Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

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    Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    I've wanted to weigh in on Yes for a long time; my main reluctance is that I'm not very well-versed in their music -- other than to remark that the music that I have been exposed to is damn good.  Additionally, by all indications, the progressive bands of yore were said to have some of the most well-schooled, classically trained musicians, and it seems that Yes bears that out in their musical compositions tenfold.  

    The difficulty in discussing the band is their lengthy history (as always).   It's too bad that bands aren't known in versions, such as Yes 1.1, Yes 1.2, Yes 2.1 -- etc., depending on the lineup, or the era of the music.   They may have had some high points over the years, and then some lows as well.  

    Many of their songs are played on classic rock stations: "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Roundabout" and "I've Seen all Good People" are standouts, of course.

    Any fans of Yes within shouting distance?   Own any of their music, older albums or compilations?   Love the album cover art?   What's not to love?

    Thoughts, anyone?
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    Yes is a big topic. Suffice to say changes is one of my favorites rock songs, and Tales from Topographic Oceans, is one of my favorite rock albums, and maybe the greatest progressive album ever. The band has gone through many lineups, but to me they will always be Wakeman, Howe, Squire, Bruford and Anderson. Steve Howe is the most under-appreciated guitar player of all-time. I would put him up against anyone, anywhere, he is like the mad professor of progressive rock.

    Wakemans "Journey to the Center of the Earth, " is a prog rock opera. The band cover art is as experimental as their music.

    Though they have written many of the genres better known songs, just for the opening few notes of Roundabout they belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame..
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    They came along at a time when Rock was becoming more and more "radio friendly", yet made music that for the most part wasn't.

    "Roundabout" and "Seen All Good People" are two songs from their earlier period that did ( and still do ) get lots of airplay. Many of their other albums did not even have a single track that got played on radio at all. 'Close To The Edge', 'Relayer' and 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' are critically acclaimed, but the songs were likely too long ( and sophisticated) for radio listeners.

    '90125' and 'Big Generator' are much more radio (and MTV ) freindly but many hardcore fans of the old Yes didn't like them.

    I like everything they ever did. I don't consider them to be one of my favorites , but still I have their whole catalogue and consider them an essential part of any classic Rock collection.

    They were somewhat unique, I think they were the "most" progressive of all. Their music is sometimes more like classical than Rock. This makes them special, because they didn't imitate, and were never really imitated fully by any other band.
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    Everyone here has made good points.

    To me, they represent the best fusion of classically-inspired playing and rock n' roll imagination and which, for their first few albums anyway, had a very serious-minded band with ear-bending musical chops.

    Their problem has always been continuity, although I suppose it could be argued that, like any symphony, parts are always interchangeable within the larger framework of the music, which is largely not song-based, but movement-based.

    "Heart Of The Sunrise" is a big fave of mine, and the entire "Fragile" LP is as close to perfect as they got.  Their influence on jam bands is also hugely underrated, IMO.

    "90125" might be one of the greatest 'comeback' albums of all time.  "Changes"  and "Leave It" are just great songs, period.

     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    Yes is a big topic. Suffice to say changes is one of my favorites rock songs, and Tales from Topographic Oceans , is one of my favorite rock albums, and maybe the greatest progressive album ever. The band has gone through many lineups, but to me they will always be Wakeman, Howe, Squire, Bruford and Anderson. Steve Howe is the most under-appreciated guitar player of all-time. I would put him up against anyone, anywhere, he is like the mad professor of progressive rock. Wakemans " Journey to the Center of the Earth , " is a prog rock opera. The band cover art is as experimental as their music. Though they have written many of the genre better known songs, just for the opening few notes of Roundabout they belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame..
    Posted by polar123
    I always thought they had "rock opera" written all over them in the songs that I know.   

    Seems doubtful any of the songs that were ever played on radio were played in their entire version, as Zilla said, they would surpass the playing time for a standard radio tune.   Never heard anything like them -- and no one could come close to cloning them, which let's face it, is very rare.  



     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    While you don't hear Yes mentioned as often as let's say, Pink Floyd, that doesn't mean they're under-rated.   It doesn't seem as if any of you think so, either.

    But I just have to ask:  Yes or Pink Floyd?   Not that this question is about putting them into a sequential hierarchy necessarily (unless you want to) -- but if not, then is there a distinction as to what they each delivered in their music -- or what they brought to the music world?    Yes not as heavy lyrics-wise?   Or just ... each distinctive in their own way, no comparisons can or should be made?   

