FEATURING JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN, RICK WAKEMAN
50TH ANNIVERSARY LIVE AT THE APOLLO – OUT SEPTEMBER 07 2018
“Glorious splendour, a cause for celebration…the true spirit of Yes’”– Louder Than War
On 07 September 2018, Eagle Vision release Yes, 50th Anniversary Live At The Apolloon DVD, Blu-ray, 2CD & 3LP.
In 2016, Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman combined their incredible talents and the heritage of Yes to take to the road for a series of concerts celebrating the band’s musical legacy from the seventies to the nineties. Yes, featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman brought their live show to the UK in early 2017, including this sell-out performance, captured live at the Manchester Apollo.
With a setlist embracing the spectrum of their career, including classics Roundabout, Owner Of A Lonely Heart, And You And I, Hold On, Heart Of The Sunrise, Rhythm Of Love, I’ve Seen All Good People, Awaken and many more, the band were on superb form. Wakeman’s keyboard sorcery wove its spell alongside Rabin’s masterly guitar skills and founding member Jon Anderson’s unique vocal and lyrical prowess to create a special night of musical alchemy for their fans. This glorious show captures the true, enduring nature of this ever-powerful band.
Grammy Award winners Yes have sold more than 35 million albums and have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Jon Anderson (vocals, guitar, harp); Trevor Rabin (guitar, vocals); Rick Wakeman (keyboards). With Lee Pomeroy (bass) and Lou Molino III (drums).
Audio Mixed By: Paul Linford and Trevor Rabin.
1) Orchestral arr. Perpetual Change (Rabin) / Cinema (Rabin/Kaye/Squire/White) / Perpetual Change (Anderson/Squire) 2) Hold On (Rabin/Anderson/Squire 3) I’ve Seen All Good People : (i) Your Move (ii) All Good People (Anderson/Squire) 4) Lift Me Up (Rabin/Squire) 5) And You & I (i) Cord Of Life (ii) Eclipse (iii) The Preacher, The Teacher (iv) Apocalypse (Anderson/Bruford/Howe/Squire 6) Rhythm Of Love (Rabin/Anderson/Kaye/Squire/White) 7) Heart Of The Sunrise (Anderson/Bruford/Squire) (CD Disc 2) 8) Changes (Rabin/Anderson/White) 9) Long Distance Runaround (Anderson) / The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) (Squire) 10) Orchestral Shade (Rabin) / Awaken (Anderson/Howe) 11) Make It Easy (Rabin) / Owner Of A Lonely Heart (Rabin/Anderson/Howe/Squire) 12) Roundabout (Anderson/Howe)
I’ve been a fan of Yes (in it’s many guises) since I bought their 1st album back in 1969… I discovered King Crimson at The Rolling Stones’ “free in the park” concert, July 5th 1969 – and avidly sought out any music in this new as yet unidentified genre we now lovingly call “Prog”… So the ‘Yes Album‘ (the black cover) was maybe my third or fourth proggy purchase…
Oh what a joy, nearly 50 years on, to get my hands on this “new” release from one of my much-loved bands!
So what do we get here? A revamp of the 2011 release – the much maligned “Fly From Here” issue – the one with Canadian Benoît David as lead singer. I’m not reviewing THAT album per se, but obviously one can’t help compare it with this new release.
‘Fly From Here: Return Trip’ – sees the return of Trevor Horn as lead vocalist. No, his voice doesn’t have the range of Jon Anderson, Benoît David or Jon Davison, but as he wrote most of the material, I defy anybody to say he shouldn’t be the lead singer on this album! He does a creditable job, you can hear every word, and the differences in the production actually make this the better album in my opinion.
The fact that Chris Squire (R.I.P) is a feature of this line-up brings a sense of continuity from that far off ’69 Yes album… And of course the much admired (and often denigrated) “Drama” album of 1980… This re-release of “Fly…” is almost like a Drama, part II
There has been some tweaking of the tunes here and there, the production has shortened some by a few seconds, and if you listen closely you’ll pick out the changed/upgraded moments throughout the “Fly…” suite.
Also included on the album is an extra track, but the highlight for me is the doubling in length of the piece called Hour Of Need… Originally 3 minutes 7 seconds, thin voiced and low production has metamorphosed into a full-on prog track of 6 minutes 44 seconds!! Once the vocal part concludes we get Steve Howe in a display of just how great a musician he is! Brilliant, and it makes the second half of the album march on… literally!!
