Friday, October 17, 2008

Bands I Love: Yes

"Classics:" is a section where I pay tribute to those bands that have had a huge effect of music/the industry/life, but for one reason or another, are almost forgotten by today's generation. This can include any style or genre, and while some of these bands made it big in their heyday, today they are barely a memory.

This week we look into Yes:

"Yes is the British Pink Floyd." That was how I described the seminal progressive rock band Yes to my friend Krotch one evening. After a stunned silence, in which I (and Krotch) remembered that Pink Floyd was also British, I then tried to rationalize it, you know to not look like a fool. My rational: Yes is the British Pink Floyd in the way that Yes was as popular in the U.K. as Pink Floyd was (is) in the U.S. By that I mean, that while Pink Floyd was achieving record sales for their... well records, here in America, in England they did not hold a candle to Yes (although still very popular).

Yes was founded in 1968, and have released 19 studio albums, and are still active (although currently on hiatus). Their songs are characterized by having abrupt time signature and tempo changes, extended lengths (with one album, "Close To The Edge," being only three tracks long but timing at almost 40 minutes), whimsical lyrics, and often features focusing on the musicians' technical prowess. The group has had alot of line-up changes, and disbanded in the 80's for three years, but (as shown by their latest release, 2001's "Magnification") are still going strong.

Now, I haven't listened to the entire discography of Yes (yet), but being raised by a British Mother, I have been subjected to them all of my life, with "The Yes Album" and "Highlights: The Very Best of Yes" being in the CD player on more than one occasion. Now that I am an adult (in a loose sense of the word), and have begun my own album collection, I now have all of the Yes albums.
So far I have listened straight through "Yes," "Time And A Word," "The Yes Album" (obviously), and "Fragile" (listened to today), with "The Yes Album" and "Fragile" being my favorites thus far. I have enjoyed all of these albums because of the very eclectic feel of their songs, and yet it all feels very jointed together. It sounds like they jammed two or three songs together and then worked on it non-stop for two months to make it flow, only it's that way with every song. All-in-all, if you like 70's Prog (ELP, Genesis) then Yes might be worth a pick-up.

Currently listening to: Judas Priest - Sad Wings of Destiny (Album)

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