    Just wondering what you'd say were you to put the two bands side by side. 
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    I would also like to add that 'Roundabout' is  easily, I think, their most recognizable song. Although played often and almost to the point of "overplaying" it, somehow this is one of those songs I never get tired of hearing.

    We had a poster come here and suggest that it was time to "retire" Led Zep's 'Stairway To Heaven'....and many of us disagreed. Biased?....I don't think so. Some Rock tunes are now at the age where they are true "classics", not just "Classic Rock"...but true classics in that they are part of our history , part of our culture and we remember events (or periods of time) by what songs were big at the time. When I think back to Junior High School and High School years of my life, I remember mostly two things, the music and the T.V. shows. Real life was a grind, I had some unpleasant things happen at home and in school...but my escape was in T.V. , radio and playing street hockey until every other kid went home....even then I would just practice by myself.

    But, I am getting away from the point I would like to make. 'Roundabout' was one of those songs that was so great, you couldn't ever tire of it. I would say there are easily over 100 Rock songs that were regularly played on radio in those early years of the 70's that I could never want to "retire" or stop hearing. Even though it's been played alot, I think it may still be my favorite Yes song, though I would like to give then credit for all their other great music....'Roundabout' just never gets old...the true test of a "classic" piece of music.
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    While you don't hear Yes mentioned as often as let's say, Pink Floyd, that doesn't mean they're under-rated.   It doesn't seem as if any of you think so, either. But I just have to ask:  Yes or Pink Floyd?   Not that this question is about putting them into a sequential hierarchy necessarily (unless you want to) -- but if not, then is there a distinction as to what they each delivered in their music -- or what they brought to the music world?    Yes not as heavy lyrics-wise?   Or just ... each distinctive in their own way, no comparisons can or should be made?    Just wondering what you'd say were you to put the two bands side by side. 
    Posted by yogafriend


    I prefer Floyd here.  Comparisons are fair in some ways.  Credit to Yes for keeping the band together in spite of numerous changes.

    My argument would be that Floyd perhaps showed a wider range of influences, including blues and jazz, vs. Yes which was perhaps more folk/classical derived.  Lyrically, they were given more to the psyche than to, say, sci-fi or fantasy.  (literal vs. literary?)  Yet both were pretty cerebral if perhaps of slightly different moods.

    Both had their excesses, but I don't begrudge favoring one over the other.  I just connect to Floyd better on a personal level.

     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    'Fragile', 'Close to the Edge' and '90125', all classic albums.  'Close to the Edge' was very special, one of those albums where you could put the headphones on and feel like you were being carried off to another place.

    Philosophically, Yes and Floyd couldn't be much further apart.  To me Yes always projected a hippie-esque positive outlook on life and humanity that  was part of  what makes them lovable.  And paradoxically, Floyd's sad, dark outlook is part of what makes them lovable. Smile 
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    I kind of got into Yes back in my english major days. I only bought one album, Fragile, and I still think it is a very catchy album. But progressive rock no longer impresses me as it once did.
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    Meh. Not trying to ruin the thread, but prog-rock is either good or really bad.  Mostly bad.  YES were great musicians, but the artsy stuff is not my bag.  Anything that thought out in music usually doesn't work, IMO.

    Great album covers, no doubt, but Little Feat had great ones too. hehe

     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    I liked Yes and as other posters said really liked Heart of the Sunrise, Tales and Starship Trooper. Album covers were always worth a gaze at the record store. But overall I have liked Floyd much more. Personally I really like 5 or 6 Yes songs whereas I really dig 5 or 6 Floyd albums.
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    'Fragile', 'Close to the Edge' and '90125', all classic albums.  'Close to the Edge' was very special, one of those albums where you could put the headphones on and feel like you were being carried off to another place. Philosophically, Yes and Floyd couldn't be much further apart.  To me Yes always projected a hippie-esque positive outlook on life and humanity that  was part of  what makes them lovable.  And paradoxically, Floyd's sad, dark outlook is part of what makes them lovable.  
    Posted by Hfxsoxnut

    What you've done here is describe (on a rudimentary level) the yin and the yang, which is very true of of the difference between the two bands.  

    The yin is dark, cold, more or less passive, and downward (dark side with white dot) and the yang is bright, active, hot, and upward (white side with black dot).   Nothing is absolutely black or white, however, nor can the two exist without each other. 

    Maybe more discussion of yin and yang is needed in the "art" thread, too.  :)

    And while I'm here, how about Yes and ELO?  

