Author Topic: The Yes Discography: The Quest (2021)  (Read 73227 times)

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Offline Mladen

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #630 on: February 10, 2019, 03:29:13 AM »
I might actually check it out.  ;)

Online Fritzinger

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #631 on: February 12, 2019, 04:58:03 AM »
I am extremely thrilled for this. I didn’t know Jon knew Chick Corea!
Also, Alan White was mentioned, but does he appear on the album?
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Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #632 on: February 12, 2019, 07:21:35 AM »
I didn’t know Jon knew Chick Corea!

Yeah, that's a combination that could lead to some crazy things.  ♫♫

Offline Orbert

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The Yes Discography: From a Page (2019)
« Reply #633 on: June 10, 2020, 03:38:46 PM »
Necro-Post Update!

So this is an odd one, and also odd to fit properly into the Discography, for reasons that will hopefully become apparent.  But I recently picked this up, and I really like it, so I decided to include it here.

----------

After the 2004 tour, the final tour featuring the classic lineup of Anderson-Howe-Squire-Wakeman-White and which produced Songs from Tsongas, Yes took another break.  As I mentioned in the writeup for the next studio album, Fly From Here, there are conflicting stories about what exactly happened, but the short version is that Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman were gone, leaving Yes once again in search of both a lead singer and a keyboard player.

Rick Wakeman's son Oliver is also a keyboard player, and a pretty good one.  He appeared on Steve Howe's album Spectrum (2005) and had worked with him on other projects.  Howe had appeared previously on Oliver Wakeman's The 3 Ages of Magick (2001).  Oliver Wakeman also played keyboards for Starcastle (replacing Herb Schildt) in 2007 for their appearance as RoSfest.  Steve Howe suggested Wakeman as the new keyboard player, to which Squire and White agreed.

Benoit David of the band Mystery was also the lead singer for a Yes tribute band called Close to the Edge, and that is how they found him.  This lineup did a short tour, which was documented on the live album In the Present - Live from Lyon (2011), released in 2011 but recorded on the brief 2009 tour.



I didn't originally include In the Present - Live from Lyon in this discography for the simple reason that I didn't have it, had never heard it, and had heard that it wasn't great.  Yes (or rather their management) is notorious for releasing live albums and other compilations to fill the breaks between studio albums, and considering how many breaks and lineup changes they've had, there seems to be plenty of material to mine for this purpose, so I didn't exactly consider this one mandatory.  After Trevor Horn was brought in to produce the next Yes album (the aforementioned Fly From Here), we soon learned that Oliver Wakeman was out and Geoff Downes was in as the keyboard player.  And the rest is history.

We now know that there was some material recorded with Oliver Wakeman on keyboards prior to his leaving the band, and he has kept the tapes all this time.  Two songs were basically completed but not used ("To The Moment" and "Words on a Page"), and a third was mostly completed and also not used ("The Gift of Love").  Wakeman worked with all three and created finished songs from them.  He also resurrected a fourth tune ("From the Turn of a Card") which he had written for the album and which eventually appeared in a different form on an instrumental album by Wakeman and Gordon Giltrap called Ravens and Lullabies (2013).  At Wakeman's request, Benoit David sings on this track, as Wakeman had originally written it for his voice.  Wakeman also recorded a new piano track for the song, making it a "new" Yessong.

These four songs have been approved by Yes (basically Steve Howe and Alan White) for release under the name Yes.  The new package is titled From a Page, and it combines the previously unreleased material from the early Fly From Here sessions with the previously released Live from Lyon material, forming a complete document of the David-Howe-Squire-Wakeman-White lineup.

