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Re: Yes

Postby C » 13 Jul 2021, 07:56

trans-chigley express wrote: still enjoy listening to Six Wives.


Same here!

A great record - very robust



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Re: Yes

Postby Neil Jung » 13 Jul 2021, 16:15

trans-chigley express wrote:
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.


I find it odd that with Yes Rick worked with the greatest Prog vocalist Jon Anderson (other opinions etc) but consistently chose utterly useless singers for his own albums.
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Re: Yes

Postby The Slider » 13 Jul 2021, 16:53

Rutherford, Banks and Hackett did similar
The Complete Velvet Underground - Lou Reed Mp3 set now available in the usual place, should you want one.
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Re: Yes

Postby slightbreeze » 13 Jul 2021, 19:37

King Crimson made a career out of it :evil: :D

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Re: Yes

Postby Hightea » 14 Jul 2021, 03:16

Always thought Yes were a build up band. First two albums (time and a word was better than the debut) had pieces of what was to come but really weren't that good. With the addition of Howe yes went on a killer 6 album set even while changing parts.

I would rate them
Fragile (all four major songs are all great) - Always considered CTTE better but not really anymore
CTTE
Going for the One (This too has moved up the latter)
Tales
The Yes Album
Relayer

The Yessongs (now albums) are wonderful.

The change of Wakeman for Moraz was a big change but thought it worked for Relayer.

After that Yes for of lost me.


Roundabout never grows old to me and I've sung it at at the top of my lungs in some of the most beautiful mountain lake setting.
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Re: Yes

Postby toomanyhatz » 14 Jul 2021, 03:39

Looking forward to the writeup on Relayer. Just listened to it yesterday and was surprised how much I enjoyed it - definitely like it more than TfTO, probably more than CttE. Probably the most 'jazzy' they got. And after Wakeman's huge ego, I imagine the more subtle Moraz was quite refreshing.
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Re: Yes

Postby toomanyhatz » 14 Jul 2021, 20:42

Listening to King Arthur now. It's absolutely preposterous. :lol:
Footy wrote:
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. Got Jimi's autograph after the show and went on to see him several times that year


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Re: Yes

Postby trans-chigley express » 15 Jul 2021, 00:10

toomanyhatz wrote:Listening to King Arthur now. It's absolutely preposterous. :lol:

You`d expect nothing less from Wakeman :lol:

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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 15 Jul 2021, 01:10

Image
Relayer
Most fans consider this to be a major Yes album and improvement over Tales, and while I do agree it's better, I haven't too many issues with the previous record so don't consider it a comeback or anything. The band had been putting out good/great LPs for three years now and this was merely one more. Rick is out and Patrick Moraz is in for his sole project with the group. Apparently, they even auditioned Vangelis, much to Jon's delight - but felt the keyboard maestro was too strong of a personality to gel with the group. Their penchant for side-long epics continues with the awesome "Gates of Delirium," and "Sound Chaser" is another classic Yes song to add to the canon. The LP is structured similarly to Close to the Edge with one song on side one and two tracks on side two. As you can see above, Roger Dean was back for the album art. 1974 was a monumental year for prog. Aside from Relayer, there was Red and Starless & Bible Black from Crimson, The Power & the Glory by Gentle Giant, Gong's You, Mirage by Camel, and The Lamb Lies Down of Broadway by Genesis. Also of note were Utopia, Refugee (where Moraz came from), Hatfield & The North, Wyatt's Rock Bottom, Hero and Heroine by The Strawbs, The Confessions of Dr. Dream by Kevin Ayers and tons of others. Progressive rock was at an apex and Yes were kings of the hill.

Jon Anderson – lead vocals, acoustic guitars, piccolo, percussion
Steve Howe – acoustic and electric guitars, pedal steel, electric sitar, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitar, backing vocals
Patrick Moraz – piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog, Mellotron
Alan White – drums, percussion

All songs by Yes

1. "The Gates of Delirium" 21:46
From the opening 'prelude' section with the theme stated in a slower manner than it would be later, you know you're in for a treat. Right away Moraz' tone is different than Wakeman's, Jon's gobble-gook words are in full effect, and Squire's bass is forward in the mix. After a few minutes it's Howe's guitar which is hammering out the riff and then we're really off. The 'charge' section is perhaps the most exciting with everyone playing to full capacity. The time signature shifts, with White able to maintain momentum admirably and Steve eliciting all kinds of sounds from his Fender. Put simply, this is more forceful than any of the four cuts from Tales. But then, this is a war song and its aim is different than the more philosophical ones from the previous album. When the main theme comes back around the thirteen minute mark there's almost a feeling of euphoria. Yes hasn't been this good since Close to the Edge.

