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Rayge
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Re: Yes

Postby Rayge » 09 Jul 2021, 14:12

I saw them live as a support act in April 1969. I was distinctly underwhelmed, and would have walked if it were not for the fact that I really wanted to see the headliner. But I remembered the name, and never listened to any albums, although several earnest studes of my acquaintance had them.

I did roll some very long joints on some of the gatefold covers.
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Rorschach
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Re: Yes

Postby Rorschach » 09 Jul 2021, 14:29

OUTPLAY wrote:

Not quite true, Ray. He told me to fuck off.

It's all in the thread.

https://preludin.proboards.com/thread/4 ... ers?page=3

As you were.


To be fair, he did offer you an alternative to fucking off. It was your choice not to make a point worth reading instead of fucking off.

Anyway, you should worry; he told me to go back to looking at kiddie porn once.
And I hadn't even been looking at it in the first place.
Bugger off.

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Mike Boom
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Re: Yes

Postby Mike Boom » 09 Jul 2021, 14:47

November 1971 Led Zeppelin IV
March 1972. Thick as a Brick
September 1972 Close to the Edge
March 1973 Dark Side of the Moon

Amazing to think that these albums were all released in under an 18 month period

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Re: Yes

Postby C » 09 Jul 2021, 15:12

Mike Boom wrote:November 1971 Led Zeppelin IV
March 1972. Thick as a Brick
September 1972 Close to the Edge
March 1973 Dark Side of the Moon

Amazing to think that these albums were all released in under an 18 month period


Yes indeed Mike - a great period in music.

And many more too like Mountain's Nantucket Sleighride released one month before The Yes Album

Or Gentle Giant's Three Friends released one month after Tull's masterpiece






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Matt Wilson
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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Jul 2021, 04:45

ImageImage
Yessongs
Yes were at the top of their game when they recorded this triple-LP in '72. Mostly with new drummer Alan White but Bill was there for some of it. On the ELP thread I gushed about Welcome Back My Friends... but they were beaten to the punch by this 1973 opus, but I'm not sure it's a better record. Like 'em both. I can't think of a triple-live LP from one band before this (Woodstock was a festival), so any names you guys can come up with please throw them in. There's a movie called Yessongs filmed on 15 December 1972 at the Rainbow Theatre on London, UK too, but I still don't think I've seen all of it. This was the perfect time for Yes to release an in-concert LP. Bill was leaving, they had just released their three greatest records, and this was the era for THE LIVE ALBUM, right? Perfect timing. Check out these graphics. They don't make 'em like this no mo, folks.

Now if you're really a fan of this album there's the 2015 box set of recordings of seven shows from late 1972, Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two. Nope, ain't got that one. Yet.

Jon Anderson – lead vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitar, backing vocals
Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – keyboards
Bill Bruford – drums on "Perpetual Change", "Long Distance Runaround", and "The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)"
Alan White – drums on all other tracks

19 and/or 23 February 1972 at the Academy of Music in New York City – "Perpetual Change" and "Long Distance Runaround"/"The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)", as suggested by the band's 1973 Australian tour book and the Yes bootleg community
1 November 1972 at Ottawa Civic Centre in Ottawa, Ontario – "Roundabout"
12 November 1972 at Greeensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina – "Heart of the Sunrise", "And You and I", the second half of "I've Seen All Good People"
15 November 1972 at Knoxville Civic Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee – "Siberian Khatru", the first two thirds of "Excerpts from 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'", "Yours Is No Disgrace"
20 November 1972 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York – "Opening (Excerpt from 'Firebird Suite')", the final third of "Excerpts from 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'", "Mood for a Day"
15 and/or 16 December 1972 at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, London – "Close to the Edge", "Starship Trooper"

Image

1. "Opening (Excerpt from 'Firebird Suite')" (Igor Stravinsky) 3:45
Played through the PA on all the shows from these tours. Wiki: "Yessongs begins with "Opening (Excerpt from 'Firebird Suite)", a piece of the closing section to the orchestral work The Firebird (1910) by Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. Yes have used the piece as the introductory music to most of their concerts since 1971, the year of the composer's death."

2. "Siberian Khatru" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman) (Close to the Edge) 8:50
And we're off! Great ensemble playing with Steve pulling out all the stops. Different solos than the ones we're used to on the studio version. The first thing you're aware of when comparing these songs to their studio counterparts is that the production sheen isn't there in a live setting. You have to get used to it, but once you do - this album is as good as you'd hope/expect.

3. "Heart of the Sunrise" (Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Chris Squire) (Fragile) 11:26
Played even faster than the Fragile cut, this is the first one I say is as good as its studio counterpart. The soloing is intense and the amount of time it must have taken to get the band in sync to play something like this is impressive. "I Feel Lost in the city" indeed.

4. "Perpetual Change" (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire) (The Yes Album) 14:08
This one is a monster. Perhaps my fave on the first LP - stretched out to fourteen minutes with no one getting a break as everyone has to be on at all times. I can lose myself in this music. Pass the spliff. I can totally picture a '60s light show beamed behind the band as this music plays louder than fuck. Or maybe that's just me playing it loud as fuck in my apartment right now, hard to tell... And here comes Bill's drum solo. Well, what do ya want? It's the '70s. It's not very long. No Baker/Bonham wankery.

