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Prog-Rock Kings Yes Return To Play Their Three Greatest Albums Live

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No future is right. By and large, punk rock was the reinstitution of music that had already happened before -- only now played faster and with more spit caked on it. From that point on, rock was just going to be a smorgasbord of our past influences with only divergent window-dressing to make it seem current.

Even Yes reacted to changing tastes by scaling back its large concept albums in favor of shorter individual songs, jettisoning their traditional Roger Dean cover art in favor of sterile Hipgnosis designs, and penning lyrics more colloquial and earthbound than they'd been since Time and a Word in 1969.

Going for the One concluded with Yes' last large-scale composition until it reunited as a recording unit in the '90s, the hypnotic 15-minute opus "Awaken."

"We brought 'Awaken' back into the show before we even decided to do the whole Going for the One album on this tour," says Howe. "It was great to be playing such an emotional number."

After 1977, Yes seemed confused and lost as the rest of us humans, issuing the unpopular Tormato, singing "Don't Kill the Whale" as they themselves seemed the ones beached to extinction. That was followed by the Jon Anderson-free Drama, the first Yes album in a decade not to go gold.

That began a trend of retrenchment that led to most of the major prog-rock groups, like Yes, ELP and King Crimson, going away, leaving a pool of talent free to join other AOR supergoups like GTR (which featured Howe and Genesis refugee Steve Hackett) and Asia, which featured Carl Palmer, John Wetton (ex-UK and King Crimson), and Geoff Downes, also late of Yes and the Buggles.

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic