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Thread: Did Yes even need keyboards?

  1. #1

    Did Yes even need keyboards?



    It's a silly, subjective thread - maybe as they all are.

    I just LOVE this particular medley, and not just because Korekyojinn are the meanest, smoking hot players around. The concentration of so much music I love within less than 5 minutes span is so fullfilling, and it's played with such joy and pure dedication that I could never ask for more from music. I am such a fanboy of old Yes music, and this will never change no matter how much I change. It's part of my inner core as a being.

    And listening to this the other night, it just hit me. Did Yes really need keyboards in their music? (or Jon Anderson vocals for that matter, but that's another story). How powerful their music shines in this trio format! No disrespect to huge players like Kaye, Wakeman or Moraz (and never any disrespect for Jon, I love the guy), but the guitar-bass interplay in Yes was such a mighty force, that everything else added to it is a beautiful ornament, but not essential to the music and eclipsed by the overwhelming creative machine of Steve and Chris. It's really the Howe/Squire tandem that sets apart Yes from any other bands of the era, and makes them instantly identifiable and unique. To me they could very well be a trio and still kick our asses in the same severe way.

    Anyway, a silly thread as I said already, and you are most welcome to add any silly (or not silly) comments of your own to it.

  2. #2
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    They didn't need a keyboardist on the Magnification album. The orchestra filled the role.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

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    Did Yes even need more than 6 minutes?😉

  4. #4
    They didn't NEED them. But they also wouldn't be the same band without them.
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  5. #5
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Wakeman would have looked silly just standing there doing nothing. I guess he could have just danced, like that guy from Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Same goes for Moraz and Downes. And that Russian guy.
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  6. #6
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    They would sound pretty lean without the "icing on the cake". Granted, the songs were usually written on guitar but they really came to life once a keyboardist added their bit.

  7. #7
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    That clip kills.

  8. #8
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    That clip kills.
    I saw Sax Ruins do a similar prog medley at RIO the first year I went, superb.
    Ian

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  9. #9
    Years back I read an interview with Howe where he said he originally wrote the "keyboard" solo in CTTE on guitar then handed it off to Rick to do instead. This guy pulls off a few licks from that solo..

  10. #10
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    Yes.
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  11. #11
    No keyboards = no capes = no YES.
    You say Mega Ultra Deluxe Special Limited Edition Extended Autographed 5-LP, 3-CD, 4-DVD, 2-BlueRay, 4-Cassette, five 8-Track, MP4 Download plus Demos, Outtakes, Booklet, T-Shirt and Guitar Pick Gold-Leafed Box Set Version like it's a bad thing...

  12. #12
    Yes - keyboards = Flash:



    ...or maybe Time:

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    They didn't need a keyboardist on the Magnification album. The orchestra filled the role.
    EXACTLY! They needed a whole symphony orchestra to fill the role of one keyboard player (although the number of keyboards Wakeman had onstage took up the space of a small chamber orchestra).
    Dan Maske

  14. #14
    That performance was amazing! Glad they included TFTO and Relayer licks.
    You say Mega Ultra Deluxe Special Limited Edition Extended Autographed 5-LP, 3-CD, 4-DVD, 2-BlueRay, 4-Cassette, five 8-Track, MP4 Download plus Demos, Outtakes, Booklet, T-Shirt and Guitar Pick Gold-Leafed Box Set Version like it's a bad thing...

  15. #15
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    I saw Sax Ruins do a similar prog medley at RIO the first year I went, superb.
    Yes, this reminds me a lot of the Ruins medleys. The ones I know of are a hard rock one and a prog one. I'm not sure if they did any others.
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  16. #16
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    No Keyboards = No METMAN
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  17. #17
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NogbadTheBad View Post
    I saw Sax Ruins do a similar prog medley at RIO the first year I went, superb.
    Do you know the year? I'll try and find it.....

  18. #18
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    Yes, yes. I am trying to think of their body of work without keyboards and it's a real stretch, for me. Just for example, what about the loss of Wakeman's playing on "And You And I"?

    "Paul Stump's 1997 History of Progressive Rock called the song "a tour de force of atmosphere, contrasting opaline twelve-string against [Rick] Wakeman's cavernous Mellotron, light and shade divided across the four sections with pleasing architectural skill".

    Then, think about "Relayer" without Moraz:

    "Howe uses a 1955 Fender Telecaster on Relayer, marking a departure from his Gibson ES-175 that he had used since The Yes Album (1971). He also uses a pedal steel guitar. Squire uses a Fender Jazz Bass on "To Be Over". Moraz uses a number of keyboards that are not found on other Yes albums".

    What about "The Yes Album"?

    "Kaye's main instruments were the Hammond organ and piano, including a solo on "A Venture". Kaye had previously played the Hammond M-100, but for this album used the B-3, a move which he saw as "a turning point". He was not interested in playing synthesizers, which had started to appear on the market."

    "Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks has said it is his favourite Yes album and that he preferred the band when Kaye was a member".

    I comprehend what the OP is saying, they might have carried on nicely without keyboards. But, I have my doubts.

  19. #19
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    BTW thanks for sharing that medley! That was pretty brilliant the way they pieced it together. Playing Rick's CTTE solo on guitar was unexpected. So yeah, no keys needed for this one! It was ADD heavy, but clever.

  20. #20
    There was that brief period before drama when they were a trio...



  21. #21
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    ^^^ The best one from those sessions (IMO) is Have We Really Got To Go Through This, which they later played live on the tour with lyrics. But the original instrumental from the three piece was on fire!
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  22. #22
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    It sounded like REM gone prog!

  23. #23
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    YES

  24. #24
    Did they REALLY need guitar? Yes could have given ELP a run for their money.

  25. #25
    Cool clip. Wish they'd had a keyboard player too.

    Bill

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