4-24-12          Yes

Jazz guy Joe Henderson born 1937, singer Barbra Streisand born 1942; Jazz.

I have listened to the British band Yes on and off for over 40 years.  I started at around the time of “The Yes Album” (#3) by hearing “Your Move” on the FM radio.  I was primed for the release of “Fragile” and their big hit “Roundabout”; I duly bought their triple live LP set, “Yessongs”.  But the trail goes cold after that, for a good many years.

In 1972, my listening habits were changing; the FM radio could turn me on to new stuff, and I sort of knew what labels to watch for – in case LP’s on the Charisma label turned up in the $1 bin.  I was not particularly listening to commercial music in 1972.  The enormous onslaught of European music was just about to hit…

German bands like Amon Duul II, Neu!, Cluster, Can, Faust etc.  Towards the end of 1972, I began to see Italian “rock” records for the first time:  Osanna, The New Trolls etc.  Once I got my teeth into those European records, I didn’t have much use for British music anymore – having forsaken the bands that I started the decade with:  Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Yes, etc.

I never heard it, but when I saw that Yes made a 2LP set of all-new material, “Tales from Topographic Oceans” – I instinctively knew that I didn’t need to hear it.  It’s like my ‘bullshit detector’ had been activated by it.  Or maybe I had a thing against double albums?  I didn’t care about “Quadrophenia” (The Who) either – or “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” (Genesis) – in a few years’ time.

1980:  My interest in Yes was piqued by them being produced by Buggles’ frontman Trevor Horn; I got “Drama” right away!

1983:  “80123” eventually became “90125”, and Yes was a considerably different beast.  We all liked the Godley & Crème-made videos for “90125”, and nobody seemed to mind that Steve Howe was somewhere else.  I’ll even give it up for “Big Generator”; if it was a double LP with “90125”, it would’ve made perfect sense.  By itself, it didn’t really tell the whole story, I thought.

Enough time passed, and I was ready to listen again to Yes.  I got snappy SHM-CD kami sleeve CD’s from Japan of the albums I liked; I also got some 5.1 versions of “Fragile”.  Also picked up a few Yes DVD’s along the way; when will they re-master the “Yessongs” DVD into 5.1?

It takes a more dedicated fan than I to provide any interest in Yes & their many permutations after 1987.  I haven’t heard any of the albums, but I did eventually get to see at least some of the members play live – Jon Anderson with some kids from a “Rock Camp”, and Steve Howe with Asia etc.

And you can always listen to Yes 45’s, if you don’t have the time for the albums!

This entry was posted in 1972, England, Listening, Progressive Rock, Record Collecting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Yes

  1. Warren Bowman says:

    80102….I still have that promo cassette somewhere.

  2. postpunkmonk says:

    I want to read about a fan who is hardcore about the idea of Yes 7″ edits from side long album cuts! There’s got to be a fan out there who holds a burning torch for the likes of the 3:30 minute “Roundabout” 7″ edit? What about the tidy 3:44 edit of “Into The Lens” from “Drama?” I want a whole blogpost on 7″ prog rock edits!! Let’s not throw out the prog baby with the 9 minute bathwater! The solution to the prog rock “problem?” Brutal edits that turn side long suites into radio friendly pop songs! I’m a genius!!!

  3. ronkanefiles says:

    A good call, Jim-san. I used to sell @ “Prog Fest” years and years ago, and would bring a box of 45’s, much to the dismay of patrons. Short versions of Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, P.F.M. etc.!

  4. Dana says:

    Somewhere in my collection, I have a 7″ single (U.S. promo) of NEKTAR “Remember The Future” which is is parred down from 2-17:00 long album tracks to a mere 3:00 version! The edits are SO drastic, you can almost hear the razor blade cut through the tape for the edits!

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