Saturday 11 January 2014

2013 charts and awards

Yes's 2013 touring was the 180th highest grossing in North America (on the Pollstar chart), with a total gross of $4.4 million, average ticket sales of 1,431 and an average gross of $84,615. They were just below Hall & Oates on $4.5 million, who beat them to Hall of Fame induction, and just ahead of Ed Sheeran ($4.4 million), who's had great success in the UK, but is taking longer to break America.

It's hard to say who Yes's competition should be considered to be, but I note Sigur Rós were 163rd ($5.2 million, 2,815 average tickets), Rush were 64th ($14.9 million, 8,338 average tickets), Muse were 30th ($31.2 million, 12,968 average tickets) and Trans-Siberian Orchestra were 14th ($47.9 million, 13,161 average tickets), but of course 99% of all prog rock bands didn't come anywhere near this list. Black Sabbath, with whom Adam Wakeman is still touring, were 56th with $19.7 million grossed and 13,990 average ticket sales. 1st on the list? Taylor Swift ($112.7 million, 28,411 average tickets).

Let's switch to a different perspective on the year and Prog magazine's Readers Poll. With few high-profile Yes or related releases in 2013, Yes or Yesmen did not appear in most categories. Rick Wakeman was #4 in the Keyboards category, won by Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess, a professed Yes fan. Tony Levin made #9 in the Bassist category, won by Nick Beggs (currently playing with Steven Wilson; worked with Steve Howe some years ago). Yes did win the Reissue category with the Panegyric Close to the Edge, while King Crimson's The Road to Red (with Bruford) was #4. Remixes on Close to the Edge were by Steven Wilson, of course, who had a very strong showing in the poll for his own work. His album The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) won Album of the Year. His band's tour won the Event category and they came #3 in Band of the Year, while Wilson himself topped the Icon category and was also #5 in Male Singer.

A third perspective... what was the best selling Yes-related album of 2013? Hard to tell, but I presume it was Renato Zero's Amo - Capitolo 1, with 4 tracks produced by Horn (and also involving Luis Jardim, percussion on Fly from Here, and Tim Weidner, worked on Fly from Here and Magnification). The album made #1 in Italy and was certified Platinum (60,000 sales). Horn also produced 2 tracks on Spector's debut album, Enjoy It While It Lasts, which made #12 in the UK and, I guess, would be the second best-selling Yes-related album of the year. That is, unless we include David Bowie's The Next Day, with Levin on 5 tracks, because The Next Day made #1 in the UK (94,048 first week sales) and many other countries, and #2 in the US (85,000 first week sales).


  1. What struck me was how few people go to Yes shows - 1431 on average. Ranked that way, Yes is way down the list, even further than 180. Small venues, lack of interest? Is their base that small? Groups and people I've never heard of (which doesn't mean much) have 10,000. Should Yes do less shows in larger venues and charge more?
    Secretly, I want them to stay in the studio and pump out new music.


  2. Playing live music to a size of audience which brings in a good income is what these guys wanted from their teens. It still gives them a buzz. This mode impacted on Anderson's health and his creativity - so that's why he is not with them. Squire, Howe and White's business model works. BUT...... thanks to these guys producing their music in the first place, and continuing to work at it, all those neo-prog groups and more mainstream rockers who like to mix up their time signitures, instrumentation and sing metaphysical lyrics can do so because of these guys. So, in other words, their legacy pulls in the big bucks even if they themselves don't fill stadiums. (Why would anyone WANT to see their favourite band in a stadium - not me).

    And I'm more than happy for them to have a stab at another album - I wish them well and hope for some good new music.