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This week Mark and I take a look at Trevor Rabin’s collection of demos and early versions entitled 90124. It’s a fascinating set of proto-yes music, if you can get hold of a copy. I am indebted to Ken Fuller for mine.
Also this week, we think about how Yes or ARW could keep in contact with their fans better.
- What are these early demos like?
- What can we learn about Yes songs from them?
- What clues to the influence of Rabin do they contain?
Listen to the episode then let us know what you think!
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Jeffrey Crecelius | Preston Frazier | Bill Govier | Wayne Hall |
Robert Nasir | Joseph Cottrell | Michael O’Connor | Paul Tomei | Geoffrey Mason | Lobate Scarp | Fergus Cubbage | Steve Dill | Steve Scott | Peter Hearnden | Aaron Steelman | John Thomson | Paul Wilson | Jamie McQuinn | Miguel Falcão | Ken Fuller | David Pannell | Brian Sullivan | Joost Doesburg | Jeremy North | Tim Stannard | David Watkinson | Steve Roehr | Geoff Baillie | William Hayes | Terence Sadler | Neal Kaforey | Simon Barrow | Dave Owen | John Cowan | Mark ‘Zarkol’ Baggs | Keith Hoisington | Scott Colombo | Guy DeRome | Chris Bandini | David Heyden | John Thomson
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10 replies on “Trevor Rabin’s 90124 – 363”
Great Episode guys! Totally agree… as amazing as Trevor Rabin is, he is best with a high quality producer as a collaborator!
Like most things a team effort brings out the best. Thinking of Pete Townsend’s brilliance made better by the influence and interpretation by The Who. Trevor’s material with Yes is the icing on the cake.
Agreed, Fred. Some combinations are magical!
Thanks Paul. Collaboration is the key, as in all the best Yes music!
Seem to me that everything in rock’n’ roll has a price tag on it and the cost of that has been a loss of mystique. I can see for new bands why social media is massively important but once the proverbial fourth wall is established I am not massively keen on seeing it taken down in order to ensure that every last penny is extracted from the pockets of people who are already paying over the odds for tickets.
Interactions with artists used to be either serendipitous or the result of sheer dogged commitment. The same used to be true of getting great seats – you either sent in a postal order and were dead lucky or you got up early, bunked off school and queued outside the venue for as long as it took. Now, if you have the £££, you can buy an “experience” with you favourite act and a pretty tawdry experience at that. The offerings that are the most revealing are the golden tickets that include early and unfettered access to the merch stand! People used to mock Kiss for their naked commercialism but now everyone is at it from the gnarliest rocker to the most sensitive of folkies. At least Kiss don’t rinse the public when it comes to ticket prices and the show is always guaranteed to be fantastic.
What *do* I want? Well, despite Fripp’s pandering to the Crim Experience market with the Court Jester tier of tickets or whatever it is called , his regular release of soundboard recordings, rehearsals, out-take clips and such is truly fantastic. If you need a fix of King Crimson you can go on line, do a little musical time travel and pull up shows from across their history. What I wouldn’t give (or pay) to hear some complete concerts from Alan White’s first tour of duty, the original TFTO shows, Moraz’s stint in the band or the stellar performances here in the UK in the autumn of 1977! That’s what I would call serving the long term fan and much more useful to me than knowing what Geoff Downes feels about socialism for example (not a fan apparently).
Speaking of which and given that it is the season to be merry, Christmas of 1975 I saw The Who at Hammersmith Odeon (1oth row) for £2.50, Rory Gallagher for 75p at the Albert Hall and Alex Harvey for £2 at New Victoria on successive nights. Allowing for inflation that is £40 for all three. An album costing £2.50 that same Christmas should now cost £20 and yet people complain about record prices way before they baulk at paying £75 for a so-so seat with awful sound at the O2 or £150 to stand 150 yards from the stage in Hyde Park to listen to some old fart sleepwalk through their hits. Something badly wrong with that picture and no wonder that fans don’t have the money to go out and see new acts in smaller venues ….
