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Yes in the slow lane


Aidan

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I had this thought this AM. I wonder how they would be doing now if they were an "ordinary" rock band. Their thing was obviously based on virtuosity, while most other bands only had a little of that. That probably made it much easier for those other bands to continue with some deterioration of skills. With something like Yes, it seems that problem is more obvious.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I saw a rig walkthrough and was amazed at the number of low end Rolands in his rig. Maybe they make good controllers or something. It seems like you could cover that gig with 2-3 good boards, but I guess part of being in Yes is you need a dozen boards to make 1 sound each.

More like, part of being Geoff Downes is buying every synthesizer you can. Paul Wiffen (programmer and promoter for the original Elka Synthex and part of the team promoting the reissue now) says in this article that no matter what synth he tried to sell, Downes always bought it.

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. KingKORG. SP6 at church.

 

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Joe M makes a great point. As a performer, I totally understand the need to keep doing what you have done your entire life as it is what sustains you.

 

But perhaps part of the solution is to modify your rep to allow for changes in your metabloism and nervous syatem as the aging process sets in.

 

No disrespect to Yes, but maybe they can get a younger second drummer to vitalize the rhythm section and have White play simpler parts?

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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You think that was bad? How about this?

Ouch. It is a tricky little thing, but still... Here's how the Yes tribute band I was in did it...

[video:youtube]

(camera problem, so the "video" is audio only)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I saw them in November and the tempo seemed pretty consistent with the originals. I spoke with one of the tour crew who said everyone was f#$ked and this was the last night of a national tour. Maybe the traditional touring schedule is getting too onerous considering their age and the complexity of the material. OTOH at least they were well rehearsed.

 

I posted some close ups in this thread of Downes rig. I dont get why he needs all the boards plus 2 instances of MainStage plus another laptop when he only ever seems to play one at a time, even when there is lot of keys going on at the same time.

A misguided plumber attempting to entertain | MainStage 3 | Axiom 61 2nd Gen | Pianoteq | B5 | XK3c | EV ZLX 12P

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Keyboard wise, I think for Wakeman having a zillion keyboards and a cape is part of his schtick. I remember Downes having a massive rig in Asia and it being quite controversial at the time

 

This pic immediately comes to mind:

 

http://kumanomix.cocolog-nifty.com/kumanomix/images/Asia.jpg

 

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I know there was one floating around of "Cans and Brahms"

I've seen Yes more than any other band, I think.

 

I saw the Fragile show last summer, and I'll probably never see them again - especially if Geoff Downes is "playing". I was pretty sure that most of Cans and Brahms was sequenced.

 

dB

 

Looked like it was all sequenced and he was just putting on an act.

Korg Kronos 61 (2); Kurzweil PC4, Roland Fantom-06, Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage), GigPerformer 4.

 

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Keyboard wise, I think for Wakeman having a zillion keyboards and a cape is part of his schtick. I remember Downes having a massive rig in Asia and it being quite controversial at the time

 

This pic immediately comes to mind:

 

http://kumanomix.cocolog-nifty.com/kumanomix/images/Asia.jpg

lol - the absurdity is absolutely fabulous!

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Great job, Scott!

 

this, second the motion. it takes me instantly back to a 12 yo kid magically mesmerized by this amazing band

The baiting I do is purely for entertainment value. Please feel free to ignore it.
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Great job, Scott!

 

this, second the motion. it takes me instantly back to a 12 yo kid magically mesmerized by this amazing band

Thanks, guys!

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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(I find it odd of them to do all of Fragile, which featured solo peices from a singer, keyboardist, and drummer not in the current line up rather than say Drama which except for the singer is the current line up...but I digress) does tend to do that sort of thing!)

 

At the big Hammond jam at NAMM this year, Geoff Downes was one of the featured performers and he played "Roundabout" and "All Good People."

 

I told Jim Alfredson, who was also in attendance, "That was the music equivalent of a picture of Sean Connery signed by Roger Moore."

Endorsing Artist/Ambassador for MAG Organs and Motion Sound Amplifiers, Organ player for SRT - www.srtgroove.com

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As mentioned, it is hard to tell someone to stop doing the thing they have always loved to do.

 

As long as there appears to be a demand for their music i.e. fans, promoters will continue booking Tales from the Crypt, er, the band and putting them on stage.

 

In a fit of nostalgia, there is no shortage of middle-aged men willing to pay their $$$ to attend a shrunken sausage-fest. :laugh:

 

I'm content with listening to the old Yes studio recordings. I wouldn't buy a concert ticket with Monopoly money to see them at this point in their careers. :D:cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Oh and BTW, regarding "Cans and Brahms". As most of you know the piece is wholly an arrangement of an excerpt from the 3rd movement of Brahms 4th symphony. (Or is it the 4th movement of Brams' 3rd lol?) With at least 5 or 6 different parts on the original "Fragile" album, all pretty effing hard and IMPOSSIBLE to play in total in real time. I'm sure the solo pices are all included for completeness' sake, missing band members notwithstanding. I'm not a huge Downes fan, but, at least in this instance, he shouldn't be castigated for his performances.....

