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The Ladder CD

4.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Eagle Rock
  • ASIN: B0000276QV
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,758 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

Despite the addition of two new members to (most of) the classic line-up for this recording (named, rather unconvincingly, after an artwork by Yoko Ono in which spectators were invited to peer at the word "YES" from the top of a ladder), it's now touch-and-go when it comes to wringing still more ideas from these veteran prog-rockers. However, the late Bruce Fairbairn, second only to Mutt Lange in the barnstorming rock production stakes, succeeded remarkably well here. Enough of the traditional Yes elements are still present--Jon Anderson's unique voice, Chris Squire's clangy bass and so on--but dance loops, non-Western instruments and an excellent horn section all serve to move the lumbering vessel into fresh waters, with Latin and Afro-Caribbean influences adding a certain buoyancy. While it's likely that the majority of Yes's listeners will have followed the band for a large chunk of their 30-year career and will continue to buy their records as a kind of ongoing vote of thanks for the ground-breaking stuff the band produced in its heyday, this music is still more fun than the rest of us might have expected. --Roger Thomas

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There seems to be very few chances to read a review of an album by Yes that doesn't start by slagging off the band, followed by two lines skimming over the music only to conclude with a closing paragraph repeating what a lost cause this band and this type of music is! If that's what you're looking for, best buy one of the so called 'serious music' publications. The album opens with 'Homeworld', nine and a half minutes of classic Yes. Why the band started producing short pieces of music is beyond me! 'Homeworld' is, quite simply, a class act!.... music at its best. I am not without a degree of critiscism for the album, I have to admit, that I'm not a great fan of 'Lightning Strikes', with its Caribbean rhythms and possibly even touches of Ska! However, this track is easily listenable and should not spoil your enjoyment of the album. 'Can I?' is a short track during which among the many rhythms and multi-track vocals, an excerpt from, 'We Have Heaven', from the classic, 'Fragile' album makes an appearance. From here, each track flows beautifully to the next and the album builds in intensity towards the penultimate track, 'New Language', (another 9 minute epic), during which, each band member has an opportunity to demonstrate their skills. The final track, 'Nine Voices', brings the listener back down to earth, ready to return to track one and start listening to the album all over again. This album is definitely not back to the classic days of 'Fragile', 'Close To The Edge', 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' and 'Going For The One', ( which contains the best piece of music I have ever had the pleasure to listen to......... 'Awaken'!), but after all the recent personnel changes, 'musical differences', and general silliness, I think we're getting there! A fine album from one of the finest bands ever to grace this planet!
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Format: Audio CD
There's no doubt at all that the much loved Yes band has really hit new heights with their latest studio album "The Ladder", a great improvement on anything released since "90125" in the mid eighties. Great credit for this achievement must be given to producer Bruce Fairbairn, for successfully keeping in reign Anderson's tendency for occasional tweeness and the whole band's tendency for OTT "flash" at times. Witness "If Only You Knew" - a stately ballad which could easily have descended into mush but which actually is as polished and well defined a song as Yes have ever put out - beautifully emotional yet controlled three part harmonies throughout and a really strong vocal from Anderson whose vocal powers seem not to have declined one jot. For tight guitar riffs laced over with exhilarating Hammond, look no further than "Face To Face" which showcases Steve Howe at his most precise for many albums. In fact the playing of Howe and Chris Squire alone make the investment worthwhile. All in all, a record of great variety and absolutely impeccable standards from all concerned. Don't miss this one!!
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Format: Audio CD
After a few-too-many overpolished AOR outings, and the directionless "Ascension" studio tracks, this almost-classic Yes lineup came closest to recapturing the spirit of their best recordings on this, some 25 years after Close to the Edge. It didn't strike a chord immediately, but the standard of musicianship and writing make this a fine addition to the catalogue.

Anderson's lyrics take their third or fourth turn around the new-age lexicon - "power", "truth", "One", "mystery", "reason", you know the sort of thing - but the music is fresh (with a couple of deliberate nods to the past - is that Roundabout's bassline here? The "diddit diddit" refrain from Your Move there?). Standouts are the lovely ballad If Only You Knew, and the 9-minute New Language. This latter contains a masterclass in drumming from the estimable Alan White. From the sterling tom work and rolls in the pomp opening, to the spot-on main groove underpinning the song, to the driving support work under the solos, the drumming is immaculate. Finally, after 30-odd years, I've got used to the idea that Alan, not Bill, is Yes's drummer!
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Format: Audio CD
I have to admit that orignally this CD left me cold. After the opening track, Home World it seemed to drift into endless vocals and unnecessary ethnic influences. But I should have remembered never to write off a Yes album. This CD is a grower! Now, over a year after I first heard it, I can't get enough of it. After Lightning Strikes it just gets better and better. The penultimate track New Languages is Yes at their absolute best. Surely more than we could expect from chaps this old. Their enthusiasm just jumps out of the speakers and really grabs you. The new boy on the keyboards does a superb Wakeman and his mix of old and new sounds is spot on. If you're new to Yes, give this CD a try, if you're an old timer stick with it!
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Format: Audio CD
During the last years, Yes have released the brilliant, very Yes'ish »Keys To Ascension« albums, followed by the semi-commercial »Open Your Eyes« album. So, putting the band's newest release »The Ladder« into my CD player, I did not know what to expect. The opening song »Homeworld (The Ladder)« - which is also the album's longest track - is promising, though. The well-known and unique Yes sound, yet with something new to it. Something kind of modern, a little more rock'ish. But still unmistakably Yes. Although Trevor Rabin left Yes many years ago, several of the songs on the album makes you think he is back. Perhaps because he influenced the band towards more commercial, more catchy, more simple music. And as »The Ladder« is somewhere in between commercial and classic-Yes, his influence still stands. However, songs like »Lightning Strikes« and »Can I?« make you think about some of lead singer Jon Anderson's solo album stuff. As it is with most Yes albums, this one gains points the more you listen to it. For the Yes fan, »The Ladder« will not be a classic in 10 or 20 years. But so far, it is the band's most successful attempt to create more popular music, without really compromising what the Yes fan knows the band for. »Homeworld (The Ladder)« remains the album's clearly best song. My other two favourites are the two last tracks, »New Language« which like »Homeworld (The Ladder)« plays over more than nine minutes, and »Nine Voices (Longwalker)«. Concerning the different versions of the album: The poster included in the »European Strictly Limited Edition« is a good example why the items included in good ol' vinyl editions cannot be used in CD's just like that. The format is simply too small. Another edition, the »Enhanced Compact Disc«, contains a demo of »Homeworld«...Read more ›
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