Open Your Eyes
Released: November 25, 1997
Peak: 151 US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU
Sales (in millions): --
Genre: progressive rock
Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
All songs written by Anderson, Howe, White, Squire, and Sherwood.
Total Running Time: 72:06
1.885 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)
About the Album:
In 1996 and 1997, Yes released a pair of albums known as Keys to Ascension and Keys to Ascension 2. Both were double albums which included live material from 1996 along with new material. The lineup featured Anderson, Squire, Howe, White, and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. The albums were produced by Billy Sherwood.
Sherwood met Chris Squire in 1989. The Yes lineup at that time featured Squire, Anderson, White, Tony Kaye, and Trevor Rabin. Anderson reunited with Yes bandmates’ Howe, Wakeman, and Bill Bruford while Rabin focused on solo work. Squire, White, and Kaye recruited Sherwood as a possible Yes member, but he was uneasy about replacing Anderson as a frontman. He did, however, contribute to Yes’ 1991 Union album and played guitar and keyboards on the band’s 1994 tour in support of Talk.
Sherwood and Squire formed a strong writing partnership and toured as the Chris Squire Experiment in 1992. They were developing songs for an album to be called Chemistry when Sherwood was enlisted for Yes, becoming an official member in 1997 after Wakeman left the group. Two of the songs the pair had developed for that project, Open Your Eyes (originally called “I Wish I Knew”) and Man in the Moon, were re-worked for Yes.
Sherwood then sent tapes of early versions of Wonderlove, Love Shine, New State of Mind, and Universal Garden to Anderson, who liked the songs, recorded vocals for them, and sent them back to Sherwood. White then recorded new drum tracks and, as Sherwood said, “all of a sudden it had that [Yes] flavor.” WK Howe, who came in toward the album’s completion, has said he and Anderson had little input on the songs, WK although they did contribute From the Balcony.
While Sherwood served as the band’s primary keyboardist, the album also included work from Russian keyboardist Igor Khoroshev as a guest on a few songs. He was brought on board at the request of Anderson and Howe, who’d heard tapes of him. He then joined the band on their 30th anniversary 12-month world tour and became a full member after the tour.
The album was poorly received, becoming one of their least successful commercially. Entertainment Weekly’s Chuck Eddy criticized Yes as “neither as self-indulgent nor as magnificent as they’re capable of being.” WK Stereogum was even harsher, saying it was “written at a child’s level of musical sophistication.” WK
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First posted 7/25/2021.