Yes - 1987 Big Generator
ALBUM: Big Generator
CD REISSUE: 1990, Atco, 90522-2
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Jon Anderson - vocals * Chris Squire - bass, backing vocals * Trevor Rabin - guitar, backing vocals, keyboards, string arrangements, production * Tony Kaye - organ, fairlight, emulator, synclavier, rack mounted synthesizers * Alan White - drums, Percussion, backing vocals
Additional Musicians: Jimmy 'Z' Zavala - harmonica, horn * Trevor Horn - horn, production * Greg Smith, Nick Lane, Lee Thornburg - horns
TRACK LISTING: 01 Rhythm Of Love * 02 Big Generator * 03 Shoot High Aim Low * 04 Almost Like Love * 05 Love Will Find A Way * 06 Final Eyes * 07 I'm Running * 08 Holy Lamb
BackgroundI'll admit it, the two Yes albums from the mid 80's are a couple of favourites. Reintroducing the same line-up from the stellar '90125' period, the 'Big Generator' recording sessions would prove to be a nightmare to fulfil to the end product. There were many protracted issues, and it took two years to get a new album containing just eight tracks to the market. What the hey? It become obvious after the event that singer Jon Anderson wasn't particularly comfortable with the Trevor Rabin influence and where Yes as a band were going. Still, for what's worth, 'Big Generator' has some tremendous moments, and would feature a couple of tunes that would make its way into the Billboard singles charts, the last Yes album to do so incidentally. The song styles on the album vary greatly. Some which feature Rabin's bombastic guitar work, others which are cinematic soundscape oriented.
The Songs'Rhythm Of Love' is the album's lead-off, and is an immediate winner. Pumping bass lines, a sound reminiscent of '90125' and melodic vocals culminating in a memorable chorus. The title track 'Big Generator' is a brash track, harsh sounding even. Scat like vocals, raw guitar power from Rabin, and a cacophony of synth parps makes this an interesting listen. A fan favourite for many is the 7 minute beauty of 'Shoot High Aim Low', with its eerie soundtrack like quality permeating throughout. A slow glide mostly, this one sounds distant and ambient in places, and is great listen. 'Almost Like Love' is full of contrasts. The big up-tempo chorus offsets the jazz/fusion like verses. Rabin's guitar work keeps it all together, though for me personally, it's not one of my fave Yes tracks to be honest. 'Love Will Find A Way' on the other hand is sensational, the wide chorus guitar melodies from Rabin are sublime, the whole thing is pitch perfect, and is one of the songs of 1987 for me. 'Final Eyes' is similar to 'Shoot High Aim Low' due to the cinematic quality of the sound, and appeals greatly because of that. Just what the inspiration behind 'I'm Running' is unsure. Someone described it as a musical Mexican circus, and they wouldn't be far from the truth. It's a strange one that's for sure, but go beyond the odd moments, this one has some depth on the verses and bridge which puts it in the good category. Anderson's spiritual causes come home to roost on the finale 'Holy Lamb', an atmospheric (there's that word again!) piece that features more 'rock' than a flight of angels at a CCM convention.
In SummaryThe album would do moderately well in 1987's sales figures. The album would rise to #15 in the Billboard charts and spend a total of 30 weeks in the charts. Two singles 'Love Will Find A Way' and 'Rhythm Of Love' would make the lower reaches of the top 40, but in comparison to '90125', it paled somewhat. After the 1988 BG tour, the band would dissolve, with Anderson forming Anderson Bruford Wakeman And Howe, while Rabin would join up with Elektra Records for his excellent 'Don't Look Away' solo album. Despite the strains of the BG recording sessions, everybody kissed and made up for 1991's 'Union' album and consequent mega tour featuring eight members of Yes before egos, bank accounts and creative differences got in the way again. Don't these guys ever learn?
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gdazegod August 21 2011 2172 reads 12 comments Print