yes Archive

Album Review: Various Artists — Still Wish You Were Here

My standard disclaimer where tribute albums are concerned is that the concept if dodgy on its face, and that it rarely succeeds. But for every rule here is an exception, and I’m holding in my hands the most recent example thereof. Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here is a monumental album, one best not messed

Yes’ ‘Drama’ at 40: A Critical Look Back at the Band’s Most Controversial LP

It’s accepted conventional wisdom now that the 1980s were a tough time for progressive rock. The subgenre enjoyed its heyday – commercially and critically – beginning in the very late 1960s and continuing into the mid- to later part of the ‘70s. And while the revisionist notion that punk “killed” prog is wildly overstated –

Prog in Disguise: The Buggles’ ‘The Age of Plastic’ at 40

The late 1970s were an odd time for popular music. Today’s listeners know that punk made its mark in the middle ’70s, but it’s worth noting that from a commercial standpoint – especially in the U.S. – punk rock was a comparatively insignificant phenomenon. Instead, its effect was felt mostly in the ways in which

From the Archives: Review of Yes in Concert, Feb. 3, 2017

The following is an edited reprise of a Facebook post of mine from February 2017, three years ago this week. — bk Thoughts on last night’s YES concert in Cherokee NC… I’ve seen YES twice before, or three times depending on how you count. The first was the “90125” tour, which was remarkable for the

Patrick Moraz and the Poetry of Creation

Swiss keyboard virtuoso Patrick Moraz was one of the earliest musicians to explore the sonic possibilities of the synthesizer. He combined those explorations with more conventional instrumentation – grand piano, organ – as a member of Refugee (with former members of the Nice) and then with Yes, and later still with the Moody Blues. He

Rhapsodizing with Rick Wakeman

Legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman is perhaps best known for his work with Yes, a group he has joined and quit at least five times since the early ’90s. But the classically-trained musician also has a staggeringly large catalog of solo albums. Beginning with his debut release (1973’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII) and continuing

A Session with the Session Man: Rick Wakeman (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Of all the sessions you’ve played on, is there one that really stands out as a particularly disastrous or unpleasant? No. I’ve never had any unpleasant sessions, because you’re there to make the music and play the music. Every one had sort of attributes. Going back to very enjoyable ones. I

A Session with the Session Man: Rick Wakeman (Part One)

Mention the name Rick Wakeman to a fan of ’70s rock and they’ll immediately think of Yes, the band he has joined and quit more than five times. Dig further and you’ll learn that he’s an impossibly prolific recording artist who has released more than 90 albums. Perhaps less known is his work as a

British Rock Nobility Convenes Onstage for “The Royal Affair”

Note: I’ve interviewed a bunch of these artists. Blue-highlighted hyperlinks will take you there. — bk In the concert business, package tours are nothing new; as far back as 1959, Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars crisscrossed the country, bringing a busload of hitmakers to American audiences. And legacy acts touring in support of their back

Hundred-word Reviews, March 2019 Part One

I can’t point to specific reasons as to why this is the case, but in recent months there has been more than the typical amount of really good music finding its way onto my desk here at Musoscribe World Headquarters. What that means, of course, is that it’s time once again for a clutch of