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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, 18 September 2014

CAMERON CROWE Vs YES (It’s time for prog fans to forgive Rolling Stone magazine)



Once upon a time when progressive rock was starting to bloom, Rolling Stone magazine looked favorably upon the genre, and particularly the one prog band that epitomized it: Yes.Early Yes albums generally received favorable reviews, and all was right in the Yes, er, world. Then came the monolith that crushed all of the Rolling Stone good will that had come before it: Tales From Topographic Oceans, the most divisive Yes album up to that time.

When it was released, this was the album that separated the true believer from the casual listener. The latter might have had The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge in their collection alongside releases by, say, the Eagles, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and Joni Mitchell but, for them, Tales From Topographic Oceans was the end of the line. And, in a sense,RS followed suit. After positive reviews for the Yes albums that preceded it, the largely negative review for TFTO — memorably titled “Psychedelic Doodles” — signaled the end of the magazine’s focusing on progressive rock in general.

Cameron Crowe’s interaction with Yes might be seen as an indicator of what happened to this song we once knew so well. Crowe’s first big article in Rolling Stone was about Yes’ tour right after Alan White replaced Bill Bruford. (Crowe has his articles archived on his own site, and this first about Yes can be found here.) Crowe’s experiences with Yes were later used in Almost Famous, his fictional account of his first flights into rock journalism. His inclusion of Yes songs in that movie was his way of paying tribute to the band that helped launch his own career.


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