if you know what I mean. Even Rush had what more than a few fans consider their absolute least essential material in Test for Echo (and I'm not sure their later resurgence was due to any of the albums after that, or the touring monster they became).

                              Now, could they have become more commercial after *Anderson's* departure is even stickier, although for additional reasons, maybe. When I think of bands who have successfully transitioned to new singers, well, it's a pretty short list, but the key thing is it happens earlier. Steve Hogarth has done great work with Marillion, and really made them a new band; Crimson doesn't just change vocalists, they change musical direction radically at the same time (and when you look at it, Jakko Jakszyk is, I think, the first Crimson vocalist to sing a significant number of songs performed by other vocalists — Wetton did 21st Century, but that may have been it; Belew I don't believe sang anything pre-1980). Sabbath, Van Halen, either changed right at the peak of success or very shortly around there (hmmm, coincidence…?) Personally I'd love for JD to be able to really put his stamp on the band, and ten or fifteen years ago, maybe he could have, but I strongly suspect we're into Journey, not Marillion, territory here: everything after the popular vocalist leaves is essentially irrelevant, Vegas residencies where they play the hits become the way forward.

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