Sunday, 1 March 2015

2014 polls: bad news for Heaven & Earth, but better news for other Yes releases

The results for two big fan-voted polls of progressive rock in 2014 are now in, and there's a fair amount of Yes-related interest. First the bad news: in the DPRP Annual Poll (374 responses), Heaven & Earth won Biggest Disappointment, by a large margin over Pink Floyd's The Endless River. Prog magazine's Readers' Poll has a similar category, Non-Event of the Year, with Heaven & Earth 4th (behind No High Voltage Festival; the Sum of the Parts Genesis documentary; and Kate Bush only playing London).

Other categories had better news for the band. Yes were 1st (Relayer) and 6th (The Yes Album) in Prog's Reissue of the Year category, and 8th in the magazine's Multimedia of the Year for Like It Is (won by Transatlantic's KaLIVEoscope). Likewise, Like It Is was 7th in DPRP's Best DVD section (again won by KaLIVEoscope).

Prog's Event of the Year was won by Kate Bush's live shows, but Rick Wakeman (who writes a regular column for the magazine) came 3rd for his Journey to the Centre of the Earth 40th anniversary tour, while King Crimson's return was 4th and Cruise to the Edge, 6th. DPRP's Prog Happening of the Year category was won by the return of Pink Floyd, with King Crimson's return now 2nd and prog cruises in general, 3rd. (Wakeman's Journey shows received only 2 votes with DPRP, making them 17th equal.)

DPRP has a separate Best Concerts category. King Crimson came 5th equal for their 13 Sep 2014 show, although in a large field, 3 votes was all you needed for 5th equal. The category was won by Transatlantic's 14 Mar 2014 show in Amsterdam; with the "D" in DPRP being Dutch, the Amsterdam shows tend to do well.

The two polls differed somewhat on individual players. Wakeman topped the keyboardist category for Prog, but he only got a single vote in the DPRP poll, where Geoff Downes came 7th equal. Wakeman was also 3rd in Prog's Man of the Year category, which was won by Steven Wilson. Steve Howe made 7th in Prog's guitar list, but also only got a single vote with DPRP. (Steve Rothery won both best guitarist votes.) Similarly, Tony Levin came 3rd in Prog's bassist poll (won by Nick Beggs), but had a single vote with DPRP (won by Pete Trewavas).

Not much happening in the best vocalist categories. Jon Davison's 2 votes for his performance on Heaven & Earth got him 22nd equal with DPRP (won by Peter Nicholls). He also got 1 vote for his performance on Glass Hammer's Ode to Echo, but there were no votes for any other Yes vocalists. (Prog only gave top tens, but there were no Yes men in Prog's male vocalist category, won by Joe Payne, while their female section was won by Lee Douglas.) Alan White and Dylan Howe both got 1 vote for DPRP's Best Drummer (won by Mike Portnoy). (Again no-one in Prog's top ten, also won by Portnoy.)

Prog's Album of the Year was Opeth's Pale Communion (3rd with DPRP), with the only Yes-related entry being Dave Kerzner's New World, on which Billy Sherwood guests, coming in 10th. Kerzner was also 4th in the Tip for 2015 section with Prog, won by iamthemorning, and 3rd Best Newcomer with DPRP, won by Synaesthesia.

DPRP's Best Album was IQ's The Road of Bones (3rd with Prog), with the highest Yes-related entry being United Progressive Fraternity's Fall in Love with the World 14th, on which Jon Anderson guests, with New World coming next at 24. Ode to Echo (with Jon Davison) was 42nd and Heaven & Earth was 50th.

DPRP also has a Best Tracks category, won by IQ's "The Road of Bones". The top Yes-related entry here was "Subway Walls" at 35th equal. The only others in the top 100 were "Believe Again" and Glass Hammer's "The Garden of Hedon" (if Davison appears on that track) tied at 89.

Finally, Heaven & Earth managed 8th equal for Best Artwork at DPRP.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Progeny: 7 Shows from '72

You may be having difficulty accessing the main news page because of the high demand for it. That high demand is because of the breaking news about the Close to the Edge tour live release. I repeat details here:

Originally trailed as a blurry photo on Yes's official Facebook account, news grew of a forthcoming archival live release featuring a line-up of Anderson, Squire, Howe, White and Wakeman, and featuring new art by Roger Dean. This is Progeny: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two (Rhino), a 14-disc box, with 7 new paintings by Dean. One of the concerts included is the 31 Oct Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto performance on the Close to the Edge tour; set: "Intro: Firebird Suite", "Siberian Khatru", "I've Seen All Good People", "Mood for a Day", "Clap", "And You and I", "Heart of the Sunrise", "Close to the Edge", Wakeman solo, "Roundabout", "Yours is No Disgrace". According to Doug Curran on Facebook, all 7 shows are complete and from the Close to the Edge tour, with 1 Nov Ottawa (same set list) being another of the shows included. As for the other dates, speculation turns to 4 Nov Columbus, OH, 11 Nov Durham, NC and 14 Nov Atlanta, GA that are also believed to have been recorded (two of those may possibly be the sources of parts of Yessongs).
It appears that further archival live releases from other tours may be planned.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Poll: Best Yes-related album of 2014, part 1

Happy new year, and we begin the year by looking back to last year and our poll of the best Yes-related albums of the first half of 2014. There were 59 votes:

1. Asia: Gravitas (w/ Downes), 28 (47%)
2. Dylan Howe: Subterranean: New Designs on Bowie's Berlin (w/ Howe), 11 (19%)
3. Glass Hammer: Ode to Echo (w/ Davison), 6 (10%)
4= Billy Sherwood: Divided by One, 5 (8%)
4= Light My Fire - A Classic Rock Salute to The Doors (w/ Sherwood, Kaye, Howe, Downes, Wakeman, Moraz), 5 (8%)
6. Marty Walsh: The Total Plan (w/ Sherwood), 2 (3%)
7= Missing Persons feat. Dale Bozzio: Missing in Action (w/ Sherwood), 1 (2%)
7= Downes Braide Association: Record Store Day EP, 1 (2%)

There were no votes for Birds of Satan (w/ Davison) or Marcelo Paganini's 2012 Space Traffic Jam (w/ Sherwood, Kaye). An emphatic win for Asia with their first album since Howe left the band, and a clear second place for Dylan Howe's Kickstarted Subterranean with dad guesting. I voted for Subterranean myself, but nearly went with third place Ode to Echo, one of the band's best albums to date, in my opinion. Various Sherwood-related projects bring up the rear, although collectively they get more than Subterranean.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Poll: Best Yes-related album of 1975

Hello again. Sorry for slow updates lately on the website and blog. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Every poll I've run including Fish Out of Water has been won by Fish Out of Water. The best Yes-related album of 1975 poll was no different. Out of 93 votes:

1. Chris Squire: Fish Out of Water (w/ Bruford, Moraz): 67 votes (72%)
2. Rick Wakeman: The Myths & Legends of King Arthur...: 9 votes (10%)
3= Steve Howe: Beginnings (w/ Bruford, Moraz, White): 6 votes (6%)
3= Vangelis: Heaven and Hell (w/ Anderson): 6 votes (6%)
5. King Crimson: USA (w/ Bruford): 3 votes (3%)
6= Rabbitt: Boys will be Boys (w/ Rabin): 1 vote (1%)
6= Roy Harper: HQ/When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease (w/ Bruford): 1 vote (1%)
8= Rick Wakeman: Lisztomania: 0 votes
8= Flash Fearless Versus The Zorg Women, Parts 5 & 6 (w/ Bruford): 0 votes
8= Peter and the Wolf (w/ Bruford): 0 votes

Pretty conclusive.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Favourite track on Heaven & Earth

Heaven & Earth, the new Yes album: what's your favourite track? That was our latest poll. 139 of you voted and the results are:

1. "Subway Walls": 50 (36%)
2. "Believe Again": 27 (19%)
3. "Light of the Ages": 22 (16%)
4. "The Game": 16 (12%)
5. "To Ascend": 14 (10%)
6. "It was All We Knew": 6 (4%)
7. "Step Beyond": 3 (2%)
8. "In a World of Our Own": 1 (1%)

So, Yes fans, or at least the ones who read my website, prefer the longer, 'proggier' tracks.

[Numbers for "Believe Again" corrected, 25 Aug 2014.]

Monday, 30 June 2014

Poll: Best Yes-related album of 1974

As we wait the official release date of the new Yes album, Heaven & Earth, we continue with another poll looking to the past. 83 of you voted in the poll for the best Yes-related album of 1974. The results:

1) King Crimson: Red (w/ Bruford): 38 (46%)
2) Rick Wakeman: Journey to the Centre of the Earth: 26 (31%)
3) King Crimson: Starless and Bible Black (w/ Bruford): 9 (11%)
4) Refugee: Refugee (w/ Moraz): 6 (7%)
5) Wally: Wally (w/ Wakeman): 1 (1%)

No votes for Badger's White Lady (w/ Kaye) or Eddie Harris's E.H. in the U.K. (w/ Kaye, Squire, White). 3 votes for Other, but not specified.

So, a repeat of the 1973 poll, King Crimson winning over Rick Wakeman, although Red's margin over Journey (15%) is better than Larks' Tongues' over 6 Wives (5%). King Crimson nab third as well, with few votes beyond these albums.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Poll: Best Yes-related album of 1973

114 of you voted in our poll for the best Yes-related album of 1973. The results:

1) King Crimson: Larks' Tongues in Aspic (w/ Bruford): 47 (41%)
2) Rick Wakeman: The Six Wives of Henry VIII (w/ Bruford, Howe, Squire, White): 41 (36%)
3) Black Sabbath: Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath (w/ Wakeman): 10 (9%)
4=) Peter Banks: Two Sides of Peter Banks: 5 (4%)
4=) Badger: One Live Badger (w/ Kaye, Anderson): 5 (4%)
6) Paul Kossoff: Back Street Crawler (w/ White): 3 (3%)
7) Johnny Harris: All to Bring You Morning (w/ Anderson, Howe, White): 2 (2%)
8) Flash: In the Can (w/ Banks): 1 (1%)

There were no votes for Flash's Out of Our Hands (w/ Banks) or for Donovan's Cosmic Wheels and Claire Hamill's October (both w/ White).

So, a close result between two classic albums, Bruford's debut with King Crimson and Wakeman's first planned solo album. I was surprised to see Black Sabbath in third, ahead of Pete Banks' three albums or Badger's debut. 1974 poll up shortly on the main site.