Yesmen outside Yes
Recommendations from the newsgroup of what to try.

Contents

Last updated: 17 Nov 99

The many members of Yes have been involved in many other musical projects outside the band: as solo artists, in other bands, as guests, as producers or in other roles. As a guide to these other projects, I am holding a series of polls of the alt.music.yes and rec.music.progressive newsgroups to find out what albums are recommended for the Yes fan to buy or avoid. I use single transferable vote (STV) to count the results.

Caveat emptor: these results can only be a rough guide. Just because many like or dislike an album, there is no guarantee that you will agree with them. More recent releases may post-date when a particular poll was taken.


Yes members (in chronological order)

Jon Anderson
Poll closed Nov 98

Recommended:
1. Olias of Sunhillow
2. Animation
3. Change We Must
4. Song of Seven

Avoid:
1. In the City of Angels
2. The More You Know

Change We Must is widely available. Olias of Sunhillow and Song of Seven are available on CD in Japan and Europe. Animation has only been released on vinyl (although one song was on the Affirmative: The Yes Solo Family Album CD) and has long since been discontinued, but Anderson continues to push for a CD release.


Chris Squire
Results posted 27 Jan 97

Recommended:
1. Fish out of Water [Chris Squire]
2. Criminal Record [Rick Wakeman]
3. Euphoria [World Trade]

Avoid:
The Six Wives of Henry VIII [Rick Wakeman]

Unsurprisingly, Fish out of Water is the clear winner; it took every first preference vote. Squire has been involved peripherally on a number of other easily available albums, but little further consensus appeared from the few votes cast. With The Six Wives of Henry VIII, some of the voters pointed out that they would not recommend the album for someone seeking Squire's playing, but that they did not think the album bad in itself. With not much choice in Squire's work outside Yes, numbers voting were greatly down.

Fish out of Water has been released on CD domestically in Europe and Japan. Criminal Record is out of print (see under Wakeman).


Bill Bruford
Results posted 29 Apr 97

Recommended:
1=. Feels Good to Me [Bill Bruford]
      Red [King Crimson]
3. UK [UK]

Avoid:
THRaKaTTaK [King Crimson]

Interest in Bruford's work was high, but voting was spread over a large number of different albums. Clear winners in Feels Good to Me and Red, but a tie break between UK and King Crimson's The Great Deceiver for the last place. Strangely, UK nearly won discommendation too, before being beaten by THRaKaTTaK, which won through an alliance of those who disliked the album and those who liked it, but felt it unsuitable as a starting point of Bruford's non-Yes work.

All three recommended albums are readily available. 


Tony Kaye
Results posted 19 Mar 97

Recommended:
1. One Live Badger [Badger]
2. Flash [Flash]
3. Station to Station [David Bowie CD remaster only]

Avoid:
White Lady [Badger]

Voting was very poor with few releases by and little attention in Kaye. Clear winners in One Live Badger and Flash, but the remastered Station to Station only just scrapes in for a recommendation, while White Lady's discommendation was closely fought.

All three recommended albums have been released on CD, although Flash has now been discontinued.


Peter Banks
Results posted 10 Feb 97

Recommended:
1. Instinct [Peter Banks]
2. Flash [Flash]
3. The Two Sides of Peter Banks [Peter Banks]

Avoid:
Empire, Mark III [Empire]

Clear winners in Instinct and Flash and a clear loser in Empire, Mark III. The Two Sides of... just scrapes in ahead of Self-Contained.

All three recommended albums have been released on CD, but Flash and The Two Sides of Peter Banks have since been discontinued. 


Steve Howe
Results posted 8 Jun 97

Recommended:
1. The Steve Howe Album
2. Not Necessarily Acoustic
3. Turbulence

Avoid:
GTR [GTR]

As with Bruford, interest in Howe's work was high but spread over a large number of different albums. The three albums to be recommended won clearly, although Asia was just behind. GTR only won in a tie break with In the Grand Scheme of Things.

All three recommended albums are readily available. Note that The Steve Howe Album is available in a remastered form.



Rick Wakeman
Results posted mid-1997

Recommended:
1=. The Six Wives of Henry VIII
      Criminal Record
3. The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

Avoid:
The Gospels

Very clear winners in The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Criminal Record - both albums featuring other Yes members prominently - but a fight for the last place won by The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table over Journey to the Centre of the Earth. It is saddening in a way that The Gospels, a piece that seems to mean much to Wakeman personally and which he continues to perform regularly, albeit in a newer form, should top the discommendations.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur... are both readily available and both to be released in a  remastered from in spring 1999. Criminal Record was only released on CD in Japan briefly. It is relatively easy to find as second-hand vinyl and parts of it have been released on CD on two Wakeman compilation albums: Voyages and Master Series (released in Germany).

