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Heaven & Earth, by Yes

“Wimps,” Robert Christgau sneered, comparing them to Talking Heads — who were wimps, he proclaimed, without “vagueness or cheap romanticism.” But that was ’77; the Heads (whom I love) left us; and four Englishmen, fronted now by one renegade Seattleite, now answer the call. They stand in the context of modern Western society, which just took a few blacker-water churns. They have to make sense relative to this undertow.

Vagueness? Yes lyrics have always been riddles, but never riddles you couldn’t figure out. Cheap romanticism? I submit that romanticism runs in short supply right here, right now (’77 was maybe different times), and a commodity in short supply becomes more precious.

So when our quintet pours on peace and love, more specifically “lift your heart above the fight,” and “take me from where I am,” they acknowledge how much heavy lifting that takes at the best of times. They wrote and recorded pre-Ferguson, pre-Staten Island, but that’s how little the news that stays news changes. And you can’t call this the best of times — one important change.

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Many guitar and/or synth lines sound off like calls to attention, although Geoff Downes swirls in piano and organ, respecting tradition. “Subway Walls,” which just might hold the “meaning,” that’s about as gritty as they’ll get. They want us to get to the stars, but we have to stop looking at subways, machines as the enemy. We have to stop looking at the enemy as the enemy. Hard work. Hence: “Transcend.”

Album: Heaven & Earth
Artist: Yes
Label: Frontiers Records
Songs: (1) Believe Again (2) The Game (3) Step Beyond (4) To Ascend (5) In a World of Our Own (6) Light of the Ages (7) It Was All We Knew (8) Subway Walls

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“Wimps,” Robert Christgau sneered, comparing them to Talking Heads — who were wimps, he proclaimed, without “vagueness or cheap romanticism.” But that was ’77; the Heads (whom I love) left us; and four Englishmen, fronted now by one renegade Seattleite, now answer the call. They stand in the context of modern Western society, which just took a few blacker-water churns. They have to make sense relative to this undertow.

Vagueness? Yes lyrics have always been riddles, but never riddles you couldn’t figure out. Cheap romanticism? I submit that romanticism runs in short supply right here, right now (’77 was maybe different times), and a commodity in short supply becomes more precious.

So when our quintet pours on peace and love, more specifically “lift your heart above the fight,” and “take me from where I am,” they acknowledge how much heavy lifting that takes at the best of times. They wrote and recorded pre-Ferguson, pre-Staten Island, but that’s how little the news that stays news changes. And you can’t call this the best of times — one important change.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Many guitar and/or synth lines sound off like calls to attention, although Geoff Downes swirls in piano and organ, respecting tradition. “Subway Walls,” which just might hold the “meaning,” that’s about as gritty as they’ll get. They want us to get to the stars, but we have to stop looking at subways, machines as the enemy. We have to stop looking at the enemy as the enemy. Hard work. Hence: “Transcend.”

Album: Heaven & Earth
Artist: Yes
Label: Frontiers Records
Songs: (1) Believe Again (2) The Game (3) Step Beyond (4) To Ascend (5) In a World of Our Own (6) Light of the Ages (7) It Was All We Knew (8) Subway Walls

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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