5. "And You and I" I. "Cord of Life" II. "Eclipse" III. "The Preacher the Teacher" IV. "The Apocalypse" (Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, Chris Squire) (Close to the Edge) 9:55
Very nice. No acoustic, folky feel like the previous version, but the ambience remains. One LP over and done and they've already covered half of Close to the Edge. I Like Rick's atmospheric keys on this track. A mellotron?

Image

6. "Mood for a Day" (SteveHowe) (Fragile) 2:52
Howe finally pulls out the acoustic. Fine, but nothing the Fragile version doesn't provide.

7. "Excerpts from 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII'" (Rick Wakeman) (The Six Wives of Henry VIIl) 6:35
Wait, I thought he wasn't allowed to release his solo stuff on an Atlantic record? I guess they figured it out by then. Rick is cramming various songs from his album (my fave of his by the way) into a medley so you can run out and buy the record I guess. Despite the songwriting credit he's playing a classical piece as well whose title escapes me. Anyone?

8. "Roundabout" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe) (Fragile) 8:33
Opening guitar played on electric but the excitement is still there. It's a great version but nothing beats the studio cut which was Frankensteined from various sessions. Come to think of it - I'm pretty sure all of their stuff was recorded that way.

9. "I've Seen All Good People" a. "Your Move" b. "All Good People" (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire) (The Yes Album) 7:00
Acoustic guitar used but without the crystal-clear clarity of the studio version. Once the jamming starts, you're in heaven though. I think Steve Howe impresses me the most in a live setting. I notice White is more of a rock 'n' roll drummer than Bruford. I lack the drumming vocabulary to express it any better than that. Does he hit harder or something? Can't articulate it.

10. "Long Distance Runaround"/"The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus)" (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire) (Fragile) 13:45
Another beast of a performance. It's no secret I gravitate towards the longer tracks, it's the Deadhead in me. Bands tend to play songs live at a faster tempo and when you can extrapolate that into an even longer version, you know the musicians have more to say after playing it so many times. Another one that needs a lightshow. Chris must have been in a rapture to get an extended bass solo like the one he has here, though I can see how this might bore some. Thus endeth the second LP.

Image

11. "Close to the Edge" I. "The Solid Time of Change" II. "Total Mass Retain" III. "I Get Up, I Get Down" IV. "Seasons of Man" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe) (Close to the Edge) 18:41
Despite the epic lengths of some of these numbers, this is the only time an entire LP side is devoted to one cut. Just like on the Close to the Edge album. They even reproduce the opening bird sounds before spiraling into the music. Played, you guessed it, faster live. Jon's vocals not as forward in the mix here either. Had this music existed five years earlier, it would have blown everyone's mind. Can you imagine "Close to the Edge" being played at the Avalon or the Fillmore in 1968? But no one at that time had this level of sophistication then. I think progressive rock was a direct extension of psychedelia, and this tune illustrates that perfectly. "Seasons will pass you by..."

12. "Yours Is No Disgrace" (Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye) (The Yes Album) 14:21
You can't really tell what tune they're playing here for a minute until the familiar chords are belted out. Another ferocious hammering of a Yes classic. This is young man music, as I doubt an old man would have the stamina to play it. Eruptive, propulsive, energetic, it sounds more like an opening number. Better than the studio version? Possibly. Steve's guitar breaks cut like a scythe. Dammit, I might just have to buy Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two after all. Perhaps the single best performance on the album.

13. "Starship Trooper" a. "Life Seeker" b. "Disillusion" c. "Würm" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire) (The Yes Album) 9:25
By this point, you're almost exhausted. An over two-hour album of progressive nirvana where all of their epics were visited (well, I guess they didn't do "South Side of the Sky"), and played at a faster clip to boot. The third LP was my favorite too!

Image
Last edited by Matt Wilson on 13 Jul 2021, 02:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Neil Jung
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Re: Yes

Postby Neil Jung » 10 Jul 2021, 10:42

I love Yessongs. One of the great things about Yessongs is that they join many of the songs from Fragile and The Yes Album together. I heard Yessongs before I bought The Yes Album and Fragile and have always preferred the live versions from Yessongs. I even sold Close To The Edge to fund the purchase, even though I think it only cost £4.99. Of course I had to buy it again in due course as pocket money permitted.
As for Progeny…. It’s on Spotify. If you are very familiar with Yessongs you’ll probably find like I did that the Progeny versions just aren’t as good (they presumably chose the best versions for Yessongs) or somehow sound wrong.
[indistinct chatter]

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Re: Yes

Postby C » 10 Jul 2021, 11:02

Neil Jung wrote:I love Yessongs.


It is most robust. Trouble is it sounds like it has been recorded six feet under water.

