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mudshark
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Re: Yes

Postby mudshark » 25 Jul 2021, 14:38

Sorry for interrupting: I'm not close-reading this, so may have lost the plot: y'all are talking about an album by Peter Banks (whom I'd never heard of until now), and then all of a sudden Genesis' Tony Banks pops up! Which of the two is the wanker, or are they one and the same?
There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over

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Re: Yes

Postby Rorschach » 26 Jul 2021, 10:30

mudshark wrote:Sorry for interrupting: I'm not close-reading this, so may have lost the plot: y'all are talking about an album by Peter Banks (whom I'd never heard of until now), and then all of a sudden Genesis' Tony Banks pops up! Which of the two is the wanker, or are they one and the same?


I'm embarrassed to admit that I know the answer to this one.

Peter Banks was the original guitarist with Yes. He is undoubtable less of a wanker because he has the prestige of having been thrown out of that band. A badge of honour if ever there was one.
Bugger off.

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Re: Yes

Postby mudshark » 26 Jul 2021, 20:34

Thank you for the gem of wisdom. You truly are Prog personified.
My question is: why does Tony pop up when they're talking about Peter?
There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over

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Charlie O.
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Re: Yes

Postby Charlie O. » 26 Jul 2021, 22:23

mudshark wrote:Thank you for the gem of wisdom. You truly are Prog personified.
My question is: why does Tony pop up when they're talking about Peter?

Towards the bottom of the previous page, Neil Jung makes a simple comparison between Chris Squire eschewing guitars on his solo album and Tony Banks doing the same on his - hence the slight digression.
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Matt Wilson
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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 27 Jul 2021, 18:13

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Olias of Sunhillow - Jon Anderson
Jon toiled long and hard on his little sci-fi project concerning four alien tribes and their attempt to escape their home planet before it's destroyed by a volcanic eruption. He played all the instruments himself and recorded it at his home in Long Grove in Seer Green, Buckinghamshire. It's all airy-fairy nonsense, of course, but only in the '70s could this music have been backed by a major label and been released with elaborate packaging to relative success. This is by far his most famous record, and since it's the only one I own (and have heard), I'll use it as my representative Jon Anderson solo album for this thread.

Words/music by Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson
Vocals
Keyboards (Minimoog, Korg miniKORGs Mk 1 & 2, Farfisa organ, Rhodes 66 electric piano, double manual Mellotron, church organ in Beaconsfield, Baldwin baby grand piano, Freeman String Symphonizer)
Guitars (Martin and Gibson acoustic guitars, Gibson Melody Maker electric guitar, Höfner violin bass guitar, Gibson mandocello, sitar, tampuri, bouzouki, saz)
Percussion (Ludwig wood blocks, tambourine, triangle, custom-built cymbal tree, assorted cymbals and gongs), marimba, glockenspiel, toy xylophone, bells, Chinese bells, African cowbells, Tibetan bells)
Other instruments (Irish harp, thumb piano, assorted African wooden flutes, drums, large brass band drum, brass band snare drum, Caribbean long drums, assorted Navajo drums, African skin drums, tabla

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1. "Ocean Song" 3:12
The synths and vaguely oriental themes start early in our introduction to Olias. Anderson's self-taught playing is slight on virtuosity and heavy on atmosphere. Well-recorded, it's all ambience and trippy new age vibes.

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2. "Meeting (Garden of Geda)"/"Sound Out the Galleon" 3:28
Jon's vocals are in evidence here before the drums kick in, then the singing proper starts. Like Wakeman's records, this is a concept album where the songs are in service of the story being presented. Progressive rock is largely the product of the English middle class, and it wants to be seen as clever, you see. Why release an album of songs when you can create a story with a concept and themes? LOL.

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3. "Dance of Ranyart"/"Olias (To Build the Moorglade)" 4:14
The Moorglade is the ship used to travel to another planet, but I'll let wiki take over: "The planet of Sunhillow is home to four tribes—Nagrunium, Asatranius, Oractaniom and Nordranious—each of which represents a different aspect of music consciousness, which comes under threat after a catastrophic eruption of its volcano. Olias, a magician, is the chosen architect of an ark, named the Moorglade Mover, to fly Sunhillow's people to a new planet. He is helped by fellow magicians Ranyart, the harp-playing navigator of the glider, and Qoquaq (pronounced "ko-quake"), the mystic and appointed spokesperson who unites the four tribes to leave the planet together.