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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I saw Asia for each of the tours for the first two albums. What's funny about that pic of Downe's rig is that it was the "small rig" from the first album's tour. For the second album, he had six stacks of keyboards in a straight line across the riser (since they wouldn't fit in the semi circle) and played with his back to the audience the entire night. I thought he was great with Yes on the Drama tour in 1980, but just silly with Asia. I love Yes and have seen them at least a dozen times live, but I have no interest in this current incarnation (for new music or live music)...
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As a follow-up to my thoughts on Downes performance at NAMM, I honestly felt bad because he is a fantastic player who has plenty of signature stuff of his own (Tempus Fugit, anyone?). It just seemed sad that he went out and played tunes that weren't his.

 

Drama is easily the most underrated Yes album. That album should be viewed as the springboard to both the 90125-era yes and Asia. Some hardcore Yes fans don't like any of the 80s stuff but I loved it. I will take Drama any day over "Going for the One" or "Tales."

Endorsing Artist/Ambassador for MAG Organs and Motion Sound Amplifiers, Organ player for SRT - www.srtgroove.com

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I agree with Mitch. Both "Going" and "Tales" have great moments, but don't really hold together like their masterpices "Relayer" and "Close to the Edge". I listened to "Drama" again recently and it holds up remarkably well and was, in retrospect, unjustly maligned due to: 1) the state of music in 1980----prog was out of fashion and seen as elitist and excessive. 2) the absence of Anderson and Wakeman.

 

I also listened to "Heart of the Sunrise" from August 2014. Squire is playing great and is totally engaged and Howe seems to be intelligenly modifying his playing with no loss to musicality. Davison does a great job vocally and seems thrilled to be working with his heroes.....

The culprits seem to be:

Downes-- horrible toy-like sounds from the Sledge, lagging behind in the (faux) Mellotron entrances and not really having a grasp of the orchestrations and feel for the parts.

White--- global tempos and rhythmic proportions are way off..... Seems to be the ravages of age but even in his prime he was never the equal of Bruford.

I may be overy harsh, but there is a remedy---hire a second Drummer and Keys player----Tom Brislin?

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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Yes fans vary a lot in what they like best, even not counting the Rabin era. I like Drama better than Going for the One or Relayer, but not as much as the first two sides of Tales. Fragile and the Yes Album remain my favorites. I love the second side of CTTE, but am not a big fan of the first side. Blasphemy, I know.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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And btw, really thought Emerson Lake and Powell was a terrific album. Did anyone here see the live show? Was awesome.

That was a good album. And that live show is remembered as absolutely the loudest thing I'd ever heard in my life.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I'll have to check out that, Scott..... The album didn't get on my radar for some reason, but I think Cozy Powell holds a groove better than Carl Palmer....(blasphemy, I know, but it's true!)

As to Yes, I stopped listening to their albums after "Big Generator" and "90210" (or whatever the numbers were)....

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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Yep Palmer is fast but sloppy.

 

IMO the ELPowell album is basically repeating each successful element from previous ELP works without adding anything new. Except for synthesizers and synth sounds, which are all over the place, absolutely over the top, over-arranged, over-programmed and most of the time cheesy. Hardly any Hammond work on that album, but loads of synth brass instead.

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. KingKORG. SP6 at church.

 

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Thanks for that succinct report, Marc! Much appreciated....and I'll probably pass or listen to snippets on YouTube at most......but it sounds like another instance of interesting artists being seduced by ultimately dated technology.....

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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A couple comments about the drummers mentioned here:

 

Carl Palmer is , without a doubt, the worst famous drummer. His time is horrible. In the famous drum break in "Karn Evil 9," he rushes like his ass is on fire. Keith's sense of time is a million times better and he holds all those tunes together. His playing on the Asia album is more of the same.

 

Alan White is totally underrated and NO ONE sounds quite like he does. He has a very unique style and his sense of time is fantastic. His playing on Drama and 90125 is killer.

Endorsing Artist/Ambassador for MAG Organs and Motion Sound Amplifiers, Organ player for SRT - www.srtgroove.com

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Carl Palmer is , without a doubt, the worst famous drummer. His time is horrible. In the famous drum break in "Karn Evil 9," he rushes like his ass is on fire.

This reminds me of one time I saw them in the 70s, where my seats were slightly behind the stage. I don't remember which song it was, but I could see Greg Lake turn around to face CP, and mouth very distinctly, "SLOW DOWN!"

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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In the famous drum break in "Karn Evil 9," he rushes like his ass is on fire.

 

Every time I hear that part of the tune I wonder if something went wrong with the recording process somehow. It's hard to believe that glaring discrepancy is just due to Palmer's bad time.

 

edit to add: and why wasn't that fixed anyway? I know nothing about the recording/mixing process, but couldn't that have been cleaned up?

 

 

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I found Powell's drumming, while tremendously powerful, a little clunky for ELP's music. I enjoyed much of ELPowell, but it was like watching The Three Stooges shorts with Shemp....entertaining for sure, but not the same magic as those with Curly.

 

I've never seen Yes (and this thread does little to inspire), but I did see the original lineup of Asia when they came to Chicago a few years ago. I thought Palmer's playing was phenomenal...he did a solo someone half his age would be hard-pressed to accomplish, and his meter has much improved. Howe amazed me as well, Wetton was solid, but Downes impressed the least. His playing was okay, but his keyboards sounded horrible.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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