They spent all that money on the elaborate cover as well - whatever were thy thinking

Don't take my word for it:

Variety published a positive review, noting the album shows the band at "their exciting best". Band biographer Tim Morse thought the album's downfall was its substandard audio quality despite the band's strong performances

I bought, for a small fortune, one of those Japanese jobs - it's better but somewhat compressed

[Enter Conny...!]




.






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John aka Josh wrote:
toomanyhatz wrote:I'd go with a squirrel's testicle, or maybe a racoon's.

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Re: Yes

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 10 Jul 2021, 12:31

Carlsson wrote:
Neil Jung wrote:I love Yessongs.


It is most robust. Trouble is it sounds like it has been recorded six feet under water.

They spent all that money on the elaborate cover as well - whatever were thy thinking


[Enter Conny...!]
.


For those interested in what went wrong during the recording of this album....

PROGENY Excerpts with technical notes from producer Brian Kehew



Read more at yesworld.com/2015/03/yes-progen…rom-seventy-two/#5

Needless to say, it was extremely promising to hear there were unreleased 1972 Yes shows in the vaults. These tapes documented the band’s North American tour for Close To The Edge, when the audience was hearing this new material live for the first time. A few of the recordings had already been used as sources for the legendary Yessongs triple-album. So the tapes held staggering potential – 12 hours of unheard Yes concerts – if they proved to be good enough to use.

Ideally, a single live show recording can capture enough material for a live album, but that rarely happens. Most live albums are made from a series of concerts, and the “best of” selections are chosen and combined to create a simulated single show. The same was true for Yessongs. Yes had recorded a concert weeks earlier in Hartford, but the tape revealed too much feedback, a rough crowd, and a lackluster performance. Consequently, the recording was completely unusable.

Recognizing the need for better tape, the band recorded seven full concerts in Toronto, Ottawa, Durham, Greensboro, Knoxville, Athens, and Uniondale, and these are the shows we present here. (In the short period these performances were taped, the band actually played 16 dates in a row, followed by only one day off, and then seven more on—it was an intense and brutal schedule.)

When we played these tapes for the first time, the quality was poor, muddy and strange, yet they did sound like the famous Yessongs album. Producer/engineer Eddie Offord has said the original recordings were of compromised quality, but he did a stellar job mixing the original Yessongs. (Offord was mixing the live concert sound for the audience during these shows; he did not record them.)

After a day or so of trying to mix from poor sound, it became clear to us that the Dolby units (used to reduce tape hiss) had been misaligned during the original recordings, and this had resulted in a murkiness.

By calibrating each track’s Dolby setting (for guitar, snare drum, vocal etc.) by ear, it was possible to clarify every recorded part. And each show needed a different setting since they had all been done incorrectly. With this adjustment, we were able to restore the tracks to their original clarity and power, something that had been lost even during the original Yessongs mixing.

As a result, these recordings now sound open and immediate, giving us some of the best-sounding performances of the band during their heyday.

Still, there were other problems—besides the Dolby issues (which also caused the thin sound on the Tormato album) – that had to be resolved before we could use these shows as sources.
For example, Chris Squire’s bass tone: It has always been unique and defining, and in some ways the key component to the band’s sound. But this was not captured on tape, probably because the recording equipment had been improperly set up at almost every show. At times, the bass track sounds too distorted, with no low end (the critical feature for his instrument!). It was also recorded with a single microphone that might have been poorly placed, with no “direct” sound, which is a separate channel used to give fullness and presence. Sadly, on the treble/top, the bass was also missing the distinctive stringy snap and sizzle of the famous Squire Rickenbacker.

And at one show, the bass was mixed accidentally with the piano track, making it very difficult to place in the mix.

Clearly, if there was one thing on these tracks that needed improvement, it was the bass recording.

So many “tricks” were used to make the bass sound fuller and stronger—sometimes with excellent results. In addition to special EQ and compression, the bass channel was rerecorded through an old 1970s bass amplifier and speaker to get a true low end. This now-deep tone was added to the rather thinly recorded bass sound to create a full and sharp tone. The technique worked so well that it was also used on the thin kick drum track, which the bass amp filled out nicely.

Rick’s keyboard rig was a continuous source of problems, not surprising given its extensive (and cutting-edge) collection of technologies. As Jon says during one concert, the rig had broken down almost every show that week, most notably in Toronto. On that tape Jon announces Rick’s keyboard solo as “a duet with the local radio station” since the infamous Mellotron keyboard had been intercepting a local broadcast all night. In a classic Spinal Tap moment, the disc jockey can be heard clearly saying, “It’s half-past 10 on CJRT 91.1, I’ve got music for you . . . Les McCann . . .” and Chuck Mangione can be heard playing along with the band in their mix! We managed to remove almost all the radio leakage from the performance, although a bit of it can be detected during the Toronto keyboard solo.

Rick’s ample collection of organs, Mellotrons, Minimoogs and two pianos was augmented by a custom set of sound-effects boxes, built by another soon-to-be-famous keyboardist, Larry Fast (Peter Gabriel, Synergy, Nektar). With the exception of Toronto’s late-night jazz radio show, Rick’s nightly solo usually ends with the sonic fireworks of Larry’s custom-made synthesized bombs, sirens, and (sometimes) Mellotron church bells.

