Not all bands age well. This is true when the band’s career is less than ten years. Tastes change, people’s sensibilities change, fads die and new ones are born. Young rockers become old rockers, and the bloom falls off the rose. No one wants to see their dad rage along with power chords and lyrics about fighting the man.
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Sometimes a band can become so commercially successful that their artistic merit vanishes underneath the fame. In the late 1970s and 1980s, the punk rock movement was sweeping across the UK and America in reaction to the psychedelic rock of the 1960s and the yacht rock that dominated radio in the early 1970s. Punk was simple and aggressive, and it didn’t care about airplay, or authority or convention.
The Police were a band that brought together several threads and wove them into radio friendly rock that was simply inescapable from their first album in 1977 onward. The Police were sui generis. There was no other band that sounded like them. From the first few notes or moments of a song, you could easily tell that it was a Police song.
When a band or ensemble endures and stays commercially viable for 50 years, that demands attention. Yes is one of those bands. Of course, since their formation in 1968, many musicians have passed through their ranks. Detractors point to that as a satirical characteristic of the band.
While the band’s discography is as lengthy as one would expect, there was one recording in particular that rejuvenated the band in the early 1980s and created a new generation of fans that would propel the band forward into the present day.