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Thread: New YES release - From A Page- O Wakeman/Benoit era

  1. #201
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Well, it finally arrived.

    I pretty much echo the other comments here. It's nice this was released and the cover has a cool new Dean on it. "To The Moment" is the standout track for sure and ranks up alongside other recent Yes tunes like "Fly From Here" or even some of the stuff on The Ladder and Magnification. More of that pop Yes with some proggy window dressing. It's darn catchy. It's nice to hear some new Yes music with Wakeman style Moog all over it. The single edit did it no favors. The version here makes more sense and offers up more cool instrumental bits.

    "From A Page" is a pleasant ballad with a nice steel solo from Steve. Some of it reminds me of stuff like "Light of Ages" from Heaven and Earth. It's in that ballpark.

    What's up with "Turn of a Card"? That does not sound like Benoit singing. Who is it? The lyrics are pretty bad on this one. If they were going to add a tune that just had Oliver and a singer on it I think they could have come up with something better.

    The longer tune "The Gift of Love" looked like it could be another Yes mini-epic, but once you listen to it it's more like one long ballad. There's really nothing to push it into "epic" territory. It's about on par with something like "Be The One" from Keys. Some nice playing on it though, especially from Steve and Oliver. Benoit really sounds like Jon Anderson on this one. Even his little "yeppy" background vocals sound like something JA would do.

    In hindsight I think they were wise to abandon this and do Fly From Here with Downes and Horn. This album seems like it would have been more in the ballpark of Heaven and Earth, though a bit better. I'm glad it got released though, for Oliver's sake. Now there's an actual studio release that has more input from him than just a Moog solo.

    PS Can you point out where Squire did background vocals on these tunes? The only time I think I hear him is singing "the gift of love" but his voice is so low it's hard to be sure. And how about Howe?
    Last edited by Sean; 12-14-2019 at 03:18 PM.

  2. #202
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    What's up with "Turn of a Card"? That does not sound like Benoit singing. Who is it? The lyrics are pretty bad on this one. If they were going to add a tune that just had Oliver and a singer on it I think they could have come up with something better.
    That is David singing, albeit on a session after he'd left Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Can you point out where Squire did background vocals on these tunes? The only time I think I hear him is singing "the gift of love" but his voice is so low it's hard to be sure.
    That's definitely Squire then.

    Henry
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  3. #203
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Interesting how different Benoit sounds roughly ten years later.

    Do you hear any Howe vocals on this EP?

  4. #204
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Interesting how different Benoit sounds roughly ten years later.
    Not 10 years later. The vocals were done for an album released in 2013: http://www.relayer35.com/Yescography/FromAPage.htm

    Henry
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  5. #205
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Well, it finally arrived.

    I pretty much echo the other comments here. It's nice this was released and the cover has a cool new Dean on it. "To The Moment" is the standout track for sure and ranks up alongside other recent Yes tunes like "Fly From Here" or even some of the stuff on The Ladder and Magnification. More of that pop Yes with some proggy window dressing. It's darn catchy. It's nice to hear some new Yes music with Wakeman style Moog all over it. The single edit did it no favors. The version here makes more sense and offers up more cool instrumental bits.
    If they'd replaced "The Man You'd Always Wanted Me to Be" with "To the Moment," "Fly from Here" would have been PERFECT.
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  6. #206
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    If they'd replaced "The Man You'd Always Wanted Me to Be" with "To the Moment," "Fly from Here" would have been PERFECT.
    Not a fan of either but "To the Moment" is such straight up pop that it would be distracting despite the Moog.

  7. #207
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Yes have had straight up pop tunes on many of their albums, dating back to their first. It's what they do when they aren't writing deliberate epics and such.

