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Yes - Heaven & Earth CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.37 | 550 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Close to Las Vegas, faraway from home...

After the masterful "Relayer" 1976 , in between 1977 "Going for the One" and 1978 "Tormato", Yes made a 180 degree market-wise strategic move in their image and music direction. The new Yes image was no longer an "out of this world" cosmic one, they turned around the Roger Dean masterful imagery and "Hipgnosisided" their art covers (not the logo,yet). They polished up their image to look more like modern "this world citizens" into the upcoming and shining 80's . All rock, prog and jazz musicians, legends or not, fell prey, for the new temptations this new technology and markets offered. As far as image, clothing, art covers or even lyrics, I could not care less!

But what started as a joke, became a self-parody with its inherent damage also to the music they composed. Yes became a self imposed parody of themselves and worst of all, this started this horrendous decline in their artistic direction and musical goals. What once was a self demanding quest for musical perfection, turned into overly indulgent songwriting (or the compulsive need to fit mainstream markets).

But whatever I think, there were huges amounts of people, who could not care less for the bio and were completely caught up with this new Yes "model". And Yes, always so positive, realized this and started to focus solely on these less demanding, easy to please and eager to pay audiences. (You know, a kid's education costs a fortune!)

Anyway, if it was not for the constant "we are YES, don't forget", gentle reminders (flashbacks included), "HEAVEN & EARTH", 2014, composition wise, sounds like a band of top-notch mature music teachers/composers, playing some kind of sterilized and humorless Steely Dan's like L.A.'s life music, versus some kind of extra corny (which is like way too much) "Bread" (a 70's pop band), clean-cut love songs, performed in some super luxurious and glittering (like Wakeman's 70's red-orange cape) West Coast's Hotel,(in fact it was recorded in L.A.!) to a bunch of people who pay good money for this kind of "chat if you like", "bring me my drinks !", environments (not that far from elevator music, to set things straight!).

With some masterful decorations along the way by Squire and Howe, even though virtuously performed, composition-wise nothing stands out, no news under the YES, once refulgent, sun!

Half Yes is not Yes, without Anderson is very un-YES, and then again, even if Anderson shows up again and dresses like Elvis and Wakeman returns dressed as himself, (or Moraz by the way), they will never, and there is no real monetary need to be, that "classic" YES again. But you and I know, that what was once the undisputable epitome of a prog all-stars band, is no longer among us (well, since 1976, in fact!).

**2 "Another uninspired, close to boring (instead of to the edge), top performers (hats off to Steve Howe!),YES project " , PA stars!

For the "die-hard" DRAMA or Fly from Here or Asia followers.

admireArt | 2/5 |


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