Most concert recordings reserve a track or two for ambient sound—the clapping, cheering, and music in the room. For the first show in Toronto, the sound engineer placed the audience microphones too close to the crowd, so instead of registering a useful pair of ambient tracks, he got individual voices yelling and talking throughout the show. Most of this was removed except for the between-song clapping and ambiance. The crowd noises during the music were not only distracting, but also revealed some bizarre and insulting comments. Thankfully, after Toronto, someone set the audience mics more carefully, and the remaining shows have a more general and distant audience sounds.
You’ll note at the opening of each night’s performance of “Close To The Edge,” the audience gasps. They are reacting to a simple lighting effect: a spinning disc was mounted to a ladder erected behind the band, and when put in the spotlight, it cast hundreds of pinpoints of light around the room. Not that different from the mirror-balls of dancehall days, but unexpected in a 1972 rock show. This was combined with the incredible film visuals later seen in the “Close To The Edge” performance on the Yessongs concert film. It’s hard to imagine a time when “Close To The Edge” and “And You And I” were not yet fully appreciated, but the audience response on these tapes shows us that these newly released songs were as impressive as the previous Yes concert classics.

The snare drum is a critical aspect of any drummer’s kit, but the recording of it from the Nassau Coliseum date was horribly distorted. Normally, losing such a pivotal track would have made the show unusable in its entirety. But luckily there was enough audible snare on the other drum microphones to make it workable, even functionally good. This was wonderful news, as the Uniondale show held some stellar performances, especially from Alan.

The crowd grows excited as the lights dim and the traditional Stravinsky/Ozawa “Firebird Suite” opens the show. We’ve let you hear the group tuning and preparing for their musical entrance, a small “overture” of sounds from the coming show. Jon’s voice is rock-solid and dependable throughout, even when fighting the flu, as he admits on one show. In Uniondale, the microphone cuts out momentarily, and Jon struggles to be heard. His longer song introductions here—full of details (and sometimes the eating habits of the band before the show!)—are a perfect reminder of Yes shows’ pacing back in the day.

For those of you imagining the performances visually, Rick did not yet have his spectacular silver cape, but Chris was certainly a wiry winged creature, leaping and twisting to accent the music. Steve Howe, as was often the case, is the busiest and most wide-ranging of the musicians. Meanwhile, this was Alan White’s first tour with the band. He also plays some early electronic drum bits, audible as percussion during the Roundabout breakdown section. Alan’s command of the newly learned music is spectacular; at times he drives the music as forcefully as we’ve ever heard.

Our approach was to give a realistic and historically accurate portrayal of each show, including the talking, tuning, and other stage moments whenever possible. Mixing enabled us to give a realistic “front-row seat” perspective. Steve Howe is far to the left, Alan White is center, Rick Wakeman is far to the right, and Chris Squire is between the drums and keyboard. With this in mind, you’ll no doubt hear the difference as the players are positioned distinctly apart, allowing you to hear each more clearly. Rick Wakeman certainly benefits most from this—his dexterous parts on “Heart Of The Sunrise” and “Close To The Edge” are prominent for the first time, and they are brilliant! When each musician solos, it comes from their natural side of the stage, as opposed to the centered positions given on Yessongs. Eddie Offord had added some phasing sounds to the drum fills during the live shows, but this was not recorded to tape. Here, the drums are heard as recorded, to present a more natural representation of Alan’s playing.

Fans will appreciate how this package represents the evenings as they really happened, and shows an objective view of the group’s many strengths. Modern technology makes it possible to fix buzzes and hums. However, this box set avoids many modern concepts of “fixing,” allowing the true shows to be heard.

While some of these very tracks were used for the Yessongs album, they often had minutes of music taken out to shorten the track time; here they are presented in their full-length. Although there are flaws here and there, the truths revealed in this more-literal approach show the band in incredible form. The original Yessongs tracks had even been repaired in the studio with newly recorded and doubled parts, but we made only two brief edits to repair these performances. Unlike most modern recordings, the full range of volume changes was left intact. From stunning loudness to gentle quietness, one of the hallmarks of progressive music is the extreme use of volume, and it is rare to hear that range on records today.

In the fall of 1972, the musicianship, writing and singing of Yes were inarguably strong and exciting—as you’ll hear in these seven full concerts.
— PROGENY producer, Brian Kehew
Brian Kehew is an American, Los Angeles-based, musician and record producer. He is a member of The Moog Cookbook and co-author of the Recording The Beatles book, an in-depth look at the Beatles’ studio approach.
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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Jul 2021, 15:52

Fuck it, I ordered it.

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Re: Yes

Postby Neil Jung » 10 Jul 2021, 16:18

Matt Wilson wrote:Fuck it, I ordered it.


I’ll be impressed if you even play each one once.

