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07-15-2004, 01:32 PM
I picked this up at FYE for $4.99...I figured it was worth a listen for 5 bucks. I haven't read good things about this album. Some think it was a mis-step; using an orchestra for one, and not using a keyboard player for another. Rick Wakeman had expressed some diappointment for having been left out (I think I remember reading that he was contacted about doing the album, but was too busy at the time, so Yes proceeded w/o him).

For me, its certainly hit and miss, there are songs that work, some that don't. But, all in all, not as bad as some reviews I've read. The title track and 'In The Presence Of' are outstanding. I think why some are disappointed with this is that as a <i>Yes</i> fan, you'd really like to see them push boundaries and do something starkly original as they did 30 years ago. But they play it safe here, which is the disappointment I felt upon first listen. But there are some very good moments here, and I'm struck by how much this reminds me of <i>Time And A Word</i>, with its subtle homage to <i>The Beatles</i>. 'Time Is Time' is just as beatlesque as the song 'Time And A Word', but some might be put out that <i>Magnification</i> may be revisiting TAAW just a tad.

I'd recommend anyone who is a casual fan (who's only Yes album is a copy of the <i>Classic Yes</i> CD), pick up <i>Magnification</i> (especially if its on sale). But its not for afficienados.

07-15-2004, 06:44 PM
I have similar feelings about this album. It's not a bad album by most standards, but you would think that the band could do better. Unfortunately, they don't have a really good work ethic for song writing. Even at this late date, they could ask Wakeman to overlay piano or keyboard tracks, and then, like the good marketing machine they are, re-issue the album with the Wakeman touch. I actually think it's a pretty good album, but the orchestration makes it a bit flat, IMO. They were very innovative on the Ladder, and that sense of a new beginning was lost here.

07-16-2004, 04:39 AM
I'm probably in the minority but I think Magnification is the best Yes album since 90125 (that's right, I don't dislike the Trevor Rabin era). I think it's a more consistent album than The Ladder, which had a great beginning in Homeworld and an exciting end, but the middle of the album falls flat for me, sounds more like a Jon Anderson solo album. Open your Eyes, I never bothered with and I'm told I should keep it that way. I didn't like the Keys studio tracks either. Talk has some great songs, but it's ruined by the clinical production. The less said about Union, the better. So considering their output has been pretty hit or miss over the last twenty years-frankly mostly miss-Magnification stands as a very good latter day Yes album. I don't think the band are capable of another Close to the Edge or Relayer. I think they WILL play it safe the remainder of their career. Heck, these guys are too old to be taking chances now. :)

07-16-2004, 05:03 AM
I like this album a lot.

I think it works quite well, actually, with the core Yessound with the bonus of some strings and all.

I like it better than Relayer and Fragile.

But I like all Yes music, and especially like Drama, Tormato, The Yes Album, Talk, and others.

Yes has recorded some killer music over the years and we are lucky to still have them around.


07-16-2004, 06:29 AM
Just another bad Yes album as far as I'm concerned. Progfan is right, pretty much everything they've done for the last 20 years has been sucky.

For me Mag is worse than most of them because of the orchestrations. When I hear a rock band I want to hear rock instruments, not a bunch of violins. None of the songs on this thing ever connected with me, strings or not. it's just lame.

Frankly, I think "Open Yer Eyes" is a much better effort than "Mag" or "The Ladder".

07-16-2004, 08:19 AM
It might be lame but it's a lot better than Frank Zappa or Bozzio/Levin/Stevens.



07-16-2004, 08:35 AM
It might be lame but it's a lot better than Frank Zappa or Bozzio/Levin/Stevens.



Gimme some of what YOU'RE smokin!

07-16-2004, 12:53 PM
Frankly, I think "Open Yer Eyes" is a much better effort than "Mag" or "The Ladder".

I thought The Ladder was pretty good. The band took some chances and actually tried to create some decent songs. I thought it was the best think since Talk (excluding some of the work on Keys, given it was not a coherent album). That last song, Nine Voices, is classic Yes, including the Doot Doot background vocals. And it features great guitar work by Howe. What kills that album for me is the poor mix. Howe got shafted again, and even Squire got lame exposure throughout some of the early tracks.

Anyway, I thought it was a good effort that tried to connect with the Yes audience in a way that maintained the integrity of the band.

Efforts like Open Your Eyes were pure prostitution to support yet another tour. At least with Magnification, they were inspired to hit the road with an orchestra and rework some of their classics. I didn't see that tour, but it was then followed by the Classics tour that brought back the long songs.

I guess I'm just an eternal Yes optimist, wanting to believe that the next album will be great, or at least have artistic merit.

Mr Peabody
07-17-2004, 12:47 PM
I was one of the few who bought this album when it was first released. Not because I was that big of a Yes fan, because I heard the album played on our radio station one evening and thought it was awesome. I did not miss the keyboards. I think this is probably one of the best mix of rock with orchestral accompaniment that I have ever heard. I thought this album, except for the orchestra, sounded more like older Yes and it might be a big album for them. It seemed to me the album didn't get much publicity. The orchestral accompaniment is not over done, the sound is very cohesive. I'm a Metallica fan and more so a Scorpions fan but when their stuff comes on with orchestral accompaniment, I have to run away. I can't stand it. I think people who honestly wanted Yes to progress will enjoy this album, if you want a classic Yes clone album you may not be happy, then again, you might because it sounds more like old Yes and not even like 90125. I like 90125 also, I actually bought a Trevor Rabin album when I was in high school. His song Now made it pretty big on a Album Rock station and still gets played occasionally on classic shows. He played every instrument on this album except drums. Magnification does not deserve to be a cut out. That Anderson Bruford Wakeman & Howe, there's a cutout and shows Wakeman isn't that big of a driving force. I also have in my collection Jon & Vangelis Friends of Mr. Cairo, this album is worth the price just for the title track.

07-17-2004, 08:13 PM
Jon and Vangelis did some fine work together. I really enjoyed their first album, the one before Friends of Mr. Cairo. It's very ecclectic, but its also very original. They did a good job combining Anderson's ethereal lyrics and vocals with Vangelis's soundscapes and doodling. It was very advanced for its time, with the polymoog just making its appearance around 1975.

Dusty Chalk
07-17-2004, 09:50 PM
Short Stories, I believe, is the title you are looking for. And being a huge Vangelis fan, yes, it is very good.

07-18-2004, 09:32 AM
That's the One. The song One More Time brings back some fond memories.