As much as I like some acts which could be considered progressive rock (Alan Parsons, early ELO, and so on), I’ve got to fess up to something: I’ve never quite gotten as “into it” as some diehard prog-rock fans. I’m more of a popster, so sometimes the big league prog stuff like early Yes or Emerson Lake & Palmer leave me a bit cold. Not that I doubt the musicianship of the people involved, but it’s just not the style of music that I feel like spending a lot of time with. If I want long, epic pieces, I tend to go orchestral.
But damned if I don’t like me some early Yes from time to time. Remember the Wayne’s World scene where Wayne, Garth and friends are banging their heads in time to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”? I’ve been known to do something similar with “Roundabout”. And fortunately for me, there’s Highlights, a nice little one-disc selection of remastered material from a Yes box set that, while I’m sure the fans dug it, relly amounted to too much of a financial commitment for a casual fan like myself. Highlights is about all the prog-rock I need: sort of a prog-rock hot pocket which surveys the band’s career from those gloriously overblown AM radio epics of the early ’70s to their more accessible ’80s material.
Well, more accessible to me, anyway. “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” was a high water mark for Yes’s public profile as well as the early (and far more innovative) MTV era; that song also has the curious distinction of helping to launch the career of a whole other entity, as producer Trevor Horn took the sound of the now-immortal sampled horn break and ran with it to create the Art of Noise. I’ve also always had a sneaking liking for “Leave It”, which dispenses with some of “Owner”‘s studio flash in favor of a great song with incredible vocal harmonies, a description which could be equally applied to “Rhythm Of Love”.
So perhaps what I need here is a Yes ’80s collection. But then again, maybe not. My life just wouldn’t be the same without the occasional psychedelic headbanging session set to the tune of “Roundabout”.
- Survival (6:18)
- Time And A Word (4:31)
- Starship Trooper (9:26)
- I’ve Seen All Good People (6:55)
- Roundabout (8:31)
- Long Distance Runaround (3:33)
- Soon (4:06)
- Wonderous Stories (3:45)
- Going For The One (5:32)
- Owner Of A Lonely Heart (4:27)
- Leave It (4:10)
- Rhythm Of Love (4:46)
Released by: Atlantic
Release date: 1993
Total running time: 66:00