If what they did was that good, they should have done a new version of Yessongs using the same recordings.
[indistinct chatter]

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Re: Yes

Postby C » 10 Jul 2021, 16:52

Neil Jung wrote:If what they did was that good, they should have done a new version of Yessongs using the same recordings.


EXACTLY!!!




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John aka Josh wrote:
toomanyhatz wrote:I'd go with a squirrel's testicle, or maybe a racoon's.

I'm a hedgehog testicle kind of guy.
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Re: Yes

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 10 Jul 2021, 17:37

Neil Jung wrote:
If what they did was that good, they should have done a new version of Yessongs using the same recordings.


Agree!
Charlie O. wrote:I think Coan and Googa are right.


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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Jul 2021, 20:30

Image
Tales from Topographic Oceans
This is where some decide to jump ship. Wakeman himself didn't care for the music contained herein and quit after the tour to promote the album the following year. There were difficulties in recording too. Wiki: "The group were split in deciding where to record; Anderson and Wakeman wanted to retreat in the countryside while Squire and Howe preferred to stay in London, leaving White, who was initially indifferent, as the tie-breaking vote. Anderson had thought of recording under a tent in a forest at night with electrical generators buried into the ground so they would be inaudible, but "when I suggested that, they all said, 'Jon, get a life!'' When the band settled into Morgan Studios, Manager Brian Lane and Anderson proceeded to decorate the studio like a farmyard. Squire believed Lane did so as a joke on Anderson as he wished to record in the country. Anderson brought in flowers, pots of greenery, and cut out cows and sheep to make the studio resemble a garden as a typical studio did not "push the envelope about what you're trying to create musically".

Rick hung out with Black Sabbath when they were making Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and helped with "Sabbra Cadabra." He was paid in beer apparently. Despite the idea some folks have that this is the epitome of prog excess, there's nothing wrong with the songs. Jon Anderson had taken over as the de facto leader by this time and its his ideas which fuel the creation of all of these numbers. Steve Howe: ""Side one was the commercial or easy-listening side of Topographic Oceans, side two was a much lighter, folky side of Yes, side three was electronic mayhem turning into acoustic simplicity, and side four was us trying to drive the whole thing home on a biggie." While I don't quit hear it that way, it's known that Jon based the concept on the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda that describes four bodies of Hindu texts about a specific field of knowledge, collectively named shastras: the śruti, smriti, puranas, and tantras (wiki again). In other words, it was typical Jon, and it was the '70s. Do any of us really pay attention to his lyrics anyway? All four cuts function as fine background music if you don't want to concentrate on individual performances, and it's still Yes near their peak. Though I have no clue why some have issues with something like Close to the Edge, I can understand temerity in approaching this double album - but try it anyway. It's closer in feel to the previous records than it is to Relayer.

Jon Anderson – lead vocals, harp, percussion
Steve Howe – guitars, electric sitar, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitar, backing vocals
Rick Wakeman – keyboards
Alan White – drums, percussion

1. "The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe - lyrics, music by Yes) 20:27
We're into the thick of it right away. Pretentious title, Jon chanting these lyrics:

"Dawn of light lying between a silence and sold sources
Chased amid fusions of wonder
In moments hardly seen forgotten
Coloured in pastures of chance dancing leaves cast spells of challenge
Amused but real in thought, we fled from the sea whole
Dawn of thought transferred through moments of days undersearching earth
Revealing corridors of time provoking memories
Disjointed but with purpose
Craving penetrations offer links with the self instructors sharp and tender love
As we took to the air a picture of distance
Dawn of our power we amuse redescending as fast as misused expression
As only to teach love as to reveal passion chasing late into corners
And we danced from the ocean
Dawn of love sent within us colours of awakening among the many wont to follow
Only tunes of a different age
As the links span our endless caresses for the freedom of life everlasting"

You can see why I don't bother. It's difficult to even read that. But then something wonderful happens after a couple minutes. The words cease and the music begins. As always, you can tune Jon out and just trip on the sounds. And you have to do that a lot with this album. Everything works as a whole, including the vocals. It's immersive (get the Steven Wilson mix if you've got a surround sound rig), and you don't have to pay attention. Jon's words come in and out of focus "We must have waited all our lives for this..." The music turns on a dime and suddenly it sounds like a different song. You'd have to play this album a lot to learn all the changes - yet the song doesn't seem that complicated, just long. It perfectly matches the LP cover art too, Roger Dean was their ultimate artist. Waves of keys in the background while Howe gently plays his notes. Wakeman's complaints aside, his work here is extraordinary. Going for mood and ambience rather than speed. The whole band sounds like they're grooving rather than showing off and it suits the song.

I'll let wiki have the last word: "The Revealing Science of God" is based on the shruti class of Hindu scripture which Yogananda described as scriptures that are "directly heard" or "revealed", in particular the Vedas. Regarding its title, Anderson said: "It's always delicate to start talking about religious things ... [the track] should have just been "The Revealing". But I got sort of hip." According to Howe, the track was originally 28 minutes in length but six minutes were cut due to the time constraints of a vinyl record. His guitar solos on the track, performed on a Gibson ES-345, were influenced by his belief that Frank Zappa performed lengthy solos "because the audience wanted it. I was thinking at one stage, "I'll do that. They'll love it". Anderson was inspired to open the track with voices that gradually build from listening to Gregorian chants. The ongoing Vietnam War at the time provided a source for its lyrics."