Once again, many thanks for the detailed and thoughtful comment, Ian. I don’t intend to spend money on meeting my heroes. The times I have been fortunate enough to interview Yes men, as well as meeting them in slightly odd circumstances will always stay with me. I don’t mind others paying for this privilege if they want to but it’s not for me. I’ll keep on trying to bump into the guys…as I did almost literally with Alan White in Birmingham!
I enjoyed this week’s episode even though I’ve no idea of what you spoke about. This album was one of which I was not aware. However it does sound interesting, sort of.
Thanks Jeremy, sort of. It’s worth getting a copy if you can possible find one, if only for the historical value.
Great post, IanNB.
Social interaction with fans – with regard to giving the fans what they want I’d suggest that, at least as far as Yes goes, this should be a resounding NO!
The bands best output (my opinon, but fairly congruous with concensus here) has all been as a result of the band seeing where they could take the music, not trying to produce something, perhaps recreating former successes, to please the fans. They would break new ground and hope they could take the fans with them. It doesn’t always work, to be sure, the last album being a case in point – but no-one could argues that was an attempt to please fans.
I was going to argue that pleasing the fans is legitimate when putting a setlist together for a tour, but, much as I was so delighted to have the past three tours and am extremely excited about the prospect of a Relayer tour, they are not really doing their newer material justice of they don’t tour that. They need to get out there and push it into people’s faces.
Queen were a great example of what happens when you move from innovating to crown pleasing. From the heavy rock with a touch of fairies of the first album, through to A Night at the Opera they progressed through hard rock, prog, pop to what I’d argue was the perfect combination of these pushing at the boundries of each with a few misses along the way (stand up Roger Taylor). Their follow up tried to be A Night at the Opera part two and then they realised the crowd likes sinaglongs (something they’d started with “In the Lap of the God’s”‘ “Whoa, Whoa, La, La, La” chorus from Sheer Heart Attack) and basically produced more and more of that type of material interspersed with twee and melocholic material for the rest of their existance. And very good some of it was too.
But they were not Yes. They morphed into (probably) the best showband in the world. They were no longer about developing music. They were not virtuoso musicians – at least none other than Brian May. No-one looked forward to the next Queen album wondering what new things they would bring to the table, only what great songs they’d come up with.
People still expect innovation with Yes, and that’s only going to happen if Yes don’t give a tinker’s cuss about what we want!
This is all acedemic anyway as I’m pretty sure Yes will just get on and do whatever Yes (or Steve Howe) want to do.
It’s certainly a great shame that Fly From here never got a proper run-out live. I don’t know about the US and Canada but I think European audiences would have been fine with hearing the whole thing in its entirety or at very least the suite. Especially if they knew that the second half would be a “masterworks” set. If people can happily sit through Drama surely they could manage to make it through an hour of what is to my mind a far superior record? I am not sure the Magnification material fared a lot better in terms of exposure to the live audiences but The Ladder certainly did so somewhere around 2000 I am guessing that it was decided that new music was a turn off for ticket buyers.
You are also dead right about Queen. Set list wise Queen were a crowd-pleasing heritage act before heritage acts even really existed. That’s almost certainly why they were able to nail Live Aid where other bands (some even bigger) were somewhat unconvincing. Banging out hits is what they do best so 15 minutes demands more or less the same thing from them as two hours. No slow build, straight to the hook. Bowie was also in his jukebox phase at that time and was equally brilliant on the day. For |Mercury and co, when compared with doing enormous shows like Rock In Rio or Hyde Park, playing Wembley Stadium must have felt like a theatre date :). This also might explain why despite the large number of live albums in the Queen catalogue there isn’t one that pulls you into another world for the duration like Yessongs does. From the Night At The Odeon onwards each live release is a catalogue of hits with some new tracks scattered in and among the crowd-pleasers. More of a souvenir than a listening experience. I do like the two Rainbow concerts from the Queen II era but even those feel kind of patchy. They simply don’t do immersive. A lot of my favourite Queen songs (Spread Your Wings, It’s Late, You’re My Best Friend etc) either never got played live at all or were dropped after one tour. Maybe that says more about me than them!