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Yes - Big Generator CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.54 | 1250 ratings

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4 stars Big Generator. Big disappointment, espeically if you were waiting for a 20-minute epic suite. Won't find that here.

Looking for GREAT POP MUSIC. Won't find that here either. 90125 had that stitched up with brilliant production and chorus vocals.

Looking for a complete dud? Well, you might find that here, considering everyone likes dudding it. You could get carried away joining in...

Looking for great and varied songwriting? I can guarantee, that will DEFINITELY find it here!

The opening 'Rhythm of love'; well, yeah sure, it's a crappy 80's pop song, and the production, while slick, seems greyscale compared to 90125. Zeesh I just confirmed to myself this sucks, I'll just go and change that four-star rating... then again, it's a nice song, and those airy vocal chorus breaks, they really add a nice and melodic touch to it.

Then comes the beloved title track ;-) If you hate punchy 3-minute hard rock songs, well you're gonna wanna break this disc hearing this song... well sure it's a 3-minute hard-rock song, but what a fun and crazy song it is, with Trevor's guitar CRANKING IT through the chorus.

"Shoot high aim low", well sure a lot of people aren't so keen on it, but... for me, an absolute classic! A power ballad that makes you salivate with anticipation as it builds to the masterful chorus.

Then there's the dreaded monstrosity, "Almost like love", which revels in the worst excesses of the garbage 80's - and it's so irresistibly cathcy too! It's frenetic and energetic and I love it!

Then begins side two, which isn't always irresistibly 'cathcy'. But the opening 'Love will find a way' definitely is. It sounds something like 80's Harrison or Travelling Wilburys, and is quite melodious, and is one of my favourite tunes here.

'Final eyes' is something more akin to progressive rock; sure, 6 and a half minutes in not 20 minutes, but it's not three minute either. It's all very pleasant sounding and romantic and kind folksy. Actually, that's ANOTHER TRACK I really like.

Well here it is, finally... after all this time... (well, six songs) 'I'm running', which is the shortened title. It was originally going to be 'I'm running away as fast as I can from this song because it is so hopeless' but, insiders have it, Jon and Tony decided Yes fans were too smart to be told such a title. They would figure out from hearing the song that it definitely was 'I'm running away as fast as I can from this song because it is so hopeless', not just 'I'm Running' Although Trevor argued 'Okay, yes fans might realise that, but, seriously, if you're a YES FAN, you're the last person who's going to buy this album (Big Generator)' but anyway it ended up simply 'I'm Running'. And if you were wondering why I said 'here it is, after all this time', well, obviously, this was the first song on the album I didn't like...

Sure, it's more 'progressive' than the ABC-like 'Almost like love' or the log-sawing 'Big Generator'. But it's just a crappy song... it's got this psuedo-carribean beat and the usual Yes thang of burying vocals in the mix and stuff. Otherwise it's alright.

'BIG Generator' finishes with the diminutive 'Holy Lamb (Song for Harmonic Convergence)' - a quaint, cute song with a BIG title. Again, another song I really like, it's melodious and sweet and dripping with all that Eastern-Religion inspired goodwill from Jon Anderson's heart. Which is what you want to hear from him, cause that's his 'thing'. If he started singing about wanting to 'tear down the forrest' or 'hit the town with some sexy ladies', that's NOT VERY Jon Anderson.

Listening to Big Generator, although, on paper, it's a crappy album, it's actually one great album. The songwriting is very strong and the melodies and hooks are always right there. Definitely four stars.

However, this is prog-archives, so I would add that if you are expecting a very 'progressive' or 'complex' album this probably isn't for you. There's definitely style, tempo and chord changes in there, but only 'Final Eyes', 'I'm running' and maybe 'Holy Lamb' are anything prog, 'Shoot High Aim Low' lasts seven minutes so it's an outside chance of being a 'progressive ballad' but that's pushing it.

Brendan | 4/5 |


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