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Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

An argument for Yes belonging in the Rock hall of fame

Published on: July 25, 2014Last Updated: July 28, 2014 10:32 AM EDT

Chris Squire of Yes performs at Radio City Music Hall.Dave Kotinsky / GETTY

By Stuart Chambers


When Voices for Yes, an independent, bi-partisan group of consultants out of Washington, D.C., announced it would embark on an effort to have rock legends Yes inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, many hard-core fans of progressive rock nodded in agreement feeling that this recognition was long overdue. However, in 2014 Yes fell short. This was surprising, seeing that among the 16 nominees, Yes finished fourth in a worldwide fan poll conducted by the Hall itself.

What then constitutes a Hall of Fame artist? Longevity would certainly appear to be an important measure of success. During their 46-year career (and counting), Yes has made 21 studio recordings, surpassing 40 million in sales. Nine reached the Top 10 in either the U.K. or the U.S. charts, with two securing the No. 1 spot in the U.K. Since Yes continues to release new music (Fly From Here, 2011; Heaven and Earth, 2014), it’s safe to say that the band has not rested on its laurels.

Another important benchmark for Hall of Fame status would undoubtedly be mainstream success. Although Yes did record complex compositions and opuses, they also wrote songs that charted well worldwide. In 1971, Roundabout became an instant classic on radio, peaking at No. 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. In 1977, Wonderous Stories was a No. 2 UK hit. In 1984, Yes became the only band in rock history to have a No. 1 song (Owner of a Lonely Heart) and a Grammy Award-winning instrumental (Cinema) on the same record (90125). They have also had numerous Top 40 singles.



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