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Yes - 9012 Live: The Solos  CD (album) cover

9012 LIVE: THE SOLOS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

2.23 | 180 ratings

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ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer
2 stars When I was renewing my car's license plate this month, I noticed that there are now so many different ways to personalize it. I can buy (for an extra fee ranging between thirty and fifty dollars) a license plate that shows what college I have attended, that proclaims I'm a veteran, or that demonstrates support for such diverse organizations as the 4H club or the Freemasons.

Why am I mentioning this in a review of 9012Live? Because, for me, a short message that says "Here I am and this is why I'm different from the other guys driving the same car" pretty much sums up the spirit of this mini-album. This album is Yes's version of a vanity license plate for each member: short, distinctive, and ultimately superficial.

The two live tracks that feature the whole band are quite good. The performance of "Hold On" is solid from start to finish, while I find the tautness of the the technically difficult parts of "Changes" enchanting.

And then we come to the solo tracks where, in the tradition Yes established way back in 1971 when they featured Howe's live solo "The Clap" on a studio album, each band member pops up to say "Here I am and here's why I am different from the other guys." The sad thing about this is that most of the solos were better live because they were presented in context with other music. Making them stand alone and work for themselves seems a cruel thing to do.

"Solly's Beard" is a short guitar solo by Rabin that is technically deft but uninspired. "Soon" proves to fans everywhere that Anderson still has the best textured falsetto in the business in a short outtake from "The Gates of Delirium." "Si" shows why Yes fans who have clamoured for the return of Wakeman time and again never really seemed to miss Kaye that much. Squire's "Amazing Grace" rendition (yes, it's the old church hymn) is an interesting novelty but doesn't showcase the talent that won him the reputation as one of the best bass players ever on "Fragile" or "Close to the Edge." Finally, "Whitefish," which is basically "The Fish" from "Fragile" featuring Squire and White with a few digressions into snippets of other songs from the Yes canon, is competent but not engrossing.

For a mini-album, two good live songs, a Squire solo with some novelty value, and decent display of Rabin's technical skills may be enough. "Here we are," it says. "This is why we're different from everybody else."

It would have been nice if the solos had also demonstrated what makes those differences so worthwhile.

ghost_of_morphy | 2/5 |

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