Wiki: "Anderson had originally planned to have the entire album based on War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, but instead had a side-long track inspired by the novel. Moraz recalled discussing War and Peace with Anderson, as they had both read the book, after which Moraz showed Anderson a copy of the French science fiction comic Delirius by Philippe Druillet. Moraz said, "He related to it immediately so I think that perhaps as a title 'The Gates of Delirium' came from that". The song originated from an idea that Anderson had come up with and played to the group on the piano "very badly", so he was relieved when his bandmates understood what he was trying to do. Anderson and Howe kept track of its structure by recording sections of it on cassette tapes, leaving Anderson to figure out the next part as the group would develop what was put down prior. The song was recorded in sections at a time, though the group was familiar with the entire piece beforehand and spent several weeks recording takes of each section and selecting the ones the members felt were the strongest. Once picked, the sections were edited together and overdubs were then recorded. The battle section includes crashing sound effects that were created by White pushing over a tower of used car parts that he and Anderson had collected from a scrap yard. Howe remembered Anderson becoming too excited in what he envisaged the battle to be, leading the group to produce one mix that was "too far gone" and another "too safe". Following the battle, the track concludes with a gentle song that later became known as "Soon". Anderson later thought that the song did not come across effectively on record, but fared better in concert."

After the battle section, everything slows down and Howe gives us some stellar, atmospheric solos with Jon singing rather beautifully. This is the "Soon" part released as a 45. Nobody was making music like this, then or now, and after "Close to the Edge," I'd say "Gates of Delirium" is my favorite side-long Yes track. They were never quite this good again.

Image

2. "Sound Chaser" 9:23
Patrick, Chris, and Alan start off "Sound Chaser" with what almost sounds like a jam, but quickly turns into an exploration of jazz fusion which was unusual for the band. Harmony singing, a rapid tempo, Squire outdoing himself on bass - they're better at it than Soft Machine! Steve is soloing now almost like Jimmy Page in Zep's "Heartbreaker," but it lasts longer. The musicianship is better than ever on Relayer, with the group really stretching out and pushing themselves. It's a pity Moraz never made another album with these guys as he was possibly in Rick's league. Difficult for me to say as I'm much less familiar with Patrick's work. This again, is a classic Yes cut - its textures exquisite, with a funky feel to the drumming and bass most unusual for Yes. The multiple sections typical of progressive rock and the lack of Anderson's verbiage a plus.

3. "To Be Over" 9:00
The least of the three tunes is nonetheless still a stunner, with a gentler feel and a less frantic tone which functions as a perfect closer to a classic LP.

Wiki again: "To Be Over" originated when Anderson spent an afternoon at Howe's house in London. As the two discussed what music to prepare for the album, Anderson told Howe of his fondness for a melody Howe had written and had sung to Anderson before. Anderson also had the initial lyric: "We'll go sailing down the stream tomorrow, floating down the universal stream, to be over". Howe gained inspiration for the track from a boat ride on The Serpentine lake in Hyde Park in London. From the beginning, he thought the song was "really special" and Anderson agreed to develop it further. Howe had come up with the music for this particular section in the late 1960s and took a riff from a track by his earlier group, Tomorrow. Anderson described "To Be Over" as "Strong in content, but mellow in overall attitude ... It's about how you should look after yourself when things go wrong." When the song's lyric was being finalized, Howe suggested having the line "She won't know what it means to me" follow "We go sailing down the calming streams", but Anderson changed it to "To be over, we will see", a change that Howe thought was "creatively disguised" to make a broader lyrical statement. Moraz felt constricted to perform an improvised keyboard solo for the song, so he wrote down a counterpoint solo "exactly like a classical fugue" to blend his keyboards with the guitar and bass. He had written an initial version on paper in an evening, yet the band expressed their wish to change the key of the song for the section, causing Moraz to spend several hours rewriting it overnight."

Guess they were putting the new guy through the motions.

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Re: Yes

Postby frimley_greener » 15 Jul 2021, 04:24

I still think the debut album was wonderful, and what came after mainly noodling and doodling:)
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Re: Yes

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 15 Jul 2021, 07:40

Relayer, their best album imo.
Still prefer the Wilson mix, but sadly it does not contain
the crashing sound effects, used in the battle sequence.

"This remaster does not include the sound effects heard in the middle section of "The Gates of Delirium" as they were not part of the original multi-track masters. Wilson hypothesised that they were added during the final mixdown of the album from a separate tape source."
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Re: Yes

Postby slightbreeze » 15 Jul 2021, 08:57

Took me ages to get to like it (not love, though). I hated the "metallic" sound, making it cold and lacking in love. At times it was like a lot of jazz rock albums.... musically proficient but all show and no feeling. However, whatever you think about Yes, Anderson's flair for melody will usually see it through. Original rating 5/10, nowadays 7/10, but still my least favourite of the run starting with the debut

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Re: Yes

Postby robertff » 15 Jul 2021, 10:06

slightbreeze wrote:Took me ages to get to like it (not love, though). I hated the "metallic" sound, making it cold and lacking in love. At times it was like a lot of jazz rock albums.... musically proficient but all show and no feeling. However, whatever you think about Yes, Anderson's flair for melody will usually see it through. Original rating 5/10, nowadays 7/10, but still my least favourite of the run starting with the debut




Have pretty much the same feeling, it's where my liking for Yes really stopped. Like it more now than I did but it doesn't get a lot of plays.


