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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Yes, Friends and Relatives CD (album) cover

YES, FRIENDS AND RELATIVES

Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)

 

Various Genres

1.94 | 15 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
2 stars What may have come across as a wonderful idea in the planning stages ended up becoming one of the most bungled and convoluted compilation albums in all of the 90s. YES, FRIENDS AND RELATIVES is supposed to be a continuation of the previous compilation "The Family Album" that featured samples from the greater Yes family. On this botched attempt of continuing that idea however the material was geared more from the 90s pool of solo releases but the brilliant minds at Eagle Rock Entertainment somehow misplaced these lofty ambitions on a shelf in the back room and somehow came up with a totally ill-prepared product instead.

While i thought this one would introduce me to the best works of Yes members past and present (prior to 1998 of course) what we get is not only a ver random hodgepodge of solo samplings but for some reason live group efforts from the "Keys To Ascension" albums which unfortunately accomplish nothing except making most of this solo rubbish sound like weak crap. It doesn't take long to discover how misconceived this effort is when the very first track is a remix of Yes' big pop hit "Owner Of A Lonely Heart." Now don't get me wrong, i'm a big fan of "90125" and some of Yes' progressive pop material but not only is this remix a very BAAAD remix but also leaves me scratching my head as to why they possibly include it on a so-called "family & relative" compilation much less place it as the first track.

As the album continues the listener gets bombarded with the worst pop shlop aspects of the individual family members with an extra heaping helping of Rick Wakeman dishing out his most banal and cheesy attempts to create catchy pop hooks. I can't say the Jon Anderson are much better. The only tracks i really like on here (other than the live tracks from the band) are the live performances of Steve Howe doing a decent acoustic version of "Excerpts From Tales From Topographic Oceans" despite his weak vocals, the good but not really improved upon version of the 1954 track "Walk, Don't Run" made more famous by The Ventures and excellent "Arthur" from Wakeman's "Live At Hammersmith" which only serves to show how weak all the other Wakeman tracks are on this one.

I must say that i am by no means an expert on Yes' members' solo projects but i still have heard enough to know that i could have picked out a better selection of tracks than this! What's most glaring about this pratfall of a project is the distinct absence of many members like Chris Squire, Tony Banks, Patrick Moraz, Peter Banks or even decent Bill Bruford projects while others like Wakeman are overly represented. Not to mention even Squire's ex-wife Nikki gets her band Esquire included! Yikes! A total wipeout of a compilation. At the end of the day, there is good material on this one so i couldn't possibly give this the worst rating but when i rate compilations i rate them on their effectiveness at representing what they intended to represent and this one falls off the mark big time. My advice is to simply not even bother with this one, unless by chance you get it for super cheap at a thrift store or something. Instead, just go straight to the sources of where these tracks were lifted. All except two track had been released before (the exceptions are "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" which didn't need to be made and is also included as a bonus track on remastered versions of "90125" and "10 Million" which doesn't thrill me).

Tracks with original album sources included:

DISC 1 (71:26) Jon Anderson - Owner of a lonely heart ('98 remake) (3:31) Rick Wakeman - Ice (4:50) from "Time Machine" 3. Steve Howe - Red and White (3:33) from "Home Brew" 4. Esquire - Zone of O (5:19) from "Coming Home" 5. Earthworks/Bill Bruford - Up North (5:22) from "Earthworks" 6. Rick Wakeman - The Pyramids of Egypt (7:06) from "Seven Wonders Of The World" 7. Steve Howe - Roundabout (2:29) from "Not Necessarily Acoustic" 8. Wakeman with Wakeman - Sync or Swim (6:05) from "Wakeman & Wakeman" 9. Rick Wakerman - Arthur (12:57) from "Live At Hammersmith" 10. Yes - Close to the edge (19:40) from "Keys To Ascension 2"

DISC 2 (69:14) 1. Wakeman with Wakeman - No expense spared (5:30) from "Wakeman & Wakeman" 2. Jon Anderson - Say (3:47) from "The More You Know" 3. Steve Howe - Walk Don't Run (3:01) from "Quantum Guitar" 4. Esquire - Tron Thomi (7:52) from "Coming Home" 5. Jon Anderson - 10 Million (3:39) 6. Steve Howe - Excerpts from Tales from Topographic Oceans (9:08) from "Not Necessarily Acoustic" 7. Jon Anderson - The more you know (3:44) from "The More You Know" 8. Rick Wakeman - Journey to the centre of the earth (Extract) (21:26) from "Live At Hammersmith" 9. Yes - America (live) (10:37) from "Keys To Ascension 1"

siLLy puPPy | 2/5 |

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