You might also be interested in an album poll at Rick Wakeman's Communication Centre website, although there are methodological problems in its voting system. 



Alan White
Results posted 20 Aug 97

Recommended:
1. Imagine [John Lennon]
2=. Ramshackled [Alan White]
      Criminal Record [Rick Wakeman]

Avoid:
Ramshackled [Alan White]

Voting was low, particularly for the Avoid category. Ramshackled, White's only solo album, won in both categories! Criminal Record, also a recommendation for Rick Wakeman and Chris Squire, picks up a third recommendation.

It may seem odd that Ramshackled can be both recommended and not recommended. Firstly, note that the two votes are distinct and separate. Also, the voting system used here, STV, is inclusive in that any significant fraction (just over one quarter to be exact) of votes for an album will ensure it gets recommended, even if others think very differently of the album. Thus, if opinion is very polarised about an album, it can easily win in both categories, especially, as here, if there is a limited selection from which to vote.

Imagine is readily available. Ramshackled has been released on CD in Europe and Japan, but not in North America. Criminal Record is out of print (see under Wakeman).


Patrick Moraz
Results posted 12 Nov 97

Recommended:
1. i [a.k.a. The Story of i, Patrick Moraz]
2=. Patrick Moraz [Patrick Moraz]
      Fish Out of Water [Chris Squire]

Avoid:
Timecode [Patrick Moraz]

Voting was moderate, but spanned a large number of albums. Fish out of Water has won two polls, here and for Squire, although it hardly featured in Bruford's. Timecode is a clear loser.

Fish Out of Water and i have both been released on CD in Europe and Japan, but not in North America. I am uncertain of the availability of Patrick Moraz.


Trevor Horn
Results posted 25 Feb 98

Recommended:
1. The Age of Plastic [a.k.a. Living in the Plastic Age, The Buggles]
2. Adventures in Modern Recording [The Buggles]
3. Welcome to the Pleasure Dome [Frankie Goes to Hollywood]

Voting for recommendations showed two very clear winners in The Buggles albums, followed by a slew of other albums fighting it out for the remaining place. However, there were a mere six votes for the Avoid category, each for a different album, so I have decided to consider the category unfilled.

The Age of Plastic and Welcome to the Pleasure Dome are readily available, but Adventures in Modern Recording has not seen general release to CD. It has been released on CD in Europe and Japan and has more recently been re-released in Japan with three bonus tracks. 


Geoff Downes
Results posted 21 Mar 98

Recommended:
1. Asia [Asia]
2=. The Light Program [Geoff Downes & the New Dance Orchestra]
      The Age of Plastic [a.k.a. Living in the Plastic Age, The Buggles]

Avoid:
Aria [Asia]

A clear winner in Asia, with Asia's Arena just unable to take a place from The Light Program and The Age of Plastic (also one of Horn's recommendations), and a clear loser in Aria. Note that Asia only narrowly missed being a recommendation for Howe too, while Adventures in Modern Recording, another of Horn's recommendations, barely registered here.

All three recommended albums have been released on CD, although only Asia is readily available worldwide. 


Trevor Rabin
Results posted early 1998

Recommended:
1. Can't Look Away
2. Wolf
3. Trevor Rabin

Avoid:
Trevor Rabin

A clear winner in Can't Look Away - more than half the votes were for this album alone - and a clear second place for Wolf. Trevor Rabin just scrapes in third, but also wins discommendation (see under White for an explanation for how this is possible)! Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Welcome to the Pleasure Dome narrowly missed out; it is already one of Horn's recommendations, although it barely featured for Howe.

All three recommended albums have been released on CD.


Billy Sherwood
Results posted 25 Jul 98

Recommended:
1. Euphoria [World Trade]
2. Chris Squire Experiment live boot (available on volume XV of Yesoteric)
3. World Trade [World Trade]

Avoid:
Supper's Ready [Magna Carta Genesis tribute album]

Clear winners with Sherwood's well-known work trouncing umpteen session/production/engineering appearances. All three also include Squire: Euphoria also won in Squire's poll, with the live CSE material close behind. (Squire's role on World Trade - backing vocals on one song - had not been confirmed at the time of his poll.) The Avoid vote was more even, although all the albums featuring were tribute albums strangely. Voting, however, was very low.

Euphoria and World Trade were both released on CD, but the latter is out of print and the former is not easy to find either. The Chris Squire Experiment live material has been around tape trading circles for a while and is included on volume XV of Yesoteric.



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Any comments, please e-mail Henry Potts.