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Thread: 20 Years of The Ladder

  1. #51
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Bluest too!

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I like most of it. I definitely thought it was better than Union, Open Your Eyes, and Talk. For some reason, I skipped over the Keys stuff until just a few years ago. The Keys stuff really didn't resonate at all. So for me it's still kind of the last Yes album.

    I had the game too, but I don't recall getting into it too much. I wonder if I still have a copy somewhere?

    I can't remember if the album had a sticker mentioning the game or vice versa, but there was a marketing connection there somewhere.

    The game had a sticker mentioning the Yes song and album of the same name. That's where I heard the song and decided I didn't need the album. I did actually listen to a couple more tracks on Napster, but found them even less enjoyable that the title track.

    I would like to hear the album though, as I've never heard the whole thing. When I heard those songs back in 2000, I was very much a hater of "modern" sounding prog (I think the term is "symph weenie"). Since then I have become much more open minded about music in general, so I might like it more than I remember. I didn't like Magnification back in 2001 either, but listening to it last year for the first time since then, I found I actually like it quite a bit (minus a couple tunes......and I still think there is far to many vocals and not enough instrumental parts.....something that I think about pretty much ALL Yes music since Drama).

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    I love The Ladder. Best YES album since Going For The One.
    Wow, that is an opinion I've not heard before, how so?

  4. #54
    Hard to believe it's been 20 years already. I really liked The Ladder when it came out and I still do. Homeworld is one of my favourite prog rock songs ever. The other songs aren't necessarily great but together they make an cohesive album. Well, The Messenger is worth mentioning too. Really good song.
    The amazing production of Bruce Fairbairn compliments the songs in a beautiful way. I also love The Live From the House of Blues DVD. Songs from The Ladder work really well live and mix nicely with the classics.
    Yes made great albums in the 90's and The Ladder was a solid work to wrap up the decade. But better than Union? No way!

  5. #55
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    Wow, that is an opinion I've not heard before, how so?
    Probably by the sheer force of differing opinions.

    For those who aren't fans of the Yes-west era I could see that making sense.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    Probably by the sheer force of differing opinions.

    For those who aren't fans of the Yes-west era I could see that making sense.
    I loathe Yes West but can't see how The Ladder comes anywhere near Going for the one. In a universe somewhere Open Your Eyes is someone's fave!


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  7. #57
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    If we're talking Yes favourites post-Talk (actually, probably post Big Generator) then The Ladder fits the bill for me. It sounded like a cohesive band effort in a way the other stuff doesn't. Didn't really care for Homeworld, though. For me it sounds like a pastiche of an 'epic' track. I'll still put it on and enjoy the whole thing fairly regularly. Something I can't say for Keys, Magnification and H&E.

  8. #58
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    In a universe somewhere Open Your Eyes is someone's fave!
    Unfortunately I inhabit another universe....one where Going For The One doesn't do much for me. Of course, I really just don't listen to much Yes at all these days.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve983 View Post
    Wow, that is an opinion I've not heard before, how so?
    To me it was the first YES album in ages that actually sounded like YES. I enjoy the Yes West records for what they are: great proggy pop. The Keys studio material was actually pretty good but burying it on two separate live albums was idiotic. Open Your Eyes is okay but again, not really intended as a YES album...
    Prog's Not Dead

  10. #60
    I liked it somewhat when it came out. The mix was good, the sounds were very good, I thought. I liked the instrumental intro to New Language - the last few minutes of the song were good as well, but the whole song wasn't quite a success, I thought.
    Similar thoughts about Homeworld - once it got going it had some good moments. Certainly much better than OYE and on the whole, better than much of what they have released since then. I actually heard Lightning Strikes a few weeks ago and I really didn't mind it at all. I think at the time, I had thought that song was trying too hard for pop success, but when I heard it recently I thought it was kind of interesting. The Ladder sounded a bit more like a band playing together than a lot of (post-70's)Yes records, I don't know how much work they did together, but that's how it sounds to me.

  11. #61
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    ^ISTR this being confirmed by Howe on that Classic Artists DVD, giving Bruce Fairbairn the credit for the way he took control of these sessions. Somehow Magnification has never sounded quite so cohesive to me.

    If you ignore all the programming, there's a pretty typical classic Yes feel about 'Lightning Strikes' for me...not least in the way the acoustic guitar drives it.

    'New Language' is a more qualified success, I think. The instrumental intro is really great, however the song is a bit piecemeal. The chorus is strong but the verses are not. Dodgy keyboard sounds in the verses as well, IMHO.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    The chorus is strong but the verses are not.
    A better producer would have removed the weak verses and made it more dramatic.

