Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

The Ladder – Yes [#659]

The 18th Yes album arrived in 1999 and is massively different to the previous album, Open Your Eyes which isnt hard as Open Your Eyes is truly awful.

At this point, Rabin had left, Howe had rejoined, Wakeman was off being a grumpy old man and had been replaced by dodgy Russian keyboard player Igor Khoroshev who would later leave the group in shame following an assault on two female security officers.

I came to The Ladder quite late. I’d spent much of the 1990s checking the racks at HMV for new releases and looking for snippets of news in fashionable magazines of the time. Yes were not fashionable so news rarely made it beyond the pages of NME and I was too much of a protohipster to buy NME preferring to Uncut, but only when they did stuff on 4AD. At this time I’d moved on from the airy fairy floating castles of Prog and had lurched into the dark twisting forests of Goth via the bucket hat wearing pathways of indie. So its probably no surprise I’d missed this album and it wasn’t until 2001 when I discovered the album had been released.

Its ok. It’s not Big Generator, Going for the One or Drama . Its just – OK and not one of the albums that seemingly I play a great deal. Standout tracks on the album are probably Homeworld – from the computer game Homeworld – and It Will Be a Good Day (The River) and even then I prefer the live version from House of Blues.

The next “studio” album would be Keystudio in 2001 and then in the same year, Magnification followed by nearly ten years of live recordings and rereleases before Fly From Here in 2011 which marked the end of the traditional lineup and, some fans say, the end of the band. But more of that – later…..

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House of Yes: Live at the House of Blues – Yes [#594]

House_of_YesWhen this album was released back in 2000, the internet as we know it today was still in its fledgeling state. Websites were mostly created and owned by actual people rather than by corporations and users actually had to seek out their news rather than have it shown to them if an algorithm deigned to do so. As a result, I was only aware it had been released because I saw it while I was browsing the CD racks in HMV.

Of course, with it being a Live/Best of compilation and I already had most of the songs Live or in compilations, I was reluctant to part with hard earned cash for stuff I already had and instead bought something a little more desirable like Air’s Moon Safari or whatever else was about in those days. However sometime later, probably during the Great Internet Download Free-for-All of the early noughties, I was given a copy of the album by a work colleague and so it joined my collection.

House of Yes is a live double album featuring music from Yes’ earlier career and their album The Ladder. It also features Billy Sherwood on guitar and Igor Khoroshev on keyboards, Sherwood left shortly before the album’s release and Khoroshev had already been booted out of the band by that time due to a sexual harassment controversy.

I can’t say that I don’t like this compilation. There are some good performances on the album the enjoyment of which can be enhanced by the viewing of the DVD of the gig.

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