  8. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Yes have had straight up pop tunes on many of their albums, dating back to their first. It's what they do when they aren't writing deliberate epics and such.
    I can think of three songs that are straight pop songs from TYA through 90125. Maybe "Onward", "Our Song", and "Don't Don't Kill the Whale." Then there is "Love Will Find a Way", "Saving My Heart", "Children of Light", a lot of OYE, "If Only You Knew", "Don't Go", "Time Is Time", "TMYAWMTB" and maybe four songs on H&E. Note that from BG on, most of those are less than stellar.

  9. #209
    Quote Originally Posted by yamishogun View Post
    I can think of three songs that are straight pop songs from TYA through 90125. Maybe "Onward", "Our Song", and "Don't Don't Kill the Whale." Then there is "Love Will Find a Way", "Saving My Heart", "Children of Light", a lot of OYE, "If Only You Knew", "Don't Go", "Time Is Time", "TMYAWMTB" and maybe four songs on H&E. Note that from BG on, most of those are less than stellar.
    It depends what you mean by a "straight up pop tune", but "Your Move", "Long Distance Runaround", "Wonderous Stories", "Madrigal" and "Circus of Heaven" would all seem to qualify to me, as well as big chunks of 90125. Even parts of Tales could count ("Leave of Green"?). The full-length album version of "To the Moment" has a more complex arrangement than those.

    Henry
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  10. #210
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    I think music is so personal, one man's pop can be another man or woman's classic prog epic.
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  11. #211
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    ^^^ I'd go even further and say that one man's poop can be another man or woman's classic prog epic.
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  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    ^^^ I'd go even further and say that one man's poop can be another man or woman's classic prog epic.
    thanks, now whenever I see the word pop I see the word poop.
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  13. #213
    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    It depends what you mean by a "straight up pop tune", but "Your Move", "Long Distance Runaround", "Wonderous Stories", "Madrigal" and "Circus of Heaven" would all seem to qualify to me, as well as big chunks of 90125. Even parts of Tales could count ("Leave of Green"?). The full-length album version of "To the Moment" has a more complex arrangement than those.
    I agree with "Your Move" (I forgot it was released as a single) and "Wondrous Stories". I wouldn't call "Madrigal" and "Circus of Heaven" straight up pop. I think "Our Song" is or is at least close but not "chunks of 90125" -- either a song is or isn't straight pop. The core of "To the Moment", the verses and chorus are straight pop and don't resemble "Fly From Here" to me. "To the Moment" (single) has a lot going for it... except the straight up pop aspect.

  14. #214
    Quote Originally Posted by yamishogun View Post
    either a song is or isn't straight pop
    You've said a lot of whacky things this year, but this is up there with them.

    Henry
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  15. #215
    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    You've said a lot of whacky things this year, but this is up there with them.
    Not as whacky as saying "big chunks of 90125" are straight up pop songs. Just name the songs. The bonus song "It's Over" is but was wisely kept off the album.

  16. #216
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    That whole album is pretty much pop. Save for a couple proggy intros. Changes comes to mind.

  17. #217
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    That whole album is pretty much pop. Save for a couple proggy intros. Changes comes to mind.
    Wth "To the Moment" one can sing the chorus in the shower after two listens: "la la la la la laaaa la laaaaa la la laaaa..." Maybe off a bit. Lots of pop songs with that structure. Now sing "Cinema" in the shower, which is much more fun.

  18. #218
    Mod or rocker? Mocker. Frumious B's Avatar
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    IMHO the sixties pop influences are a massive part of what makes Yes so great.

  19. #219
    Quote Originally Posted by yamishogun View Post
    Not as whacky as saying "big chunks of 90125" are straight up pop songs. Just name the songs. The bonus song "It's Over" is but was wisely kept off the album.
    "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Leave It", "It Can Happen", "Hold On"... Those are all pop songs, if you ask me.

    Brilliant pop songs too.

  20. #220
    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    "Owner of a Lonely Heart", "Leave It", "It Can Happen", "Hold On"... Those are all pop songs, if you ask me.
    Brilliant pop songs too.
    Which is why I added "straight up" to "pop song." The chorus of "To the Moment" is common in top 40, whereas that isn't true especially for "Owner", "Leave It" and "It Can Happen."

