Tag Archives: Bill Bruford

Weekly Vinyl – Yes Songs

7 Jul

Yessongs
Yes
(1973)

This is a great live album of Yes performing at the height of its mastery.
How do I know this was the pinnacle of YES as a band? Their drummer Bill Bruford said so – he left Yes at this point because he felt that the band achieved all it could artistically and went on to join King Crimson. Bruford appears on three tracks of this album and if you listen well you can hear his distinct drumming. Yes had a few interesting compositions after this album but in reality, looking back, this was their peak.

What I love about this album is that it is rather unpolished – it is a good depiction of what they most likely sounded like live. Some of the mixes are muddled. There are a few instances where you can hear that the band is not 100 per-cent together – this should be expected as they are playing with a new drummer. I love this as it is raw and real. Prog rock is supposed to be refined symphony-like perfection. This album shows that it is still rock.

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Weekly Vinyl – King Crimson

30 Dec

Young Person’s Guide to King Crimson
King Crimson
(1976)
1216kksome
To call this disc a “best-of record” would be to underrate it. It is more than a “best-of” compilation. It has an oddity and a rarity. Just one of each mind you.
To refer to it as a “guide” as the title suggests would be to fall into the preposterous overblown pretentiousness that prog-rock usually mired itself in.
So what is this then?
Well for one, it is great to hear Greg Lake’s voice again – he sadly passed away December 7, 2016. Another great musician that was lost this year.
For another – it is great to hear this music again.
This album is the novel that Robert Fripp, the guitarist and force behind King Crimson, was writing through this first incarnation. He edited out some of the bits for this compilation and presents a vision of what King Crimson was about. It is a distillation. Here is the essence.
And it is a good essence.

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Weekly Vinyl – Fragile

7 Aug

Fragile
Yes
(1971)
YFrag
This might have been the album that got me really into progressive rock. Perhaps it was – I’m not sure. One of the first things that I could play on the guitar was the beginningof the song “Roundabout” – a big hit from this album.
Being a neophyte guitarist and trying to learn that song completely almost destroyed me. Try doing the syncopated rhythm of Em – F#m – G and then all the other riffs and then singing in a different rhythm. I really appreciated the virtuosity of these musicians.
I continued to listen to YES through their glory years and a bit after. As for the guitar – I discovered Neil Young, punk and other more easily playable music. (For the record, I can still muddle through parts of “Roundabout” ant the Steve Howe track “Mood for a Day” on guitar. When pressed and in the mood that is…)
This is a fantastic album, with elements of rock, jazz, classical (“Cans and Brahms” – arranged by Rick Wakeman). The album was fusion at its finest and perhaps the pinnacle of progressive rock.

Must note that the bassist, Chris Squire, passed away at the end of June this year. He was the only musician that was with Yes through all its line-up changes. RIP

Weekly Vinyl – Genesis Bootleg

5 Apr

White Mountain U.K. Tour 1976
Genesis
(1976)
SONY DSC
This is my brother’s album that has been sitting in my collection for a while. He was the big Genesis fan and I’m sure that he shelled out a relatively fair amount for this recording. The record is a Danish bootleg of a UK tour. If you are a Genesis fan then you will be interested to know that Peter Gabriel is not here but Steve Hackett still is. Bill Bruford is on drums and Phil Collins does the vocals. Unlike a lot of bootlegs from the 70s, the quality of the audio recording is actually quite good. It was undoubtabley recorded directly from the mixing board. The music is not as crisp as their live Second’s Out LP, which came out in 1977, but the album is not murky in any way. This is a good quality bootleg with amazing music. This is a progressive rock dinosaur showcasing its technical music as all around, punk rock is breaking out and making prog-rock virtually extinct.