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Yes - Big Generator CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.54 | 1250 ratings

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1 stars Horns! What is this, Yes or Huey Lewis? Don’t get me wrong, I love brass instruments. It’s just not the kind of thing you really expect to hear with Yes, and you really don’t expect to get completely overwhelmed by them like this album does. I think there’s something like six different guys playing horns on this thing, mostly trumpet I believe. Oh well, the 80’s were certainly a time for changes…

I guess 90125 wasn’t the bottom for Yes, Big Generator was. At least 90125 had a great live tour supporting it, and there was a very faint inkling of a recognizable Yes sound in a couple of tracks (“Cinema”, “Leave It”).

This album doesn’t even have that. “Rhythm of Love” and “Love Will Find a Way” a pure schmaltzy pop, horns and dance-hall beat included, and “Big Generator” is simply forgettable (emphasis on the ‘simple’).

I’m not sure what the band was targeting with “Shoot High, Aim Low”, but they missed. ! Trevor Rabin’s guitar is actually mildly interesting for the first minute or two, but the nauseatingly repetitive arrangement simply gets boring by the fourth or fifth minute (and there are still a couple more minutes after that). This is one of the longest tracks on the album, and also one of the least inspired. It’s clear by the time this track rolls around that the respective muses of Jon Anderson, Rabin, and Chris Squire are not dancing to the same beat on this album. It’s no wonder Anderson wandered off to do his solo thing again after this one.

“Almost Like Love” sounds like Big Country being fronted by an aging vocal queen. I can almost picture Anderson in a flowery polyester blouse doing a lounge-act shuffle while singing this one on stage. Liberace look out!

I actually think “Final Eyes” is the best track on the album, although that isn’t saying much. The vocal harmonies are pretty well done, and the odd key is kind of catchy. This is one of those songs that really stuck in my head back in the 80’s, but for a long time I was sure this was Survivor, not Yes. It was only after I actually bought the album that I found out I was wrong.

Chris Squire finally shows his face on “I’m Running”, some sort of flamenco-meets-cast- of-Hair kind of thing. Again Rabin has a few flashes of brilliance on guitar, but really – I don’t know what the hell is going on here! Sounds like a street party scene from a Broadway musical.

On “Holy Lamb (Song For Harmonic Convergence)” Anderson is trying for a Chris De Burgh reflective let’s-all-hug kind of song or something. Squire’s bass is mildly interesting on this one as well, but not enough to make a difference.

Seriously, this is a really bad album. Totally forgettable and all copies of it should have been buried in a time capsule for some future nuclear holocaust-ravaged generation to uncover and ponder. Move along citizens, nothing to see here. One star.


ClemofNazareth | 1/5 |


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