Monday, November 30, 1981

A Yes Retrospective

First posted 9/19/2020.

Classic Yes

Yes


Released: November 30, 1981


Recorded: 1970-1978


Peak: 142 US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.06 UK, 1.06 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: progressive rock


Tracks: (1) Heart of the Sunrise (2) Wonderous Stories (3) Yours Is No Disgrace (4) Starship Trooper (5) Long Distance Runaround (6) The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) (7) And You and I (8) Roundabout (9) I’ve Seen All Good People


Total Running Time: 65:14


Rating:

4.273 out of 5.00 (average of 4 ratings)

A Brief History: The progressive rock band Yes formed in 1968 in London, England. They originally consisted of Anderson, Squire, Kaye, Bruford, and guitarist Peter Banks, but have had various members through the years. Below are the members from 1968 to 1981.

The Players:

  • Jon Anderson (vocals): 1968-1981
  • Peter Banks (guitar): 1968-70
  • Bill Bruford (drums, percussion): 1968-72
  • Steve Howe (guitar): 1970-81
  • Tony Kaye (keyboards): 1968-71
  • Patrick Moraz (keyboards): 1974-76
  • Chris Squire (bass, vocals): 1968-
  • Rick Wakeman (keyboards): 1971-74, 1976-80

The Studio Albums: This page offers snapshots of eight studio albums released by Yes from 1969 to 1977, although only four of these albums are represented on Classic Yes. Links go to specific DMDB pages devoted to those albums.

Under each album snapshot, songs featured on Classic Yes are noted. Song titles are followed by the names of writers in parentheses, the song’s length in brackets, and then the date the song charted and its peaks on various charts. Click for codes to singles charts.


Yes (1969):

The debut album from Yes featured mostly original songs, including singles “Sweetness” and “Looking Around” as well as covers of the Beatles’ “Every Little Thing” and the Byrds’ “I See You.” The album did not chart in the UK or U.S.


Time and a Word (1970):

The second album from Yes included singles for the title cut and “Sweet Dreams” and a cover of Richie Havens’ “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed.” Like its predecessor, the album failed to chart in the UK or U.S.


The Yes Album (1971):

The album marked the debut of guitarist Steve Howe and became the band’s breakthrough, reaching the top 10 in the UK. “Your Move,” an excerpt from “I’ve Seen All Good People” reached the top 40 in the U.S.

  • I’ve Seen All Good People: a) Your Move b) All Good People (Anderson, Squire) [6:55] (9/25/71: “Your Move,” 40 US)
  • Yours Is No Disgrace (Anderson, Squire, Howe, Kaye, Bruford) [9:41]
  • Starship Trooper: Life Seeker/ Disillusion/ Würm (Anderson, Howe, Squire) [9:29]


Fragile (1971):

Fragile, which was the first to feature keyboardist Rick Wakeman, pushed Yes to even greater commercial success. “Roundabout” reached the top 20 in the U.S. and became the group’s signature song. The album reached the top 10 in the UK and U.S.

  • Roundabout (Anderson, Howe) (live recording) [7:53] (2/12/72: original studio recording, 13 US, 1 CL)
  • Heart of the Sunrise (Anderson, Squire, Bruford) [10:34]
  • Long Distance Runaround (Anderson) [3:33]
  • The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) (Squire) [2:35]


Close to the Edge (1972):

Close to the Edge reached the top 5 in the UK and U.S. The album was comprised of three cuts, running 18, 10, and 9 minutes.

  • And You and I: a) Cord of Life b) Eclipse c) The Preacher and the Teacher d) Apocalypse Anderson, themes by Bruford, Howe, Squire) [10:05] (1972, 42 US)


Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973):

This double album went to #1 in the UK and top 10 in the U.S. It was the first album to feature drummer Alan White.


Relayer (1974):

Wakeman left the group and was replaced by Patrick Moraz. The album was another top 5 success in the UK and U.S. and was supported by the single “Soon,” an excerpt from the 21-minute “The Gates of Delirium.”


Going for the One (1977):

After a three-year break, Yes returned with Wakeman back in tow. The album topped the charts in the UK, where the single “Wonderous Stories” also went top 10. In the U.S., the album reached the top 10.