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2. "The Remembering (High the Memory)" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, Alan White) 20:38
This one also begins with softly sung words. It's prettier than the first cut though, so the music doesn't have to change, but it does of course. They're not going to play a twenty-minute song without some change ups. More ghostly passages from Rick, a perhaps greater reliance on the lyrics, and then the tempo finally picks up around the six-minute mark.

Our friends at wiki again: ""The Remembering" relates to the smriti, literally meaning "that which is remembered". Yogananda wrote the smritis were "written down in a remote past as the world's longest epic poems", specifically the Mahabharata and Ramayana, two Indian epic poems. Anderson described it as "a calm sea of music" and aimed to get the band to play "like the sea" with "rhythms, eddies, swells, and undercurrents". The track includes a keyboard solo from Wakeman that Anderson wrote in the album's liner notes, "bring alive the ebb and flow and depth of our mind's eye". Anderson ranked the solo as one of Wakeman's best works. Squire described his bass playing on the track, done on a fretless Guild bass, as "one of the nicest things" he has done, ranking it higher than his playing on some of the band's more popular tracks. He called it a very successful piece of musical arrangement. White came up with the chord basis of an entire section of the song on the guitar, which he does not play confidently, but Anderson told him to "keep playing" so it could be developed further. Howe plays a Danelectro electric sitar, lute, and acoustic guitar on the track."

Needless to say, my least favorite track on the album, but when it's playing I like it fine. Jon sings "Relayer" several times in the song - which would be the title of their next album of course.

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3. "The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)" ( Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire - lyrics, music by Yes) 18:34
The shortest track here is also one of my faves. The opening section sounds very proggy and moves at a faster pace than any part of the last cut. Lots of percussion from White while Steve's guitar moves around the room (thanks to Wilson's 5.1 mix). The songs goes on for minutes before we're graced with Anderson's voice. When he finally deigns to sing you merely view the vocals as another instrument a la Michael Stipe in REM years later. With less words, this song tends to breath a bit more. But lest you think the band was brought down to earth playing this cut, it still has a pretentious pedigree. It is Yes, after all.

Wiki: "The Ancient" is attributed to the puranas, meaning "of ancient times", which contain eighteen "ancient" allegories. "Steve's guitar", wrote Anderson, "is pivotal in sharpening reflection on the beauties and treasures of lost civilizations." The lyrics contain several translations of the word "Sun" or an explanation of the Sun from various languages. Howe felt the opening section of the track amazes him to this day, thinking how the band could "go so far out". He plays a steel guitar and a Spanish Ramirez acoustic guitar on the track, and described it as "quite Stravinsky, quite folky". To help achieve the right sound he wanted out of his guitars, Howe played several recordings by classical guitarist Julian Bream to engineer Eddy Offord as a guide."

Got it? Good. Some nice acoustic from Steve as well. I always notice that. Not that any radio station would play these cuts because of their length, but if one did - I'd nominate this.

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4. "Ritual (Nous Sommes du Soleil)" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe - lyrics, music by Yes) 21:35
It starts off slowly, you don't really know where you're going, but eventually a melody is discerned and when Jon comes in the song picks up considerably. "Ritual" is one of the better things on offer and I prefer the second LP to the first. I prefer it when Yes are playing without Jon singing his lyrics and the first minutes of this song are illustrative of that. There are so many parts/sections of these four tracks that it's difficult to come up with ways to describe them and to really memorize everything on display here I'd have to learn the words -which I'm not going to do - so this album may always remain a mystery to me. Something I can never quite conquer, but enjoy while it's on. while this record might be exhibit number one to people who feel progressive rock is over-the-top and elitist, to fans, it's merely another good Yes album. Not on the same level as the previous '71 - '72 platters, but I must say I prefer it to the first two LPs. Like jazz, it functions for me as great background music. Something to put one while doing other things. The occasional musical passage or lyric might make you sit up and take notice, but it's a pleasant experience nonetheless.

Wiki: ""Ritual" relates to the tantras, literally meaning "rites" or "rituals". Anderson described its bass and drum solos as a presentation of the fight and struggle that life presents between "sources of evil and pure love". Howe is particularly fond of his guitar solo at the beginning, which to him was "spine-chilling ... it was heavenly to play". He plays a Gibson Les Paul Junior in the song. Howe's outro guitar solo was more improvised and jazz-oriented at first, but the rest of the group felt dissatisfied with the arrangement. Anderson suggested that Howe pick several themes from the album and combine them, which Howe did with "a more concise, more thematic approach". During one of Wakeman's absences from the studio, White came up with the piano sequence for the "Nous sommes du soleil" section."

