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Friday, 16 January 2015

‘Shoot High, Aim Low’ showed where Yes could have gone: ‘It was hard at that time’



By 1987, in the wake of their first (and so far, only) No. 1 smash, Yes was expected to craft hit singles — leaving canny updates like this one often completely overlooked. Call it the Curse of90125, from nearly five years before.
There followed undue pressure to chart songs, something that was unlikely to happen with a moody, complicated piece like “Shoot High, Aim Low,” released on December 31, 1987. For those who stubbornly refuse to stop keeping score, despite Yes’ long history as an album-rock band, this track managed to reach No. 11 on the mainstream rock list — though it failed to place on the Billboard Hot 100. Nevertheless, “Shoot High, Aim Low” has proven to be far sturdier than its turbulent history might suggest.
Going back a few years, Trevor Rabin had been unexpectedly thrust into a collaborative environment with Jon Anderson when Yes’ original singer joined the already long-underway sessions for 90125. It wasn’t until the group reformed to begin work on the follow up, 1987’s Big Generator, that Rabin had an opportunity to get to know Anderson creatively — and to work organically.
The results on “Shoot High, Aim Low” represent an undisputed early highpoint. “That’s my favorite track on the album,” Rabin tells us, in an exclusive Something Else! Sitdown. “With90125, Jon was kind of wheeled in at the end, and in my view had significant input. He really added great stuff. But we’d never really worked together, so when it came to Big Generator,and we were now working as a band, it was strange in the beginning. There were moments that were really special, eventually, like ‘Shoot High, Aim Low.’ They culminated in Jon and I working together really strongly on the following album, Talk — the last album I did with the band.
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