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The Ladder vs. Fly From Here – 488

Fly From Here DVD

Produced by Wayne Hall, Jeffrey Crecelius and Preston Frazier

This week Mark and I are delving deeply into a 5% for something topic so if you consider yourself a casual fan of the world’s greatest progressive rock band you can either stick around and learn or save yourself a chunk of time by leaving now. I recommend you stay and become inducted into the mindset of the YMP enthusiasts. It’s fun, or at least I’ve found it so for 10 years now.

So assuming you are still with me, we will be diving into a comparison of two Yes albums, The Ladder and Fly From Here, based on our own, entirely arbitrary measures. Do let me know if you agree or disagree with our findings by commenting on the show notes for this week’s episode or maybe opening your window and shouting for the world to hear – whichever you’d prefer.

  • Which album is ‘better’?
  • What is the artwork like?
  • What is the music and production like?

Listen to the episode and let us know what you think!

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Show notes and links:

Join us in August to record episode 500 here:

Sadly, this trip has had to be cancelled due to travel restrictions. We hope to be able to reinstate the event next year.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_4749-1024x680.jpg
Lewis Clarke / West Devon : Yes Tor / CC BY-SA 2.0

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  • Jeffrey Crecelius
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Aaron Steelman

Dave Owen

Mark James Lang

Paul Tomei

Joost Maglev

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Martin Kjellberg

Paul Wilson

Bob Martilotta


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William Hayes
Brian Sullivan

David Pannell

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John Cowan

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Robert and David

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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

3 replies on “The Ladder vs. Fly From Here – 488”

Wow this was a very interesting podcast and very brave of you both to take on a such a complex issue as this. Well done and I really like how Mark you were able to use a score that really is probably the best way to break a record down.
So If I was to just use the original Fly from here album and the Ladder as it appeared in 1999 I would choose The Ladder, however this being 2021 and hindsight is everything. The Fly from here album was a lot more than any of us actually new . Meaning Oliver Wakeman music and yes he is an amazing keyboard player to say the least and Yes I agree with Mark that Yes DNA is in his blood no doubt. Mark brings up a real good point about From a Page and the what if scenario I think that changes the album completely. Of course that could also be said about the Ladder and If Bruce would have still been with us what would Yes look like in this 21st century, would there even been a Fly from here…
Great show you two of course that is what makes this Podcast so great
Please do more of these type of show’s, they are a lot of fun.

Excellent chat and I also like the scores and totting up the numbers. I agreed with lots and I thought it was tight. Fascinating discussion well done guys, YMP is what Friday’s are for.

Great show, guys. Some interesting points were raised by you both. For me Fly From Here wins, because The Ladder is too long and could have been trimmed. There are some weak tracks on it, but overall a bloody great album. Live from the House of Blues is THE best Yes concert album too. Wish I could have seen that tour.

A couple of comments:
– Open your eyes had a very simple cover because of one thing: Costs. It had nothing to do with putting the Yes name out there
– The design of 90125 is anything but simple. It looks minimalistic, but it was a huge undertaking, demanding a lot of computer power and rendering to get it looking like that. And it was NOT cheap.
– I had to look at both the TL and FFH covers now. I can’t decide which one I like best. Maybe FFH, because I don’t like open spaces. Also: I got the deluxe vinyl package with a t-shirt and poster and postcards. Maybe that helps.
– It’s impossible to create a playlist of the original FFH, intersped the From a Page tracks on streaming services, because the original FFH has been deleted from all services

And that final point brings me to what I really, really think was a dickensian move by Yes. Not only did they fire Benoit David by email (at least, that’s what I’ve been told), they then almost went out of their way to erase him out of Yes history. It’s like Ray Wilson and Genesis, but at least they didn’t re-record the Calling All Stations albums with Collins after the latter’s return.

And the original FFH is soooo much better than the Return trip. I have both on vinyl, but I only play the original.

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