Yes - Talk

Year of Release: 1994
Label: Victory/Polygram
Catalog Number: 383-480-033
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:30:00

The Rabin era of Yes has often taken a lot of hits from critics and fans alike. There is no doubt that Yes with Rabin sounded and sounds a lot different than without him. 1994's Talk is no exception. If there is one thing that characterizes Yes from 1983's 90125 on it is that Yes became a harder edged band. Rabin's guitar lines are much more angular than Steve Howe's are, for example. This filtered down into the arrangements, to a point where here on Talk, Yes could almost be said to "crunch."

When Talk was first released, I found I really liked the album. And listening to it now after having not in a while, I still find I do. No, it wasn't 90125 which remains my favourite of the post-80s Yes, but this album seemed to work. It's tight, varied, textured ? some great performances, and so different from anything Yes had done before. As different as, say, 90125 was from anything Yes had done prior to it. Though I can see why Steve Howe may not like to play Rabin's parts - Rabin is less of a lyrical guitar player, more of a riff guitarist. Howe is much smoother. Rabin does have some great riffs, some great moments, and I do like him as a guitar player, as much as I like Howe, but for different reasons. This was a different Yes, but still a Yes with artistic integrity.

There will be those who will say "Yes isn't Yes without [pick your own ex-Yes member here], and thank goodness for the return (departure) of [put name here]." Anyway, not to put too fine a point on the "which is the better Yes debate" - everyone will have their own opinions - this is mine.

To highlight some of the things I like about this album, the bass and percussion of Chris Squire and Alan White, respectively, are quite boomy and powerful throughout, beginning with the opener "The Calling."

During "Real Love," and along with Rabin on guitar, they get downright crunchy, staying just on this side of the metal line. If "Real Love" weren't a "slow, but heavy, grind," this would be a metal triple attack. Of course, it begins with quietly percolating percussion, violin like guitar, understated vocals by Anderson, which build into a smoldering track.

"I Am Waiting" (which follows "The Calling") begins with a sweetly melancholy guitar intro, which continues after the full band have joined in. This isn't a complicated arrangement, but follows along the "big" and "epic" feel of the first track, without the rock arrangement. That isn't to say this is all understated, as the band crests occasionally, vocals soaring, Rabin's leads soaring. It's a love song, but not just romantic love, but also hinting at a love of god (what the Greeks called agape) - and any other variety of love you can think of.

"Where Will You Be" is all Fourth World in feel - Anderson's vocals and Rabin's guitar take lead, with some fat drums courtesy of White (they sound like kettle drums - big, deep kettle drums), seasoned by light percussion (something almost hollow sounding, yet solid in feel).

"Endless Dream" is the suite that closes out the album, beginning with a keyboard/guitar instrumental, again of metal-like proportions - probably both Rabin. Kaye is credited on the album only with Hammond organ and this doesn't sound anything like a Hammond (or at least as I think of a Hammond sound). Rabin's a keyboard demon here, tickling the "ivories" with such speed. Which is then replaced by some light and lyrical keyboard notes underlying Anderson's quiet vocalizations (there are lyrics, but he is so quiet in the mix, you don't notice right away). This is a beautiful section, which gives way to a funky section, funk with a metal edge. A stuttering, staccato like sound, possibly keys, maybe guitar... actually, what I thought of now is the title music to the series Third Watch (which only means something to those who watch it). There are hints of classic Yes here, too, during the latter part of the track, a very choral like feel with harmonized angelic voices.

"Walls" is okay, but doesn't really get interesting until the latter third or so when Anderson takes over lead vocals and Rabin plays some countrified electric guitar.

More pop oriented than their classics of the 70s, this shows us a Yes not rehashing past glories but making music that draws on influences from others and giving them a Yes flavour. This isn't the best Yes album, and since they're still making music, maybe the best is still to come. But there was a lot to like about the Rabin-era and this disk does deserve a listen.

[Hear Yes "talk" about the making of this release at in RealAudio, courtesy of Rod Chappell of Lightspeed. -ed.]

