Review Summary: If 90125 found Yes on the good side of 80's pop, Big Generator finds them on the bad side.
Yes completely revamped their sound in the 80’s, reforming their line-up with new guitarist Trevor Rabin, original keyboardist Tony Kaye, and of course the return of their trademark voice, Jon Anderson. 90125
, blasted off by its big hit single Owner of a Lonely Heart
, was an enormous success, and not just commercially. The record proved that a progressive band could give in to commercial pressure and still make an album with a certain artistic value. 90125
was, undeniably, a fully cheesy pop affair, though one which found itself on the good side of 80’s pop. Its follow-up, Big Generator
, recorded in a long and tedious process, and eventually released 4 years after its predecessor, found itself on the opposite side.
contained inspired melodies and clever use of production techniques, Big Generator
is dull and uninspired, containing none of the saving graces that made the album before it much more than just a cheesy pop record. At the opening point of Rhythm of Love
, which’ title should predict well enough what it approximately sounds like, Big Generator
is already a step down, though the song itself is bearable. Afterwards, it experiences a deep plunge. The title track was forged from the same mould as Owner of a Lonely Heart
, seemingly a blatant attempt to recreate the same success, although it never was released as a single. The six/seven-minute lengths of Shoot High, Aim Low
, Final Eyes
and I’m Running
are an utterly failed attempt to keep some
of the group’s progressive roots intact, and make an already tedious release even worse, while the overly commercial attempt Love Will Find a Way
(in an already commercial record) and idiotic titling of Holy Lamb (Song For Harmonic Convergence)
put the final nail in the coffin, dragging Yes’ twelfth into the deepest reaches of musical oblivion.
To be both blunt and fair, Big Generator
is Yes trying to recreate 90125
and failing miserably. Pure pop could only work once for them, seemingly doomed to succeed twice. In the coming years, the band would continually try to pick themselves up, attempting to reach former heights, resulting in some so-so and some decent albums. One thing is certain: past the point of their first 80’s album, the band lost all sorts of real relevancy, starting with this, the most shameful thing that could ever carry the name Yes.
Big Generator’s Yes was:
- John Roy Anderson ~ Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
- Trevor Charles Rabin ~ Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals, Keyboards
- Christopher Russell Squire ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Anthony John Selvidge ~ Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Synthesizers
- Alan White ~ Drums, Percussion
TO BE CONTINUED...