Olias fashions the Moorglade Mover by persuading Sunhillow's trees and fish to sacrifice their lives and substance to form it, while Qoquaq travels across Sunhillow using trance singing to bring together the mutually suspicious tribes to unite and board the ship. With the population on board and in a collective trance, the ship leaves Sunhillow just before the planet explodes into millions of silent teardrops. As the glider travels through deep space, the refugees succumb to the mysterious Moon Ra, a force of disorientation. Creating an evil form out of their panic and frustration, they are reassured and reunified by Olias through his singing of chords of love and life.

The Moorglade Mover lands on the plains of a new planet named Asguard, and the tribes disembark and go their separate ways. Their mission completed, Olias, Ranyart, and Qoquag ascend the highest of Asguard's mountains to sleep and "become one with the universe"

There, that's the plot in a nutshell.

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4. "Qoquaq Ën Transic"/"Naon"/"Transic Tö" 7:03
The longest number on side one starts with the usual new age music (easiest to perform, presumably) and Eastern-sounding synths so redolent of this album before tribal drums enter the proceedings. Jon is singing in the background but I don't think we are meant to be paying attention. I'm not anyway... The LP mostly sounds like background music really, lacking any forceful riffs or overtly musical moments. Again - think "Eastern or Oriental New Age music" and you have a decent idea of how it sounds.

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5. "Flight of the Moorglade" 3:22
There's an attempt to make this cut sound like a song proper, and it's rather Yes-sounding at that, so I'm making a judgement call and claiming this as a highlight. Jon's vocals on the record are surprisingly low in the mix leading one to surmise that he's going for mood rather than clarity or radio-friendly songs.

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6. "Solid Space" 5:16
Sound effects start off side two before any discernible melody can be heard, but once the synths kick in it's more of the same. You can tell Anderson's not a real musician, but he's crafting a pleasurable listening experience nonetheless and it's all very Jon-like in its vagueness. Presumably, you're supposed to derive some kind of spirituality in this music, but its sixth form science fiction themes and quasi-mystic basic synth playing keep it from any higher form of musical endeavor.

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7. "Moon Ra"/"Chords"/"Song of Search" 12:48
This is his big track on the LP. An explosion is heard before background chanting takes over. Some nice acoustic guitar at around the eight-minute mark. Now might be a good time to tell you he's been working on a sequel to this record for quite some time.

Wikipedia: In 2004, Jon Anderson called for collaborators to contact him via his website. He described a project that would be a "return to Olias".

In 2006, around the time Olias of Sunhillow was re-released, Anderson announced that he was making a sequel called The Songs of Zamran: Son of Olias.

In late 2008, he announced on his Myspace page that he was hoping to finish the sequel soon.

In a Rockline interview on 20 July 2011, Anderson was asked about the sequel. He said that he hoped to have the first bits of Zamran out in a year.

In late 2012, a web site was launched (http://www.sevendragons.org/zamran now closed) entitling it Zamran Experience, showing a short preview and describing it as "an interactive audio-visual album".

On 3 January 2013, Anderson confirmed he was still working on The Songs of Zamran: Son of Olias.

On 1 December 2014, Anderson stated on his Facebook page: "I keep myself busy working on the Zamran project."

We wait with bated breath.

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8. "To the Runner" 4:26
The last number also seems to have a bit more thought towards commerciality. Like maybe this could be a section of one of those Topographic Ocean cuts or something. I like it. Its simplistic rhythms create a pleasing ambient quality which, at least on this record, is a standout. By the way, a better album with some of the same themes is Paul Kantner's Blows Against the Empire, released six years earlier.
Last edited by Matt Wilson on 29 Jul 2021, 06:04, edited 2 times in total.

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ConnyOlivetti
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Re: Yes

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 27 Jul 2021, 19:49

Great overview on one of my fav albums.

(Would not call the music new age though...)
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Re: Yes

Postby slightbreeze » 27 Jul 2021, 21:08

Love Anderson with Yes. However, Olias is amateurish, self indulgent rubbish. Two contrasting views already.

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Re: Yes

Postby C » 28 Jul 2021, 14:45

Does this count Matt?

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.
LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Yes

Postby slightbreeze » 28 Jul 2021, 15:32

C wrote:Does this count Matt?

