"Sounding as pristine today as it did in 1994": Trevor Rabin and Jon Anderson shine on their final Yes album together, Talk

Overlooked and undersold Yes gem Talk gets a welcome multidisc reissue

Yes: Talk cover art
(Image: © Spirit Of Unicorn)

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It might have been the end of guitarist Trevor Rabin’s time in Yes (unless you count the Hall Of Fame appearance), but his piece of the Yes legacy – 90125, Big Generator and Talk – sound as pristine today as they did in their 80s and 90s heyday. Especially the latter now it’s been given a digital makeover, and reissued with two discs of live shows. 

It’s understandable, though, that Yes post-Union, with a multitude of managers, labels and firing and hirings, makes the extended band sound as unsettled and vengeful as the Borgias, but less well put together. 

The excellent sleevenotes by Prog editor Jerry Ewing make you realise what a sorry mess the band and the industry were at that time. As brilliant and best-selling as the previous decade’s Owner Of A Lonely Heart single was, it had cast the band in a new mould for a new era, one that music execs were keen to capitalise on. 

But what a fist Trevor Rabin and Jon Anderson made of their third album together, bookended it with the cursory pop single The Calling and exploding creatively for the grand finale with the sprawling Endless Dream. Those songs still echo strongly, as do this band’s imperious live takes on Heart Of The Sunrise and Rhythm Of Love. 

Yes born again, old and new.

Philip Wilding

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.