|No. of Discs:||2|
How much was producer Bruce Fairbairn responsible for Yes' return to creative form on 1999s The Ladder? Considering that his path through the '90s was littered with hugely successful albums by Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Van Halen and others, it's a bit of a no-brainer.
The Ladder double LP is being reissued on the EarMUSIC's Classics imprint.
Every band who've worked with Fairbairn credit him him with being an integral part of their recording success. One, as a producer who is a lightning rod for great ideas, and two, as a studio technician who gives their music scope and scale, frequently to a degree that perhaps they had never conceived of. On The Ladder he crafts a slick yet spontaneous and deliciously soulful sound, one that often challenged the orthodoxy of the band's traditional approach.
Two of the key singles, reluctantly peeled from the whole, tell you all you need to know. "Homeworld," a gutsy rock song, with a memorable melody and poppy hook, adorned by the usual bells and whistles, has a real world urbanity of tone, and lacks the artificiality of much of the band's more recent output at that point.
The blending of light touch ethnic instrumentation and choral forces with rock elements on "Lightning Strikes" leans largely on the contribution of guest musician Randy Raine-Reusch, who scoured Egypt for the right stuff, at Fairbairn's request. Both tracks are perfect examples of artist and producer sparking off each other.
|1. Homeworld (The Ladder)|
|2. It Will Be A Good Day (The River)|
|3. Lightning Strikes|
|4. Can I?|
|5. Face To Face|
|1. If Only You Knew|
|2. To Be Alive (Hep Yadda)|
|4. The Messenger|
|5. New Language|
|6. Nine Voices (Longwalker)|