Image




.


File under "Tracks not good enough for the first two Yes albums".

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Re: Yes

Postby trans-chigley express » 29 Jul 2021, 06:00

slightbreeze wrote:Love Anderson with Yes. However, Olias is amateurish, self indulgent rubbish. Two contrasting views already.


My view is closer to Conny's than yours, I love it and think it's an amazing achievement for someone not noted as a musician.

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Re: Yes

Postby Neil Jung » 29 Jul 2021, 10:59

Olias really isn’t very good. If it was by Ramases or some other hippy drippy obscure band it would have remained obscure.
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Re: Yes

Postby C » 29 Jul 2021, 13:03

Neil Jung wrote:Olias really isn’t very good.


Agreed - very weak to my cloth ears

I've only ever played it a handful of times.

He is not a strong enough instrumentalist to make a decent fist of it




.
LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Yes

Postby robertff » 29 Jul 2021, 13:27

C wrote:
Neil Jung wrote:Olias really isn’t very good.


Agreed - very weak to my cloth ears

I've only ever played it a handful of times.

He is not a strong enough instrumentalist to make a decent fist of it


.



It's never done much for me, the cover looks great but the music is underwhelming. You used to find copies of this regularly going cheaply at boot fairs and the like.


.

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Re: Yes

Postby robertff » 29 Jul 2021, 13:31

slightbreeze wrote:
C wrote:Does this count Matt?

Image




.


File under "Tracks not good enough for the first two Yes albums".



In a way I wanted this to sound great as I liked his contribution to the first two Yes albums and felt disappointed for him when he was booted out or whatever. Sadly, despite the name of the band and some youthful interest in the cover, the music didn't hold up.



.

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Re: Yes

Postby C » 29 Jul 2021, 15:13

robertff wrote:
slightbreeze wrote:
C wrote:Does this count Matt?

Image




.


File under "Tracks not good enough for the first two Yes albums".



In a way I wanted this to sound great as I liked his contribution to the first two Yes albums and felt disappointed for him when he was booted out or whatever. Sadly, despite the name of the band and some youthful interest in the cover, the music didn't hold up.



.



All true but I like the album

Law of diminishing returns after that



.
LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!

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Re: Yes

Postby Matt Wilson » 30 Jul 2021, 16:10

Three years with no new Yes record and the prog world had changed considerably. The old top-tier bands were struggling. Genesis would never again issue a first-rate LP, Crimson was on hiatus, ELP returned from an even longer holiday than Yes with the uninspiring Works records, etc. Only Floyd and Tull came up with the goods that year. Add Yes to that short list because Going for the One is excellent. They would never again essay an album of this quality. Rick Wakeman is back as well, giving us 4/5s of the classic '71 - '72 lineup.

Jon Anderson – lead vocals, harp
Steve Howe – steel guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, vachalia, pedal steel guitar, vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitar, fretless bass, 8-string bass, vocals
Rick Wakeman – piano, electric keyboards, church organ at St. Martin's in Vevey, Polymoog synthesizer, choral arrangement on "Awaken"
Alan White – drums, percussion, tuned percussion

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Going for the One

1. "Going for the One" (Jon Anderson) 5:30
The title tracks blasts out of the starting gate with a great Howe steel guitar riff and Jon singing rock 'n' roll for the first time in ages it seems. The song had been presented to the band by Anderson years prior but only now was accepted for inclusion on an LP. An outstanding opener and you immediately realize Yes have been missed. A slight tweaking of the sound and a more forceful approach are apparent. I've heard this on the radio my whole life, though it's never been a staple like some of the 1971 material.

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2. "Turn of the Century" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Alan White)
A much more delicate approach is used for this long number beautifully performed with guitar and piano to the fore. Wiki: "The song tells the story of Roan, a sculptor whose wife dies in the winter and, while in grief of her death, carves a statue of her and she is brought back to life. Anderson gained the idea from the opera La Bohème, with additional inspiration from the Greek mythological figure Pygmalion, who falls in love with a statue of a woman that he carved. It was considerably shorter in length in its original form, but as the band continued to develop the song further Anderson suggested the song should tell the story musically before he added lyrics. White came up with the song's chord sequences on piano and also wrote the initial vocal melody, which Anderson took a liking to and wrote words for: the chords were later developed further in certain sections by Howe. White also wrote the section where the drums incorporate the tympani towards the end. The opening minutes of the track became one of Howe's favourite pieces of music by the band."