From a Page (2019)



Benoit David - Lead Vocals
Steve Howe - Guitar, Vocals
Chris Squire - Bass, Vocals
Oliver Wakeman - Keyboards
Alan White - Drums

----------

From a Page

To the Moment 6:09
Words on a Page 6:18
From the Turn of a Card 3:24
The Gift of Love 9:52

In the Present - Live from Lyon

Siberian Khatru 10:39
I've Seen All Good People 7:17
Tempus Fugit 6:05
Onward 4:38
Astral Traveller 8:49
Yours Is No Disgrace 13:23
And You and I 11:27
Corkscrew 3:49
Second Initial 3:19
Owner of a Lonely Heart 6:05
South Side of the Sky 10:44
Machine Messiah 11:41
Heart of the Sunrise 11:43
Roundabout 9:35
Starship Trooper 13:08

----------

I like this one.  I always liked Benoit David's voice.  To me, he sounds very much like Drama-era Trevor Horn, which made Fly From Here sound like "Drama II" to me even before people started calling it that.  (They even had Horn record new vocals for Fly From Here and released the results, calling it Fly Fom Here - Return Trip, making it truly "Drama II".)

I can understand why some fans had trouble with David as the lead singer.  He does struggle from time to time to reach the same notes that Jon Anderson did with the same grace and seeming effortlessness.  But there are some songs that he nails.  Yes have had so many lead singers by now that I don't really care that he's not Jon Anderson.  No one is, including Jon Anderson anymore.  Plus, it's great to get live versions of Drama songs "Tempus Fugit" and "Machine Messiah".  They both totally smoke, and with David's vocals sounding so much like a live Trevor Horn (and honestly, a bit better), it's like having the Drama lineup again.  Even better.

This package was released last year, and I made a mental note to pick it up sometime, but they'd bundled it with a previously released album, and some people had trouble with that.  But with only four new songs, it barely qualified as an EP, so releasing it individually didn't make much sense either.  Fortunately, I'd never picked up Live from Lyon, so once I was reminded of this release, it was a no-brainer.

The studio tracks sound great.  As far as I'm concerned, they're four "lost" Yes tracks that have been found again.  I hear Steve Howe on guitar, Chris Squire on bass, Alan White on drums, all sounding great.  I hear a Wakeman on keyboards sounding very much like his father but also very good in his own right, and I hear a familiar voice on lead vocals.  This is Yes music.

And the live material is fine.  A few rough spots, so I guess I understand why people complained, but overall I think it's fine.  Yes music is hard to play, and Benoit David is not the only one who messes up once in a while.  I prefer my live albums "warts and all", it feels much live that way.  So this is more Yes material, both studio and live stuff from a lineup I'd never heard before.

Recommended, especially if you don't already have Live from Lyon , and even if you do, if you're a completist.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2020, 03:57:34 PM by Orbert »

Online Fritzinger

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #634 on: June 11, 2020, 03:28:54 AM »
I think it takes quite the amount of oddness to be considered "an odd one" in the Yes discography  :lol But yeah, this band never fails to surprise when it comes to weird release choices. To this day, it's not possible to buy this via Amazon or listen to it on streaming services. It's the same with 1000 Hands by Jon Anderson and Fly From Here: Return Trip, but the latter is now available on Amazon.

I'm very curious to hear these songs, I have only heard the "single". But I don't really wanna pay 30 pounds/35€ (including shipping) for a 25 minute EP on vinyl. I don't buy CDs and I have no interest in owning the Lyon concert, because I heard it and... yeah. You were very merciful when reviewing this live album in my opinion  :lol

On one thing I really have to disagree though: Jon Anderson is still Jon Anderson. This dude is in his mid-seventies and he sings like a 22 year old. I saw him at the Night Of The Prog with ARW, and he was amazing.
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Online Stadler

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #635 on: June 11, 2020, 07:48:11 AM »
Fritzinger, I was going to say the same thing.  I saw him a year or so ago in a 500 seat theater (got to meet him too; while I'm not blind to his history of being prickly, for the short time he was with me, he was charming and engaged; I had Going For The One with me, and when I noted it was my favorite album of all time by any band he looked at me like "for real?".  It was... well, cute, if you can use that word for a conversation between a 51 and 73/74 year old man!).

He played a full set, mostly Yes songs, and he NAILED them.  I didn't notice any tuning down, and there was very little re-arranging.  Starship Trooper - one of the last songs - was almost breathtaking.


Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #636 on: June 11, 2020, 08:44:13 AM »
I should have mentioned that From a Page is only available from a couple of different online sources, including none of the usual ones.  I got mine from Burning Shed.

Yes, it's a lot of money for four songs.  For four new songs that I really wanted to hear, plus a live album I didn't already have, I figured it was worth it (especially since, for reasons I won't go into right now, it was basically free).  Live from Lyon isn't great, but there are some great moments.  So what the hell.  I was listening to it again the other day, and it occurred to me that I should probably add it to the Discography, since it's an official Yes release that I hadn't covered.

I'd heard that Jon was back in form, but okay, I'd forgotten.  I saw some video he did a while back with a youth orchestra, and people were raving about it, but I thought it was kinda bad.  He did sound better on the few ARW videos I watched.

Online Stadler

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #637 on: June 11, 2020, 09:18:14 AM »
The youth orchestra opened for him when I saw him.  I can't find the setlist, but to see high school girls in tight skirts playing "South Side Of The Sky" (if I remember correctly, one of the songs they played), is an emotionally conflicting experience.  :)

(I'm kidding; I mean no disrespect.  The orchestra I saw was a rotating group of about 10 or 12 kids - "kids" meaning high school age - and they played I think five or so rock/prog classics and they were quite impressive.  VERY impressive, actually.)

Online Fritzinger

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #638 on: June 11, 2020, 09:39:46 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwspoyRdeV0

I'm just gonna leave this here... Jon is a master
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Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #639 on: June 21, 2020, 02:00:57 PM »
If I found any post 2002 live CD/DVD inexpensively, I might be inclined to look into it. I just have a felling that tempo issues would bother me.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #640 on: June 21, 2020, 03:34:48 PM »
Tempo issues are the number one thing that turns me off from some later live releases.  Some songs are the same as they've always been, but some feel like they just drag, and it's really noticeable.  And once you notice it, it's annoying.

There are only a few on Live from Lyon, but that unfortunately includes the very first song, so instead of hitting you fast and hard from the start, it opens with "uhhhhhh..."  But I was half expecting it, and I knew I was gonna listen to the whole thing anyway.  I mean, I bought it, might as well dig in.  After a few songs I didn't even think about it.  I just heard five very talented guys playing some amazing music.  At that point, I didn't care if the singer wasn't the guy I'm used to, or the keyboard player, or whoever.  I was just digging some new (to me) live Yes, from a lineup I'd never checked out before.  And like I said, it was basically free for me, so why not?

Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #641 on: June 21, 2020, 06:28:56 PM »
I remember a friend a while back talking up the Montreux version of South Side of the Sky to me, but when I checked it out, I was like, "Are they playing it in slow motion?"  It sounds so slow and plodding.  I get that capturing the original vibe of a song is sometimes not possible, but slowing down the tempo the way they did on that one was a major blunder.

Offline The Letter M

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #642 on: June 21, 2020, 09:23:42 PM »
I remember a friend a while back talking up the Montreux version of South Side of the Sky to me, but when I checked it out, I was like, "Are they playing it in slow motion?"  It sounds so slow and plodding.  I get that capturing the original vibe of a song is sometimes not possible, but slowing down the tempo the way they did on that one was a major blunder.

You're talking about the 2003 show, right? I just listened to the original album version, which has a tempo of about 80-81 bpm, while the Montreux version is about 75-76 bpm. It is a bit slower, but not by a lot IMO.

The dragging tempo feels more apparent in this video from 2014, where it feels like 72 bpm. I'd say most of their tempos were pretty good until Jon Anderson left the band, but I've really not listened to much live Yes in the last decade or so to really say for sure.

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Offline DragonAttack

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #643 on: June 22, 2020, 10:53:01 AM »
Started reading through this thread ever since it was revived a few weeks back.  I have all the studio releases from 'The Yes Album' on through 'Magnification', along with ABWH, 'Yessongs', and Steve Howe's 'Turbulence'.  Saw the band in concert during the Union tour, and a few years back with Peter Frampton opening.  They cancelled a Kalamazoo Big Generator stop.

