The week on the podcast we’re headed down the deepest, darkest, music-nerd hole yet. Born in the late 60’s, the band Yes isn’t just one of the greatest prog-rock bands that ever was, they may have been one of the greatest bands period. Joining Kevin on a musical journey through space and time are his old friend Brian, and The Beanstalk Library’s very own Yes super-fan, Brian Pagels. Yes has traveled through many incarnations, sounds, and seismic shifts over the years, and we’re here to expose you to them all. A deep exploration of a band and three fans that love them, it’s Episode 128 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!
In this week’s episode Kevin, Paul and Andre find themselves without any new albums to talk about and decide to dive into the weird, wonderful, van-tastic world of SPACE RAWK. Listen in as they journey through time, space and a whole lot of beer in a quest to get to the bottom of a genre that is one of the pillars of Rock N Roll as we know it.
EPISODE 34: The Final Frontier
ChunkyGlasses Essential Guide To SPACE RAWK
We’ve already talked about the band Yes once in this years Rocktober series and it wasn’t pretty. On 90125 the band their legacy of being the purveyors of mind bending and mind bend-ingly good progressive rock, and threw it to the wolves in favor of a more commercial approach to making the wearing of capes in public acceptable. On 1987’s Big Generator the band, still rolling in awful 80’s mode, packed up the healing crystals and set off on yet another trip across time, space and the lack of even a shred of good taste.
Big Generator is a fractured record full of nothing but fail that somehow got burned into the collective consciousness of anyone who grew up with in earshot of the era in which it was released. With Trevor Rabin again pushing his vision of cleaner, poppier, more futuristic Yes, the group pushed forward despite the fact that numerous members of the band, who, you know, were actually IN Yes when they were great, complained and pushed for a return to the more traditional space-whale-friendly sounds of the bands youth. That return to form was not to be though, and what we’re left with was one of the greatest examples of what happens to a band when you replace their mystic healing crystals with a bunch of Hypercolor shirts and a Casio keyboard.
In 1983 the band Yes was for all practical purposes dead. They had had broken up 3 years earlier and all gone their separate ways. While most of the members seemed to still be cordial, there seemed little hope, or even need that Yes ever reform as theirs was a music of a time that had long past its sell by date.
Good prog rock is one thing (and sort of an oxymoron) but when you’re talking about space whales and interstellar trips throughout the galaxy, well, the times they went and did some changing. Which is where guitarist Trevor Rabin comes in.
Rabin, a guitarist from South Africa had been looking for his next creative project when he hooked up with ex-Yes members Chris Squire (bass) and Alan White (drums). That pair had continued to play together after the demise of Yes and were prepping material for a new album under the name XYZ when they came across Rabin as a producer, but the partnership quickly developed into a band that was in the business of expanding.