Yes, the band, released their 22nd album today – “The Quest” – and while it’s not an earth shaker and paradigm changer like “Fragile” or “90125”, it’s pleasant enough.
I tend to think the album’s name is a direct reflection of the album’s intention; this is the current band members on a quest to kindle a new fire.
There are a lot of inspired moments on the new album, and all in all I find it to be a good indication of things to come.
Now, granted, I’m an old Yes fan… After all, I’ve been around just as long as the band… The self-titled first album came out in 1969, just like I did. In fact, pivotal moments of my life have been ‘soundtracked’ by various Yes albums, so certain songs have a lot of memories for me.
When I was just old enough to appreciate music, albums like Fragile (’72), Close to the Edge (’72), Tales From Topographic Oceans (’73), and Relayer (’74) came out and somewhat set the tone for my musical tastes… Grandiose instrumental textures, complicated syncopation and key changes, and lofty lyrical flights of fancy.
“Circus of Heaven” off of “Tormato” in 1978 was memorable because of story (and the unicorn, centaurs, and pegasi) – which I discovered at the same time I was reading Chalker’s “Well World” series and Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn”.
Then the 80’s happened; junior high, high-school, and enlistment. Junior High had 1980’s “Drama” just as I was starting to get into heavier music like Rush and Triumph. And “90125”, from 1983, somewhat set the tone for my high-school years. I still remember being glued to the the TV at a friend’s house when the video for “Leave It” was debuted – and I made it a point to try and catch all 18 versions of it!
The next album, “Big Generator”, came out right before my Christmas leave from the Navy in 1987. I remember laying on the couch in my parent’s living room with my portable CD player, playing the album over and over.
“Union”, from 1991, was a ‘breakup’ album with my ex. The album is full of inspirational bits though, like “Lift Me Up”, and it played a lot in the truck. I actually saw this one in concert at “Big Mac” in Denver.
The next big life change came in 1994 when I decided to reset everything, leave my current job, and go work third shift assembly at Intelligent Electronics – follow my calling as it were. The album at the time was “Talk”, and the first song on the album is “The Calling”, and that might have had something to do with my jumping into the unknown.
“Keys To Ascension” 1 and 2 came out in 1996 and 1997 as I essentially took over the network at I.E. and started my ‘meteoric rise’ in the network world. I listened to a lot of those two albums during long nights of certification studying or while working out a way to solve an unsolvable data networking problem.
Eventually I make another leap of faith and head to Washington D.C., and “Open Your Eyes” from late 1997 comes out as I start working on programming projects for APBI there in Alexandria.
“The Ladder” from 1999 coincided with starting my own company called “PFM Technologies”. And “Magnification” from 2001 came out just as I was making yet another leap of faith and leaving my teaching job for the relative unknown back in Colorado.
“Fly From Here” in 2011 punctuated my departure from a complicated situation and getting back on my own. This is another Yes album that I saw the concert for – though this one was at the Paramount in Denver.
I’m not sure what “The Quest” from today will coincide with… It’s never clear at the time the album comes out, but in retrospect it’s always obvious. The album has some tracks about technology and about the state of the world and the covid issue, so perhaps it will involve that in some way.
I can only wait and see. 🙂