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Yes - Big Generator CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.54 | 1230 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Son of 90125, this album took an age to record and release, had Kaye bussed out to be replaced by Eddie Jobson of UK fame, and then Kaye bussed back in again. It was an attempt to reproduce the commercial success of 90125 but does not pull it off at all. In addition, Anderson left not long afterwards (again) in a huff and so led the way for the farcical situation where there were two Yes bands effectively in existence. And we thought that Floyd had the monopoly on crass egotistical nonsense!

The album itself is nowhere near as bad as some make it out to be, but it is, without doubt, one of the weakest LPs the band released.

The start of Rhythm of Love is encouraging, with dynamic vocal harmonies and rather sampled effects before becoming a stereotypical weak pop tune. It has little of the charm that Owner and It can Happen possess.

The title track is equally poor, and could almost be described as a dance/pop/rock fusion. The vocal harmonies are, at best, confused and the backing guitars merely chug along. Very disappointing after the heights reached with the equivalent tracks on 90125.

Things improve with Shoot High, Aim Low, which shows some progressive tendancies when things degenerate again with Almost Like Love which has the band playing almost as if they have overdosed on gallons of speed. This is the central problem with this album - it's not the fact that they play pop/rock, it's very poor pop/rock.

It picks up with Love will Find a Way, which has, as its central part, a nice Anderson chorus line with the first interesting interplay with Squire & Rabin. I'm Running also is a good track, although, as with most of the tracks, it is far too disorganised to merit anything other than a casual listen every now and again. Whereas I revisit 90125 very often, and (as I will state when I review it) Talk is a terribly underrated classic, this just does not hold any interest, for prog or pop fans alike.

The saving grace for me is the final track, and the one that, allegedly, moved Rabin to fury. Holy Lamb is clearly Anderson's attempt to inject some more traditional Yes feeling into the album. Whereas on the predecessor, he succeeded across the whole piece, with this it is only really with this one track which is essentially a solo effort. I adore the Hold the Light sequence of vocals and Rabin at least has the decency to put in a good guitar solo at the end.

This album should only really be purchased by those who have to own every single Yes album, or who really want to splash out on Anderson at his best on the final track. Otherwise, it really is one to avoid, and it augured in the era of absolute high farce as far as band lineups were concerned. That, though, is a story for different reviews!

Two stars to be generous to a band that has given so much pleasure over the years.

lazland | 2/5 |


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