     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    Meh. Not trying to ruin the thread, but prog-rock is either good or really bad.  Mostly bad.  YES were great musicians, but the artsy stuff is not my bag.  Anything that thought out in music usually doesn't work, IMO. Great album covers, no doubt, but Little Feat had great ones too. hehe
    Posted by BassFishing

    Since your sig line is "Don't think. Feel" -- your comments follow up on that in consistent fashion.  :)    

    BTW, what is "really bad" in terms of prog rock?  Over-thought means what exactly?   

    (and agree about Little Feat ... and lots of other album art.   The Yes logo is the coolest, however; it's true signature lettering / font (art?)  out of that era-  it's dynamite.  

     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    The Yes logo is the coolest, however; it's true signature lettering / font (art?)  out of that era-  it's dynamite.  
    Posted by yogafriend


    Yes, it's art (and design...by Roger Dean, who also did Asia's album covers, among others).

    There used to be a quiz with different bands' logotypes in which they show you only one letter and you have to guess the band.  Lots of fun.

    The "Yes" logo is iconic in that way, like the "VH" logo for Van Halen.

    (my loose-leaf notebooks were all covered with these, btw...)


    Yes is an interesting group to bring up now, because they characterize, to me, one branch of "art rock" in which influences, intent, and execution are all quite well aligned and relatively consistent (if not entirely in quality) over many years.  I'm not sure how apparent this confluence is, however, to the 'average' music fan....
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot) : What you've done here is describe (on a rudimetary level) the yin and the yang, which is what is very true of difference between the two bands.   The yin is dark, cold, moreorless passive, and downward (dark side with white dot) and the yang is bright, active, hot, and upward (white side with black dot).   Nothing is absolutely black or white, however, nor can the two exist without each other.  Maybe more discussion of yin and yang is needed in the "art" thread, too.  :) And while I'm here, how about Yes and ELO?  
    Posted by yogafriend


    ELO or ELP, yf?  I'm thinking there is a more direct comparison of Yes with ELP. 
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot) : ELO or ELP, yf?  I'm thinking there is a more direct comparison of Yes with ELP. 
    Posted by Hfxsoxnut

    "P" of course.    oooops.    One letter off on the keyboard ...  ("o" and "p") and amazing coincidence since they're both prominent classic bands, but also, I was just about to respond re: typeface and logo art.   

    ELP is the one.  

     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot) : Yes, it's art (and design...by Roger Dean, who also did Asia's album covers, among others). There used to be a quiz with different bands' logotypes in which they show you only one letter and you have to guess the band.  Lots of fun. The "Yes" logo is iconic in that way, like the "VH" logo for Van Halen. (my loose-leaf notebooks were all covered with these, btw...) Yes is an interesting group to bring up now, because they characterize, to me, one branch of "art rock" in which influences, intent, and execution are all quite well aligned and relatively consistent (if not entirely in quality) over many years.  I'm not sure how apparent this confluence is, however, to the 'average' music fan....
    Posted by MattyScornD

    I should have put an emoticon  ;)  next to the "?" in my comment; truth is, I love logo art -- as well as many other forms of commercial art.  Many well-known logos are amazing works of art, and have in some cases, spawned a host of fantastic art as well.  There are a bunch of logo quizzes on the web (have never seen one just music-related, I've only seen them when they are totally random and mixed -- and even though I don't usually know many, I love to look at them anyhow).   

    The recent Pink Floyd thread was great because it put a spotlight not only on what Floyd's identity meant to people, but also on progressive rock in general.  The views were quite polarized -- love 'em or hate 'em, not much in between.   I thought Yes was worth exploring for some reactions mostly because they seemed to deliver a somewhat different message than Floyd, and don't have the same mythical history that Floyd had.

    Anyhow,  typeface / font / lettering is one of my passions, have loved it all since I was a kid.   Being the inventor of a font (I'm a geek) -- that to me, would be a great artistic achievement.  I've never seen, "Helvetica" and need to get hold of it.  Right up my ally.  

    Lots of the psychedelic art was fabulous.   Still is (eye of beholder notwithstanding).  :D
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    Just like YES, ELP took the concept of progressive rock to new levels. "Work's, Trilogy, Brain Salad,  etc... all great albums, containing nice long tracks, with a few big hits. All were classically trained musicians and each band had the Voice, of course being Lake and Anderson's. Lakes voice was a musical instrument in it's own right. When you hear him singing Jerusalem you think, well yes that is how it is supposed to sound.

    YES, ELP seemed to run out of fresh ideas, and hit the wall creatively, with each going on to many solo projects. ELP's last album Love Beach was terrible and it's cover far from great album art. 