The Calling (6:52) / I Am Waiting (7:22) / Real Love (8:42) / State Of Play (4:58) / Walls (4:52) / Where Will You Be (6:03) / Endless Dream (15:41) : a) Silent Spring, b) Talk, c) Endless Dream

Jon Anderson - vocals
Trevor Rabin - guitar, keyboards, vocals, programming
Chris Squire - bass, vocals
Tony Kaye - Hammond Organ
Alan White - drums

Yes (1969)
Time And A Word (1970)
The Yes Album (1971)
Fragile (1972)
Close To The Edge (1972)
Yessongs (1973)
Tales From Topographic Oceans (1974)
Relayer (1975)
Yesterdays (1975)
Going For The One (1977)
Tormato (1978)
Yesshows (1980)
Drama (1980)
Keys To The Studio (1980)
Classic Yes (1982)
90125 (1983/2004)
90125 Live - The Solos (1985)
Big Generator (1987)
Union (1989)
Yesyears (1991)
Yesstory (1991)
Greatest Hits (1993)
Highlights: The Very Best Of Yes (1993)
Talk (1994)
Affirmative: The Yes Solo Family Album (1994)
Keys To Ascension I (1996)
Keys To Ascension II (1997)
Open Your Eyes (1997)
Yes, Friends And Relatives (1998)
Beyond And Before: BBC Recordings 1969-1970 (1998)
Something's Coming (1998)
Friends & Relatives (1998)
The Ladder (1999)
Millennium Collection (1999)
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (2000)
Yes, Friends and Relatives - Volume Two (2001)
YesSymphonic (ep) (2001)
Magnification (2001)
Keystudio (ep) (2001)
3 For 1 Box Set (2001)
Original Members Of Yes (2001)
Extended Versions (2002)
Friends And Relatives: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 (2002)
Yestoday (2002)
In A Word (2002)
Yes Remixes (2003)
Friends And Relatives: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2 (2003)
Roundabout: Best Of Yes Live (2003)
The Yes Story Gold (2003)
The Ultimate Yes - 35th Anniverary Collection (2004)
(Re)Union (2004)
Topography: The Yes Anthology (2004)
Inside Yes 1968-1973: A Critical Review (2004)
The Word Is Live (2005)
Live And Solo: The Collection (2006)
Greatest Hits Live (2006)
An Evening Of Yes (2006)
Yesstories: Group & Solo Tales (2006)
Essentially Yes (2006)
The Definitive Rock Collection (2007)
Roundabout & Other Hits (2006)
Live At Montreux 2003 (2007)
Works (2007)
The Best Of Yes: 1970-1987 (2007)
Symphonic Live (2009)
The BBC Recordings 1969-1970 (2009)
Introducing Yes (2009)
Wonderous Stories: The Best Of Yes (2009)
Union Live (2011)
Fly From Here (2011)
In The Present - Live From Lyon (2011)
Heaven & Earth (2014)
Songs From Tsongas (2014)
Like It Is: Yes At The Bristol Hippodrome (2014)
Progeny: Seven Shows From Seventy-Two (boxset) (2015)
Like It Is: Yes At The Mesa Arts Center (2015)

9012LIve (VHS/DVD) (1985/2005)
Greatest Hits Video (VHS/DVD) (1991/2001)
Yesyears: A Retrospective (VHS/DVD) (1991/2003)
Yes: Live - 1975 At Q.P.R. (VHS) (1993)
Live In Philadelphia 1979 (VHS/DVD) (1996/2003)
Keys To Ascension (VHS/DVD) (1997/2001/2009)
The Union Tour Live (DVD) (1999)
House Of Yes: Live From The House Of Blues (VHS/DVD) (2000)
The Best Of MusikLaden Live (VHS/DVD) (2000/2003)
Live In Amsterdam (VHS/DVD) (2002)
Symphonic Live (DVD+CD) (2003)
Yes: Special Edition EP (DVD) (2003)
YesSpeak (DVD) (2003)
YesAcoustic (DVD) (2004/2006)
35th Anniversary Concert: Songs From Tsongas (DVD) (2004)
YesSpeak - YesAcoustic - 35th Anniversary Edition (DVD) (2005)
Critical Review 1968-1973 (DVD) (2005)
Greatest Video Hits (DVD) (2005)
Inside Yes Plus Friends And Family (DVD) (2006)
Acoustic Live (DVD) (2006)
Total Rock Review (DVD) (2006)
Close To The Edge: Rock Milestones (DVD) (2007)
Live At Montreux (DVD/BR) (2007)
The Lost Broadcasts (DVD) (2009)
Rock Of The 70s (DVD) (2009)
Union Live (2011)
Live Hemel Hempstead Pavilion October 3rd 1971 (2014)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: March 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 6002
Language: english


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