What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Yes - For the Love of Prog

So sue me - I've got a soft spot for progressive rock.  This genre tended to be a bit pretentious.  It has roots in classical rather than blues.  Songs stretched over long suites (sometime just random songs strung together).  There were classical themes.  There were quasi-hippie lyrics.  There was usually over mixed keyboards and/or mellotrons.  All this with rock and roll instrumentation.

 There probably isn't a much better introduction to the genre than Yes.  The mainstream prog band.

This band hit it big in the USA.  They hit their peak of pretentiousness with this one.

Tales From Topographic Oceans (Atlantic 1973)

One song each side filled this double album.  It's over the top with self importance.  It's boring at times.  The lyrics are silly.  This is the record that naysayers will attack when discussing the genre.  I can't defend it.


There are time it rocks.  The players are in sync.  The only things that really date it are the keyboards and the lyrics.  I just played all four sides.   For some reason, only side 1 of my copy shows any sign of wear.  I assume the previous owner attempted to play the whole thing, but never made it past the first side on several occasions.

Yes had just lost their drummer (Bill Bruford) to King Crimson.  The new guy was session musician Alan White.  Rick Wakeman makes his (temporarily) last appearance with the band.  He would  soon be replaced by big haired Yani lookalike Patrick Moraz.  

And those lyrics!   Here are some samples

Getting over overhanging trees
Let them rape the forest

Does a lamb cry out before we shoot it dead

As one with the knowledge and magic of the source
Attuned to the majesty of music
They marched as one with earth

It comes with the requisite 'special label' as nothing screams class like a 'special label'

I once saw a DJ copy of this record in the used bin.  Someone had written on the cover 'Do Not Play - Boring.'   It was selling for more than one with a clean cover

Yes wasn't my favorite of the progressive bands.  That honor probably belongs to King Crimson, Gentle Giant or (Peter Gabriel Era only) Genesis. For the unfamiliar, Yes is probably a good place to start.


Since I wrote this, I've actually listened to it all the way through a few times.  I'm finding it hard to put down.  Who knew.  I started making fun of it an now I'm digging it.  Just make sure your woofers are in good shape.  There are a lot of high ends in this.  Without good base to offset them, the results will sound shrill.