Yes is Still Epic
It seems to me the headline (“Yes: ‘No Epics’ on New Album“) gets the story wrong:
Drummer Alan White shed a little light on the new music during a recent interview, sharing his satisfaction with producer Roy Thomas Baker’s work behind the boards. Looking back on a botched attempt to record with Baker in the ’70s, White called it “A blessing in disguise, because it wasn’t turning out like we wanted it, but this one is. Roy’s doing fine. He’s doing a great job. He’s getting some great sounds on the instruments.”
Baker’s getting those sounds the old-fashioned way, too. As White put it, “We spent quite a while getting the drum sound right. Roy is quite meticulous about which microphones get the right sound. We were using about $50,000 worth of microphones on the drums alone.”
As for the songs, White added, “It’s all fresh music. Everything on the album was conceived within the last year or so. No epics on this album. There are some longer pieces with intricate parts to them, but there are some shorter tracks too which are right to the point.”
Well, that just sounds like it is more 90125 and less Topographic Oceans. So what!
90125 is one of their best albums. So… no reason to panic, Yes fans!
By the way, I find it annoying that the sensationalist headline makes White into the official spokesman for Yes.
At least the original story has a less misleading (although equally sensational) headline.
Perhaps the songs from the 70s’ Baker sessions may give us something of a taste of what is in store?
All of the songs associated with the Paris sessions have eventually surfaced, in one form or another. Two (“Tango” and a song once known as “Flower Girl” that was retitled “Never Done Before”) found a home on the 2002 In a Word box set. Four others — including “Dancing with the Light” and “In the Tower” — were part of an expanded remaster of Drama, the 1980 follow up to Tormato. “Everybody Loves You” was later reworked for Anderson’s 1980 solo album Song of Seven.
Additional material from the subsequent Drama sessions also made up the lengthy title track for Yes’ 2011 project Fly From Here, though White says this Yes new album will include all new songs. Don’t look for a similar suite of songs, either.
“It’s all fresh music,” White confirms. “Everything on the album was conceived within the last year or so. No epics on this album. There are some longer pieces with intricate parts to them, but there are some shorter tracks too which are right to the point.”
The title of that one song is actually “Dancing Through the Light.” There is also “Golden Age” and “Friend of a Friend.” These are all great bonus tracks on the Drama reissue.
Don’t forget… Yes visits Canada starting next week!