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Yes - Don't Kill The Whale CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.71 | 51 ratings

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2 stars Yes get their funk on...

Picture the scene, England, UK 1978. At this point, Yes started writing silly songs like Arriving UFO and Circus of Heaven. In order to get people to buy their new album, the band needed to write a catchy hit. Thus Don't Kill The Whale was born.

I can honestly say, Yes have never sounded funkier than on this song. In the first ten seconds of the song, Chris Squire delivers an orgasmically smooth bass riff, and Steve Howe gives a brilliant guitar solo to match. At this point in the song, the casual listener has been hooked. There are four excellent verses with fun yet ecological lyrics about whales. I particularly like the rhyming in the first verse: 'You're first, I'm last, your thirst I'm asked to justify.' Afterwards there's a great instrumental, with a solo from Messrs. Howe and Wakeman. And then it all starts to go downhill. The casual listener will begin to switch off as Jon Anderson lets out an incomprehensible whale... sorry, I mean wail. The song doesn't feel like it has a proper ending, and I'm always let down by the lack of another verse after the instrumental. Still, for Squire's funky bass and Jon's funny lyrics, I'm prepared to award this song three out of five stars.

As ProgArchives explains above, this single had one of two B-sides, depending on which side of the Atlantic you were. One of them is much better than the other.

Abilene is a depressingly lacklustre song from Howe. Everything about the song is poorly written and uninteresting. For example, one of the lyrics is 'You've got a face,' Why thanks for reminding me Jon! Perhaps the weirdest thing about this song is the sample of a horse at the beginning. Are we meant to think that this song is written about a horse? Relistening to this song for the review has been the most plays it'll ever get, and I highly doubt that I'll ever give this track a spin again.

Release, Release is definitely where it's at! This is another of the silly songs from 'Tormato', but I'll take this over Abilene any day. Although this song is very silly indeed, it has a brilliant rocky rhythm throughout that keeps me hooked and singing along. Perhaps the worst thing about the song is the applause during White's drum solo. What kind of an egocentric band would add the sound of applause to their own record? Despite a few flaws, this is a really fun song indeed, and one of the gems from 'Tormato'.

This is definitely not a single worth investing in, but there's some fun moments indeed, especially if you choose the US version. Of course, all the songs on here appear on the Rhino remaster of 'Tormato', and the single artwork is included in the booklet, so there's no real reason to go searching for this single, unless you're a real collector.

baz91 | 2/5 |


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