YES – Heaven & Earth

YES Heaven & EarthThe first Yes studio album in a decade – 2011’s ‘Fly From Here’ – came under fire from various quarters.  Since the core of the material first took shape in the early 80s, some (unfairly) lambasted the release for scraping the barrel for ideas, while others were less specific, wheeling out their beliefs that “no Jon Anderson = No Yes”.  Neither short-sighted opinion held much water, since the album featured some of the best material the band had committed to record since the mid 90s, possibly even before.  Benoit David did a great job vocalising both the new material and those ideas laid down by Trevor Horn and band some decades previously; Steve Howe sounded very comfortable in his role as guitarist – happy not to overplay his role (as he perhaps had done on some other Yes work) – while bandleader Chris Squire’s bass work appeared impeccable throughout.  As with the often maligned ‘Drama’ of 1980 and the pop-oriented ‘90125’ from 1983, this more than showed that whatever the incarnation, there can be enjoyable results.

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