  • Wonderous Stories (Anderson) [3:50] (9/77, 7 UK)


Classic Yes (1981):

While released in 1981, Classic Yes did not include any cuts from the previous two albums, 1978’s Tormato and 1980’s Drama. It also skipped over the band’s first two albums, covering from 1970 to 1977. Even with those years, however, the Tales from Topographic Oceans and Relayer were not represented on the collection.

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Monday, November 23, 1981

AC/DC released For Those about to Rock We Salute You

First posted 9/4/2010; updated 9/7/2020.

For Those About to Rock We Salute You

AC/DC


Buy Here:


Released: November 23, 1981


Peak: 13 US, 3 UK, -- CN, 3 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, -- UK, 8.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: hard rock/heavy metal


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. For Those about to Rock We Salute You (12/5/81, #15 UK, #4 AR)
  2. Put the Finger on You (12/19/81, #38 AR)
  3. Let’s Get It Up (12/19/81, #44 US, #13 UK, #9 AR)
  4. Inject the Venom
  5. Snowballed
  6. Evil Walks
  7. C.O.D.
  8. Breaking the Rules
  9. Night of the Long Knives
  10. Spellbound


Total Running Time: 40:10


The Players:

  • Brian Johnson (vocals)
  • Angus Young (guitar)
  • Malcolm Young (rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
  • Cliff Williams (bass)
  • Phil Rudd (drums)

Rating:

3.500 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)


Quotable: “A record Beavis and Butthead would describe as ‘cool’ – and, as usual, they’d be right.” – Andrew Mueller, Amazon.com

About the Album:

“Lesser bands might have been put off their stride by the death of their lead singer, but not AC/DC. No sooner had Bon Scott met his whiskey-sodden end in 1980 than AC/DC recruited a new singer, Brian Johnson – who sounded almost exactly like Scott – and released, in Back in Black, the biggest-selling album of their career.” AM

For Those About to Rock We Salute You is a suitably triumphant follow-up” AM with “some decent material,” SH but it also marks the point when “AC/DC’s hot streak began to draw to a close.” SH While Back in Black was infused with the energy and spirit of paying tribute to Bon Scott, it became apparent on the follow-up that the group really did miss Scott more than it initially indicated.” SH The band “slowed down the tempo frequently, sounding less aggressive and inspired.” SH

“Brian Johnson’s lyrics started to seem more calculated and a bit clichéd, lacking Scott’s devil-may-care sense of humor,” SH although they did also show that his “lyrical preoccupations were broadly congruent with those of his predecessor: Let’s Get It Up and Inject the Venom are as subtle as their titles sound.” AM And, of course, no matter how you view the whole album, “the cannon-punctuated title track – the most auspicious marriage of music and artillery since Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812 Overture’ – still provides a spectacular finale to AC/DC concerts.” AM

In the end, this is no Back in Black, but it “is a record Beavis and Butthead would describe as ‘cool’ – and, as usual, they’d be right.” AM

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Saturday, November 21, 1981

Olivia Newton-John hits #1 with “Physical” for first of 10 weeks

Originally posted October 3, 2012.

image from sweetsixteenbirthday.net

When Olivia Newton-John took the role of Sandy in 1978’s movie version of Grease, it was clear she was looking to change her clean-cut, “good-girl image,” SF considering her character’s transformation “from virginal to vamp.” BB100 Still, “the longtime girl-next-door singer” BB100 had doubts about releasing “Physical”, SF a song “loaded with sexual innuendo.” BB100 Her managers convinced her the song would be a huge hit. SF

Still, lyrics like “There’s nothing left to talk about/ Unless it’s horizontally” got the song banned by some radio stations. At adult contemporary radio the song stalled at #29, but it took off at pop radio. In fact, the controversy probably helped the song toward becoming the biggest hit of 1981 WHC and of Olivia’s career. A Billboard magazine survey even named it the sexiest song of all-time. SF

A video heightened the controversy with what was then considered risqué, but would be tame by today’s standards. JA The video played off the aerobics movement of the day, practically becoming the theme song for the exercise trend. SF Olivia worked out in the gym with out-of-shape men who transformed into body-builder physiques. The end of the video, which suggested the men were gay and consequently immune to Olivia’s advances, was often cut when aired on MTV. WK It still picked up the Grammy for Video of the Year.

The song also was received by some critics with less than an enthusiastic response. AOL Radio’s Matthew Wilkening said, “An entire generation’s leg-warmered, pastel spandex shame is laid bare in just under four minutes.” WK He ranked it one of the 100 worst songs ever. WK


Awards:

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