I wanted to make the Where Are They Now? site more interactive, so I've started running polls. First one's been up there a few weeks and has had 79 votes. It's on a fairly obvious topic for the site: what's been the best Yes-related album of the first half of 2009? And the results:
1. The Six Wives of Henry VIII - Live at Hampton Court Palace (Rick Wakeman): 25 votes
2. HQ (CIRCA:, w/ Sherwood, Kaye): 20 votes
3. Live In Milwaukee, 23rd April 2008 (Asia, w/ Howe, Downes): 16 votes
4=. 3 (iCon, w/ Downes): 6 votes
4=. Race to Witch Mountain OST (Trevor Rabin) [digital only release]: 6 votes
6=. Change of Space (Patrick Moraz): 1 vote
6=. Live in Tokyo Japan 12th May 2008 (Asia): 1 vote
6=. Overflow (CIRCA:, w/ Sherwood, Kaye) [digital only release]: 1 vote
6=. From Brush and Stone (Rick Wakeman & Gordon Giltrap): 1 vote
6=. Escala (Escala, w/ Horn): 1 vote
6=. Abbey Road: A Tribute to the Beatles (w/ Sherwood, Kaye, White, Downes): 1 vote
12=. Live in Barcelona 19th May 2008 (Asia): 0 votes
12=. Live In Sao Paulo, 23rd March 2008 (Asia): 0 votes
Calls for new material are commonplace on fan forums, yet the albums in first and third place are mostly about playing the old stuff. Henry VIII - Live gets 25 votes but From Brush to Stone gets just one. Asia's Live in Milwaukee gets 16 votes, while iCon's 3 gets 6. Wakeman's approach with the Henry VIII show is almost like the live version of a remastered re-release, complete with bonus tracks: is that what people want? Asia's Live In Milwaukee is all old material, recorded before they started including material from new album Phoenix. (Why was Live in Milwaukee so much more popular than the others in their Official Bootleg series? Because it was the only one recorded in the US maybe?) Do most fans prefer re-exploring the old songs to new material, or is the problem that the new material just isn't as good?
New material in the form of CIRCA: HQ was in second place, and that was my own choice. Concert Live kindly sent me the Wakeman release and it's nicely done, well put together, but I've never been as much of a fan of his work. I'll do a proper review of HQ at some point: I think the second half is stronger than the first, but certainly worth hearing with some great work in particular from Tony Kaye.
Squire's been calling Howe the hardest-working man in rock, but look at Geoff Downes' output too. Apart from the four Asia Official Bootlegs, there was the iCon album with John Wetton, and time to appear on Billy Sherwood's Beatles tribute.
I was surprised the Moraz album didn't do better. But what did you all think? Meanwhile, next poll is going to be on what you'd like Asia to be playing live as they go forwards.