Open Your Eyes (Yes album)
|Open Your Eyes|
|Studio album by Yes|
|Released||24 November 1997|
|Label||Eagle Records (UK)
Beyond Music (US)
Open Your Eyes is the seventeenth studio album by progressive rock band Yes, released in 1997. It was Yes first "full" studio album after the twin projects Keys to Ascension and Keys to Ascension 2, which were both live and studio albums.
It is the first album with former session member Billy Sherwood on guitar, and the only one on which he also plays keyboards.
Sherwood had previously been involved with Yes as a backup keyboard player and guitarist on the Talk tour, as a potential new lead singer during Yes rehearsals circa 1990 and as engineer and producer for part of the band's Keys To Ascension project. During this period he had formed a strong working relationship with Yes bassist Chris Squire. Some of the material on Open Your Eyes, including the title track, initially began as an outside collaboration between Sherwood and Squire with its material intended for the two men's duo project The Chris Squire Experiment (later to become Conspiracy).
Yes singer Jon Anderson was impressed by some of the early Conspiracy material and became interested in singing on it, in part because of the parent band's need for new material to sustain commercial momentum. Consequently Sherwood, Squire, Anderson and White began working on the songs together with the aim of transforming them into Yes songs. Sherwood has said the band was falling apart after Wakeman's withdrawal and that he led on songwriting activity to keep the band going, working with Squire, White and Anderson. Guitarist Steve Howe (at the time, the band's only UK-based member) was not practically involved for most of the process and made his contributions to the album at the end of the sessions (and mainly as a player). By the end of the sessions, Sherwood was formally inducted into Yes – he would play second guitar and sing harmony vocals on tour.
Although Sherwood played the bulk of the keyboards on the album, two other keyboard players were involved. Steve Porcaro had played keyboards on the title track when it was a Chris Squire Experiment piece and his parts were retained. Russian keyboard player Igor Khoroshev performed on "New State of Mind", "No Way We Can Lose" and "Fortune Seller". Khoroshev was hired as the band's keyboard player on the tour promoting Open Your Eyes (on which he also played percussion and sang backing vocals) and would be a full member by 1999's The Ladder (on which he featured far more prominently).
Open Your Eyes was received with mixed reaction from both critics and fans upon its November 1997 release, some finding it lacking in trademark Yes qualities, while some still praise the album for its upbeat nature. The album was a commercial flop, only reaching No. 151 in the US while missing the UK charts completely. Several band members later revealed their discontent with the finished album, with both Anderson and Howe claiming that the album was too rushed to incorporate their ideas and suffered as a result. During the touring supporting the album, very little of it was played live. (The sole Anderson/Howe joint contribution, in terms of writing and concept, was the song "From The Balcony".)
The album cross-references other recordings related to the band. Versions of "Open Your Eyes" and "Man in the Moon" later appeared on the eponymous Conspiracy album (which was delayed for two years because material was co-opted for Yes and Sherwood's entry into the band). The song "Somehow, Someday" incorporates the first verse melody and lyrics from the song "Boundaries" on Jon Anderson's 1982 solo album Animation. The cover of Open Your Eyes also references the band's 1969 album debut. Billy Sherwood had wanted the album to be titled "Universal Garden" but the rest of the band outvoted him.
All songs written and composed by Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Billy Sherwood, Chris Squire, and Alan White.
|1.||"New State of Mind"||6:00|
|2.||"Open Your Eyes"||5:14|
|4.||"No Way We Can Lose"||4:56|
|6.||"Man in the Moon"||4:41|
|8.||"From the Balcony"||2:43|
Open Your Eyes (Eagle EAGCD013) reached No. 151 in the US during a chart stay of one week.
- Jon Anderson – vocals
- Steve Howe – electric and acoustic guitars, steel guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals
- Billy Sherwood – keyboards, guitar, vocals
- Chris Squire – bass guitar, vocals, harmonica
- Alan White – drums, percussion, vocals
- Igor Khoroshev – additional keyboards on "Fortune Seller", "No Way We Can Lose" and "New State of Mind"
- Steve Porcaro – additional keyboards on "Open Your Eyes"
- Produced by Yes
- Recorded by Billy Sherwood
- Mixed by Billy Sherwood and Randy Nicklaus
- Mastered by Joe Gastwirt at Oceanview Digital Mastering
- "allmusic ((( Open Your Eyes > Overview )))". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
- "Top Pop Albums 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002
- Hill, Gary. Open Your Eyes review allmusic.com. Retrieved on 9 December 2009.
- Eddy, Chuck (28 November 1997). "Open Your Eyes: Music review: Entertainment Weekly". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
- Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Yes". pieroscaruffi.com. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- Ewing, Jerry. Vox, February 2008. Albums. YES - Open Your Eyes P. 77