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Topic ClosedHeaven and Earth damage control / spin has begun

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tarkus1980 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Heaven and Earth damage control / spin has begun
    Posted: September 02 2014 at 21:22
http://somethingelsereviews.com/2014/09/02/it-was-all-fair-in-love-and-war-inside-yes-decision-to-complete-heaven-and-earth-without-roy-thomas-baker/


You know how pretty much every album by any group above a certain age goes through a cycle where the band initially touts it as something their fans will enjoy but is referred to in dismissive terms by the time a subsequent album from the band comes out? Well, Yes has started the process by throwing Roy Thomas Baker under the bus.
"History of Rock Written by the Losers."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 22:00
No scandal there at all!

Simply says Roy didn't quite mix the band the way Yes usually sound.

No need for `damage control' either, the album is nowhere near the dog some people are making it out to be. It may be soft and tame, but that's to be expected from a band their age.

Anyone expecting the band to be producing genre-defining classics like `Topo' and `Close to the Edge' at this point in their career....after, you know, actually establishing some of the the hallmark porgressive rock styles, is fooling themselves!

Besides, at least it wasn't a covers album!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 22:19
This is the first pebble in the avalanche. In two years Howe will be pretending this album never happened.
"History of Rock Written by the Losers."
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 22:40
Originally posted by tarkus1980 tarkus1980 wrote:

This is the first pebble in the avalanche. In two years Howe will be pretending this album never happened.
I hope I will in 2 years
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2014 at 22:45
What avalanche?!

Some people seem to be going on about the album like it's some almighty clusterf**k that will bring not only Yes, but the prog genre itself to a crashing grinding collapse!

It's just a matter of putting it into perspective. The band is mostly comprised of a bunch of (more or less) 70 year old men, who are simply not going to have the drive or the imagination to offer much different that what the album ended up like. Bands like Van der Graaf Generator, Eloy, Nektar - all of them are oldies prog acts who've put out lousy albums in recent years. `Heaven and Earth' reflects their age, it's mellow, sedate and winding down. If you like a whole ton of the different Yes eras, there's enough on there to enjoy for what it is. It's had just as divisive a reaction from groups of fans that pretty much all their albums from `90125' onwards has provoked. Usually each new album comes predictions this wil be their final death knell as well!

Howe shouldn't complain...what's he got to fall back on, more Asia albums no-one wants?!

By the way, I'm not a president of a Yes fan club that fawns all over everything they do lol, just a casual fan who can appreciate the album for what it is. Melodic, well played and an easy undemanding background listen!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 01:24
This album can be approached from 2 sides : a) - comparing it to the amazing creativity of the fertile 70's stylings, or, b) taking it in the here and now and enjoying the 'refined and mature' focus of composing. Heaven And Earth is not a bad album at all, it's just not that great, either. Are the band members thinking with their hearts, or their heads ???
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 16:38
Reading that article it seems they took someone on who they knew didn't get involved with the composition side of things to mix their album, and then got annoyed because he was only involved with the mixing and wasn't producing a very specific sound that is the hallmark of somebody else. Makes me wonder why they bothered in the first place!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2014 at 22:42
Well, it seems to me that their changing of producer and bringing Sherwood in to finish the job didn't help at all. It doesn't sound Yes at all, and now that I read those things, at leas a bit of what sounds wrong with this album may be the mixing itself. Most of the songs are rather weak anyway, but I sort of like the first and last ones at least, however they still sound sound kind of tired... and particularly on the last one, which starts really nice, just as soon as the vocals kick in the song is dragged down quiet a bit... and I understand that Sherwoods main work on the album were the vocals themselves (and from the different albums I've heard in which Sherwood is involved, it's the vocal melodies that usually put me off the most). I wonder if this two songs are the ones being played live, and if they will sound better that way. On the other hand, what I've disliked from this album isn't because I'm expecting a new CttE, since I did rather enjoy Fly from Here (though mainly because of the songs inculded on the so called "epic" or "suite", plus the last song). I guess that if they had somehow managed to stay with Trevor Horn as producer the album might have turned out better.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2014 at 00:01
I don't mind the instrumentals as much as the lyrics.  Very insipid.  