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3. "Parallels" (Chris Squire) 5:52
With an opening bass line reminiscent of the Stones' "Monkey Man," the song was originally from Chris' Fish Out of Water sessions. Wiki: He also felt the song did not fit with the style of the other tracks on his album. When it came to selecting songs for Going for the One, Squire suggested the song for the group to record, which was received well by the other members. In its rough form, the song contained no guitar riffs. Its lyrics address the idea of hope, a recurring theme of Squire's lyrics."

Yep, I said Fish Out of Water would have made a grand Yes album and there you have it.

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4. "Wonderous Stories" (Jon Anderson) 3:45
Jon came up with both of the successful songs on the album, as this made number 7 on the UK charts and was their biggest hit in their home country. A perfect way to begin the second side of the LP. Another ballad like "Turn of the Century," it gently permeates the listener's consciousness creating a blissful effect, and is one of the highlights of a record filled with nothing but.

Wikipedia again: "He wrote the song during "a beautiful day" while staying in Montreux, "one of those days you want to remember for years afterwards". It was then when the words "wonderous stories" entered his head, which he later used for the song's lyrics. He noted the song's meaning as "the joys of life, as opposed to the uptightedness of some aspects of life" that was inspired by romantic stories and "a kind of dream sequence". Author Bill Martin believed the song is about the importance of hearing and listening.

Howe commented that Anderson wrote the song during "his Renaissance period" when he was into a "classical ... feeling to things" and noted its strong "classical framework". The song features Howe playing a 12-string Portuguese guitar, which he had used on "I've Seen All Good People", and an electric guitar which he plays at its conclusion. Wakeman plays the Polymoog, a polyphonic analogue synthesiser. White contributed the idea of the drums and bass playing on odd beats."

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5. "Awaken" (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe) 15:38
It wouldn't be classic Yes without some Brobdingnagian musical statement now, would it? Rick's piano starts her off (Wakeman is rather muted on this album, but his work is very prominent on this track), and I realize how I love Yes epics.

Wiki: "Anderson first thought of the song when he started to read The Singer: A Classic Retelling of Cosmic Conflict (1975) by Calvin Miller while living in Switzerland, who details "an ageless hymn" about a "star song that is sung every now and again". Anderson drew further inspiration from a book about the life of Dutch painter Rembrandt, which had affected him "quite significantly". The music originated from an incident at a hotel when Anderson heard Howe repeatedly play a chord sequence on his guitar as he walked by, which led Anderson to sing some lyrical ideas on top of it on tape. Howe had written the beginning of the guitar solo previously, which was originally to be a part of a solo guitar piece. Moraz wrote an introduction for the song which was not used, but was adapted into "Time for a Change" on his solo album Out in the Sun (1977). Anderson wished to incorporate the harp into the song's middle section and "dream the audience, sort of Vivaldi", and later considered the song's lyrics and its final section with Wakeman's keyboards to be particularly strong. The song features choral passages performed by the Richard Williams Singers, whose musical arrangements were directed by Wakeman, and the Ars Laeta of Lausanne, recorded at the Église des Planches, a church in Montreux. An early version of the song's introduction was performed live during the band's final gig on the Relayer tour, in 1975."

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ConnyOlivetti
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Re: Yes

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 30 Jul 2021, 16:39

Going for the one, guess Im one of the few, dont like it at all.
Ah well, not the end of the world,
but for me, the end for Yes.
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Re: Yes

Postby slightbreeze » 30 Jul 2021, 16:43

Not my favourite of theirs, but much better than I thought it would be. However, it's not especially memorable compared to past glories.Yes were still capable of some musical magic.....but not for long

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Re: Yes

Postby Neil Jung » 31 Jul 2021, 11:31

I love Going For The One! Their last great record.
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Re: Yes

Postby C » 31 Jul 2021, 19:57

Neil Jung wrote:I love Going For The One! Their last great record.


Agreed but Drama and 90125 are very good and very robust

That's where I bailed out.

I haven't heard anything after that



.
LMG wrote:Everyone I have ever met was at Baker's Airforce show where it was recorded. My boss, various ex-girlfriends, my postman was reminiscing about it the other day. My Mum went, my Dad and both sets of grandparents. I got stuck at home with a babysitter!