The extra track?? Don’t Take No For An Answer… It is a good bonus track, but some weakness in the vocal does show up here. Am I being super critical? I don’t think so, as the tune itself is so much better than a lot of pulp we get thrown at us these days.
In conclusion, of the 2 albums, this is the superior release, and I would have bought it, in my hour of need, for the re-vamped Hour Of Need.
This could get messy. I’m tasked with scribbling a few lines about the upcoming journey into the “Y” Universe undertaken by 2 legends, Prog heroes that 99% of you reading this know more about than me. Yes, it’s part of “That” band’s DNA, as expected. It shares that “Y” chromosome, with the “X” supplied by the Flower King and his court.
I’d say that it distils the “Yes”sence, the very DNA of that home world and that if the CD underwent a Paternity test, the answer would be in the affirmative.
It could be a fragile creature born in the heart of the sunrise, floating on silent wings of freedom. It could be the owner of a lonely heart…
Oops sorry about that. That’s too easy and a cheap shot. Jon Anderson is a unique and individual vocalist and sounds like, well, Jon Anderson no matter what the setting and here it’s on a grand scale. Mister A and Mr S, with help from Mr R have created a great sounding album that deserves to be played loudly through proper speakers. I am willing to bet that the vinyl sleeve will be at least a gatefold, probably a triptych of Roger Dean Acid fried surreal dreamscapes, and such is the warm 70’s vibe that even the mp3 files radiate.
There are ethereal voices, orchestras, layers of guitar and Big church organs, all heralding back to the heydays, the golden summers of the seventies, when Prog was king and boys (and girls) sat, rapt at the feet of the minstrels playing and singing for them.
The music takes you to this parallel place, you get lost in the swirl of words and notes. The language is a familiar one, but the meaning? Well, “be nice to each other on your journey” seems to be the best my babel fish can provide after listening a couple of times.
To be honest, it’s the whole rather than the sum of the parts that we are celebrating here.
I could break it down, track by track, note by note but I’m neither anal enough nor knowledgeable enough to try.
It’s a thing of beauty, ethereal and floaty. It’s the joy of living rather than documenting. More abstract art than selfie.
Timeless, resonant with that which has gone before, there are echoes of the old- that warm semi hollow body guitar sound, the thunderous bass runs, the big church organ that all go to make up the language of the affirmative.
There are also flashes of the other parents – those vocal harmonies, that guitar sound, that break with just bass and keyboards- Very Flowery, but ultimately this is a celebration of a particular band, and it works beautifully.
The first time I played it, it was a grey and cold day and the warmth of the music felt at odds with my mood. Today, it’s bright, sunny and hot and the ambience suits the music, it feels “right” for summer’s day. The perennial optimism of the lyric lifts the soul, although the deeper meaning passes me by, I get a feeling, rather than a definite statement.
At the final analysis, this is a labour of love, the sounds and vibes are faithful to the era that it celebrates. However, I must confess that the excesses of the period that allegedly spawned punk are echoed here, with it all merging into a body of work that works on one level, but it’s a bit like angel delight. Tastes good, you get stuck in and before you know it, you’ve overindulged and are suffering from indigestion. There are some lovely parts – A lovely piano piece at the climax of Everybody Heals has just caused me to pause from scratching this to listen to it in full, but this album has that marmite potential. Part of me loves it, but another part says to the inner 15 year old that there is more to life than gatefold sleeves, Science Fiction tinged lyrics and everything including the kitchen sink tracks.
So, hit or myth? I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with this album. It is particular exercise in nostalgia for a world that I was just too young to be a part of, an elder brother’s world whereas I was the eldest. I tried. At the time I adored “Going for the One”, the first album I remember hearing / buying by Yes. I’ve filled the gaps in my collection sporadically over the years and this will join them on that shelf. It will get played, I am looking forward to seeing the artwork and hearing it in its full uncompressed digital glory, but I’ve moved on and whilst the inner 15 year old me will be enraptured, 40 years of exposure to the world outside of Yes means that the modern me will wax nostalgically for the world that this invokes, encourage the artists to be true to their muse by purchasing their efforts and accept that I’ve moved on.
Yes world – a great place to visit, but would I want to live there? I’m an urban dweller now, flouncing around slaying dragons, tripping away across summer meadows to the minstrel’s tune is a dream of an Arcadian land that I’m a stranger in. It’s an aspirational holiday destination; one that for the duration of your visit is perfect as it’s totally removed from day to day living.
Released 24th June 2016 – Europe, 8th July 2016 USA/ROW.