Sunday, 27 December 2015

Poll: Best Yes-related album of 1979

At one point before Xmas, this poll was a threeway tie between The Steve Howe Album, One of a Kind and The Age of Plastic, but the field opened out later on. After 70 votes:

1. Steve Howe: The Steve Howe Album (w/ Bruford, Moraz, White), 36% (25 votes)
2. Bruford: One of a Kind, 31% (22 votes)
3. The Buggles: The Age of Plastic (w/ Horn, Downes), 23% (16 votes)
4. Rick Wakeman: Rhapsodies, 7% (5 votes)
5. Vangelis: Opera Sauvage (w/ Anderson), 3% (2 votes)

There were no votes for The Bruford Tapes or Gary Wright's Headin' Home (w/ White).

Bruford's Feels Good to Me came second to Wakeman's Criminal Record in the 1977 poll, while Howe's debut came third in the 1975 poll, behind Wakeman's King Arthur and Squire's Fish Out of Water. So a turnaround with Wakeman now back in fourth.

Yes albums after 90125 - how do they rate?

There was a recent thread on about the later Yes albums and I thought it would be interesting to summarise the views therein. I found 36 posts where I could derive someone's rank ordering of albums. I then used sequential STV to produce an overall result. And the final top 5 are...

1. Big Generator
2. Keys to Ascension 2
3. Magnification
4. Fly from Here
5. Keys to Ascension

Which I thought was rather interesting. The period after 90125 has so many varieties of Yes: there was YesWest vs. ABWH plus the hybrid Union. Then came the classic line-up of reunion of the late 1990s, with and then without Wakeman. Finally there's the post-Anderson era.

And each of those very different Yeses gets into the top 4: Big Generator for YesWest, Keys 2 for the classic reunion, Magnification for the classic line-up minus Wakeman and experimenting with an orchestra, and Fly from Here to represent the Yes after 2008. If you include Billy Sherwood's role on Keys 2, you've got most of the people who've been in later Yes included (no Davison yet, no Khoroshev). You've got more pop-oriented music, retro prog and attempts at something new.

What's made later Yes work hasn't been some simple line-up combination or particular direction. Later Yes has blossomed in unexpected ways.