Pity, as I like Jon Davison very much and was hoping he would succeed in this band.  

As far as Roy Thomas Baker goes, he didn't do any favors for my chums in Starcastle either!  I don't know why he is hailed as such a damn genius.  

It's sad to see a band age and wind down, isn't it?  I wish they had done so with grace and dignity.  Meanwhile, I rather enjoy what I'm hearing from the Anderson Ponty project, that might be very interesting!  They have some hot musicians on board. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2014 at 00:56
It's strange, the only band that Roy Thomas Baker has been a fit with was Queen, where the results turned out very well on that run of early to mid seventies albums! But was a looooooooooong time ago now!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2014 at 04:22
RTB is 'winding down' too.....
Just listened to H&E again, and it's getting better as the material is sinking in, but they may as well have re-named the band Crystal Wrench or something.......
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2014 at 05:31
Originally posted by Tom Ozric Tom Ozric wrote:

This album can be approached from 2 sides : a) - comparing it to the amazing creativity of the fertile 70's stylings, or, b) taking it in the here and now and enjoying the 'refined and mature' focus of composing. Heaven And Earth is not a bad album at all, it's just not that great, either. Are the band members thinking with their hearts, or their heads ???

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 00:19
Best song on the album is far and away Subway Walls, but even this track is only paying 'lip service' to their better selves. Light Of The Ages is also decent.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 07:45
i don't find the album to be that bad, and something tells me the sessions back in the late 70's were the reason this time. oh, so unfamiliar (i read the article btw lol).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 18:33
I'm thinking that the members of Yes don't give a hoot about what Proggers want, they have enough of a loyal fan-base to keep the ball rolling. They are just composing songs they believe in, and that's that. There's enough classic Yes influenced bands doing amazing things out there (Magenta come to mind) that it doesn't really matter to them anymore.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 19:09
You make an interestng point, Tom, and I'll go you one further...

We all know Pink Floyd have a MASSIVE fanbase, the majority of which (I think) have no idea what the F `Prog Rock' is. They're just a big band known for `arty' rock music.

Now, I think there's probably more Yes fans that know what prog is, but I'm wondering...Are more Yes fans supporters from the 80's pop/commercial period, so that's why albums like `Heaven and Earth' - and `The Ladder', `Open Your Eyes', etc - are mostly based around commercial/straightforward compositions as opposed to more proper progressive workouts?

I actually assumed that there's much more vintage 70's fans these days that their 80's fans, hence the reason so little material (except `Owner...', of course) from the 80's is performed live anymore...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 19:13
Originally posted by Aussie-Byrd-Brother Aussie-Byrd-Brother wrote:


Besides, at least it wasn't a covers album!
Don't give them any ideas!
Lordy lordy...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 19:15
Originally posted by HolyMoly HolyMoly wrote:

Originally posted by Aussie-Byrd-Brother Aussie-Byrd-Brother wrote:


Besides, at least it wasn't a covers album!
Don't give them any ideas!
Lordy lordy...

Ah crap, and of course, I've most likely cast that thought out into the universe and jinxed us all! Covers album coming in 2015!

Edited by Aussie-Byrd-Brother - September 06 2014 at 19:16
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 23:03
I don't dislike the idea of covers albums so much. Plus, back in the early days, the covers Yes made were really great, making the songs their own. However, I somehow doubt they have the energy to transform a song that way anymore.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 23:10
Originally posted by Tom Ozric Tom Ozric wrote:

Best song on the album is far and away Subway Walls, but even this track is only paying 'lip service' to their better selves. Light Of The Ages is also decent.


Yeah, Subway Walls may just as well be (almost) the saving grace of this album (though I actually kind of enjoy the first song too), but it falls just short of being a great song. However, I think that's a bit more a matter of interpretation more than writing... and even more, perhaps even the sound engineering might have something to do. The song strarts just great, but as soon as the vocals kick in it is dragged quiet a bit. The vocals sound as if Davison didn't care at all, almost as if he were falling asleep while singing, and the backing vocals don't help at all. Then there's a keyboard solo that might just as well have moved things a bit more, but it's also played as if Downes was just bored. At the end the song gets a bit better again, but it frustrates me that it could have been so much better.
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