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Re: Yes

Postby C » 15 Jul 2021, 10:55

Matt Wilson wrote:Image
Relayer
Most fans consider this to be a major Yes album and improvement over Tales, and while I do agree it's better, I haven't too many issues with the previous record so don't consider it a comeback or anything. The band had been putting out good/great LPs for three years now and this was merely one more. Rick is out and Patrick Moraz is in for his sole project with the group. Apparently, they even auditioned Vangelis, much to Jon's delight - but felt the keyboard maestro was too strong of a personality to gel with the group. Their penchant for side-long epics continues with the awesome "Gates of Delirium," and "Sound Chaser" is another classic Yes song to add to the canon. The LP is structured similarly to Close to the Edge with one song on side one and two tracks on side two. As you can see above, Roger Dean was back for the album art. 1974 was a monumental year for prog. Aside from Relayer, there was Red and Starless & Bible Black from Crimson, The Power & the Glory by Gentle Giant, Gong's You, Mirage by Camel, and The Lamb Lies Down of Broadway by Genesis. Also of note were Utopia, Refugee (where Moraz came from), Hatfield & The North, Wyatt's Rock Bottom, Hero and Heroine by The Strawbs, The Confessions of Dr. Dream by Kevin Ayers and tons of others. Progressive rock was at an apex and Yes were kings of the hill.

Jon Anderson – lead vocals, acoustic guitars, piccolo, percussion
Steve Howe – acoustic and electric guitars, pedal steel, electric sitar, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitar, backing vocals
Patrick Moraz – piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog, Mellotron
Alan White – drums, percussion

All songs by Yes

1. "The Gates of Delirium" 21:46
From the opening 'prelude' section with the theme stated in a slower manner than it would be later, you know you're in for a treat. Right away Moraz' tone is different than Wakeman's, Jon's gobble-gook words are in full effect, and Squire's bass is forward in the mix. After a few minutes it's Howe's guitar which is hammering out the riff and then we're really off. The 'charge' section is perhaps the most exciting with everyone playing to full capacity. The time signature shifts, with White able to maintain momentum admirably and Steve eliciting all kinds of sounds from his Fender. Put simply, this is more forceful than any of the four cuts from Tales. But then, this is a war song and its aim is different than the more philosophical ones from the previous album. When the main theme comes back around the thirteen minute mark there's almost a feeling of euphoria. Yes hasn't been this good since Close to the Edge.

Wiki: "Anderson had originally planned to have the entire album based on War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, but instead had a side-long track inspired by the novel. Moraz recalled discussing War and Peace with Anderson, as they had both read the book, after which Moraz showed Anderson a copy of the French science fiction comic Delirius by Philippe Druillet. Moraz said, "He related to it immediately so I think that perhaps as a title 'The Gates of Delirium' came from that". The song originated from an idea that Anderson had come up with and played to the group on the piano "very badly", so he was relieved when his bandmates understood what he was trying to do. Anderson and Howe kept track of its structure by recording sections of it on cassette tapes, leaving Anderson to figure out the next part as the group would develop what was put down prior. The song was recorded in sections at a time, though the group was familiar with the entire piece beforehand and spent several weeks recording takes of each section and selecting the ones the members felt were the strongest. Once picked, the sections were edited together and overdubs were then recorded. The battle section includes crashing sound effects that were created by White pushing over a tower of used car parts that he and Anderson had collected from a scrap yard. Howe remembered Anderson becoming too excited in what he envisaged the battle to be, leading the group to produce one mix that was "too far gone" and another "too safe". Following the battle, the track concludes with a gentle song that later became known as "Soon". Anderson later thought that the song did not come across effectively on record, but fared better in concert."

After the battle section, everything slows down and Howe gives us some stellar, atmospheric solos with Jon singing rather beautifully. This is the "Soon" part released as a 45. Nobody was making music like this, then or now, and after "Close to the Edge," I'd say "Gates of Delirium" is my favorite side-long Yes track. They were never quite this good again.

Image

2. "Sound Chaser" 9:23
Patrick, Chris, and Alan start off "Sound Chaser" with what almost sounds like a jam, but quickly turns into an exploration of jazz fusion which was unusual for the band. Harmony singing, a rapid tempo, Squire outdoing himself on bass - they're better at it than Soft Machine! Steve is soloing now almost like Jimmy Page in Zep's "Heartbreaker," but it lasts longer. The musicianship is better than ever on Relayer, with the group really stretching out and pushing themselves. It's a pity Moraz never made another album with these guys as he was possibly in Rick's league. Difficult for me to say as I'm much less familiar with Patrick's work. This again, is a classic Yes cut - its textures exquisite, with a funky feel to the drumming and bass most unusual for Yes. The multiple sections typical of progressive rock and the lack of Anderson's verbiage a plus.