Anyhoo.....am enjoying the ride down memory lane, with very good posts all around.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 11:31:27 AM by DragonAttack »
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #644 on: June 22, 2020, 12:47:26 PM »
I remember a friend a while back talking up the Montreux version of South Side of the Sky to me, but when I checked it out, I was like, "Are they playing it in slow motion?"  It sounds so slow and plodding.  I get that capturing the original vibe of a song is sometimes not possible, but slowing down the tempo the way they did on that one was a major blunder.

You're talking about the 2003 show, right? I just listened to the original album version, which has a tempo of about 80-81 bpm, while the Montreux version is about 75-76 bpm. It is a bit slower, but not by a lot IMO.

The dragging tempo feels more apparent in this video from 2014, where it feels like 72 bpm. I'd say most of their tempos were pretty good until Jon Anderson left the band, but I've really not listened to much live Yes in the last decade or so to really say for sure.


2003, yes.  I guess even though it is technically not that much slower, it just feels a lot slower.  Despite not being a fast-paced song on record, the original has this kind of dark, almost dangerous, feel and vibe, where it probably feels faster than it really is. 

Offline DTA

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #645 on: June 27, 2020, 05:47:52 PM »
Is there seriously anything better than 5:13 onward in Turn Of The Century? If I was to pick my favorite segment of music ever it might be this. Steve Howe going apeshit on guitar with Jon reciting the last verse over orchestral drums and bass....it's absolutely glorious.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #646 on: June 27, 2020, 05:52:25 PM »
One of my all-time favorite songs.  Steve is amazing throughout, from the jubilant, joyous runs when the statue comes to life, to the delicate, introspective licks that open and close the piece.  And of course the duet between him and Wakeman during the break.  Just an incredible performance from everyone involved. ♫♫

Offline pg1067

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #647 on: June 27, 2020, 05:54:19 PM »
Is there seriously anything better than 5:13 onward in Turn Of The Century? If I was to pick my favorite segment of music ever it might be this. Steve Howe going apeshit on guitar with Jon reciting the last verse over orchestral drums and bass....it's absolutely glorious.

Well...I'd say there's something better on the other side of the album -- roughly the last 5 1/2 minutes of Awaken.  But that's not a knock on TOTC, which is, indeed, stellar (as you and Orbert mentioned).  Awaken's just on a higher level.
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Offline romdrums

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #648 on: June 27, 2020, 08:27:38 PM »
Is there seriously anything better than 5:13 onward in Turn Of The Century? If I was to pick my favorite segment of music ever it might be this. Steve Howe going apeshit on guitar with Jon reciting the last verse over orchestral drums and bass....it's absolutely glorious.

Well...I'd say there's something better on the other side of the album -- roughly the last 5 1/2 minutes of Awaken.  But that's not a knock on TOTC, which is, indeed, stellar (as you and Orbert mentioned).  Awaken's just on a higher level.

I would easily place both of those songs inside my top ten Yes songs.  TOTC is such a unique and beautiful piece of music. 
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #649 on: June 27, 2020, 08:36:53 PM »
Is there seriously anything better than 5:13 onward in Turn Of The Century? If I was to pick my favorite segment of music ever it might be this. Steve Howe going apeshit on guitar with Jon reciting the last verse over orchestral drums and bass....it's absolutely glorious.

That ending is definitely awesome, probably my favorite part of the Going for the One album, which admittedly isn't one of my favorites. Turn of the Century is the one song from it that would make my Yes top 25.  :hat :hat

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #650 on: June 27, 2020, 10:32:15 PM »
I think, before Yes recorded Turn Of The Century, Jon Anderson said something like: "let's try to tell a story with this song... and then I will start to sing".


Awaken is from another world, I agree. But my favorite part is the mellow middle-section. The organ just creates such a great atmosphere. For me, maybe the best moment on the album and one of Yes' best moments overall. Going For The One gets far too little praise.
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Offline Mladen

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #651 on: June 28, 2020, 03:46:17 AM »
It took me a while to get into Turn of the century, but now it's one of my favorite Yes songs of all time. The entire song is gorgeous, but from the instrumental onward it's just perfect. I love how all five members are involved, yet it sounds so skeletal and simple.