Of interest:

https://www.loudersound.com/features/ye ... zYzEfDAnpU
Last edited by Matt Wilson on 11 Jul 2021, 18:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Mike Boom
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Re: Yes

Postby Mike Boom » 10 Jul 2021, 22:26

Great post Matt!
Yeah, never really got into Topographic Oceans at the time, it just seemed way too dense and I never really found a way in , it never captured me the way Close to the Edge did, but over time Ive grown to enjoy it more and more. Listening to it now its sounding pretty great. Doesn't quite have the melodic kick to it that certain sections of CTTE does, but on reflection its way better than I thought it was at the time, and really another monumental achievement , the playing is superb, although I think I still prefer Relayer.

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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 11 Jul 2021, 21:42

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Journey to the Centre of the Earth - Rick Wakeman
This is the first solo Yes album I ever heard/owned. Mobile Fidelity actually did two versions of this - a silver and a gold disc, and I bought them both. I'd forgotten that I owned the silver one and when the later one came out, well... That's the problem with having too much clutter. I'm still looking for Two Sides of Peter Banks to review that one, but don't want to put in the time to find it. LOL! A bit of preamble before I get into this - Remember, Rick had issues with Tales from Topographic Oceans because of its pseudo-profundity, it's airy-fairy gestalt of Andersoness I'd guess. He quit the band after touring when they played the entire Tales album (can you imagine?), claiming to be a beer and chips kind of guy or whatever. But then, he up and gives us this - and even before he quit Yes I think, or right around that time anyway. A live concept-LP based on the Jules Verne novel, with the London Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Choir, and Blow Up actor David Hemmings along to narrate. Had I made that up you wouldn't have believed me. What ambition these guys had in those days! The fact that he more-or-less pulled it off is a testament to his talent, likability, and the overall acceptance of weirdness which permeated that decade. It went to number one in the UK, number three in the US, and was certified gold before the end of 1974. For some reason those stats stagger me. This would never happen with any recording artist today.

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Rick Wakeman – 3 Mellotrons, 2 Minimoog synthesisers, grand piano, Hammond organ, Rhodes electric piano, RMI electric piano, Hohner clavinet, Honky-tonk piano
Gary Pickford-Hopkins – vocals
Ashley Holt – vocals
Mike Egan – electric guitar
Roger Newell – bass guitar
Barney James – drums
David Hemmings – narration
David Measham – conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
English Chamber Choir

1."The Journey"/"Recollection" (Rick Wakeman) 21:20
Well, it's all here: The orchestra comes on loud and strong with the choir adding panache before Rick's synths trickle in. Much better recorded than Yessongs, one wonders why they had such difficulty with that one, but Conny's explanation makes sense. You really can't tell this isn't recorded in the studio, really. Picket's vocals are passable but don't stand out enough to be distinct. The music is quite nice in fact, and much like Yes - I like it better when there's no vocals to distract me. And here's Hemmings who kind've reminds me of Richard Burton. Crystal-clear clarity with the Mofi silver, which is what I'm playing now, helps with the enjoyment.

Since it's impossible to ignore the story when David is talking, here's wiki's encapsulation of the plot: "German Professor Lidinbrook discovers an old parchment that detailed a journey to the centre of Earth undertaken by Arne Saknussemm, an Icelandic alchemist. The parchment, when decoded into Latin and translated by Lidinbrook's nephew Axel, reveals an entrance to the route in the extinct volcano of Snæfellsjökull in Iceland. The pair embark on their journey with their guide Hans.

Upon entering the volcano they pass a lava gallery and find themselves in an intersection of two paths. Lidinbrook chooses the eastern tunnel, but after three days it had taken the trio to a dead end. They returned with just one day's supply of water, reaching the intersection weak and tired. After sleep, they continued their journey and Hans hears flowing water behind a wall of rock and attacks it with a pick axe, revealing a stream of boiling water they named the Hansbach.

The three temporarily separate, and a lone Axel becomes increasingly frightened. Thinking of those who he had left at home, he cries and runs through a tunnel blindly. He almost gives up, but suddenly hears Lidinbrook's voice in the distance and calculates he is just four miles apart and sets off to reunite. At one point the ground beneath Axel collapses and he finds himself with Lidinbrook and Hans in a giant mushroom forest nearby cliffs and sea.

The trio build a raft and set sail for a port they named after Axel's fiancée, Port Grauben. Five days into their sail, they witness a battle between an Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus. The Ichthyosaurus wins, and the travellers are hit with a four-day storm and take shelter by some overhanging rocks. The storm had caused them to travel only some miles north of Port Grauben, so they set on land to track Saknussem's original route once more. They cross a plain of bones and into a forest inhabited by giant Mastodons led by a 12-ft high Proteus, a mythological human. Stunned, the three flee the forest for the Lidinbrook Sea and enter a dark tunnel that plunged deep into rock which they blast through with dynamite. The explosion causes an earthquake, and they become trapped in an active volcano shaft which projects them to the surface of the Earth by Mount Etna in Sicily."