  21. #221
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    I think as prog fans we're a bit harder on judging a piece of music, especially a band like Yes that have written some pretty great progressive rock songs.
    I don't think of those songs suggested here as pop, pop in the traditional sense of the word.
    Maybe it's just because of the ensemble of musicians, but to me, Yes always puts a little dash of prog elements somewhere in most of their songs. Enough to take it out of the pop genre for me.
    Soundcloud page: Open Window, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.com

  22. #222
    90125 is primarily a pop album - with some occasional prog showings. No shame in admitting that, it's clearly pop (or 'pop-rock' of the time).

  23. #223
    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious B View Post
    IMHO the sixties pop influences are a massive part of what makes Yes so great.
    Bingo! We have a winner!!

  24. #224
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    I'm enjoying it, but I don't think it's going to crack my...oh, let's say top 75 Yes songs.



    Interesting questions. As a listener, I've rarely asked "What is the purpose of this song?" But we all listen to music in different ways. I generally ask, "Do I enjoy listening to this song?" However, without knowing what's in the mind of Oliver Wakeman or the rest of Yes, perhaps I can address the question of purpose.

    What is the songwriter (seemingly Wakeman) trying to convey? The lyrics seem fairly obvious: it's a song about parental love, particularly the anxieties of parental love. What is the song's purpose or direction? What do you mean by direction? It has a fairly standard structure as a pop song, in terms of parts and harmonic resolution. That is, it has direction. Purpose? I don't know. Perhaps it's purpose was to be entertaining.

    Is the song "trying to sound vaguely, superficially Yessy"? That's a difficult question. I think any song with Howe, Squire and White on it is going to end up sounding superficially Yessy just because Howe performing like Howe, Squire performing like Squire and White performing like White is a chunk of what makes music sound Yessy. So that may be accidental rather than on purpose. Was Wakeman writing to fit a Yes form? I wouldn't be surprised if he was, but I don't particularly hear it. It sounds to me like his compositions on Ravens & Lullabies, like Oliver Wakeman sounding Oliver Wakeman-y. It sounds less like it's trying to sound superficially Yessy than I thought it might.

    Oliver's dad recently commented on Anderson Rabin Wakeman's one (not quite released) song, saying: "“Fragile Touch” was a nice enough song, but it wasn’t what I wanted to hear from Yes. I wanted to hear some great playing and what I call some surprises. You go back to “Close to the Edge” and it’s full of surprises. You’ve got no idea where it’s going to go once it starts. That, to me, is what Yes music is." I was reminded of that quote listening to "To the Moment". I rather like "Fragile/Touch", more than "To the Moment", but I think Rick's description of it would fit "To the Moment".

    Henry
    I’ll sound quite ignorant, but the bottom line is that Jon Anderson was sounding like sh@t just before this band was formed. I was over-joyed to hear this group live with Benoît David In a small venue (Rams Head Live). Chris Squire’s bass never sounded so good, clear and clean sonic heaven in that venue in front of the sound board. I wish Yes would produce the uncompressed sound I heard that day. I have not heard the Lyon live stuff and wonder how it holds up. Benoît David’s vocals were a welcome change from a sick Jon’s, and fulfilled my live music needs. Will these releases help bring that live experience of “Drama” music I heard which was awesome? I never got to hear the Drama live when it first was performed.
    One person’s noise is another’s signal.


  25. #225
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    The Benoit era was an interesting one. At the time I was all for it, for many of the same reasons you were. I feel like it lasted about as long as it needed to. Soon Benoit was the one sounding like shit so that lineup had a certain self life. Meanwhile, Jon Anderson's voice recovered and made me wonder why anyone else is out there singing those songs. I have enjoyed several Davison tours, but there ain't nothing like the real thing.

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