The live version on Songs from Tsongas is even better than the studio version. PLEASE, do yourself a favour and check it out.

Offline DTA

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #652 on: June 28, 2020, 07:11:03 AM »
Is there seriously anything better than 5:13 onward in Turn Of The Century? If I was to pick my favorite segment of music ever it might be this. Steve Howe going apeshit on guitar with Jon reciting the last verse over orchestral drums and bass....it's absolutely glorious.

Well...I'd say there's something better on the other side of the album -- roughly the last 5 1/2 minutes of Awaken.  But that's not a knock on TOTC, which is, indeed, stellar (as you and Orbert mentioned).  Awaken's just on a higher level.

That moment in Awaken is incredible too, especially when the organ really kicks in. There's just something about that release at 5:13 after the long buildup in TOTC that is pure elation that I don't really get from many other songs.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #653 on: June 28, 2020, 08:26:08 AM »
5:13 is where the statue comes to life (as far as I've always understood the story) and all of his work comes to fruition, and they are reunited.  Such an awesome moment.

But in the live version, Steve's tone is much thinner, and I don't feel that it has the same effect.  Rick's keyboards behind it aren't as full, either.  The same huge moment in the studio version just doesn't come across the same way in the live version.  It's a great version, but I can't put it above the perfection which is the studio version.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 09:09:09 AM by Orbert »

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #654 on: June 29, 2020, 08:28:27 AM »
So, Going For The One is my favorite album by any band ever (got Jon to sign it not long ago!)

I think TOTC is the high point of the album (Awaken is my third favorite song on the record) and just a beautifully composed piece of art.  I actually used that song (and Ripples, by Genesis) as a basis of a college essay, and I've used that song as an example to my daughter about how instrumental music can tell it's own story.

Tastes, yadda yadda, but that is my single favorite example of how the five disparate sounds of the band meld together to something much greater than the sum of the parts.  That bass line is so simple - for Squire - and yet it's the heartbeat (figuratively AND literally) of the whole song. 

Offline DTA

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #655 on: June 29, 2020, 09:01:13 AM »
5:13 is where the statue comes to life (as far as I've always understood the story) and all of his work comes to fruition, and they are reunited.  Such an awesome moment.

But in the live version, Steve's tone is much thinner, and I don't feel that it has the same effect.  Rick's keyboards behind it aren't as full, either.  The same huge moment in the studio version just doesn't come across the same way in the live version.  It's a great version, but I can't put it about the perfection which is the studio version.

I've checked out a few live versions and feel the same. The power behind that entire section is lost a bit. I have the same issue with The Flower Kings...the music is so dense on the albums that unless they had multiple keyboardists and guitarists recreating it live, parts are going to get left out.

Offline ytserush

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Re: The Yes Discography
« Reply #656 on: July 03, 2020, 04:22:50 PM »
Turn Of The Century might be my favorite from this album or it could just as easily be Wonderous Stories or Going For The One. Those would easily be my top 3 from that album anyway.

Offline Orbert

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The Yes Discography: The Quest (2021)
« Reply #657 on: November 18, 2021, 04:08:48 PM »
The Quest (2021)



Jon Davison - Vocals, Guitar
Geoff Downes - Keyboards
Steve Howe - Guitars, Mandolin, Steel Guitar, Vocals
Billy Sherwood - Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Alan White - Drums

Jay Schellen - Percussion
FAME'S Studio Orchestra - Oleg Kondratenko, Conductor
Paul K. Joyce - Orchestra Arrangements

----------

The Ice Bridge
  a. Eyes East
  b. Race Against Time
  c. Interaction
Dare To Know
Minus The Man
Leave Well Alone
  a. Across The Border
  b. Not For Nothing
  c. Wheels
The Western Edge
Future Memories
Music To My Ears
A Living Island
  a. Brave The Storm
  b. Wake Up
  c. We Will Remember

