This morning I decided to wear my Yes “90124” t-shirt. It’s one of my favorites as I love the band and of course the album. Then I find out that Alan White passed away today. Now I am honoring one of the greatest drummers in rock history. Alan White played with such power and when that started to slip, you knew something was wrong. I remember him as he was. An icon.
I am curious how long Steve Howe will milk the Yes name now that Alan is gone. It really isn’t Yes now, Steve. I think one more tour to honor Alan and the 50th year is fine but unless Jon Anderson comes back, shut it down. It’s a tribute band.
RIP Alan White and thank you for all of the music.
Normally when a band re-records their music, it’s a last ditch effort to salvage what’s left of their career. They paint it as how the current lineup interprets their classics. “Give it Back” by The Pineapple Thief is not that however. While it is a band re-recording older songs, it’s more about a reinterpretation of songs by a lineup that now features legendary drummer Gavin Harrison. They have referred to this as the songs being “re-wired.”
It’s an opportunity really newer fans that came on because of Harrison to get acquainted with a sampling of the band’s back catalog AND a chance for old time fans (like myself) to hear these songs with a fresh coat of paint. The performances are all absolutely stellar of course and Harrison knows when to attack a song and when to lay back a bit. The only question when it comes to any sort of “compilation” style album (or live album for that matter) is song selection. And of course there are plenty of songs I might have preferred but that’s not to take away from the songs chosen.
One of my favorite choices and interpretations is “Build a World.” It’s a great song so it lends itself well to whatever you might decide to do. But I like the intro where the band gives it the same arrangement as the bonus disc from “Versions of the Truth.” Eventually it kicks in and that dynamic just makes it more interesting to me. A classic like “Shoot First” has even more teeth than the original. It is interesting that 5 of the songs are from the same album, “All the Wars.” At that point, why not just re-record the rest? That said, the choices from it are great, including the song that gives this set its title, “Give it Back.” I really do wish they had done “We Subside” because I can hear Harrison attacking the end of that song and making it even more powerful.
“Give it Back” accomplishes the task of being an album all fans of The Pineapple Thief will enjoy while also making a great place to start for those who have never checked them out. It’s a great showcase for the songwriting talent of Bruce Soord who is on par with ANY modern prog artist (yes you, Steven). I hope the band decides on a sequel as well, assuming Harrison has time with Porcupine Tree returning to action. Time will tell. Until then, we can celebrate the history of a band that’s success is long overdue.
Release Date: 13 May 2022
1. Wretched Soul (Rewired)
2. Dead In The Water (Rewired)
3. Give It Back (Rewired)
4. Build A World (Rewired)
5. Start Your Descent (Rewired)
6. 137 (Rewired)
7. Shoot First (Rewired)
8. Boxing Day (Rewired)
9. Warm Seas (Rewired)
10. Someone Pull Me Out (Rewired)
11. Last Man Standing (Rewired)
12. Little Man (Rewired)
King Crimson founder Ian McDonald has passed away from cancer at the age of 75. He was a legend who helped create the progressive rock genre as we know it. He went on to found the rock band Foreigner and scaled the charts with them, creating many classic albums and songs. And yet it’s his work on “In the Court of the Crimson King” that many will always cherish. He appears in the documentary of the same name and apologized to Robert Fripp for breaking his heart. He was in tears and now it breaks MY heart to see it. RIP Ian.
I’ve already pondered the “validity” of the current Yes lineup calling themselves “Yes,” but they are the only Yes we have. And just when we thought the mess that was “Heaven & Earth” would be the final Yes album, we have “The Quest.” The good news is that it is better than “Heaven & Earth” but that wouldn’t take much. It is a long way from coming close to any of the classic albums. And certainly it misses the late Chris Squire, as it is the first Yes album (not counting ABWH) that he is not on.
It has some good songs, some okay songs and no real shitty ones. So at least song-wise, it’s good. One problem is still that Alan White just doesn’t have the firepower any more. The drums sound better than the last album but he is the clear weak link performance wise. Jon Davison does a far job walking in Jon Anderson’s shoes but he isn’t Anderson. Billy Sherwood has the Squire bass sound down. Steve Howe can still play but should not be allowed to do duets any longer. What the fuck, dude? Leave the vocals to Davison and Sherwood. Howe never had a great voice and there’s nothing left of it at this point.
Highlights? Well I liked “The Ice Bridge” the first time I heard it and still do. The Beatles tribute “Mystery Tour” is actually good and clever too. Despite Howe’s vocals, “Leave Well Alone” and “Damaged World” are good songs. If nothing else, this is a fair estimation of a Yes album. It won’t be the 10th favorite…hell I have no idea where it would even rank. BUT it’s a good album that is enjoyable to listen to. If it wasn’t called Yes, no one would be upset. But this is the next entry into the Yes legacy. Not bad.
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 1 October 2021