Episodes Interview Specials YMP Classic Feed

Interview special 1 – MJ Murphy

Guitar guru at work

I was delighted that I managed to speak to Mike Murphy via Skype recently. Mike is a teacher, all-round guitar expert, Yes fan and top listener of the Yes Music Podcast.

Mike writes engaging, expert, guitar-related blog posts at

Who better, then, to help us understand the styles and approaches of the three Yes guitarists, Peter Banks, Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin?

I hope you enjoy the first Yes Music Podcast interview special – there are plenty more to come.

If you have a Yes story you’d like to share, please get in touch – I’d be more than happy to speak to you via Skype!

Episodes YMP Classic Feed

Episode 6 – ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’ Part 1

The sixth episode of the Yes Music Podcast featuring the sixth album, ‘Tales from Topographic Oceans’.

Vinyl purchased circa. 1989 CD circa. 2005 (click to enlarge)
  • What difference does new drummer, Alan White, make?
  • What is the connection between Tales, opera and Church music?
  • Should anyone be expected to listen to the whole of Tales from Topographic Oceans?

Listen and see if you agree with me then let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me via the different routes on the right hand side!

Blog posts

Technology and music – always a good thing?

Technology for technology's sake?

I’m looking forward to releasing a great interview I did yesterday with guitar guru, Mike Murphy. He was in the US, I was in England. We spoke to each other via the miracle of Skype. The sound was clear and there was only a slight lag – as you will hear.

This is another example of how technology has revolutionised communications – I couldn’t have done this interview at all only a few years ago.

However, is technology always positive ? Does music always benefit from the latest in technology?

Wood and cat gut or iPad and Animoog?

When Yes recorded their earliest albums, music recording technology was at a comparatively early stage – and so was instrument technology. Of course, all musical instruments are products of the current state of technology and always have been. A Stradivarius violin was ‘the latest thing’ in the 1680s – it was the Animoog iPad app of its day.

However, it sometimes seems to me that more technology can mean less creativity, less need to innovate. I remember hiring the first video camera I ad ever seen when I was about 17 years old. It had no zoom function so to make the film interesting, I had to create the angles and simulate the zoom myself. The result was a slightly bizarre but highly-creative, interesting movie. I wonder if the same is true with studio technology?

I’m no musical Luddite…am I?

Clearly, something like 90125 would not have been possible without the creative use of the latest technology (and the involvement of a genius producer like Trevor Horn) but when it’s possible to create any effect you like easily and quickly in the studio, do musicians come to rely too much on this and too little on their own musicianship and flair?

What about all those ‘manufactured’ acts through the last 30 years, culminating in the X-factor production line – without technology would this be possible – and would it be a good thing or a bad thing?

Let me know what you think.

Creative Commons image credit – iEEEj

Episodes YMP Classic Feed

Episode 5 – ‘Close to the Edge’

The fifth episode of the Yes Music Podcast featuring the fifth album, ‘Close to the Edge’.

Close to the Edge CD and vinyl
Vinyl purchased circa. 1989, CD circa. 2005 (click to enlarge)
  • Is this the classic Progressive rock album?
  • Are there any classical music parallels to be found here?
  • What gives the music its ‘hook’?

Listen and see if you agree with me then let me know by leaving a comment or contacting me via the different routes on the right hand side!

Blog posts

Announcing new Yes Music Podcast interview specials

Step up to the mic

I’m really enjoying the weekly exploration of Yes albums and I hope you are too!

In between these episodes, I’m also going to start doing a few interview specials. This is because I know there are many people out there who know more than me about aspects of Yes and have different perspectives. I’d like to hear what they have to say and also share this with you.

So I’m in the process of organising Skype chats with some very interesting folk who will make fascinating guests. Here’s a flavour of what’s on its way:

  • A Yes fan guitar teacher with lots to say about Yes guitarists and their special styles
  • A Yes fan prog rock musician
  • A Yes fan prog rock website owner and ‘3rd cousin of Yes’
  • Several others!

If you have a story to tell, why not get in touch? In the meantime, watch this space for some great conversations…coming soon.

Creative Commons image credit: JoshSemans