Yes Fans: How's Life After "Union"?

Just wondering how are the Yes albums after the “Union” (studio) CD? If it just keeps getting better, please name two favorites post-Union (studio) compilations. Thx!

They are all better than Union, that’s for certain.

Magnification is the best of the bunch, in my opinion. Talk is also very good and criminally underrated. But if you really want to hear the band at their best, check our their live CDs or DVDs. They’ve still got it.

I must respectfully disagree. Open Your Eyes is handily the worst album the band ever produced.

I’ll second Magnification as the best post-Union album. The Ladder is pretty good, too. I’ll also second checking out the live albums. The two Keys to Ascension albums would be a great place to start - live, with a few studio tracks thrown in.

About “Open Your Eyes”, IIRC, I believe read the band was about to tour with the release of one album (Talk?) when the label released “Open Your Eyes” - two very different “moods” of compilations. Yes fans were left very confused, and this move probably hurt the band. Feel free to correct me, if my facts are off.

I’m particularly fond of Fly From Here, which came out in 2011 with a singer other than Jon Anderson. As a matter of fact, the entire lineup from Drama reunited, though Trevor Horn took the role of producer, and tribute-band singer Benoit David did vocals.

I agree that Open Your Eyes is a strong candidate for worst Yes album, but at least it features the actual band members. Union consisted of a demo from the “Yes West” lineup, and a hastily-completed Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe album that had many parts re-recorded with session musicians.

And to Jinx: The tour for Talk was in 1994, and Open Your Eyes was released in 1997, so there wouldn’t have been any confusion between the albums.

I was disappointed by Tormato and its accompanying tour (on a rotating stage). After that, I heard Yes was broken up. Aw, damn. Next I heard after that, the band had been invaded and reanimated by something called the Buggles. I was like, no way, you’ve got to be kidding me.

(Poor Trevor. I have to feel sorry for him. It wasn’t his fault he wasn’t Jon Anderson. He had musical talent in his own right, but that wasn’t enough to be accepted by Yes fans. Because Yes is a band that has some earnestly hardasscore fans, yes it does, and many of them have been fans for over forty years [they were founded 45 years ago, in 1968]).

Sorry if I’m coming across as a fair-weather fan (not a Fayreweather fan; Fayreweather was a Genesis cover band very popular in Cleveland), but throughout the 1980s and most of the '90s I didn’t notice whatever Yes was doing, except I got happy when they had a big hit with “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” I was at my friend’s place one day in 1983, the tube was tuned to MTV; I looked up and went, “Hey! It’s Yes, of all the crazy bands! I can’t believe they’re really back!”

I finally came back home to Yes fandom in the year 1999, which was the year I came back home to rock music after having spent a long time away. I picked up Keys to Ascension, and wasn’t sure what to think; I liked it for being a revival of classic Yes lineups, from the '70s when I liked them best. I definitely liked it better than any of the post-fragmentation Yes and quasi-Yes assemblages of the 1980s and early '90s. And yet, their new compositions just did not have the certain je ne sais quoi that had so endeared me to 1970s Yes. Even when spinning their new long prog epics, they had moved on from the '70s stylistically. I guess I will always like the old Yes better than the new.

Talk is arguably the best Yes album by the Yes West lineup–it certainly sounds more like classic Yes than either 90125 or Big Generator. Imagine “Miracle of Life” from Union as the starting point and you’ll get the idea.

Keystudio compiles the studio tracks from the Keys to Ascension albums and serves as a good double album from the Anderson/Squire/Howe/Wakeman/White lineup. There’s at least one LP-worth of great material to found there, though overall it’s nowhere near the quality of Relayer (or even Tales from Topographic Oceans).

Open Your Eyes is a Chris Squire/Billy Sherwood project with token contributions from the rest of the band–only for completists. (I do like “Universal Garden”, and the hidden soundscape track is cool, but the disc as a whole is very dull.)

The Ladder is a deliberate (and IMHO largely successful) attempt to recapture the spirit of Fragile and probably represents the band’s best release in the '90s. Highly recommended.

Magnification is good but not great. There are some great tracks, but overall the band sounds neutered. Pick up the Symphonic Live DVD instead.

Fly from Here is a stunning return to form if you like Drama–it’s a sequel of sorts. I’m personally a fan of both Yes and the Buggles, and I love this album dearly. However, if you cannot stand the thought of Yes minus Jon Anderson, this album is probably not for you.