3. "To Be Over" 9:00
The least of the three tunes is nonetheless still a stunner, with a gentler feel and a less frantic tone which functions as a perfect closer to a classic LP.

Wiki again: "To Be Over" originated when Anderson spent an afternoon at Howe's house in London. As the two discussed what music to prepare for the album, Anderson told Howe of his fondness for a melody Howe had written and had sung to Anderson before. Anderson also had the initial lyric: "We'll go sailing down the stream tomorrow, floating down the universal stream, to be over". Howe gained inspiration for the track from a boat ride on The Serpentine lake in Hyde Park in London. From the beginning, he thought the song was "really special" and Anderson agreed to develop it further. Howe had come up with the music for this particular section in the late 1960s and took a riff from a track by his earlier group, Tomorrow. Anderson described "To Be Over" as "Strong in content, but mellow in overall attitude ... It's about how you should look after yourself when things go wrong." When the song's lyric was being finalized, Howe suggested having the line "She won't know what it means to me" follow "We go sailing down the calming streams", but Anderson changed it to "To be over, we will see", a change that Howe thought was "creatively disguised" to make a broader lyrical statement. Moraz felt constricted to perform an improvised keyboard solo for the song, so he wrote down a counterpoint solo "exactly like a classical fugue" to blend his keyboards with the guitar and bass. He had written an initial version on paper in an evening, yet the band expressed their wish to change the key of the song for the section, causing Moraz to spend several hours rewriting it overnight."

Guess they were putting the new guy through the motions.

ImageImage



A great write-up Matt

Infinitely better than Tales....!




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

I'm a hedgehog testicle kind of guy.
Like onion bhajis but earthier.

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Re: Yes

Postby Mike Boom » 15 Jul 2021, 16:11

Great piece on Rick below , amazing to think he was just 24 when he left Yes.
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/06/the-stranger-than-fiction-secret-history-of-prog-rock-icon-rick-wakeman

I wouldn't put Relayer above CTTE but Gates of Delirium is certainly right up there, the "Soon" section especially has always been a fave.

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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 15 Jul 2021, 17:29

Mike Boom wrote:Great piece on Rick below , amazing to think he was just 24 when he left Yes.
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/06/the-stranger-than-fiction-secret-history-of-prog-rock-icon-rick-wakeman

I wouldn't put Relayer above CTTE but Gates of Delirium is certainly right up there, the "Soon" section especially has always been a fave.

Yeah, that’s a wonderful piece. I had read it before. You could make a movie on Rick Wakeman and it would have lots of drama. I’m always amused by how he viewed tales from topographic oceans as being pretentious though, and then he proceeds to give us solo work which is far more ridiculous. I wonder if anyone has ever asked him about that.

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Re: Yes

Postby Hightea » 15 Jul 2021, 19:32

Carlsson wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:Image
Relayer
Most fans consider this to be a major Yes album and improvement over Tales, and while I do agree it's better, I haven't too many issues with the previous record so don't consider it a comeback or anything. The band had been putting out good/great LPs for three years now and this was merely one more. Rick is out and Patrick Moraz is in for his sole project with the group. Apparently, they even auditioned Vangelis, much to Jon's delight - but felt the keyboard maestro was too strong of a personality to gel with the group. Their penchant for side-long epics continues with the awesome "Gates of Delirium," and "Sound Chaser" is another classic Yes song to add to the canon. The LP is structured similarly to Close to the Edge with one song on side one and two tracks on side two. As you can see above, Roger Dean was back for the album art. 1974 was a monumental year for prog. Aside from Relayer, there was Red and Starless & Bible Black from Crimson, The Power & the Glory by Gentle Giant, Gong's You, Mirage by Camel, and The Lamb Lies Down of Broadway by Genesis. Also of note were Utopia, Refugee (where Moraz came from), Hatfield & The North, Wyatt's Rock Bottom, Hero and Heroine by The Strawbs, The Confessions of Dr. Dream by Kevin Ayers and tons of others. Progressive rock was at an apex and Yes were kings of the hill.

Jon Anderson – lead vocals, acoustic guitars, piccolo, percussion
Steve Howe – acoustic and electric guitars, pedal steel, electric sitar, backing vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitar, backing vocals
Patrick Moraz – piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, Minimoog, Mellotron
Alan White – drums, percussion

All songs by Yes

1. "The Gates of Delirium" 21:46
From the opening 'prelude' section with the theme stated in a slower manner than it would be later, you know you're in for a treat. Right away Moraz' tone is different than Wakeman's, Jon's gobble-gook words are in full effect, and Squire's bass is forward in the mix. After a few minutes it's Howe's guitar which is hammering out the riff and then we're really off. The 'charge' section is perhaps the most exciting with everyone playing to full capacity. The time signature shifts, with White able to maintain momentum admirably and Steve eliciting all kinds of sounds from his Fender. Put simply, this is more forceful than any of the four cuts from Tales. But then, this is a war song and its aim is different than the more philosophical ones from the previous album. When the main theme comes back around the thirteen minute mark there's almost a feeling of euphoria. Yes hasn't been this good since Close to the Edge.

Wiki: "Anderson had originally planned to have the entire album based on War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, but instead had a side-long track inspired by the novel. Moraz recalled discussing War and Peace with Anderson, as they had both read the book, after which Moraz showed Anderson a copy of the French science fiction comic Delirius by Philippe Druillet. Moraz said, "He related to it immediately so I think that perhaps as a title 'The Gates of Delirium' came from that". The song originated from an idea that Anderson had come up with and played to the group on the piano "very badly", so he was relieved when his bandmates understood what he was trying to do. Anderson and Howe kept track of its structure by recording sections of it on cassette tapes, leaving Anderson to figure out the next part as the group would develop what was put down prior. The song was recorded in sections at a time, though the group was familiar with the entire piece beforehand and spent several weeks recording takes of each section and selecting the ones the members felt were the strongest. Once picked, the sections were edited together and overdubs were then recorded. The battle section includes crashing sound effects that were created by White pushing over a tower of used car parts that he and Anderson had collected from a scrap yard. Howe remembered Anderson becoming too excited in what he envisaged the battle to be, leading the group to produce one mix that was "too far gone" and another "too safe". Following the battle, the track concludes with a gentle song that later became known as "Soon". Anderson later thought that the song did not come across effectively on record, but fared better in concert."

After the battle section, everything slows down and Howe gives us some stellar, atmospheric solos with Jon singing rather beautifully. This is the "Soon" part released as a 45. Nobody was making music like this, then or now, and after "Close to the Edge," I'd say "Gates of Delirium" is my favorite side-long Yes track. They were never quite this good again.

Image

2. "Sound Chaser" 9:23
Patrick, Chris, and Alan start off "Sound Chaser" with what almost sounds like a jam, but quickly turns into an exploration of jazz fusion which was unusual for the band. Harmony singing, a rapid tempo, Squire outdoing himself on bass - they're better at it than Soft Machine! Steve is soloing now almost like Jimmy Page in Zep's "Heartbreaker," but it lasts longer. The musicianship is better than ever on Relayer, with the group really stretching out and pushing themselves. It's a pity Moraz never made another album with these guys as he was possibly in Rick's league. Difficult for me to say as I'm much less familiar with Patrick's work. This again, is a classic Yes cut - its textures exquisite, with a funky feel to the drumming and bass most unusual for Yes. The multiple sections typical of progressive rock and the lack of Anderson's verbiage a plus.

3. "To Be Over" 9:00
The least of the three tunes is nonetheless still a stunner, with a gentler feel and a less frantic tone which functions as a perfect closer to a classic LP.

Wiki again: "To Be Over" originated when Anderson spent an afternoon at Howe's house in London. As the two discussed what music to prepare for the album, Anderson told Howe of his fondness for a melody Howe had written and had sung to Anderson before. Anderson also had the initial lyric: "We'll go sailing down the stream tomorrow, floating down the universal stream, to be over". Howe gained inspiration for the track from a boat ride on The Serpentine lake in Hyde Park in London. From the beginning, he thought the song was "really special" and Anderson agreed to develop it further. Howe had come up with the music for this particular section in the late 1960s and took a riff from a track by his earlier group, Tomorrow. Anderson described "To Be Over" as "Strong in content, but mellow in overall attitude ... It's about how you should look after yourself when things go wrong." When the song's lyric was being finalized, Howe suggested having the line "She won't know what it means to me" follow "We go sailing down the calming streams", but Anderson changed it to "To be over, we will see", a change that Howe thought was "creatively disguised" to make a broader lyrical statement. Moraz felt constricted to perform an improvised keyboard solo for the song, so he wrote down a counterpoint solo "exactly like a classical fugue" to blend his keyboards with the guitar and bass. He had written an initial version on paper in an evening, yet the band expressed their wish to change the key of the song for the section, causing Moraz to spend several hours rewriting it overnight."

Guess they were putting the new guy through the motions.

ImageImage



A great write-up Matt

Infinitely better than Tales....!




.

great write up Matt wasn't aware of all the details. Interesting how this album came to be I consider it one of their top albums.

Also a fan of Six wives and Journey to the center of the earth I bought that album in the 70's too.

