Top positive review
31 of 31 people found this helpful
Bonkers lyrics, breathtaking music...
on 20 November 2009
I first picked this album up some 25 years ago on holiday in Guernsey and have been consistently wowed by it ever since. It truly shows a band that, with an average age of their early to mid 20s (incredible fact in comparison to today's out put by young scamps) effortlessly producing their arguably best album and then chasing that zenith ever since.
The album's opener, `Roundabout' is a catchy number, with a spring-driven very trebly Rickenbacker bass courtesy of Chris Squire. A staple of their live shows ever since I think, and a good intro what Yes are about. Followed by the first of an idea that was I think a success; each band member produces heir own track. Due to contractual reasons, Rick Wakeman plays some Brahms, which is pleasant, if slightly out of character with the rest of the album and makes one consider what he would have done if his hands weren't bound by red tape (he had only just joined the band at this point). Secondly, and more satisfactorily we have alto Jon Anderson makes a wonderful multi-tracked, if mantra-like song called `We Have Heaven'. A wonderful dreamy soundscape and very easy on the ears. This is thrown into sharp focus by `South Side of the Sky', a jagged, hard hitting effort with some wonderful piano in the middle, this song seems to match the wonderful painting on the cover of the album.
Next is a drum riff called `Five Percent for Nothing' (a title that was a dig at their previous manager) in which the band accompanies drummer Bill Bruford and has a very strong jazzy feel (Bill joined Yes, thinking it was a jazz band!), followed by another classic Yes track `Long Distance Runaround', again which sums up Yes rather nicely; strong vocals, accomplished playing and an imaginative feel. Steve Howe then plays `Mood for a Day', one of his finest solo pieces, very classical in flavour, which leads up to the tour de force `Heart of the Sunrise', my fave ever Yes track. Quite dizzying in its speed and mood changes, but never feeling lumpy or fast for its own sake. Squire and Bruford sparkle here in particular.
All in all, a wonderful example of Yes, and why Prog Rock, despite lazy journalists still using the same opinions written about when punk came along (it's boring etc - no mate, you're boring for not having open ears or a fresh opinion!), is still a wonderful and thought provoking style of music.