Yeah, I pay about as much attention to that as I do Jon's ideas. This music screams for visuals too. I guess there's nothing out there though. There's a funky little passage at 12:50 which Rick could have expanded upon for a possible Yes track. But I guess he was already thinking of leaving by then. A Mike Egan guitar solo follows and then the choir comes in again, all the while Rick is doodling around on keys. It lasts until about 15:40 and is a highlight of the first side.

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2. "The Battle"/"The Forest" (Rick Wakeman) 18:57
OK, I'm playing the Mofi gold disc now to see if I can tell any difference in sound quality - and I can't. Oh well, I never claimed to be any kind of audiophile. "The Battle" begins (after Hemmings narration) with another cool Rick keyboard part before the pace picks up considerably. This may be the best music so far - but when the vocals come in the effect is subdued. Oh, here's the choir as well. The kitchen sink approach seemed to appeal to all the member of Yes didn't it? You either buy into it or you don't. The music is quite good though, and Wakeman's keyboard sound should've been utilized more on this album. He's trying too hard to keep the narrative flow going and to provide the audience sitting in the theater more bang for their buck (or pounds). Whenever the story stops and Rick concentrates on the music, I'm pleased.

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I'm going to say there's entirely too much Hemmings narration, but I guess the idea was that the story had to be explained and Rick didn't have enough faith in his lyric-writing abilities. Another nice musical passage at about the 9:00 mark, but then more singing... Oh well. I'm making a judgement call: There's no need for the choir. The song "The Battle" really isn't that good by the way. More cool parts at 12:50. I'd gladly listen to an entire album of this kind of music without vocals, just Rick soloing away. It's all over at around 14:00. Now he's incorporating "The Hall of the Mountain King" in, but is back to soloing after that. That's what I do when I play this record (CD really), I wait for the musical passages and daydream through the rest. Luckily, the last few minutes of side two is all music.

Wiki: "After the album received the green-light from A&M Records, Wakeman worked on the music "on and off" through 1973 and had assistance with the orchestral and choir arrangements with Malone and Danny Beckerman; the latter first met Wakeman during a Yes tour of Australia. A typical session had Malone devising chords and melody lines while Beckerman wrote the parts out on a score, which took several hours. It was Malone's first attempt at writing for a symphony orchestra; he had not received classical training. The original score lasted 55 minutes but it was reduced to 40 so it could fit the time constraints of an LP. Malone called the project a challenge and "completely different" to what he had been involved with previously. A&M Records had wanted Wakeman to select a group of known musicians to play in his rock band, but he opposed to the idea as he intended for the public to like the album for its music rather than the performers. Wakeman chose a group that he used to play with at the Valiant Trooper, a pub in Holmer Green in Buckinghamshire. "I'd played with them for fun quite a bit on Sunday evenings...I was playing keyboards with the lads when I thought, they could play Journey for me. I'm sure they could do the concert and do it well". He picked vocalists Ashley Holt of Warhorse and Gary Pickford-Hopkins from Wild Turkey, drummer Barney James, also of Warhorse, bassist Roger Newell, and guitarist Mike Egan, who had also played on The Six Wives of Henry VIII. The first bassist picked was Dave Wintour, also a performer on Six Wives. Actor and singer Richard Harris was the first choice to narrate the story but he was unavailable, so Wakeman picked actor David Hemmings."

And it's over. Not a masterpiece by any definition of that word, but a perfectly acceptable and even assessable album which I rediscovered last year when I kept it in my car for weeks, playing it every time I drove anywhere. I like it more than Time and a Word too.

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ConnyOlivetti
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Re: Yes

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 12 Jul 2021, 17:44

Great write up!
I almost went to discogs to order the album.

that was close

/ keep em coming
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Mike Boom
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Re: Yes

Postby Mike Boom » 12 Jul 2021, 18:11

I used to love Journey to the Center of the Earth at the time, as a 13 year old it was great fun, havent listened to it in many many years. Hemmings narration never really bothered me , at least you could follow the story and he makes it all very dramatic.
Notice the lizards and turtle coming out of the pint of beer on the artwork.
I especially enjoyed the end section from where Hemmings intones "the frightening Mount Etna" and the solo that leads into Hall of the Mountain King.
All overblown juvenile nonsense in the best possible sense, not as good as "The Six Wives..." but better than "... King Arthur..."

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Re: Yes

Postby slightbreeze » 12 Jul 2021, 22:18

"Topographic" would have made a GREAT single album. Sides one and four my personal faves. "Journey" suffers because it is a live album and the vocals are horrendous.If only Rick had reigned it in for the next album. Yes, if only.

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Re: Yes

Postby jimboo » 13 Jul 2021, 00:42

Yes
No.
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Re: Yes

Postby trans-chigley express » 13 Jul 2021, 05:27

Mike Boom wrote:All overblown juvenile nonsense in the best possible sense, not as good as "The Six Wives..." but better than "... King Arthur..."

I'd go along with that. I quite enjoyed Journey at a teenager but the vocals were awful and let it down. King Arthur had it moments, Merlin The Magician most notably, but overall it's not so good. I haven't listened to either for decades but still enjoy listening to Six Wives.