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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 16 Jul 2021, 15:02

ImageImage
The Myths and Legends of King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table - Rick Wakeman

Image

Well, this is it - the deal breaker for many in terms of prog wretched excess. To even describe such an endeavor beggars belief. Inflated with the success of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, our man, Richard, decides to write a concept album about Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and the rest, complete with orchestra, chamber choir, and a five-piece rock band of course, all while recovering from a heart attack caused by the stress of the last LP. Oh, and then stage it on ice at Wembley Arena in front of 27,000 people for three sell-out nights. You couldn't make up something that good and expect it to be believed. And yet that's what he did. Like the Journey record, he had to put up some of his own money for this project/tour and didn't exactly come out on top financially, despite the album's great sales. You can't say Ricky isn't down for his art now, can you? If you're expecting me to ridicule the LP, I'm not - though I certainly realize the project's hubris. The music is actually quite good, and whenever Wakeman can simply play without all the choir's narration, suspect vocals, and orchestral pomp, the proceedings run smoothly. But there is so much of what I listed obscuring the melodies, that it's virtually impossible to enjoy it fully from a 21st Century perspective. You simply have to put yourself back in 1975 and pretend you've never been laid, and this is the coolest shit imaginable while waiting for the next Yes record. If you can't do that, um, you'd better not continue reading... LOL.

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And lest we forget, this was a gold record, selling 12 million copies worldwide. Wiki says "Arthur" has been used by the BBC as the theme to its election night coverage from 1979 to 1997, and 2005, with the track returning for the corporation's 2019 United Kingdom general election coverage. It was also used on Cuban television Channel 6 for years, without crediting or paying royalties."

So I'm assuming some of this music is very well-known globally, though I've never heard it anywhere other than my stereo system. Shall we proceed?

Image

Rick Wakeman – synthesisers, keyboards, grand piano
Gary Pickford-Hopkins – lead vocals
Ashley Holt – lead vocals
Geoffrey Crampton – lead and acoustic guitars
Roger Newell – bass guitar
Barney James – drums
John Hodgson – percussion
New World Orchestra
English Chamber Choir

All songs by Rick Wakeman

1. "Arthur" 7:26
Somber, veddy British-accented words begin our sojourn into medieval tales with an orchestral flourish and interesting music. All things considered, it's quite entertaining until the not-even-adequate vocals come along to spoil the party. This is the chief problem with the record, even more so than Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Rick is so concerned with telling a story that the music has to take a backseat to the narrative. And unlike listening to a Yes album where I can let Anderson's vocals fade into the background, these vocals are placed front and center so I can't ignore them. In between verses there's Wakeman soloing away - and it's enjoyable. One has to look for these small victories when contemplating the turgidness at hand. Strong and with stalwart heart am I, so this is no problemo for Mateo, but for some of you with weak stomachs, I advise caution. The music has now been going on for a couple of minutes with no vocals, so that's a bonus as I write this.

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2. "Lady of the Lake" 0:45
Remember when I said reviewing the last Wakeman opus that the choir was unnecessary? QED

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3. "Guinevere" 6:45
I like this one more than most, a highlight, I'd say - but you have to put in a little bit of imagination and picture Jon Anderson singing it. Beautiful music, cool keys from Wakeman, but Gary Pickford isn't the voice for this. I'd slow down the tempo, give it to Jon - hell, give it to Yes in fact, and let them go to town. Make it a ten-minute cut while you're at it. Hey, I can dream, can't I? Nice vocal melody too. Ditch the choir, natch. Check out Rick's solo, this is why one owns the album. Rick had written this piece years earlier, which makes sense given its conventional nature.

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4. "Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" 5:20
The orchestra comes in loud and strong for the opening, and the choir is along like a Greek chorus. There's more Pickford singing, which kind of reminds me of Zappa's "Zombie Woof" with Ricky Lancelotti on vocals. As I keep saying, the music is good - Rick is playing his ass off. Too bad it's in service of these lyrics and this singer. Did I say that the LP is very well-recorded? I guess you'd expect nothing less. The drama is all a bit silly though. Don't ever let a woman hear you playing this guys. It might make her womb dry up and your John Thomas fall off.

Wiki: "Wakeman wrote violin arrangements for "Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" that were so fast for the players, biographer Dan Wooding wrote they "collapsed with laughter" upon viewing the score. After some false starts, they played the music correctly after Wakeman instructed them they play twice as fast as he originally wanted. "I thought I'd teach the ones who were cocky a lesson"

Side one endeth.

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5. "Merlin the Magician" 8:51
Many feel this to be the best track here, and it's hard to disagree. After the choir distracts you, the music starts and we have another instrumental. Wakeman hasn't gifted us with one since the Six Wives record and boy have I missed it. Crazy synths, interesting melodies, there's even a little 'hoedown' section in the middle. Solid playing by all concerned. Imagine Chris Squire hitting that bass line though. If only...

Wikipedia: "Merlin the Magician" is in three parts; Wakeman had read several descriptions of the character and conjured the image of "a little old man preparing his potions", so he therefore introduces the song with a quiet theme. One book depicted Merlin working in the basement of a castle, "surrounded by bottles and liquids like a mad professor", which inspired the heavier second theme. The piano and banjo section arose from a story that involved Merlin falling in love and chasing after a young girl, who eventually shuts him in a cave where he dies.

