The Ladder

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ian McGrath
Whenever a new Yes album comes out, music critics all over the world get ready to tear apart those bombastic Yesmen for daring to continue to release new music. The band's detractors may find themselves somewhat mollified by this new release, Yes's most enjoyable since the 1983 hit 90125. Yes seem at last to have absorbed the lessons of that album -- the cluttered, busy, everyone-solo-at-once arrangements of TORMATO are gone in favor of more transparent structures with strong hooks, such as "The Messenger." These songs still allow everyone to show off their blazing chops in typical Yes fashion, but the instruments don't get in each other's way. Even the latest epics, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ian McGrath
Whenever a new Yes album comes out, music critics all over the world get ready to tear apart those bombastic Yesmen for daring to continue to release new music. The band's detractors may find themselves somewhat mollified by this new release, Yes's most enjoyable since the 1983 hit 90125. Yes seem at last to have absorbed the lessons of that album -- the cluttered, busy, everyone-solo-at-once arrangements of TORMATO are gone in favor of more transparent structures with strong hooks, such as "The Messenger." These songs still allow everyone to show off their blazing chops in typical Yes fashion, but the instruments don't get in each other's way. Even the latest epics, "Homeworld" which ties into a demo of a new video game of the same name on this enhanced CD and "New Language" which finds guitarist Steve Howe in particularly fine form are complex, extended pieces without being overloaded or incomprehensible. Tuneful, memorable melodies abound, and there are even some experiments such as the techno-ish "Face to Face" and "Lightning Strikes," which has a Latin beat with a Yes twist.
All Music Guide - Bret Adams
You'd probably need a mainframe computer to keep track of all the personnel changes in Yes over the years, and the quality of the prog rock giant's music has fluctuated nearly as much as the lineups. The Ladder is a synthesis of the best traits of the experimental Fragile era and the pop-oriented 90125 era. Producer Bruce Fairbairn completed The Ladder shortly before his death in 1999, and unlike some of his work with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Kiss, and others, he didn't overproduce it. Vocalist Jon Anderson, lead guitarist Steve Howe, and bass guitarist Chris Squire all have fine moments, and drummer Alan White is consistent. The roles of keyboardist Igor Khoroshev and, in particular, guitarist Billy Sherwood are less clear. It occasionally seems the purpose of Khoroshev's keyboards is providing a variety of sonic textures instead of functioning as a lead instrument. Sherwood's second guitar tends to flesh out the sound. "Homeworld The Ladder" is a tight band performance, but the supple vocals/acoustic guitar/piano coda is the best part. Howe's bouncy acoustic guitar drives "Lightning Strikes," yet the biggest surprise is the addition of a horn section. The energetic "Face to Face" is the strongest track, and Squire lets loose with a sputtering bassline. "If Only You Knew" is a sweet, straightforward love song Anderson wrote for his wife. "The Messenger" has a smooth, funky feel -- a remarkable feat considering prog rock is usually considered the "whitest" rock genre. "New Language" is the best long song on The Ladder, thanks to a clever arrangement giving all six members an opportunity to demonstrate their talents.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/28/1999
  • Label: Beyond Records
  • UPC: 639857804648
  • Catalog Number: 578046

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yes Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Jon Anderson Vocals
Steve Howe Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Steel Guitar, Vocals
Chris Squire Bass Guitar, Vocals
Alan White Percussion, Drums, Vocals
Rhys Fulber Loops
Tom Keenlyside Piccolo, Tenor Saxophone
Billy Sherwood Guitar, Vocals
Tom Colclough Alto Saxophone
Igor Khoroshev Keyboards, Vocals
Tom Keenyside Piccolo, Tenor Saxophone
Marguerita Horns Horn
Rod Murray Trombone
Neil Nicholson Tuba
Technical Credits
Jon Anderson Composer
Steve Howe Composer
Chris Squire Composer
Alan White Composer
Bruce Fairbairn Producer
George Marino Mastering
Billy Sherwood Composer
Mike Plotnikoff Engineer
Igor Khoroshev Composer
Paul Silviera Engineer
Steve Hennessy Artwork, Guitar Techician
Paul Silveira Engineer
Chris Crippen Drum Technician
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is Fresh Yes!

    This album is not Close To The Edge; it's not Going For The One; it's not 90125; it's not ABWH; it's not Keys To Ascension. So what is it? It's fresh Yes. This is a Yes that is excited about their music. This is a Yes with something to say. I am a dyed in the wool Yes fan for the past 3 decades. I've learned that each incarnation of Yes is a distinct entity that really can't be compared with any previous lineup. This is one of the best lineups ever. The songs take center stage on this album. Jon Anderson's lyrics are positive and upbeat; his voice soaring. The rest of the band is playing together as a team with all their incredible chops complementing one another. The production is clean. No one solos too much. You can hear the fun they had making the songs. Any Yes fan will be thrilled to put this disc into their collection. I loved this album so much that it lived in my car for months! A week or two is usually tops for most albums. My Favorite Yes Albums: The Ladder, Close To The Edge, Relayer, 90125, Going For The One, Union (I know lots of you don't like it but it was an awsome concert.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a return to the past

    nice to know the original sound quiet since the onset of the T. R. is still alive and kickin', this cd rocks

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Back to the old habits

    The Ladder takes us audience back to the old habits of listening to Yes' Songs. What's new is only the arrangement of the current century. I hereby admit I really do not like 'Open Your Eyes', even until now. But for this album?, I love it from the first time and wanna give them 5 thumbs up!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best YES Yet

    Just when I thought they couldn't get any better, they do ! 'The Ladder' is a work of art by the masters, of course. Jon Anderson leads the way up 'The Ladder' with powerful vocals and the 'ever present' insightfulness that only YES can bring to disc. If you want to be thrilled by the power of YES music then you must listen to this disc.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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