Vangelis Delectus

Delectus: A book of passages from Greek or Latin authors used for study.

When you hear the name Vangelis, depending on your age and musical affinity, you think of different things.

You think of the keyboard player of Aphrodite’s Child whose astonishing album 666 has to be heard to be believed, you think of the pioneer of electronic music whose albums were all groundbreaking in their own way, you think of the soundtrack king, in particular the unforgettable Chariots of Fire, or you think of the fact he was once invited to join Yes, and then produced three fantastic albums with Jon Anderson.

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Celebrate YES: Finally Inducted

In this world, the gods have lost their way.

A huge, ginormous progarchy congratulations to YES for *finally* making into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!!!

Over our five years of existence, we’ve been huge YES fans.  Here are just a few selections of the many thousands of words we’ve written on YES over nearly half a decade.

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From our good friends at PROG magazine

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Concert Review: Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman (ARW) Saturday, November 12, 2016 at the Majestic Theater, San Antonio, Texas.

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ARW

 

With the first step into the Majestic Theater in San Antonio one crosses the threshold into a magical space, like entering a ride at a theme park.  The original 1920s tiled floors direct your paces into the main theater with beautifully sculpted dark wood lining the walls, railings, ceilings, and staircases.  Ornate chandeliers illuminate the space and the main theater is adorned in its entirety with an elaborate stucco relief which includes birds and vases and spiraling banisters. It’s a sight to behold.  My fondest concert memories are from this incredible place.

Something about the Majestic’s dramatic architectural collage made it the perfect setting for the music of Yes performed nearly fifty years after the band’s creation.  That it would be performed by the band’s founding member—arguably the soul of Yes—Jon Anderson, along with his concertmaster, ringmaster, and erstwhile musical genius Rick Wakeman, and guitarist/composer extraordinaire Trevor Rabin, made it a concert for the ages.

Opening with the track that began the joining of Rabin to Yes, the band rolled in with the rocking instrumental “Cinema” from 90125: Rabin in a slim-fit coat and slacks looking like he might have stepped off of the photo shoot from the Beatle’s Sergeant Pepper’s album, and Wakeman dramatically strolling onto the stage in his iconic cape and tennis shoes and settling in behind his mission control deck of nine keyboards.  This served as the band’s intro, much in the same way that Stravisky’s Firebird Suite had in past concerts.  The stage is set, the band are playing…

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A Fish Out of Water That Swims On

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I have been meaning to write in praise of Chris Squire’s solo album Fish Out of Water for some time now. In fact, I wanted to publish a review after his sudden passing last June, but I feared I would not do his album justice (or something to that effect). I suppose now would be as good a time as any to call attention to this somewhat obscure gem of an album. As I write this, I am listening to “Silently Falling”, a hauntingly beautiful, eleven minute masterpiece featuring dramatic and complex keyboards, a driving bass guitar, and the melodic vocals of Mr. Squire, whose voice lies somewhere between Jon Anderson’s and Peter Gabriel’s. The album also features the talents of Yes alums Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz, King Crimson‘s Mel Collins, and a small orchestra conducted by Squire’s friend Andrew Jackman.

If you are not already familiar with this album, I suggest you give it a listen. Here are brief notes on each song:

“Hold Out Your Hand” – The album opener is driven by Moraz’s organ and Squire’s melodic Rickenbacker bass. It’s a relatively fast-paced tune, but it transitions smoothly to the softer…

“You by My Side” –  A well-orchestrated piece that features a beautiful flute solo. The next song,

“Silently Falling” – I have already discussed, but I’ll mention the name again in case you forgot it! Squire then switches gears to the jazzier…

“Lucky Seven” – A tune which features the talented Mel Collins on alto sax. Squire shifts gears one more time before the grand finale…

“Safe (Canon Song)” – A majestic fifteen minute piece that deserves a spot among some of prog’s better epics.

Fish Out of Water is without question the finest solo album by a Yes member, and I would go so far to say it is one of the best prog albums of the early 1970s. Unlike the solo albums of other Yes members (Anderson and Howe, in particular), Fish Out of Water has a distinctive sound, and it has aged well. If you do not yet believe me, watch the promo video below:

 

 

 

Jon Anderson’s Instructions to His Dog Sitter on National Dog Day

I have no idea if Jon actually wrote this, but it is pretty funny.

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/yes-frontman-jon-andersons-instructions-to-his-dogsitter

Dear Frank,

Overture—Heart of Sunrise

Total Breakfast: Alpo-calypse

ii. Comb of Life

iii. The Solid Bowel Movement

Bridge—A Venture (Outside With Leash)

Fetch/Play Dead

a. Fetch

b. Play dead

ii. Long Distance Runaround (seg. into The Calling)

iii. Starship Pooper (use grocery bags!)

Requiem—Edge of the Sun

The Revealing Science of Dog (food)

ii. Sweet Dreams

Da Capo

Progressively,
Jon

MAGNIFICATION: Anderson’s Final Yes Album, 2001

Yes, MAGNIFICATION (Beyond, 2001).

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Not Roger Dean, but still rather nice packaging (especially inside)

I was only age 33 when Magnification first came into the world.  Now, fifteen years later, as I approach age 49, I find myself marveling that this was the last Yes album released with Jon Anderson’s vocals.  I’m by no means a Yes purist, but I certainly think of Anderson as synonymous with Yes.  Regardless. . . how well has this album held up?

One of the great problems with mixing rock and classical music is the actual choice of traditionally classical instruments employed.  When it comes to the staples of rock—bass, drums, and guitar—certain classical instruments work extremely well in accompaniment.  Others, not at all, or rarely so.  Generally—at least to my untrained ear—deep strings and woodwinds work best with the traditional instruments of rock.

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DPRP Reviews New Anderson/Stolt Album

Press_Cover_01The great folks over at the DPRP (where I am proud to be a writer, as well) have just released a Round Table Review of the new Anderson/Stolt album, Invention of KnowledgeThree great reviews of a fantastic album.

If you like classic 70s Yes and you also like Roine Stolt’s godlike work on the guitar, then this is the album for you.

Check out InsideOut for more info on the album, and be sure and read the DPRP reviews.

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