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6. "Sir Galahad" 5:51
After the choir reminds us we're in prog church, the pretty piano melody begins and then the band kicks in before the ridiculous vocals start. By now the LP is getting a bit old and I have to concentrate to block out the singing and enjoy the music. I'm not even trying to follow the story anymore.

I've got nothing to say about this number, so I'll move over and let wiki take over: "Wakeman encountered some difficulty with the songwriting as many of the stories described in the books gave different accounts. After reading eight books himself, he picked the details he found the most "colourful" which included taking a passage from a children's book on the subject. He settled on four widely known stories and two lesser known, and proceeded to adapt them to music and lyrics. Much of the album was based around the three swords based around the legend: the sword Arthur pulled out from the stone and anvil, the Excalibur which some believe was instead handed to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake, and the one associated to Galahad. Wakeman incorporated ideas from his personal life into the music, he said: "It's as much about me as Arthur."

Uh, okay. At least the orchestra is used tastefully and Rick's soloing is held to its usual high standard. The last few minutes are fine.

Image

7. "The Last Battle" 9:41
This track is the longest - as if Wakeman had been saving the best for a grand finale. The song before this segues right into "The Last Battle" so you'd be forgiven if you didn't realize they were two separate tracks. The same speaking narrator used at the beginning of the LP is back for longer recitation and everything builds to a climax like at the end of a movie. More Pickford singing, more sis-boom-bah with orchestral accompaniment, and the record ends with a flourish.

So be honest, how many of you will own up to both buying and enjoying this record when you were younger? It doesn't bother me, and I'd say possibly half of it works if you've a mind for such affairs. I would never recommend this to neophytes though for fear of retaliation and or loss of reputation. I'm sure you can agree.

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C
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Joined: 22 Jul 2003, 19:06

Re: Yes

Postby C » 16 Jul 2021, 15:57

Matt Wilson wrote:ImageImage
The Myths and Legends of King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table - Rick Wakeman

Image

Well, this is it - the deal breaker for many in terms of prog wretched excess. To even describe such an endeavor beggars belief. Inflated with the success of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, our man, Richard, decides to write a concept album about Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and the rest, complete with orchestra, chamber choir, and a five-piece rock band of course, all while recovering from a heart attack caused by the stress of the last LP. Oh, and then stage it on ice at Wembley Arena in front of 27,000 people for three sell-out nights. You couldn't make up something that good and expect it to be believed. And yet that's what he did. Like the Journey record, he had to put up some of his own money for this project/tour and didn't exactly come out on top financially, despite the album's great sales. You can't say Ricky isn't down for his art now, can you? If you're expecting me to ridicule the LP, I'm not - though I certainly realize the project's hubris. The music is actually quite good, and whenever Wakeman can simply play without all the choir's narration, suspect vocals, and orchestral pomp, the proceedings run smoothly. But there is so much of what I listed obscuring the melodies, that it's virtually impossible to enjoy it fully from a 21st Century perspective. You simply have to put yourself back in 1975 and pretend you've never been laid, and this is the coolest shit imaginable while waiting for the next Yes record. If you can't do that, um, you'd better not continue reading... LOL.

ImageImage

And lest we forget, this was a gold record, selling 12 million copies worldwide. Wiki says "Arthur" has been used by the BBC as the theme to its election night coverage from 1979 to 1997, and 2005, with the track returning for the corporation's 2019 United Kingdom general election coverage. It was also used on Cuban television Channel 6 for years, without crediting or paying royalties."

So I'm assuming some of this music is very well-known globally, though I've never heard it anywhere other than my stereo system. Shall we proceed?

Image

Rick Wakeman – synthesisers, keyboards, grand piano
Gary Pickford-Hopkins – lead vocals
Ashley Holt – lead vocals
Geoffrey Crampton – lead and acoustic guitars
Roger Newell – bass guitar
Barney James – drums
John Hodgson – percussion
New World Orchestra
English Chamber Choir

All songs by Rick Wakeman

1. "Arthur" 7:26
Somber, veddy British-accented words begin our sojourn into medieval tales with an orchestral flourish and interesting music. All things considered, it's quite entertaining until the not-even-adequate vocals come along to spoil the party. This is the chief problem with the record, even more so than Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Rick is so concerned with telling a story that the music has to take a backseat to the narrative. And unlike listening to a Yes album where I can let Anderson's vocals fade into the background, these vocals are placed front and center so I can't ignore them. In between verses there's Wakeman soloing away - and it's enjoyable. One has to look for these small victories when contemplating the turgidness at hand. Strong and with stalwart heart am I, so this is no problemo for Mateo, but for some of you with weak stomachs, I advise caution. The music has now been going on for a couple of minutes with no vocals, so that's a bonus as I write this.