Bonus Disc

Sister Sleeping Soul
Mystery Tour
Damaged World

----------

As we all know, Chris Squire died, in 2015.  He was the last original member of Yes, the only person to appear on every Yes album, and in many ways the heart of the band.  Yes had had multiple lead singers, guitarists, keyboardists, and drummers over the years, several members have come and gone and come back again, but there had only ever been one bassist for Yes.  With other bands, this might have raised the question of whether they would continue, but in his final days, Squire made it clear that he wished the band to continue, and furthermore, he named his good friend Billy Sherwood as his successor.  Sherwood was previously in Yes from 1997-2000, having played on Open Your Eyes and The Ladder, as well as the tours for both albums.  Sherwood was Squire's partner in The Chris Squire Experiment, later Conspiracy, which had led directly to Open Your Eyes, and his relationship with Chris had continued since then.  While some believe, perhaps cynically, that Squire naming his successor was meant to give Sherwood credibility and/or help smoothe over any negative feelings about anyone daring to replace Chris Squire, it was in fact the most logical choice.  When Squire became too ill to continue the 2015 tour, it was Sherwood who replaced him on stage and finished the tour with Yes.  Thus began his second tenure with the band, and he's been playing with them ever since.

The album starts strong with "The Ice Bridge", an upbeat seven-minute song with excellent synth and guitar work and many other hallmarks of the Yes sound.  Vocals are strong, with excellent three-part harmonies, powerful drumming, and of course prominent bass work.  Sherwood is clearly channeling Squire's signature "lead bass" sound, though primarily on Spector and Spector fretless bass rather than Squire's renowned bi-amped Rickenbacker (Sherwood does play a Rickenbacker on one track).  Anyway, it's a nice opener.

Okay, let's get it out in the open.  If there was one complaint about the previous album Heaven & Earth, it's that it was too "soft" or too "mellow".  Yes has always had a lighter side to balance their heavier side, but Heaven & Earth seemed to have forgotten to bring the heavy at all.  I would consider most of Heaven & Earth to be Light Rock more than Rock & Roll.  Opening the album with "The Ice Bridge" was clearly meant to dispell the fear that The Quest is more of the same.  It works.  It's a strong opener, with some progressive feel, and I think it's a good song overall.

It could have gone a few directions from there.  Hopefully, the rest of the album continues to kick some ass, at least a little.  But for me "The Ice Bridge" is the high point of the album.  Some of the other songs have uptempo sections that are reminiscent of Yes of old.  Nothing as fiery as "Heart of the Sunrise" or "Sound Chaser" but there's some decent, meaty stuff here.  It's just scattered kinda thin.  Overall we're more rocking than Heaven & Earth which is a step in the right direction, but still distinctively lower energy than anything that came before it.  Somewhere between Fly From Here and Heaven & Earth.

It all sounds fantastic.  Steve Howe decided to produce the album, having gotten tired of working with producers who clearly didn't understand Yes as far as he was concerned, and the rest of the band supported this decision.  As such, Steve's soaring guitar work is on full display.  The vocals are mostly very good, and while the three-part harmonies sound great, I'd like to hear more actual lead vocals.  And please, someone tell Steve Howe that he should not sing lead.  The duets with Jon D are okay, but they let Steve sing lead sometimes, and quite frankly, that's a mistake.

Oh yeah, real orchestra, too!  Tracks 2, 3, and 4 have the FAME'S Studio Orchestra, which is exactly what it sounds like.  You can get session guys.  If you know someone, you can get a good horn section, or a choir.  But sometimes you want a real orchestra to play on your album, which is apparently what the FAME'S Studio Orchestra is for.  The website has information about them, but I couldn't find any explanation for why they spell it that way.  Anyway, they sound pretty good, too.

Yes has stated that this album represents "where they are today" or something like that.  In other words, don't expect another Close to the Edge, or you're just setting yourself up for disappointment.  Reviews are mixed though mostly positive.  Everything I've read praises how great it all sounds, and that's true.  Most mention that the writing and playing could use some more fire.  There aren't a lot of melodies that stick with you.  Well, there's one chorus that sticks with me because it's repeated ad nauseum, but that's not really a compliment, I'm sorry to say.