    Like many of the comments already posted here, I have a hard time comparing all these bands because they were all so very different personality wise. They all made great music though, and with a friendly shout out to Bass(though I'm pretty sure he was banned again for football related offences), I like my music to make me feel and think. It makes it a lot more fun.

    Like YES with Roundabout, ELP should also be in the RnRHOF just for the opening few notes of From the Beginning.
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot) : "P" of course.    oooops.    One letter off on the keyboard ...  ("o" and "p") and amazing coincidence since they're both prominent classic bands, but also, I was just about to respond re: typeface and logo art.    ELP is the one.  
    Posted by yogafriend


    I was just thinking the last couple of days that if I ever did attempt to write one of those '33 1/3' books about an album, one that might work would be 'Brain Salad Surgery' because it's such a large album with a lot of interesting musical stuff and concepts going on.  I didn't check to see if somebody already did it though.
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    typeface / font / lettering is one of my passions, have loved it all since I was a kid.   Being the inventor of a font (I'm a geek) -- that to me, would be a great artistic achievement.  I've never seen, "Helvetica" and need to get hold of it.  Right up my ally.   Lots of the psychedelic art was fabulous.   Still is (eye of beholder notwithstanding).  :D
    Posted by yogafriend


    'Helvetica' is great, indeed.  You'll dig it.

    I'm picky about that genre of art of which I think examples can border on the precious.  I drift toward the truly surreal vs. the simply fantastic.

    You should check out a book called "Mind Fields" - illustrations by Jacek Yerka and prose by Harlan Ellison.  Awesome stuff.
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot) : I was just thinking the last couple of days that if I ever did attempt to write one of those '33 1/3' books about an album, one that might work would be 'Brain Salad Surgery' because it's such a large album with a lot of interesting musical stuff and concepts going on.  I didn't check to see if somebody already did it though.
    Posted by Hfxsoxnut

    It has not been done - so the door is wide open for ya.  :)

    As for me, I am about to order a couple of them; I put it off b/c I already have a back log, but I think these will be quick reads.  I've only read one, and I've really wanted to check out others. 
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    In Response to Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot):
    Just like YES, ELP took the concept of progressive rock to new levels. " Work's, Trilogy, Brain Salad ,  etc... all great albums, containing nice long tracks, with a few big hits. All were classically trained musicians and each band had the Voice, of course being Lake and Anderson's. Lakes voice was a musical instrument in it's own right. When you hear him singing Jerusalem you think, well yes that is how it is supposed to sound. YES, ELP seemed to run out of fresh ideas, and hit the wall creatively, with each going on to many solo projects. ELP's last album Love Beach  was terrible and it's cover far from great album art.  Like many of the comments already posted here, I have a hard time comparing all these bands because they were all so very different personality wise. They all made great music though, and with a friendly shout out to Bass(though I'm pretty sure he was banned again for football related offences), I like my music to make me feel and think. It makes it a lot more fun. Like YES with Roundabout , ELP should also be in the RnRHOF just for the opening few notes of From the Beginning .
    Posted by polar123
    Good points.   The bands are different.  This illustrates the point that when people write off an entire genre, they're doing so because they've pigeon-holed all of the music, as though it's all the same -- and that's not necessarily true, as in progressive rock.   Not that there aren't common elements (there must be common elements, or they wouldn't all be classified in the same genre) but even if prog rock is the rock that makes you "think", the thinking vehicles, that is to say, the music and the lyrics, take on the personality of the band.  Some, much more upbeat than others, yet, all considered prog rock.

    (As for Bass --- I had to laugh when he said he didn't want to ruin the thread -- which shows some restraint -- an absolute "180" relative to the football forum.  Very funny.)  :D

     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    Fragile does not really make me think too much. I just think the tunes are catchy. I don't think the lyrics are very poetic or thought provoking, but they fit in well with the type of music being played. So I don't see prog rock as any more "thinking" music than Chuck Berry, whose lyrics are poetic and very evocative to me. In other words, I think all music is for both the body and the mind.
     
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    Re: Yes : Progressive / psychedelic rockers (with some of the best album cover art to boot)

    I always thought Yessongs was a pretty good Yes compilation (3) album set.It has songs from Fragile,Close to the edge and excerpts from Rick Wakeman's 6 wives of Henry the VIII.It also contains the live versions of some of my favorite Yes songs including "Long distance runaround","I've seen all good people","Yours is no disgrace" and many others.
       If I was having a bad day or was stressed,by the time I listened to all of Yessongs,I usually felt more relaxed afterwards.
     
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