Image

2. "Lady of the Lake" 0:45
Remember when I said reviewing the last Wakeman opus that the choir was unnecessary? QED

Image

3. "Guinevere" 6:45
I like this one more than most, a highlight, I'd say - but you have to put in a little bit of imagination and picture Jon Anderson singing it. Beautiful music, cool keys from Wakeman, but Gary Pickford isn't the voice for this. I'd slow down the tempo, give it to Jon - hell, give it to Yes in fact, and let them go to town. Make it a ten-minute cut while you're at it. Hey, I can dream, can't I? Nice vocal melody too. Ditch the choir, natch. Check out Rick's solo, this is why one owns the album. Rick had written this piece years earlier, which makes sense given its conventional nature.

Image

4. "Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" 5:20
The orchestra comes in loud and strong for the opening, and the choir is along like a Greek chorus. There's more Pickford singing, which kind of reminds me of Zappa's "Zombie Woof" with Ricky Lancelotti on vocals. As I keep saying, the music is good - Rick is playing his ass off. Too bad it's in service of these lyrics and this singer. Did I say that the LP is very well-recorded? I guess you'd expect nothing less. The drama is all a bit silly though. Don't ever let a woman hear you playing this guys. It might make her womb dry up and your John Thomas fall off.

Wiki: "Wakeman wrote violin arrangements for "Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" that were so fast for the players, biographer Dan Wooding wrote they "collapsed with laughter" upon viewing the score. After some false starts, they played the music correctly after Wakeman instructed them they play twice as fast as he originally wanted. "I thought I'd teach the ones who were cocky a lesson"

Side one endeth.

Image
5. "Merlin the Magician" 8:51
Many feel this to be the best track here, and it's hard to disagree. After the choir distracts you, the music starts and we have another instrumental. Wakeman hasn't gifted us with one since the Six Wives record and boy have I missed it. Crazy synths, interesting melodies, there's even a little 'hoedown' section in the middle. Solid playing by all concerned. Imagine Chris Squire hitting that bass line though. If only...

Wikipedia: "Merlin the Magician" is in three parts; Wakeman had read several descriptions of the character and conjured the image of "a little old man preparing his potions", so he therefore introduces the song with a quiet theme. One book depicted Merlin working in the basement of a castle, "surrounded by bottles and liquids like a mad professor", which inspired the heavier second theme. The piano and banjo section arose from a story that involved Merlin falling in love and chasing after a young girl, who eventually shuts him in a cave where he dies.

Image
6. "Sir Galahad" 5:51
After the choir reminds us we're in prog church, the pretty piano melody begins and then the band kicks in before the ridiculous vocals start. By now the LP is getting a bit old and I have to concentrate to block out the singing and enjoy the music. I'm not even trying to follow the story anymore.

I've got nothing to say about this number, so I'll move over and let wiki take over: "Wakeman encountered some difficulty with the songwriting as many of the stories described in the books gave different accounts. After reading eight books himself, he picked the details he found the most "colourful" which included taking a passage from a children's book on the subject. He settled on four widely known stories and two lesser known, and proceeded to adapt them to music and lyrics. Much of the album was based around the three swords based around the legend: the sword Arthur pulled out from the stone and anvil, the Excalibur which some believe was instead handed to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake, and the one associated to Galahad. Wakeman incorporated ideas from his personal life into the music, he said: "It's as much about me as Arthur."

Uh, okay. At least the orchestra is used tastefully and Rick's soloing is held to its usual high standard. The last few minutes are fine.

Image

7. "The Last Battle" 9:41
This track is the longest - as if Wakeman had been saving the best for a grand finale. The song before this segues right into "The Last Battle" so you'd be forgiven if you didn't realize they were two separate tracks. The same speaking narrator used at the beginning of the LP is back for longer recitation and everything builds to a climax like at the end of a movie. More Pickford singing, more sis-boom-bah with orchestral accompaniment, and the record ends with a flourish.

So be honest, how many of you will own up to both buying and enjoying this record when you were younger? It doesn't bother me, and I'd say possibly half of it works if you've a mind for such affairs. I would never recommend this to neophytes though for fear of retaliation and or loss of reputation. I'm sure you can agree.


A magnificent post Matt!

Good old

Yes, good lad




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ConnyOlivetti
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Re: Yes

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 16 Jul 2021, 16:42

Regarding the ice show, funny how they ended up doing that

"A show at Tintagel was abandoned, and Wakeman suggested Wembley Stadium but Goldsmith explained it was not feasible. The keyboardist suggested Wembley Arena, but booking the venue caused a problem as the Ice Follies were scheduled to perform afterwards and the arena had already become an ice rink. Goldsmith and Wakeman's management instead suggested a scaled down show at the Royal Albert Hall, but Wakeman insisted on Wembley, and subsequently told a Melody Maker reporter that he would be presenting King Arthur as an ice show, "so there was no going back"
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