One review said that the correct way to listen to this album is with headphones and no expectations.  Just let it play, and listen to it.  I realized that that was something I hadn't really done, and I should have.  In the past, my first listen to a Yes album was always with headphones, to catch every nuance.  More recently, it was in the car, cranked up.  But I'd been listening to it here on my computer, over the dumb little speakers, and that is not how you listen to a Yes album.

So I listened to in the car, cranked, and it really was much better than I'd thought.  It was not the 50-minute snoozefest I'd thought it was (well, 43 minutes after that opening track).  There's a lot going on.  There's a lot of music here, but you do have to listen actively.  It's not all mellow.  A few days later, I listened with headphones.  Wow!  Again, there's a lot music here.  I urge others to give this album a listen, a real listen.  That's all I'll say about that (for now).

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The credits are weird.



Six band members, right?  Jay Schellen is the sixth photo.  He's been playing percussion with them live, and some say that this is because Alan is having trouble keeping up these days.  But the booklet has individual credits for each song, who plays what, and Jay is not listed in there anywhere.  So my belief is that this is their way of acknowledging Jay's contributions.  Bottom line is that he didn't play on the album, but is listed as a member of the band.

Visually, it reminds me of the back of Close to the Edge:



Eddie Offord was honored in a similar way because of his contributions to the arrangements of the songs.  The final arrangements that the band learned and reproduced live were literally what he had cut and pasted together.

The standard version of the album on CD is a two-disc set.  InsideOut wanted a 50-minute album, so the main disc is right about 50 minutes, and the second disc has three "bonus tracks".  Yes, it could have all fit on a single disc.  Deal with it.

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Final thoughts.  Overall, a bit better than I'd dare hope, but that's mostly because I tried to keep expectations low.  Like, none at all, which is hard to do.  Still somehow a disappointment, because it started strong and I really wanted to believe that this band still had some fire left in them.  And there is, a little bit.  But this is them now.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 04:32:38 PM by Orbert »

Offline Mladen

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Re: The Yes Discography: The Quest (2021)
« Reply #658 on: November 19, 2021, 12:36:58 AM »
I spent a couple of weeks with the album and ended up being underwhelmed overall. There are moments of brilliance, of course, every other track has a memorable bit or two, mostly by Steve Howe, but as a whole, it's not that much more engaging and powerful than Heaven and earth.

And I am starting to think that it's partly to Jon Davison not being my cup of tea. His voice is pleasant, but lacks energy. When he goes up high, like the "It's a double edge sword" line in Minus the man, it just sounds like he's too shy about singing. Other than that, they need to crank up the sound a bit, because I'm confident that the performances themselves are solid.

The bits I like the most are the guitar solo in Minus the man, the chorus in Music to my ears, and the outro to the final track, especially the album phasing out with the word "forevermore." It's a touching moment.

Offline Orbert

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Re: The Yes Discography: The Quest (2021)
« Reply #659 on: November 19, 2021, 10:31:03 AM »
I totally agree about Jon Davison.  Nice voice, but seems rather timid or even weak overall.  I feel like a lot of the album is brought down a bit by his "La la la la" over everything the band is doing, giving it all a rather homogenized feel.  That, and most of the vocals being in harmony rather than true lead vocals.  Yes has always had both, and Jon A could bring a real strength and energy despite his voice being high and sometimes airy.  I don't feel that at all from Jon D.  He seems content to just sing sweetly and nicely, mostly in harmony.  And it all sounds nice; it's just not particularly engaging.

Online Stadler

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Re: The Yes Discography: The Quest (2021)
« Reply #660 on: November 22, 2021, 07:52:32 AM »
Look back in this thread and I've said the same things about Jon D.  For all his "airy fairy" nonsense, Jon A. was/is a great ROCK singer.  He held his own with Squire and White and Howe at full flight.   The live albums really show the difference.  Jon D. has the tone, has the range, but he doesn't quite have the grit, or the power, that Jon A. had (in the band; I saw him live right before COVID and he still has it live. He SLAYED.)