  13. #63
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    bit late to the party … i have always been vocal about my appreciation of “the ladder” and i shall not stop now. one of their best albums, hands down. diverse yet cohesive, contemporary yet not bereft of tradition and outright positive in outlook and band spirit (although this, yet again, soon proved not to be the case again). hey, it’s YES, we ought to be able to do with a bit of cheese here and there; when shrouded in such stylish melodicism as on this album i don’t mind the slighest.

    another aspect often overlooked: this was the very final time that YES did not act as their own tribute band and went on to present almost the entire album live on the tour which does say something about the confidence they must have had in their material at the time (re: “house of yes”). the new stuff slayed on stage and the band performed with vim and vigour – that’s why the concert i saw will also remain etched in my memory as the best gig that i ever saw from the band: no less than a compact 2h tour de force through old and new by a band that – at least from this vantage point – seemed to be in a very happy and content place.

    i have to say that the ensuing “masterworks” rollback and “magnification” left me somewhat underwhelmed after this and my appreciation of YES never really recovered beyond that. seeing them again with uncle rick was fun, no less but also no more. i got back on the bus for “fly from here” (just as brash and bold in places although less organic and more of a project job than an actual band performance) but my main memory of YES’ final moments of grandiosity lingers here, with “the ladder”.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by yamishogun View Post
    A better producer would have removed the weak verses and made it more dramatic.
    Something I made a year ago

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Dw...0uvHkmVt-F6vLJ

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by auxfnx View Post


    I've always thought "Close to the Edge" dragged a bit but editing that was easier - just take out "I Get Up, I Get Down", and you have yourself a mighty fine song.

  16. #66
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    PS: on a side note … i wonder if there might ever be a fan/supporter cohort evolving around this particular line-up which boasted four old-timers (AHWS) and two newbies (khoroshev & sherwood) and – sort of – created an all-new YES that c/should have enjoyed a bit more longevity. roger dean’s square YesWest-design from the “union” days found a sensible home here and (despite its obvious flaws) i’ll also honour “open your eyes” as part of the evolving process.

    of late i resort to calling this line up “alt.YES”. it certainly had enough credibility and creativity.

  17. #67
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    In some ways, The Ladder – or the period immediately afterwards – was a proving ground for whether Yes could rise above their own dysfunctional bullshit. Khoroshev's antics didn't help, but the sad truth is they couldn't. Which is sad, because for that brief moment they had all the pieces in place to forge a bright new future for themselves. Lots of creative firepower, a unified vision in the studio, they were successfully bridging (IMO, anyways) current musical trends with Yes' musical traditions (in a much more friendly musical climate than the 80s was!), and they were all in pretty good health. Sadly they just couldn't make it work. It seems the Anderson-Howe-Squire troika was no longer compatible with each other. At the time there was so much hope for this ensemble, but after Igor's departure I guess they couldn't agree which direction to go. And they fell victim to some good old Yes bad luck, with Magnification hitting the shelves right when 9/11 happened. But for a brief moment in 1999 things were really looking up.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  18. #68
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    Thanks to all the great comments here, I pulled out the Yes House of Blues DVD Sunday and was surprised how good it is, since I usually wind up watching one of the Classic Yes concerts with Rick Wakeman.
    This is an excellent show, everyone seems energetic, playing well, and the mix has a very clean sound, not overproduced or overdubbed in post production. And Jon's vocals, delivery and performance is amazing.
    I was impressed with Igor's playing when we listened to the cd earlier in the week and he brings that same edgy sound from the album to their performance at House of Blues.
    This was Yes performing with a renewed energy and passion, and even Howe who can sometimes seem subdued was bobbing his head up and down and moving about the stage.
    Great to see Billy playing guitar and I love his backing vocals.

    All in all a great concert and would highly recommend it for a future viewing for any Yes fan. This is how I remember a Yes concert being like.

    Thanks for this thread folks!
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    In some ways, The Ladder – or the period immediately afterwards – was a proving ground for whether Yes could rise above their own dysfunctional bullshit. Khoroshev's antics didn't help, but the sad truth is they couldn't. Which is sad, because for that brief moment they had all the pieces in place to forge a bright new future for themselves. Lots of creative firepower, a unified vision in the studio, they were successfully bridging (IMO, anyways) current musical trends with Yes' musical traditions (in a much more friendly musical climate than the 80s was!), and they were all in pretty good health. Sadly they just couldn't make it work. It seems the Anderson-Howe-Squire troika was no longer compatible with each other. At the time there was so much hope for this ensemble, but after Igor's departure I guess they couldn't agree which direction to go. And they fell victim to some good old Yes bad luck, with Magnification hitting the shelves right when 9/11 happened. But for a brief moment in 1999 things were really looking up.
    Very few older rock stars were having big hit albums by then. Having said that, Yes were on a smaller label- Eagle- by this point, which didn't help. I dare say this album would have sold somewhat better if they were still on Atlantic. The chopping-and-changing throughout the 90s didn't do them much good either.

