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Episode 143 – Heaven and Earth release

Heaven and Earth
New in July 2014

The one hundred and forty-second episode of the Yes Music Podcast, featuring some thoughts about the release of Heaven and Earth and the reaction to it. Also, a great review of Yes live by Kevin Brodie.

  • How did all the negative reactions to the new album make you feel?
  • What does Fragile sound like live?
  • Does the current Yes gig concept work?

Listen to the episode and then let me know what you think via any of the methods below.

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Show links

Yes Heaven and Earth Website

Yes Live in July 2014 YouTube Playlist

John Simms review

Kenny Norton review

Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and

17 replies on “Episode 143 – Heaven and Earth release”

Hello Kevin and Happy Anniversary to you and your wife may God bless you with 20 more beautiful years.
Now I did receive my copy of H&E and I thought it was surprising to me in many ways first Mr. Downs really did a outstanding job on this record I think. Second I thought that Mr. Davidson did a fine job on his vocals. However I did not feel that way about the others and I know its still new and I have only listen to it a few times but to me it seem that the Yes guitar and bass just seem lacking to me I don’t mean to sound like I did not like the work they did however I feel that it was like it took a back seat for this album. I know that its Yes and its moving in a new direction I get that and I do believe that they are still the very best prog rock band in the world.
I really don’t care what people think about the album I have been a Yes fan since 1972 I’m so over trying to compare this one to that one that I have just said I like it I will listen. If I were to listen to the music critics I would have never even listen to Yes in the first place.


Paul Tomei

Thanks so much, Paul. I agree with your comments about bass and guitar. I think they did deliberately take a back seat and from what I’ve seen over the years, Chris Squire is happy to do this kind of thing. After almost 50 years, he probably thinks he has spent enough time driving things.

As you say, what we should all do is just make up our own minds. Music criticism has been a minefield for hundreds of years!

Thanks again.

Good episode, Kevin – and Kevin Brodie too.
Well balanced comments, as ever, although I share your disappointment (actually anger in my case) at the attitude of those who feel they can use almost violent language (your phrase) to attack the band.
Like you, I find myself humming the tunes; unlike John Simms, I do find the music uplifting (though I agree with much of his analysis of the album). And, unlike just about everyone, I still find Subway Walls among the least inspiring of the tracks despite being a die-hard main sequence fan.
That’s the beauty of music, particularly varied music such as Yes produces, we can all have valid yet wildly different opinions. Echoing Bob Keely’s (sp?) comments, it’s great to have a site which allows visitors comments but which doesn’t degenerate into “Yes isn’t yes without JA” rants.

Congratulations on reaching your 20th wedding anniversary. Celebrate it well and be very generous to that wife of yours – we don’t want you banned from running YMP!

Thanks so much Tim.

Interesting to hear your feelings about Subway Walls – I still like it but each to their own! It’s really pleasing that the folk who comment here are like you i.e. balanced and generous.

Thanks for the anniversary wishes – as you say, without family support, I couldn’t do this.

Thanks Kevin – it’s kind folk like you who make the YMP worth listening to! Also thanks for the anniversary wishes!

Hi Kevin. I’ve participated in the successful crowd funding of several albums by Marillion but my understanding is that this requires a lot of time and effort by the band and a dedicated member of their team – are Yes prepared to do that?

PS Enjoy your anniversary celebrations.

Thanks Ken. Yes it seems to be a huge undertaking – it will be interesting to see how Anderson/Ponty get on! I understand it can be very hit and miss. Thanks also for the anniversary wishes!

Thanks John – I’m sure it will grow as much on you as it has on me…apart from a couple of tracks. Also, thanks for the anniversary wishes. We had a great time.

I would like to mention that the more I hear of H&E the more I like it…..
and I think any time you get people talking about YES good or Bad they’re still talking about the greatest Prog Rock band of all time….So call me crazy but I think this is a very nice laid back but still has the YES stamp on it type record…and I really like the they Keys on this album….

20 years I believe you should dedicate your whole week to your wife for letting you do this podcast because I know as well as your listeners do that this takes real time and effort!

As one down under band once said “Happy Anniversary Baby” !


Yes I agree – nice and laid back – and that’s no bad thing at times. I think Geoff Downes has been a great addition, overall.

Thanks so much for the anniversary wishes – and you are right, I do indeed owe all the things I have been able to do to my fantastic wife and family.

I attended the Yes concert in Cleveland(Northfield) on July 23. The band performed ‘Believe Again’ and ‘The Game’ from the new album. I thoroughly enjoyed both songs and both were very well recieved by the audience. Both songs fit nicely into the evenings set and I would have loved to hear more of the new album.
The “bits” pieces from Fragile were interesting to hear as a Yes fan but disrupted the flow of the set. I realize that playing Fragile in its entirety obligated the band to play what was probably never ment to be played live.
My surprise song of the set was ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart. My surprise came at how much Steve seemed to embrace the song. Steve covered Trevors middle solo very well and added a nice solo of his own to the songs ending.
Let the critics be critics and the fans be fans.

Happy Anniversary

Hi Chris and thanks for the comment. Great to hear those new songs went well live. I’m going to be listening to the recordings of them for an upcoming episode.

Actually, thinking about it, they do seem quite well-suited to a live concert – certainly a lot more than those ‘solo’ pieces form Fragile.

Good also to hear Steve Howe did Owner proud – it’s definitely a great live track!

Hi Kevin. I must admit I was a bit shocked at some of the tracks on H&E. My initial reaction was this is not yes and more like something that Jon Anderson would have put out in the eighties. And maybe “Fly From Here” was not so bad after all! The Yes purists will not be happy and I remember the 1980 Birmingham gig when “fans” were shouting bring back Anderson….some of them have extreme views and unless a new CTTE is made they will never be happy. However, I think we can now understand Andersons influence on the band and the writing and it is a shame he’s gone.
But we still have Yes in some form and it is better than nothing. After some more listens to H&E I am liking and appreciating the music except the track “It Was All We Knew”…. I think your comments on the lyrics were spot on. If the just mentioned track had more Anderson-like lyrics maybe I would not have deleted it!
Keep up the good work and don’t listen to those negative comments.

Thanks for the comment, Terry. I agree that Yes output will never be as good as when Anderson was in the mix but I can’t see that happening now. Like you, I enjoy Heaven and Earth but I do find myself skipping a couple of tracks as well.

At risk of getting ahead of myself, I think the next album could be a lot better…

It bothers me to hear people talking about the cost of studio time. There are all kinds of indie bands making their own records without getting into debt from record companies like bands did in the 70s. Sufjan Stevens is one example. It will say on his liner notes– recorded in friend’s apartment, recorded in the basement of my church, recorded in my study with the air conditioner blowing in the background. And he owns his own record label too. He doesn’t need Roy Thomas Baker, just pro tools and his own ears. His output has been way more diverse than Yes’, ranging from folk to experimental. It’s a shame Yes couldn’t learn from the indie artists example. So it’s sad to hear Yes clinging to old models and then fans complaining about them cutting corners to make a cheaper album. With the amount of money they made, at least one member of the band should have a decent home studio. Todd Rundgren has always been able to record his own albums in his own sutdios, and he played to way smaller crowds than Yes in the 70s.

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