Yes - Big Generator

Remastered on 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl

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Big Generator is the twelfth studio album by English progressive rock band Yes, originally released in September 1987 by Atco Records.

In the history of progressive rock, only three bands — Yes, Genesis and King Crimson — managed to thrive past the genre’s ’70 heyday. For Yes, the more focused, radio-driven ’80s were a time of new beginnings, which resulted in some excellent sonic reinventions, along with a few awkward missteps. Big Generator, is a prime example of both.

For many die-hard fans, Yes’ catalog is divided by Trevor Rabin. The guitarist-songwriter first brought his crunchy, riff-y brand of polished prog-pop to the band’s repertoire on 1983’s Trevor Horn-produced 90125, which was a commercial goldmine that helped Yes capture a younger, MTV-driven audience.

Following up that landmark album was no easy task and, perhaps inevitably, Big Generator didn’t shine quite as brightly. “The danger was Big Generator was chasing that dream again, chasing that crazy hit record,” Anderson told Music Players in a 2010 interview. “It never happens if you chase it. It should come very naturally.”

That said, Big Generator boasts some sorely overlooked gems and is a highly energetic and entertaining album that was successful in blending accessible and commercially songs with flourishes of musical virtuosity, which was the longtime trademark of the band. There is also a great mix of song styles and tenor, making the listening experience very diverse and interesting.

Rhythm Of Love contains some of the best harmonies every put on tape outside of the Beach Boys. This complex vocal ensemble during the intro and chorus refrain turns an otherwise typical late 1980s pop song into a very unique and enjoyable listen. On this track Anderson shares the vocals to an extent with Rabin, a pattern which is common on the album. Title song Big Generator follows with as a more standard rock song but with some added elements that make it unequivocally Yes. There are low key soundscapes during the verses, the orchestral-hit effects during the choruses, it also contains a very odd, short guitar lead which is almost out of tune with minimal backing instrumentation.

Shoot High, Aim Low was one of the first songs recorded for the album. This is a well-crafted and accessible for a slow and dramatic tune, held together by a crisp and steady beat by drummer Alan White and accented by some lead keyboard riffs by Tony Kaye. The 7-minute song never really breaks out of its original pattern, in vast contrast to much by Yes through their career. Still, it never lags or drags due to some interesting counter riffs of flamenco guitar and lead vocals which literally trade lines during the verses. Almost Like Love finishes off the first side with a foray into the world party rock, as a strong and fast, upbeat tune with brass accents and a clear hook.

Love Will Find A Way is a solo composition by Rabin which he had originally written for Stevie Nicks before deciding to use it on Big Generator. It starts with a string quartet intro before breaking into a crisp rock guitar riff. It is a very accessible and radio-friendly pop song. The ballad Final Eyes is arguably the best song on the Big Generator. It begins with a heavily effect-driven choppy guitar riff before breaking into the main 12-string acoustic riff in a beautifully blended transition. Starting with excellent lead vocals by Anderson, everything on this song is melodic and romantic with just the right proportions of sonic decor in differing parts to keep it fresh and exciting throughout.

I’m Running begins with a crisp bass riff by Squire, building with Caribbean beats and overtones make for an interesting intro. A marimba-led verse leads into lots of different sections where the band seems to attempt a reprise of their prog-rock past. Holy Lamb (Song For Harmonic Convergence) is a solo composition by Anderson is a melodic climax to the album.

Big Generator had many critics, manly on the side of it’s pop/radio oriented style rather than being classic Yes, but this overlooks the fact that this is a good album by a band continuing it’s experimentation with its sound in a time when prog-rock was a dirty word. Listen to it without that bias and you wont be disappointed.

The members of Yes who recorded this album were:

  • Jon Anderson:  Lead Vocals
  • Trevor Rabin:  Guitars, Keyboards, String Arrangements, Vocals
  • Chris Squire:  Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
  • Tony Kaye:  Hammond Organ, Piano
  • Alan White:  Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

This remastered edition on 180 gram heavyweight audiophile vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve is pressed in the USA by Friday Music.

 

(829421905226)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Rhythm Of Love

4:47

A2

Big Generator

4:33

A3

Shoot High Aim Low

7:01

A4

Almost Like Love

4:58

B1

Love Will Find A Way

4:50

B2

Final Eyes

6:25

B3

I’m Running

7:37

B4

Holy Lamb (Song For Harmonic Convergence)

3:19

SKU 829421905226
Record Label Atlantic Records
Label / Model # FridayMusic
Catalogue Number FRM-90522
Country US - United States
Release Date (Year) 10 September 2013
Original Release Date (Year) 17 September 1987
Barcode # 829421905226
Shipping Weight 0.3850kg
Shipping Width 0.008m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000789000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition LP Record, Reissue, Remastered, 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Progressive Rock
Genre Rock
Format VINYL LP

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