    I look back at this period from The Ladder through to the mid 00s as a fairly good one for Yes, though...much more than what has followed. IMHO of course.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    Thanks to all the great comments here, I pulled out the Yes House of Blues DVD Sunday and was surprised how good it is, since I usually wind up watching one of the Classic Yes concerts with Rick Wakeman.
    This is an excellent show, everyone seems energetic, playing well, and the mix has a very clean sound, not overproduced or overdubbed in post production. And Jon's vocals, delivery and performance is amazing.
    I was impressed with Igor's playing when we listened to the cd earlier in the week and he brings that same edgy sound from the album to their performance at House of Blues.
    This was Yes performing with a renewed energy and passion, and even Howe who can sometimes seem subdued was bobbing his head up and down and moving about the stage.
    Great to see Billy playing guitar and I love his backing vocals.

    All in all a great concert and would highly recommend it for a future viewing for any Yes fan. This is how I remember a Yes concert being like.

    Thanks for this thread folks!
    Agree, it is a very good DVD. I saw the tour and remember the show being very good, and the DVD captures everything well.

  21. #71
    Well just gave this one a re-listen after however many years and my opinion hasn't changed. I like Homeworld a lot, the rest is disposable. But yeah, the House of Blues DVD is superb!
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  22. #72
    Member Rajaz's Avatar
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    Wow, I can hardly believe it's been 20 Years!
    My memory of that album and tour was that first, I was please to see a Roger Dean cover once again after that simple and black cover for the OYE album that also was one of their poorest albums. But also it was quite a very good album that mixed some retro feel to it mixed with the game media crazed world, great harmonies and some solid instrumentation, my only disappointment was that corny Lightning strikes :-(
    I was fortunate to catch YES live on this tour and was very pleased with the live component (Houston, TX Oct. 1999) and quite pleased to see they were playing several south american cities and even San Jose Costa Rica! But it later gave us a nice memento with the House of YES @ HOB in Las Vegas but that could never replace seeing Yes live in the flesh. But nothing would compare and prepare us for what was to come the following year for the Masterworks Tour 2000 that for me- it was one of THE best Yesshows I have ever seen.
    My PROG shows:
    YES - Montreal Forum, Feb. 74 - The Winery, Saratoga, CA Aug 2016
    ELP - Montreal Forum, Dec. 73 - Verizon, Houston TX May 2010
    Pink Floyd - Olympic Stadium, July 77 - Yankee Stadium, NY Jun 94
    Jethro Tull - Montreal Forum, Jun 73 - LA Forum, Nov 78
    Rush - Montreal Forum, July 84 - Toyota Ctr, Houston, TX May 2015
    Genesis - Montreal Forum, December 74 - Pepsi Arena, Denver Oct 2007
    King Crimson - Spectrum Montreal, July 84 - Videotron Ctr Quebec July 2017

  23. #73
    Going for the one has such poor production that I basically back benched it for decades, only recently have I rediscovered it, because I learned to play and sing Wondrous stories in my show. And IMO, I "fixed" the whole album like I did with Tales a few years back... basically remaster it to bring out the lows and calm the mids down to my own listening preferences using Hal-bal software. I need to do that also to Tormato, and I expect it may also have some surprises for me. The Ladder, on the other hand is already gorgeous. I often wonder what was going thru Eddie Offords head when he produced those late 70's albums. I'd throw Relayer in on that pile- to a lesser degree as well. Wait... Offord did do those albums, no?
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    Wait... Offord did do those albums, no?
    No.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  25. #75
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    GFTO was engineered by John Timperley and David Richards and produced by the band.

    "In a departure from their previous four studio albums, Yes recorded Going for the One with new engineering personnel. Since 1970, they had worked with audio engineer and producer Eddy Offord, who also mixed the band's live sound in concert. After their Relayer tour, however, Offord thought the band's style had become "a bit stale", and thought a break from the band to pursue other projects was needed.[11] Offord was replaced by recording engineer John Timperley, who was assisted by David Richards. In a first for the band, the album was produced entirely by Yes.[12] It is also the first engineering job for Yes's future sound mixer Nigel Luby, who "did little more than watch and acquaint myself with the equipment."[13] Squire recalled numerous heated arguments over the use of echo on the album, as some members liked it and others did not.[14]"
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

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