Archive for the ‘Yes’ Category


Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Listen: Northern Lights (Edit) / Renaissance

I went through a prog rock stage like every kid, but secretly never had the patience for all those long songs in private. I was playing The Kinks and The Marmalade to be honest. Even the bands exclusively part of that genre won me with their attempts at more traditional songs or singles, as they are ultimately best described.

Camel, Caravan, Curved Air, they all had great 7′s, and that’s just a few of the C’s. The likes of Yes, The Nice, Genesis, King Crimson or even Van Der Graaf Generator, when their full album sided epics got edited down for a single, probably discovered they’d essentially written a pop song. I’m guessing a few, like possibly Robert Fripp, are still shivering from the prospect.

I stumbled on a most fascinating Facebook post yesterday from a friend Bruce Garfield. He’s now managing Renaissance, a band who I would classify as prog, and remember from college. In fact, I booked them at my school and a few members came back to our apartment after the show, to buy drugs from my then girlfriend. His post centered around their new album, and how they’re raising money to record it via Kickstarter. Really impressive plan and I truly wish them well.

During the presentation, when snippets of their various songs were used, I caught a passage from ‘Northern Lights’. Blimey, I hadn’t heard it for the longest time, and so headed downstairs for a listen. A bit overlooked here at home when current in ’78, lost time is being made up for presently. If this got played once, it easily got twenty spins. Really good song, and am now planning on seeing their show in June as a result.

The band deserve a lot of respect, and they deserve a break. Turns out their label partners from those lucrative years all shut their doors and draw the blinds when they come knocking, tossing a mere dribble of royalties their way. Having worked for the majors a solid two plus decades, I know how true their claims must be.

The Syn

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

SynFlowerman, The Syn, Chris Squire, Deram, Pete Banks

SynPS, The Syn, Chris Squire, Deram, Pete Banks

Listen: Flowerman / The Syn SynFlowerman.mp3

In January ’06, original members Steve Nardelli (vocals), Gerard Johnson (keyboards) and Chris Squire (bass) put together a lineup (sans Pete Banks) of The Syn and toured America. Huh? Why? I suppose the drawing power via the Yes connection was enough to fill the small clubs they played. It certainly worked in New York. They were great when they clumped together three of the four songs that made up their two lone Deram singles from ’67. They sounded exactly like what the entire audience seemed to have waited almost three decades to hear, and thankfully didn’t try to squeeze into the orginal paisley coats and floral patterned trousers adorned in their youth. Perfect, gave us all tingles.

‘Flowerman’ was properly titled for that summer of ’67. Although perfect from the very start, it does go to eleven at 1:34, when the horn riff adds an unexpected and period piece sonic (a wonderfully typical studio staple from the Decca/Deram production handbook).

I even found the location of the picture sleeve shot: It’s in Fitzroy Square, just off Tottenham Court Road, when walking west toward Cleveland Street, in front of The London School Of Economics residence halls. Just happened to stumble on it one wet, deserted Sunday afternoon in November a few years back. I froze in my tracks.